Jaguar XK Tyres
- The original equipment tyre for an XK120, XK140 or XK150 was the 600H16 Dunlop RS5 which sadly is no longer manufactured.
- We recommend the 185VR16 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ CA67 for the XK’s of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60's. This tyre is a period radial tyre that makes these cars better suited to modern roads, while maintaining the correct diameter and not making the steering too heavy.
- For the classic XK Jaguar, our recommend tyre pressure for radial 185VR16 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ CA67 tyres is 30psi front and 36psi rear.
The earlier Jaguar XK120 had spats on the rear wheel arches. Because of the spats some radial tyres don't fit on the XK120. However because the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ is a period tire, it will fit within the spats of an XK120.
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Recommended Products for Jaguar XK
Other Options for Jaguar XK
XK Jaguar History
During World War 2 the Jaguar design team led by Sir William Lyons set to work on a brand new double overhead cam engine. As it neared completion it became obvious that a worthy successor to the SS100, powered by the new 160bhp engine, would be possible. The decision to build a sports car to house the engine was given the go ahead. Less than 2 months later, in October 1948, the Jaguar XK120 was unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show. The car was an instant success with the public and press alike hardly able to comprehend the availability of 120mph sports car that was civilised at all speeds and cost only £998! The Jaguar XK 120 evolved throughout its life with the advent, in 1954, of the XK 140 with 190bhp and (small) backseat and the final incarnation in 1957, the XK 150, with disc brakes and a 210bhp engine option. Production of all Jaguar XK120, XK140 and XK150 variants, dropheads, roadsters and fixed heads ceased in the 1960's.
Jaguar XK Fitted with Michelin 600WR16 Pilote X Tyres
Jaguar XK120 Tires
Hi, I am looking for four tyres for my 1952 XK120 with rear spats. What options do I have? Regards Tim Bach
Probably the best way to find the best tires for an XK120 would be to watch my XK film.
We have also done a web page about XK tires too. The XK120, XK140 & XK150 all fit the same tires.
I would say the 185VR16 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ would be by far the best tire for your car. It is a genuine period sports car tyre and will fit inside your spats and handle beautifully.
The other option worth considering is the 185 SR 16 Michelin X. Again a nice period tyre that will definitely fit inside your spats and will be lovely at lower speeds, but it only has a S speed rating so isn't really a sports car tire.
I couldn't say for definite that the other radials would fit inside your spats and by far the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ is the best tyre option.
When these cars came out they fitted a 600H16 Crossply Dunlop. Dunlop are not currently making any historic road tires. The only other cross ply I would recommend would be the Avon TurboSpeed, which is a really good tyre, but I think predominantly people fit radial on these cars.
For me; Jaguar XK120 with spats; 185VR16 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ CA67.
Can the XK120 steel wheels be fitted with tubeless tires?
Answer 2: Hi Mr Clark
Although the standard original equipment tire, the 600H16 Dunlop RS5 was described as a tubeless tire, we would recommend fitting inner tubes to an XK120. In fact we would encourage people to fit inner tubes to all XK Jaguars be it an XK120, XK140 or XK150. Weather it is fitted with pressed steel wheels, wire wheels and even the modern wire wheels that sometimes claim to be tubeless wire wheels, we would still encourage you to fit tubes with any XK120.
Soon after tubeless tyres were developed the wheel manufacturers changed the profile of the rim by adding the "humps" as seen in the picture below. These might also be called the safety rib, and their intention is to make sure that if a tyre becomes slightly deflated it doesn't slip off the rim. I don't believe your wheels have these safety ribs on an XK120, so I would encourage you to fit an inner tube. We sell what we think are by far the best tubess; reinforced Michelin tubes which you can get by following the link.
For originality; Jaguar fitted the 600H16 Dunlop RS5 crossply tyre to the XK120, XK140 & XK150. Currently Dunlop are not making any historic road tires. And there seems to be no plan to do so in the near future. I believe that if on the later cars you wanted to fit a radial tire with a period look, Jaguar would fit 185VR16 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™. This tyre is still available and is also a tubeless tire, but again we would suggest fitting tubes, due to the original wheels not being a tubeless wheels.
We say "if in any doubt fit an inner tube".
Jaguar XK140 tires
I have an XK 140 roadster currently fitted with Michelin tyres. How does the Michelin 185 SR 16 compare with the 195 VR 16 PIRELLI and the Michelin 600 WR 16 Pilote X tyres and what are their speed ratings?
Out of the road tires available for an XK140; I would suggest that the 185SR16 Michelin X and the 185VR16 PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ CA67 would be the nicest tires to drive on. This is because they will give lovely light handling due to a thin tread pattern. Personally I would fit the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™, because it has a more progressive sports car carcass. The other good thing about these two genuine period tires is they have the correct dimensions which fits the car perfectly and a period tread pattern right for the era.
The 600WR16 Michelin Pilot X is the next top option. If I were going racing or really pressing on with an XK140 then I would fit the Pilote X; because of it's extraordinary levels of grip, However the only drawback with this tyre is it will make the steering of your XK140 a little heavier. But it is another brilliant option for a Jaguar XK140.
To Sum up
The 185SR16 Michelin X, is smack bang period, nice and light, only an S speed rating, not really a sports car tyre but lovely and currently a real bargain.
PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ gives the best balance of everything. Perfect size, genuine period tyre, great grip, nice and progressive and looks good. If I had an XK140 I would fit the CINTURATO ™.
The Pilote X has fantastic grip, but might make your steering a little heavier, but again an excellent tyre.
I also believe that if you asked Jaguar to fit radial tyres to your XK140, then Jaguar would fit PIRELLI CINTURATO ™.
There are other tires in this size, none of which I would even consider. They are all either the wrong shape and size or too modern. Even if you are buying just on price then you won't find a tire that is much cheaper than the 185SR16 Michelin X, which is currently an incredible deal for a tire in this size from arguably one of the world's best tire manufacturers.
Many thanks for your help. The tyres arrived and thank you for such helpful and prompt service. George Lamberty
Jaguar XK150 tires
What is the best tyre for my classic Jaguar XK150 and what pressure should I run them at?
The Michelin X and PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ were the only radials around at the time. PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ were the factory option that Jaguar would have fitted if you specified radial tyres for your XK150.
PIRELLI meanwhile say 28psi front and 32psi rear for their PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ on an Jaguar XK150.
You could run your Michelin tyres at the lower PIRELLI recommendations for steady road use, as the Pilote X is a relatively large tyre for that size and so it would be safe, however, because we use so many dual carriage ways today we drive at relatively high speed Longstone would run them at a slightly higher pressure if you wanted to improve your car's directional stability. We would suggest 30psi front and 36psi rear for fast road use.
Michelin do also experiment as high as 44psi front and 50psi rear for racing. However that is again for their Michelin X, not the Pilote X.
It isn't an easy question, but 30psi front & 36psi rear is Longstone's best estimate. However if the ride is a little harsh drop the pressure a bit, though we would not suggest going below 28 & 32psi.
If it under steers increase the front tyre pressure in relation to the back, and vice versa for oversteer.