Maxxis RC-1 Race Tire: The Prolonged Review

by Clint Boisdeau

Maxxis has been in the tire game for a long while, but only recently have they jumped into the road race DOT R-compound market with the RC-1.  The goal for the tire was to be an all-around performer as well as being durable and affordable.  Such characteristics will appeal to all crowds of motorsports whether it is wheel to wheel racing, time attack, or HPDE (high performance driving event) "track days".   The size availability covers a lot of the more popular ranges, with some niche sizes that will be out shortly.  The test vehicle was my own project 370Z, which represents a street car that gets tracked often being the norm for the majority of HPDE attendees.  Project 370Z is a full weight, relatively softly sprung, daily driven car.  So the RC-1’s had their work cut out for them in the wear and heat cycling capacity department.  Also, Project 370Z is driven to and from the track on the tires it uses for the event since I have only one set of wheels for the car.   So I have to get the tires mounted the day before I leave for events and changed back after the weekend which is a scenario that a significant amount of track day goers deal with regularly.


Simplicity is the initial reaction to the look of the RC-1.  Not much to see when it comes to tread design, just a simple DOT legal 2 line void area and a shallow imprint "Maxxis" along the circumference of the middle tread block.

Upon closer inspection, you'll notice the slight chamfer on the inner side of the two DOT lines, making it a slightly larger void area than softer compound 40 UTQG treadwear tires.  This difference is minimal, but noticeable to the experienced eye.  Also present and similar to most race oriented tires are tread depth indentations to help monitor the wear pattern across the contact patch.
 The "tread" seems to wrap around the top edge of the sidewall significantly further than most track oriented street tires and R-Compounds I have seen on the market and in the past.  This may be beneficial for closer to stock cars with minimal static camber adjustment or strut suspension cars with less than ideal camber curve dynamics under compression.
275/35/18 was the largest size currently available for 18 inch wheels.  For Project 370Z, this is a tad narrow and small in diameter, but is very popular among other platforms that see track use.  Hopefully larger sizes like 285/35/19, 295/35/18, or even 305/30/18 to better accommodate larger and more powerful cars will come out.  Any one of those sizes would be perfect for Project 370Z.
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Posted in: 370Z
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Wednesday, September 10, 2014 7:33 AM
While those may be DOT legal, that won't stop a cop from stopping you and ticketing you, or worse, towing you. It happened to me with some fully street legal BFG Comp R1s years ago. Those tires had tread on the inside and a solid brick on the outside, and the cop just insisted the tread was "worn out" on the outside.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 8:53 AM
Worst I had to deal with coming back from the track on DOT r comps years back on half tread NT01's was a "Low tread depth" fix it ticket. I switched back to my street tires the next day and got it written off.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:16 AM
Wouldnt use Maxxis for other thing than a street slow vehicle.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:28 AM
Why do you say that? ^
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 10:48 AM
I'm glad to finally read a review of Maxis tires. I used Maxis tires on my BMX and mountain bikes back in the day, and have been curious how their automotive tires compare to others in the sector.
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:31 PM
I know you wrote that you got Faster Clint, but I'm wondering the actual times you were running on the Time Attack 13?
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 3:56 PM
Der Bruce,
Page 3, about half way down,
"By the end of the day, my best lap time was 2.00:4. The RC-1s proved to be a consistent 1 to 1.2 seconds faster around Time Attack #13 than my slightly wider Hankook RS3 street tires. I feel with a suspension tune better suited for the high grip of the Maxxis tires, the time delta would have been even larger. "
Der Bruce
Der Brucelink
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 5:20 PM
Sorry Clint, I read 1.2 seconds faster and rescanned the page but have no idea how I missed it. MAYBE it was the fact that I was reading this, taking a Continuing education class and working at the same time. Maybe!

Anyway, I'm interested to see what it takes for you to break the 2 minute mark. My personal goal is to one day break that mark on the Time Attack 13.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:35 PM
great write up Clint! , ive been on the rc1 for 4 events now , my last event i ran my pb bw 13cw in mystock weight s2k ... still have tons of rubber left on the tire, even wear, and no notice of degrading lap times.. i'll be back at bw in a few weeks with hopefully cooler weather ..
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:53 PM
Der Bruce,

I think toward the end of this year when buttonwillow gets more rubbered in on the new surface, and the weather gets better. I think i can crack 59. My car now has a fuel starve kit which hasnt been covered yet in the articles, the 370z has bad fuel starve in rights so you have to top off the full 19 gallons every session. so just that reduction in fuel weight (over 100lbs) i think that can be enough to make Project 370 a sub 2 car
Thursday, September 11, 2014 9:29 AM
Clint, ive tried several maxxis tires including off road ones. And the grip is considerably lower on every single tire when compared to a better brand (yokohama, kumho, hoosier, michelin, etc). I would bet its the same with this one.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Thursday, September 11, 2014 11:41 AM

So you have tried the RC-1 yourself, care to share your setup and findings?
Of course Hoosier's and Kumho dot slicks are faster, those are a different class of race tire. The RC-1 is a 100 treadware R comp, so comparable to NT01, R888, and RA1. Despite its a simple two line tread design, its not suppose to be compared to the likes of Hoosier A6/R6, Kumho V710, Tokyo RR, or Hankook Z214 in c51 and softer.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM
Nice review, thanks for posting! I've been waiting to hear more about the RC-1. A little disappointed that these could only best the RS3s by 1-1.2 seconds though (on a ~2 minute course), given that they ARE supposed to be comparable to an NT01/RA1/888. Having driven on 1st gen RS3s (the 180 UTQG) and RA1s, the grip difference (and lap times) are very noticeable.
Clint Boisdeau
Clint Boisdeaulink
Thursday, September 11, 2014 2:15 PM

as i said in the article, my suspension is on the soft side even on RS3s, so i dont feel my car is using the RC-1's added grip level to the full potential because of the lack of sufficent roll stiffness
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