Riley RM Tyres
- The perfect crossply tyres for the Riley RME or RMF are 6.00-16 PIRELLI STELLA BIANCA .
- The perfect radial tyres for an RME or Riley RMF are either 185 SR 16 Michelin X or 185 VR 16 PIRELLI CINTURATO CA67 .
- Michelin make the best 16 F RET inner tubes for the RM Rileys.
Riley RM Recommended Tyres
Other Options for Riley RM Tyres
Correct Riley RM 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 -
I read your article in my Rmemoranda, 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 in that size.
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 foot print 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 foot print even further which is not suited to our cars, although a wide foot print 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 foot prints 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 where 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.
History of the Riley RM
Built between 1945-1955, the RM series was produced by Riley from right after the Second World War up until their merger with Austin to form BMC. There were a number of models, with the RMA being a large saloon that would eventually be replaced by the RME. The RMB was a larger car, and would be replaced by the RMF. The RMC and RMD were limited-production roadsters that were based on the RMB.