Tires are one of the most important parts of a good race setup. Without good traction, it is almost impossible to set up your vehicle for the optimal suspension and steering performances. Picking the right tire for the right track surface may be difficult. For this review, I’ve picked up two pairs of Caliber VTR in M2 (medium) compound and two pairs of Pro-Line Velocity VTR 0” off-set wheels. The Calibers come in a resealable bag for clean storage. Tires ID labels are also included to identify each tires position and compound. I don’t think I’m wrong when I say that the Pro-Line Bow-Tie has been the most popular off-road tire of the history. I’ve used them for all my vehicles. However, they have been discontinued and the new Calibers seem to be the next best all around high performance tire.
First, the Pro-Line Caliber VTR tires are directional. This means they are molded for a specific rotation that doesn’t mean you can’t run them in the reverse direction. In fact, by changing their rotation, you get a bit less of forward traction which lets you fine tune traction depending of the track surface. The tread is composed of many small square pins positioned in a “Y” shape. Each of those square pins offer good traction on looser surfaces while the base of those pins gives good traction on harder packed surfaces. The Calibers come with the new “blue” long lasting molded inserts. The inserts fit perfectly the inside of the wheel and tire. The included molded insert offers great traction, firmer sidewall and prevent the tire for getting out of shape. The tire, insert and wheel are very light and only weight 199g. The VTR wheels have a similar bead to what we can found on 1/8th scale buggy wheels. The new bead makes gluing the Caliber to the wheel extremely easy.
I’ve mounted my new Caliber tires on my Team Associated RC8T and have headed to a large empty terrain with a surface comparable to the tracks where I usually race. The surface was unprepared, loose with some hard packed surfaces. This is not a race track but this is an excellent place to test tires. From a stand still, the Calibers have enough traction to make my truggy accelerates quicker than what I’m used to with my others race tires. On soft and hard surfaces, I was able to feel the difference the Calibers make. In a improvised chicane, the Calibers and the molded inserts made hard breaking and tight cornering much predictable and constant. Even if I didn’t balance the tires/wheels, they were not far from being well balanced. No wobbling or exaggerated shaking proper to unbalanced tires. After 5-6 tanks, the Calibers were still like new and the foam insert just settled in place correctly.
The Pro-Line Bow-Tie’s were my preferred tires for many years. With their recent end of production, I was feeling “naked” in term of tires. I gave the Caliber a chance and they proved me they are better than the previous Bow-Tie on many track surfaces. On my tests, the Calibers have more forward traction and a lot more side bit. If you are like me and you are looking for a high performance tires that will shine on many different track surfaces, give the Pro-Line Caliber VTR a chance. You will not be disappointed.
For more information, please visit www.prolineracing.com