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Replacing Tyres

We all have to replace our tyres regular. The Esprit can chomp through a set of rears pretty quickly if driven hard. Getting a new set can be a pain. Finding the same make as the front, if you're not replacing all four. Choosing a new tyre if the old model isn't available. Making sure that any new make and model are safe for a high powered car like the Esprit. Finding the right price, as rubber isn't cheap. All this can be too much and you could end up paying more than you should or getting less tyre for your money.

Our guide to tyres is here and is updated as more info is sourced, so keep an eye on it!

This page will show you how we sorted out our new tyres. Chose the best rubber for our ride, paid a good price and got them safely and correctly fitted. Read on if you need new tyres and find out how easy it is.


We decided to use Black Circles, as they offer members a 10% discount on tyres. We'd not used them before, but had spoken to Club LEW members that had used them and spoke well. We used their website to find out what tyres where available for our wheels. Dunlop SP9000's came up and we have used those before and they are approved for the V8. The price was pretty good too! We then continued on the website to check we could get them fitted locally.

We decide to then email Black Circles with our order and membership details to get the 10% off. I'm sure the website works, but it's nice to get some human response (even if it is via email). Our order and fitting location was confirmed and we then got a phonecall to sort out payment. A confirmation email was then sent with all the details on and we where ready to get our tyres fitted.

We ordered on Tuesday and had a fitting time booked for Saturday afternoon. Couldn't be more pleased with the servie from Black Circles.

Cavalry Park
EH45 9BU

Email: info@blackcircles.co.uk

10% Discount on Tyres for Club LEW members

Black Circles are offering LEW members a new 10% discount (up from 5%) on all their tyres either by web order or via phone. The discount code can be used on their website (promotional box in the top right hand corner) or over the telephone (0845 200 0022).

Black Circles deliver 'the best fully fitted tyre prices in the UK'

Black Circles is the new easy way to buy tyres over the internet. You just order your tyres, at our low low prices. Then make an appointment to have them fitted at one of our centres near you. Do all this in a few easy steps online. 

The Black Circles team offer 'the BEST fully fitted prices in the UK'. Our fully fitted service experience includes: Access to over 700 service points. All inclusive fitted prices - No hidden extras! Appointment service – Just choose your tyres and let us do the rest! Customer satisfaction guaranteed. Cheap tyres in price alone.  No compromise on performance or quality.

Fitting of Rears
Summer 2005
Black Circles sent us to Premier Tyres & Exhausts in Bedford to get our rear tyres fitted. The tyres were despatched straight to PTE so all we needed to do was turn up. We'd already paid Black Circles, so we didn't even need any cash. Everything was sorted.


We turned up at Premier Tyres & Exhausts to get our new boots fitted. Premier are a new company and have fitting equipment to fit up to 30" wheels. So our 17" should cause them no problems.


Premier are also open all day Saturday, unlike many firms. Which meant LEW could have a get up a little later! Our old boots where soon removed and work was under way.


We took in our old front 15" SE wheels, which had a good pair of Dunlop SP9000's on. Premier removed these for us, so we can pass them on to another Esprit owner (now sold on LEW's parts page). The Goodyears where removed from the 17" GT3 Alloys, with plenty of care. Premier have a 30" machine, so it dealt with the Esprit wheels without any problems.

LEW decided on a set of Dunlop SP9000 for the rear of our Esprit. Talking to Lotus, these seem a good choice. These are available in the 215/40 17R as well, so you can get a full set. These tyres have been approved for the V8 (although not the 4-cyl) by Lotus, so they can't be bad. Plus we've had them before on our SE wheels. It's nice to see some tread again.


Great care was taken putting the new rubber on. 17's with 45 profile tyres are tough to get on, but premier took the time to get them on without damaging the rims.


The paste was added to the tyre before it was added to the rim. 28psi was pumped into our new rubber!


The wheels were then balanced on the balancing machine. This is an important part of putting new tyres on. Weights were placed on the inside of the rim to balance the wheel up.


The rear wheels now go back on the car. Premier don't use air-guns, which we approve of. Too many garages use them and tighten the nuts too far. Premier use a torque wrench to tighten all wheel nuts. 100 Nm for most Esprit (see here).


Our wheels were then clean and we were sent on our way without anything to pay. A very painless experience and well recommended.

Premier Tyres & Exhausts
Brakes, Suspension & Wheels

13b Shuttleworth Road
Elms Industrial Estate
MK41 0PE

Tel: 01234 272633

After Fitting
New tyres need scrubbing in before they perform as they should. Our Dunlops made the backend very skittish and will need to have some miles put on them before we get the grip we're after. Please make sure you're careful before the tyres are fully scrubbed in, as the handling won't be as good as it should be. Different tyre take differing amounts of mileage to scrub in. We'll report back later with an accessment on our new rubber.

We also received a Sales Receipt in the post for our purchase and a free credit card 'Tyre Safety Gauge', which will now live in the Esprit. All in all a very professional and well run company.

Fitting of Fronts
Winter 2006
Black Circles sent us to Premier Tyres & Exhausts again to fit our front tyres. The tyres were despatched straight to PTE so all we needed to do was turn up. We'd already paid Black Circles, so we didn't even need any cash. Everything was sorted.


The main reason for the fitting of new front tyres was not that the Goodyears were down to their legal limited (when most usually change tyres and the reason we did the rears), but the vagueness on motorway journey's. LEW's Esprit wasn't handling as well as it should and sitting on the motorway's at 60-90mph there was no feedback through the steering wheel and not feeling Esprit like at all.


After speaking to Lotus about the issue, especially as the Esprit had been set-up with new suspension (not the 'new' stuff yet!) not long ago at the factory, they advise us that with almost new rear tyres and pretty old fronts, it could upset the handling, especially at higher speeds and on motorways in straight lines. The Esprit's handling is one of the best of any car, but can be upset if things aren't correct. Leaving you with a very unEsprit like car.


Since the new fronts have been fitted and we now have a full set of new Dunlop SP9000's. The Esprit is back to feeling like a true Esprit now. It was a reall joy driving it with it's new found abilities. So check your not running tyre that are at two extremes of wear. It could be making your Esprit ill.


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