X. 6.50 R16 C or 205/80 R16?

what about 6.50 R16 C Żuk’s factory tyres?

According to Żuk Budowa, eksploatacja, naprawa, Żuk tyres are 6.50 R16 C10 PRD 100 l. They are not overly common these days. For instance, on one common polish tyres website, there are only two references :  385 zł Nankang NR-066 6.50 R16 108/107 N and 438 zł  Tigar Cargo Speed 6.50 R16 108 L.

What is 6.50 R16 C, by the way? Here is Żuk Budowa, eksploatacja, naprawa‘s description:

  • 6.50″ (165 mm) : tyre width (szerokość opony)
  • R : radial
  • 16″ (405,6 mm) : rim diameter
  • C : reinforced tyres for vans/minibus
  • 10 PR : load rating
  • D 100 : drogowa rzeźby bieżnika : looks like description by planed usage, drogowa being regular road, as described below :symbole
  • l : first grade quality

First thing I’m not fond of is the fact it is not tubeless, hence the dętka below:


6.50 R16 C specified as modern tubeless tyres would be something like 165/100 R16:

  • 165 : width
  • 100 : aspect ratio, comparison of the tyre’s height (~168,2) with its width (165) ~ 100%
  • R : same, radial
  • 16 : same, diameter of the wheel rim

100% aspect ratio does not exists : 80% is the maximum available, so such tyre could never be found. Beside, there aren’t many offers these days for 6.50 R16 C tyres themselves.

The first Żuk I considered buying had a visibly odd tyres/wheel setup. It looks like a mix of 6.50 R16 C (front) and something with another diameter ⌀:


The actual wheel diameter ⌀ should be 735,6 mm = 405,6 + (165 x 2).

a similar ⌀ but much larger alternative: 205/80R16

Wheel diameter ⌀ should be taken as constant: changing it would alter speed indicator and possibly torque, fuel consumption, etc, it is not a light change.

Switching to modern tyres should be done according the following table to respect  wheel diameter ⌀:

6.50 R16
215/80 R15
235/75 R15
205/80 R16
225/75 R16
235/70 R16
255/65 R16
235/65 R17
275/55 R17
255/55 R18
285/50 R18
285/45 R19
285/40 R20

The thinnest would be 205mm large (205 mm = 734 ; 195mm = 718 ⌀) instead of 165mm: disturbing. So 205/80R16 is not a replacement without concerns. It’d drive definitely worse on snow and, more importantly, I’m wondering about consequences on gaz consumption/available power.

Still, for  205/80 R16, on the same tyre website as before, there are 49 references. The cheapest is only 188 zł (Imperial RF07 205/80 R16 104 S XL), the most expensive 636  (Michelin O/R XZL 205/80 R16 106). For 324 zł  you’d get the decent Uniroyal RainExpert 3 205/80 R16 104 T XL.

So assuming you need to change a whole set, if you compare the cheapest  6.50 R16 and an average price 205/80 R16, you save the price of one tyre (1925 – 1620 = 305) by taking 205/80 R16.

the rim compatibility issue

Worse, tyre/rim width compatibility needs to be checked. Unless I’m mistaken, Żuk rims (obręcz) are 4.50E x 16. Green is good, yellow is acceptable, red is forbidden:


According to this table, only 5,5 could handle both original 6.50 R16 C and 205/80R16, that would not even be good but just tolerated. So any change of tyre mount is likely to imply rim changes too, since nothing will suit the factory 4.50E x 16.

The most common mount I’ve noticed (videos of Złombol, forums) are with Suzuki Vitara rims.


But I’ve also read that since the 90’s Żuk factory rims should be able to handle tubeless. If fitted with these, good reason to switch rims would be to find much lighter ones or much cheaper than the not-so-common 6.50 R16 C.

smaller ⌀ and thinner alternatives?

willtheyfit.com is worth checking, providing a convenient script that take into account all aspects.

There are other options, obviously :

  • For instance 185/85 R16 could work. But the ⌀ is smaller (720mm) and the tyre is as uncommon as 6.50 R16 C
  • There are many offers for 195/75 R16. But the ⌀ is even smaller (~700mm)

I guess the best choice is also related to the kind of roads intended to travel on. Since I do not plan to go in desert or terrible raw terrain, I’d rather having a thin tyre, even if I loose some ride height. For instance, say I would take a 195/75 R16, ride height would be down 18,75mm. It would probably not be a major change per se. But that would also come with +5%  speedometer error and, that is the most annoying, possibly gaz consumption increase.

I’d be happy to hear about any of other option and, especially, data about fuel consumption increase :

  • whether 205/80 R16 (more surface) would consume more or less fuel than  195/75 R16 (turn faster) at same speed
  • whether 6.50 R16 being 165/100 is better or worse in fuel consumption than nnn/80 or nnn/75, due to the aspect ratio
  • whether any of these changes would actually make any noticeable difference on a Żuk


FS Lublin 33 et al. alternatives (update) ?

I had a hard time to gather data about FS Lublin 33 and followers (Daewoo Lublin II, Daewoo Lublin 3, Andoria Lublin 3, etc) . From polskiedostawczaki.pl forum, it looks like factory equipment for Lublin is as follows:

  • Lublin 2,9t (gross weight): rim 5.5JX15” 5×139.7, tire 195/65 R15
  • Lublin 3,5t (gross weight):  rim 6JX16” 5×139.7, tire 205/75 R16C

First option, 195/65 R15 is an obvious no go on a Żuk: ride height loss of 50.95mm, speedo error of 16.06%, ⌀ 100mm smaller.

Second option, 205/75 R16C, on the other hand, looks acceptable. It is not a change as noticeable as 195/75 R16 I suggested earlier and there are tons of offers for this reference. If engineers picked 205/75 R16C over 205/80 R16, it might be not be random –  but FS Lublin 33 got also a 5 shift gearbox.


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