Falken Tires Celebrates 30 Years in Business

Continuing its recent participation in off-road racing, Falken Tires, the manufacturer of high performance tires, has announced its partnership with driver and Trail-Gear CEO, Matt Messer. Messer, one of the lead racers in the off-road world, placed 2nd in the new Legends class of the Everyman’s Challenge at this years King of the Hammers.

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“The new Falken Tires M/T’s were phenomenal in both races,” Messer said. “We abused the tires on the rocks and they held up great on the fast desert stretches.” “We are very excited to be on-board with Falken Tires!”

It’s this type of enthusiasm for tires that has kept Falken in business for thirty years. The Japanese tire company was founded in 1983, but really got their business off the ground one year later in ’84. Yet, even in the 1980s, the company knew that it would focus its business on performance and racing rather than making a subpar tire for beater cars and grocery getters.

According to a Falken tires spokesperson, the company never intended on being the one of the biggest tire names in the world, in fact Falken has always concentrated on grassroots racing competitions and amateur racers to get the public excited.

The History of Falken

After the company began offering tires to the general public, Falken Tires knew the best way to get the word out was to enter the world of racing. In the 1980s, Japanese racers started to test out their tires at local races to see the capabilities of the new brand. In various autocross, road race and endurance challenges, the Falken brand continually came out on top.

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Within two years of business, rumors of a high-performance tire brand had crossed the Pacific Ocean and racers were chatting at local tracks about importing the highly prized rubber. Luckily, the CEOs at Falken took it upon themselves to open a branch in America called the Falken Motorsports and Distribution in Glendale, California.

With new headquarters in California and dozens of championship racers riding on their tires, Falken continued to participate in different automotive races in the world. All throughout the 1990s, it was hard to find a race that was not related to the brand with Japanese roots. Some of the races that competed in included:
  • N1 Endurance Race: A six-hour race with in the Falken Skyline GT-R.
  • The Super N1 Taikyu Series: Their car dominated the popular race.
  • Rallye De Portugal: A race through asphalt and gravel in Portugal.
  • Kenya Endurance Rally: Partnered with Nissan Motorsports for the event.
  • ADAC Rennen Nürburgring: A 24-hour race in the Falken Skyline GT-R.

Breakthroughs in Tire Engineering

In 1996, Falken created a tire that was incredibly hard to beat in terms of style, innovation, performance and cost. The tire is called the Ziex, and it’s still one of the most popular tread designs for car, SUV and light truck owners that require a tire that can be used in a variety of different weather conditions and climates.

Imagine an all-weather performance tire that was engineered to give true grip and increased traction to enhance confidence in any driving condition. Falken Tires’ Ziex has full-depth sides around the tread that pairs with its high-volume circumferential grooves that come together the spirit of performance driving on any smooth surface.

In 2001, Falken had another breakthrough. The Falken Azeni became one of the best high-performance tires that money can buy, period. The championship-winning tire is extremely popular for today's sports cars, performance compacts and sedans and the best part is that it’s street legal. For racers who need a tire that can still compete in wet conditions and stay sticky enough for a drag strip, the Falken Azeni is the unmatched when it comes to grip. With its world-spec construction and advanced compound for street and track use, Azenis can competively maintain traction in both street and track conditions.

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What’s Next For Falken?

There is no denying that Falken continually crushes the competition in road racing, endurance and rally events, but in the last few years there has started to be a shift of gears with the automotive events that their teams have been competing.  

Four years ago, Falken introduced the WildPeak A/T tire for the off-roading community. The tire was made with extreme conditions in mind, in fact, if we had to pick a tire that could handle loose gravel, snow and high speed desert races; the WildPeak would be our first choice.
Since the WildPeak became available, Falken has been using it to sweep the competition at various off-roading events.  The King of Hammers, EveryMan Challenge and the Ultra4 Series are just some of the races that Falken shows up to race in the dirt.

This exciting new passion for Falken’s racing teams is great for the off-roading community. All throughout the season, the performance tire brand has been picking up new drivers to compete in races around the world. It has been an exciting 30 years of racing for Falken, it will be interesting to see the events that they’ll come to in the next 30 years.

If you have any questions about which Falken Tires are right for your truck, give the experts at 4WheelOnline.com at 813-769-2451.

By Sean Bowes

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