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SEMA Show, Day Three: Falken gets sportier

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SEMA Show, Day Three: Falken gets sportier

Goodbye Ziex S/TZ04. Hello Ziex S/TZ05.

At the 2012 Global Tire Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., Falken Tire Corp. introduced a next-generation sport truck tire designed for SUVs and 1/2-ton sport truck applications.

The new Falken Ziex S/TZ05 will replace the S/TZ04 as the company's main sport truck line. (But fans of the S/TZ04 need not despair: The S/TZ04 will become the Ohtsu ST5000 in the new Ohtsu consumer tire line, which will launch in 2013.)

Andrew Hoit, vice president of marketing, defines sport truck tire buyers typically as highway drivers who want a sportier look. They are more driving enthusiasts than not.

He says 95% of the competitors in this category have a directional tread pattern in a V or Z rating. The S/TZ05 has a five-rib asymmetric tread design and is H-rated.

The result is a tire that is less harsh with plenty of handling. "You are not going to drive an SUV tire 150-plus miles per hour."

It also has a 14/32-inch tread depth, compared to an 11/32-inch tread depth for other sport truck tires on the market.  Falken backs the tire with a 50,000-mile limited tread wear warranty. (Hoit says Falken has improved the long wear aspect of the S/TZ05 by 12% over its predecessor.)

Other features include the following:

* double taper cut tread blocks, which are designed to maximize noise control and water evacuation. It also gives the tire a state-of-the-art look.

* wide and narrow shoulder lug grooves that are engineered for optimal noise reduction.

* wide shoulder blocks. The wide blocks increase tread stiffness, which, in turn, allow for maximized performance and even wear.

The tire officially will be launched Dec. 3, 2012, in 16 H-rated sizes ranging from 20 inches to 24 inches. Here is the breakdown:

20-inch (eight): 275/6020 115 H to 275/40R20 106 H.

22-inch (six): 285/45R22 114 H to 265/35R22 102 H.

24-inch (two): 295/35R24 110 H and 305/35R24 112 H.

Four sizes will be added in 2013: 255/60R19 109 H, 245/55R19 102 H, 245/50R20 112 H and 285/50R20 110 H.

The Global Tire Expo is part of the Specialty Equipment Market Association, or SEMA, Show. The 2012 show began on Oct. 30 and will end on Nov. 2.

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