First driving experiences, Nokian Hakka R2SUV, video and pics


So I put these on Friday November 8th and then headed 30-40 miles to work.  Initially I noticed that they felt firm, a little more than my Michelin LTX MS all seasons.  The directional tread pattern seemed to make turning easier.  They were also very quiet on most pavements, more quiet than my Michelins between 60-75 miles per hour.  So I headed up to Jay Peak Vermont on Sunday November 10th.  On the ride and with a few miles on them I didn't notice the firmness of the tire anymore.  It seemed I broke them in on this 300 mile journey.  They continued to handle well, be very quiet (with the exception of certain louder pavement types).   I was delighted when I woke up on the 11th as the night time rain had turned overnight into about 3-4 inches of snow!  I took advantage of the experience and headed out on the road.  I did all types of tests to push this tire.  The rain had turned to ice, then to snow, so even the plowed roads had ice on them.  Going up hills covered in snow and ice, plowed or unplowed,  I had no problems whatsoever.  I had to really hit the gas to break them loose and only twice doing so did VSC (vehicle stability control activate).  Driving reasonably it seemed I never lost grip.  I passed a Honda Odyssey minivan which was spinning its tires trying to get up a hill....passed them with ease.  Yes my Highlander is an AWD vehicle, but these tires really maximized the AWD system, which utilized all open differentials, with no locking mechanism.  The system works best when the tires don't lose grip.  When a tire loses grip, the abs has to stop the spinning tire in order to allow torque to get to the other wheels.  Under conditions where I have grip all four wheels get equal amounts of torque, and this is what these tires helped me do, keep all four tires moving.  Going downhill I tested the stopping abilities.  At first I did notice that the abs did come on upon slamming my breaks coming down hills, but then I also began to notice that I seldom slid far or sideways at all.  In other words, these tires did their job.  They were great in dry conditions, and I'll shut up now and post videos and pics of me in BAD conditions, where they really shine!