Few weeks ago, Pro-Line Racing added a new performance 1/8 buggy tire to their line-up. The Caliber is the latest tire developed by Pro-Line Racing and has made its debut at the 2009 Silver State Nitro Challenge where it finished 1st in the electric buggy class. Like all others Pro-Line tires, the Caliber is offered in different compounds (XTR, M2 and M3) to best suite track condition and surface. However, the Caliber has a new interesting feature. The Caliber is directional; its tread has been designed to produce different traction depending of its direction of rotation. This adds more tuning possibilities for racers.
The tread is a mix of step-pins and small pins making the tire versatile for a wide variety of track surfaces. All the pins are made of smaller square blocks on the top of larger square blocks. All those pins are aligned to make a “Y” shape which explains why the Calibers are directional. Reverse the “Y” and you’ll have different handling. The smaller pins increase traction on hard surface while the larger pins in the bottom provide traction on softer surface. Ribs are used in the internal carcass to add extra strength and prevent the tire from ballooning. A molded foam insert is used to keep the tire in perfect shape under acceleration or when cornering.
The Pro-Line Calibers are directional, make sure you install them in the right direction.
To test the Calibers, I mounted them on Pro-Line V2 wheels and headed to my backyard track where the track surface varies from semi hard packed to loose dirt. I normally use tires with a more aggressive tread pattern on my test track but the Calibers surprised me by their forward and side traction. After three full tanks, the Calibers still in perfect shape with minor signs of wear.
The Calibers will perform well on most track surfaces. I’ll categorize them somewhere between the Crime Fighters and the Revolvers. On my test track, they performed well and gave to my buggy good all around traction. The Calibers worth the try and add an extra tuning option with their directional design. With the beginning of the race season coming soon, have a look to the new Pro-Line Calibers. They are a serious option for any racers.
Update June 25th 2009:
After few races and many fuel tanks burnt with Pro-Line Caliber tires bolted to my buggy, I must admit it. Those tires are the best tires ever made by Pro-Line. I normally use Bow-Tie or Crime Fighter as my “by default” tires selection. Now, The Caliber is my number one choice. At my last race, I started the day with Bow-Tie tires, after the first qualify; I swapped for the Caliber, just to compare both tires. My lap times were faster and my driving was much better. The Caliber tires made my buggy grip like a cat on a carpet! My buggy had more steering and awesome forward traction. My Caliber tires show minor signs of wear and they still perform like when new. I can’t ask anything more to my tires.