Riley Pathfinder

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1956 Riley Pathfinder

1956 Riley Pathfinder

Riley Pathfinder Tyres

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    Riley Pathfinder Recommended Tyres

  1. Other Options for Riley Pathfinder Tyres

32 Items

History of the Riley Pathfinder

Built between 1953-1957, the Riley Pathfinder was originally designed as the RMH before Riley merged with Austin to form BMC. The gear lever was mounted on the floor beside the driver's door, meaning those in right-hand markets would end up changing gear with their right hand. The Motor magazine tested a pathfinder in 1955 that had a maximum speed of 99.5 mph and accelerated from 0-60 mph in 16.8 seconds. The fuel usage was 19.5 miles per imperial gallon. The test car cost £1240 including taxes, which equates to about £45,000 in current Sterling. (January 2022)

Correct Riley Pathfinder Tyres

It's important to us at Longstone that you fit the correct tyres to your Riley in order to have the best driving experience possible. For example, here is a customer concerned that before coming to Longstone fitting cheaper "taxi" tyres was damaging the whole feel of their Riley -

"Hallo Dougal,

I read your article in my Memoranda, the Riley RM Club magazine.

Indeed I have difficulties with the Tyres of my 2.5 L RM. I am driving on 175 taxi tyres with heavy steering and therapy resistant shacking in the steering, due to rapidly out wearing wheel bearings. Maybe at least a part of the problem are these taxi tyres?

I am thinking of changing them to the Michelin 185 R16 92S X.

Best regards from Germany"

The Riley RM 2.5 Litre cars fitted either 575X16 or 600X16 (according to my period fitment guides). Nobody presently makes the 575X16; There are 575/600X16 tyres out there but they are not as good as the 600X16 tyres that are available from Dunlop or Avon, who arguably currently make the best tyres in that size. (I would be interested to know which brand was original equipment, my guess would be Avon Tourist).

The picture below shows a 600H16 Avon TurboSpeed which is the 4th tyre from the left and probably the best crossply tyre of that size.

Riley Pathfinder

The issue of whether to fit a radial tyre alternative is often raised. You may be buying tyres based on price, whereby you can get a cheap Taxi tyre that will last forever. However, these are not actually the right size for the Riley RM. These taxi tyres have a carcase structure designed to complement a completely different car, which I would suggest it is not the right thing to do.

Radial tyres do give better mileage, better directional stability and diminish wandering. Nevertheless, this can come at the expense of a slightly harsher ride and heavier steering. The fact a radial tyre gives you a greater footprint is the main contributor to the heavier steering; This is true of all radial tyres but more modern radial tyres, designed to suit more modern cars, have been developed to increase the footprint even further which is not suited to our cars, although a wide footprint will improve breaking in a straight line. It is possible to over-tyre a car! The Michelin X or PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ with their period thin footprints will still dramatically improve stopping distances because they are a radial tyre made of modern rubber compounds but won't make the steering as heavy as other radial tyres.

In the picture you can see that the PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ (far left) and The Michelin X (3rd from the left) are very similar in footprint width to the Avon TurboSpeed Cross Ply (4th from the left). The PIRELLI CINTURATO ™ and Michelin X are genuine period tyres initially designed to complement cars like the RM. These are still the best radial tyres today to fit on a Riley RM. As you can see they are still the same diameter as the crossply whereas more modern radials tend to be smaller in diameter. These tyres are still manufactured by Michelin and PIRELLI using modern compounds. They have all the benefits of radial tyres while at the same time minimising the flaws of a radial.

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