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Do Tires Make A Difference?

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I had a spectacular low side at Barber during WERA race practice a few weeks ago. I was not on my normal "Dunlop race slicks". I was in a bind and a friend ordered Michelin Power One V-profile. The manufacturer states the cold tire pressure is 31 psi. Michelin does not give hot tire pressures. I had put about ten laps on the tires. I ususally try to get about three laps on a new set before I consider them "scuffed" in. So the front probably was about 36 psi. I was passing on the outside using "maintenance throttle" when the front just went, no warning at all. Unfortunately for me the bike caught on the track, went up in the air and flipped twice before hitting the ground. I had a front row seat.

I normally run Dunlop slicks with hot tire pressure of 31 psi front and 30 psi rear. I have been to Barber probably 35 times and never had an issue in turn two. I know, there is always a first time.

I love my Dunlop tires and after the crash all I could think about was the tires because in my mind it was unlikely after all the riding and race schools I have been to that I caused the low side mid corner.

The questions that run through your mind: Was it a light front end, a seam, marbles on the track, to much pressure on the bars, tire pressure or unfamiliar tire profile? These are the kinds of questions you ask yourself after the fact. It is really hard to do analysis when your trying to pass and maybe that is where more errors occur because you get tunnel vision and lose "feel"

I know that three other guys low sided in turn 2 at Barber and two were on Michelin Power Ones with the "V" profile. When I came back in to the paddock several racers commented on the tires. One guy said " He only new two top racers that could ride on them". I talked to the Dunlop tire rep and he said "off the record" you know what he said.

So, I guess it is hard for me to admit that I made a bad input. I mean I was smooooth and still can't believe it happened but....Do tires make a difference? Does 31 psi hot vs 36 psi hot make that much of a difference? Does tire profile make a difference?

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Fossil,

 

Sorry about your getoff. The worse part is that in your mind the only change is the tires, so I'm sure that you're blaming them. And for all we know if could be a problem tire. Or could be a problem tire for YOUR SETUP.

 

Tires and bikes are developed together. Engineers compute this stuff and spit out some numbers and blah, blah, blah. Then the suspension geometry, springs and damping setting needs to be tweaked. You went from a round profile to a V profile tire. At a minimum you should measure the tire's circumference (even when using same brand and type tires) and make small changes to reset your geometry to your known baseline.

 

I'm not sure if you made a typo in your writeup but you interchanged 31psi cold with 31psi hot. There's also a mention of 36psi. If you set your tire at 36cold, I'd imagine that's too high. Even at my slow speeds (LOL) I run 31psi cold front on my Pilot Powers for track, and they stick like glue.

 

But as Kevin says, YRMV

 

:-)

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Fossil,

 

Sorry about your getoff. The worse part is that in your mind the only change is the tires, so I'm sure that you're blaming them. And for all we know if could be a problem tire. Or could be a problem tire for YOUR SETUP.

 

Tires and bikes are developed together. Engineers compute this stuff and spit out some numbers and blah, blah, blah. Then the suspension geometry, springs and damping setting needs to be tweaked. You went from a round profile to a V profile tire. At a minimum you should measure the tire's circumference (even when using same brand and type tires) and make small changes to reset your geometry to your known baseline.

 

I'm not sure if you made a typo in your writeup but you interchanged 31psi cold with 31psi hot. There's also a mention of 36psi. If you set your tire at 36cold, I'd imagine that's too high. Even at my slow speeds (LOL) I run 31psi cold front on my Pilot Powers for track, and they stick like glue.

 

But as Kevin says, YRMV

 

:-)

 

When I run Dunlop slicks the tire pressure for the front is 31 psi hot. My tire wear looks fine.

The cold pressure on the Michelins was 31psi which gave me a 36psi tire pressure hot on the front tire. This tire pressure is much higher than I am used to running but Michelin does not give hot pressures for these tires...a big secret.

Also, the profile of the "V" tires makes it hard to scuff in the edges. This was something that I noticed when I looked at the tires after the crash truck brought it in (funny!).

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I had a spectacular low side at Barber during WERA race practice a few weeks ago. I was not on my normal "Dunlop race slicks". I was in a bind and a friend ordered Michelin Power One V-profile. The manufacturer states the cold tire pressure is 31 psi. Michelin does not give hot tire pressures. I had put about ten laps on the tires. I ususally try to get about three laps on a new set before I consider them "scuffed" in. So the front probably was about 36 psi. I was passing on the outside using "maintenance throttle" when the front just went, no warning at all. Unfortunately for me the bike caught on the track, went up in the air and flipped twice before hitting the ground. I had a front row seat.

I normally run Dunlop slicks with hot tire pressure of 31 psi front and 30 psi rear. I have been to Barber probably 35 times and never had an issue in turn two. I know, there is always a first time.

I love my Dunlop tires and after the crash all I could think about was the tires because in my mind it was unlikely after all the riding and race schools I have been to that I caused the low side mid corner.

The questions that run through your mind: Was it a light front end, a seam, marbles on the track, to much pressure on the bars, tire pressure or unfamiliar tire profile? These are the kinds of questions you ask yourself after the fact. It is really hard to do analysis when your trying to pass and maybe that is where more errors occur because you get tunnel vision and lose "feel"

I know that three other guys low sided in turn 2 at Barber and two were on Michelin Power Ones with the "V" profile. When I came back in to the paddock several racers commented on the tires. One guy said " He only new two top racers that could ride on them". I talked to the Dunlop tire rep and he said "off the record" you know what he said.

So, I guess it is hard for me to admit that I made a bad input. I mean I was smooooth and still can't believe it happened but....Do tires make a difference? Does 31 psi hot vs 36 psi hot make that much of a difference? Does tire profile make a difference?

 

FossilFuel!!! I am SO GLAD you posted this, I had trouble with these tires too. I was running Michelin PowerRace tires and loved them. They have been replaced with the Power Ones. So my tire vendor sold me those, said they would feel the same. I HATED them. I had head shake multiple places on the track (on AND off the gas!), which I have never experienced before, and repeatedly slipped both front and rear tires - even getting substantial slips on the rear tire on upshifts, with the bike completely upright. My confidence went WAY down, and after three sessions I went back and asked him to change the tires. He replaced them with the 'commercially available' version, which were a LOT better - they were less stiff, had a less radical profile, and warmed up quickly. So I started to ride better, and have a made a real effort to like these - but then I did a school day on Dunlops, had a blast - and when I got back on my own bike (also a ZX6R), the Power Ones felt awful in comparison. So, I'm done with them, they're going in the trash.

 

My tire vendor said that since I wasn't using warmers and it was a cool day (60s) that I never warmed up the tires, and so they were stiff and slick. I noticed that the race version of the front tire was shorter in height than my Power Race tire, so my front end was lower and less stable. Then when I changed to the 'commercial' tire, it was HIGHER than my previous tire, had to change my setup again.

 

So I don't know which of these issues you ran into, whether the tire was too stiff, too low-profile, didn't warm up, didn't give you enough feedback, or just plain didn't have enough grip, but I can tell you from direct experience that I can't ride for s__t on the Power Ones, I think it is totally possible that your crash was related to the change in tires, they do feel radically different to me. And I LOVED the Power Race and the Pilot Powers. So... which Dunlop were you using? I guess I'm changing brands!

 

So sorry to hear about your crash, I hope you are OK. And that your bike is recoverable.

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I know a couple people at the track who started using the Power 1's, and swear by them. I don't know the pressures they run, but I do know that they're lower than what you were riding. I've only ridden the Pilot Powers on the track, because the level I'm at, I don't want to have to worry so much about that.

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I had a spectacular low side at Barber during WERA race practice a few weeks ago. I was not on my normal "Dunlop race slicks". I was in a bind and a friend ordered Michelin Power One V-profile. The manufacturer states the cold tire pressure is 31 psi. Michelin does not give hot tire pressures. I had put about ten laps on the tires. I ususally try to get about three laps on a new set before I consider them "scuffed" in. So the front probably was about 36 psi. I was passing on the outside using "maintenance throttle" when the front just went, no warning at all. Unfortunately for me the bike caught on the track, went up in the air and flipped twice before hitting the ground. I had a front row seat.

I normally run Dunlop slicks with hot tire pressure of 31 psi front and 30 psi rear. I have been to Barber probably 35 times and never had an issue in turn two. I know, there is always a first time.

I love my Dunlop tires and after the crash all I could think about was the tires because in my mind it was unlikely after all the riding and race schools I have been to that I caused the low side mid corner.

The questions that run through your mind: Was it a light front end, a seam, marbles on the track, to much pressure on the bars, tire pressure or unfamiliar tire profile? These are the kinds of questions you ask yourself after the fact. It is really hard to do analysis when your trying to pass and maybe that is where more errors occur because you get tunnel vision and lose "feel"

I know that three other guys low sided in turn 2 at Barber and two were on Michelin Power Ones with the "V" profile. When I came back in to the paddock several racers commented on the tires. One guy said " He only new two top racers that could ride on them". I talked to the Dunlop tire rep and he said "off the record" you know what he said.

So, I guess it is hard for me to admit that I made a bad input. I mean I was smooooth and still can't believe it happened but....Do tires make a difference? Does 31 psi hot vs 36 psi hot make that much of a difference? Does tire profile make a difference?

 

FossilFuel!!! I am SO GLAD you posted this, I had trouble with these tires too. I was running Michelin PowerRace tires and loved them. They have been replaced with the Power Ones. So my tire vendor sold me those, said they would feel the same. I HATED them. I had head shake multiple places on the track (on AND off the gas!), which I have never experienced before, and repeatedly slipped both front and rear tires - even getting substantial slips on the rear tire on upshifts, with the bike completely upright. My confidence went WAY down, and after three sessions I went back and asked him to change the tires. He replaced them with the 'commercially available' version, which were a LOT better - they were less stiff, had a less radical profile, and warmed up quickly. So I started to ride better, and have a made a real effort to like these - but then I did a school day on Dunlops, had a blast - and when I got back on my own bike (also a ZX6R), the Power Ones felt awful in comparison. So, I'm done with them, they're going in the trash.

 

My tire vendor said that since I wasn't using warmers and it was a cool day (60s) that I never warmed up the tires, and so they were stiff and slick. I noticed that the race version of the front tire was shorter in height than my Power Race tire, so my front end was lower and less stable. Then when I changed to the 'commercial' tire, it was HIGHER than my previous tire, had to change my setup again.

 

So I don't know which of these issues you ran into, whether the tire was too stiff, too low-profile, didn't warm up, didn't give you enough feedback, or just plain didn't have enough grip, but I can tell you from direct experience that I can't ride for s__t on the Power Ones, I think it is totally possible that your crash was related to the change in tires, they do feel radically different to me. And I LOVED the Power Race and the Pilot Powers. So... which Dunlop were you using? I guess I'm changing brands!

 

So sorry to hear about your crash, I hope you are OK. And that your bike is recoverable.

 

You can make a non-tax deductible tire donation to the Jaybird Motorcycle Foundation :rolleyes:

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You can make a non-tax deductible tire donation to the Jaybird Motorcycle Foundation :rolleyes:

 

Jaybird, if you want my Power Ones, come and get them, they're all yours. I rode on them at CA Speedway, Laguna Seca, and Streets, and found them to be NON confidence inspiring at all three tracks. On the bright side, they do have a lot of tread left in the center. :)

 

I may go back to the much cheaper and very predictable Pilot Powers, which may have less grip but are a lot more fun to ride on, and are REALLY available to me at my home track, but most likely it will be Dunlops for me from now on. I'm really disappointed that Michelin made such a radical change.

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You can make a non-tax deductible tire donation to the Jaybird Motorcycle Foundation :rolleyes:

 

Jaybird, if you want my Power Ones, come and get them, they're all yours. I rode on them at CA Speedway, Laguna Seca, and Streets, and found them to be NON confidence inspiring at all three tracks. On the bright side, they do have a lot of tread left in the center. :)

 

 

ha ha ha Good Comeback.

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Hotfoot,

Your glad and I'm glad that your glad! I have been wondering if I was crazy! When I got back in the paddock one of the guys asked me if I had scuffed them in. But you have to ride on the rim to get these things scuffed in to the edges and I think that might be a problem. I looked at the front tire since it needed to come off a bent marchesini rim anyway and noticed that the side walls didn't scuff in as close to the edge as my Dunlops or other brands I have used in the past. After 10 laps of hard breaking at an Advance level pace, these things should have been hot and scuffed. I'm done with these tires. I am not against Michelin as I loved my power race tires but these suck.

You remember how cold it was at Leguna Seca? 49 degrees with a northwest wind 49mph. We were on Dunlop Qualifiers with no warmers and no issues....Thanks for your post and I hope to see you and your Hubby again.

 

P.S. Tell me again how you loved your Barber Code school.

P.S.S. I run Dunlop Race slicks 120/70/17 and 195/70/17. Check with your Dunlop Rep. The SportMax are what many of the WERA guys use.

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Hotfoot,

Your glad and I'm glad that your glad! I have been wondering if I was crazy! When I got back in the paddock one of the guys asked me if I had scuffed them in. But you have to ride on the rim to get these things scuffed in to the edges and I think that might be a problem. I looked at the front tire since it needed to come off a bent marchesini rim anyway and noticed that the side walls didn't scuff in as close to the edge as my Dunlops or other brands I have used in the past. After 10 laps of hard breaking at an Advance level pace, these things should have been hot and scuffed. I'm done with these tires. I am not against Michelin as I loved my power race tires but these suck.

You remember how cold it was at Leguna Seca? 49 degrees with a northwest wind 49mph. We were on Dunlop Qualifiers with no warmers and no issues....Thanks for your post and I hope to see you and your Hubby again.

 

P.S. Tell me again how you loved your Barber Code school.

P.S.S. I run Dunlop Race slicks 120/70/17 and 195/70/17. Check with your Dunlop Rep. The SportMax are what many of the WERA guys use.

 

I guess asking someone about their favorite tires is like asking what's the best oil.

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...a bent marchesini rim anyway

Fossil;

One word: #$&*! I know how much my 2 pair of March rims cost me...

 

We were on Dunlop Qualifiers with no warmers and no issues...

After our CSS two-day camp rainathon at Laguna in March, I decided to put Qualifiers on my street Ducati and it feels like a new bike. I switched to Dunlop 208 GP-a's on my track Duc about four years ago and have swapped them out for each new generation since after my Michelin Power Race tires let me off without any warning. I know we all have our own tire preferences but I am a Dunlop guy now.

 

Rainman

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As mentioned tires are like oil. I just try to think of em as round black sticky things! But I can agree about the change in construction, brand and profile. I was on a set of Avons one year that were so far removed from the previous set of Dunlops I'd been running that you would have sworn they were made of wood as opposed to silica black. One change that was particularly noticeable was the profile as these had a rounder one compared to the triangle of the Dunlops. Point being you definitely may need to make geometry changes when changing models or brands of tires.

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Hotfoot,

Your glad and I'm glad that your glad! I have been wondering if I was crazy! When I got back in the paddock one of the guys asked me if I had scuffed them in. But you have to ride on the rim to get these things scuffed in to the edges and I think that might be a problem. I looked at the front tire since it needed to come off a bent marchesini rim anyway and noticed that the side walls didn't scuff in as close to the edge as my Dunlops or other brands I have used in the past. After 10 laps of hard breaking at an Advance level pace, these things should have been hot and scuffed. I'm done with these tires. I am not against Michelin as I loved my power race tires but these suck.

You remember how cold it was at Leguna Seca? 49 degrees with a northwest wind 49mph. We were on Dunlop Qualifiers with no warmers and no issues....Thanks for your post and I hope to see you and your Hubby again.

 

P.S. Tell me again how you loved your Barber Code school.

P.S.S. I run Dunlop Race slicks 120/70/17 and 195/70/17. Check with your Dunlop Rep. The SportMax are what many of the WERA guys use.

 

Hey there,

 

Yeah, ever since trying to Power Ones I have been asking around if others like them, and of course I keep hearing that 'racers love them'. So, either I'm too damn slow to appreciate them, or else they are king's new clothes.

 

OK, I'll tell you again - I LOVED the Barber Code school. The track is gorgeous, beautiful scenery, trees and lakes, and rolling hills, and the track itself is terrific. It has a great flow, and elevation changes, and it's nice and wide, and I got a real kick out of driving up and over those blind hills. Wheeee!

 

In addition to that, I got so much out of the coaching , I couldn't believe it - in every single session, I had something to work on, focused on it and saw immediate improvements, then moved on to something else; I always get that at CSS (it's what keeps me coming back!) but this time, each small change yielded such dramatic results that it was almost like being at the school for the very first time - I found whole new ways of looking at things.

 

By the end of the second day I felt like I was flying around that track. I really, really had a blast. :)

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Hotfoot is going well, going to give her a coach tryout pretty soon I think.

 

Tires--seems like the Michelins for years have had good grip, but let go pretty quick. The Dunlops have had more a reputation for giving you lots of warning.

 

Haven't done any days on Michelins lately, nor raced on them lately, so no real opinion there. The Qualifiers as an all-round tire are pretty amazing though. With the right PSI in them, traction is pretty amazing.

 

CF

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Hotfoot is going well, going to give her a coach tryout pretty soon I think.

 

Tires--seems like the Michelins for years have had good grip, but let go pretty quick. The Dunlops have had more a reputation for giving you lots of warning.

 

Haven't done any days on Michelins lately, nor raced on them lately, so no real opinion there. The Qualifiers as an all-round tire are pretty amazing though. With the right PSI in them, traction is pretty amazing.

 

CF

 

Thanks Cobie. I'm sticking with Dunlop.

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Hotfoot is going well, going to give her a coach tryout pretty soon I think.

 

Tires--seems like the Michelins for years have had good grip, but let go pretty quick. The Dunlops have had more a reputation for giving you lots of warning.

 

Haven't done any days on Michelins lately, nor raced on them lately, so no real opinion there. The Qualifiers as an all-round tire are pretty amazing though. With the right PSI in them, traction is pretty amazing.

 

CF

 

I think Hotfoot would make an outstanding coach! I know a mature guy from South Alabama that might be good at that. He said he feels very comfortable on Dunlop tires and green is his favorite color!

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Hotfoot is going well, going to give her a coach tryout pretty soon I think.

 

Tires--seems like the Michelins for years have had good grip, but let go pretty quick. The Dunlops have had more a reputation for giving you lots of warning.

 

Haven't done any days on Michelins lately, nor raced on them lately, so no real opinion there. The Qualifiers as an all-round tire are pretty amazing though. With the right PSI in them, traction is pretty amazing.

 

CF

 

Thanks Cobie. I'm sticking with Dunlop.

 

Fossil,

 

Been off the forum moslty, just went through this again, and one question I have is what tire pressure do the Michelin race tire reps say for the tire you were using? 31 seems pretty high in the current technology for race tires.

 

CF

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Hotfoot is going well, going to give her a coach tryout pretty soon I think.

 

Tires--seems like the Michelins for years have had good grip, but let go pretty quick. The Dunlops have had more a reputation for giving you lots of warning.

 

Haven't done any days on Michelins lately, nor raced on them lately, so no real opinion there. The Qualifiers as an all-round tire are pretty amazing though. With the right PSI in them, traction is pretty amazing.

 

CF

 

I think Hotfoot would make an outstanding coach! I know a mature guy from South Alabama that might be good at that. He said he feels very comfortable on Dunlop tires and green is his favorite color!

 

Yahoo! Thank you Cobie, reading your post made me very happy, and thank you FossilFuel for your stellar recommendation!

 

FossilFuel, I think you'd look great in green leathers. :) You should definitely do a tryout, you'd be terrific.

 

Here's a quick update on the tires - as I mentioned I rode recently on the Power Ones, and my laptimes were about 7 sec off, EEK! I was concerned enough about this that I scheduled another track day and AND brought a mechanic friend with me to help sort out the bike setup issues. I put a new set of the older model Power Race tires on, the model I had been running before. Well, yesterday was the track day. In the first session on the Power Races, I easily turned a fast lap time, and by the end of second session had set a new personal best time on that track. I didn't end up changing one single thing on the bike, other than the tires, despite having set aside the WHOLE DAY to work on it. I was extremely relieved that the only problem was with the tires - apparently I thought there would be more to it than that.

 

Just goes to show you how different tire models can feel.

 

I had a REALLY fun day at the track yesterday, what a RELIEF to have all my confidence back. FossilFuel, I hope you feel the same way when you get your bike back and some familiar tires on it.

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Cobie,

the factory recommendation is 31 cold for the front. I checked my tire pressure before I removed the tire warmer for crash run and the front tire pressure was 36 psi. I am sure they got hotter and harder after 10 laps. I thought it was high myself. I dont feel comfortable running that high of a pressure in a hot tire.

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Cobie,

the factory recommendation is 31 cold for the front. I checked my tire pressure before I removed the tire warmer for crash run and the front tire pressure was 36 psi. I am sure they got hotter and harder after 10 laps. I thought it was high myself. I dont feel comfortable running that high of a pressure in a hot tire.

 

Fossil,

 

If you get a minute, give me a ring at the school. Got some questions on this.

 

CF

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Cobie,

the factory recommendation is 31 cold for the front. I checked my tire pressure before I removed the tire warmer for crash run and the front tire pressure was 36 psi. I am sure they got hotter and harder after 10 laps. I thought it was high myself. I dont feel comfortable running that high of a pressure in a hot tire.

 

That does seem very high. In the UK we're running GP Racers at something like 27F and 25R cold (which does seem very low, but they come up so high. I personally run Pirelli slicks on my own bike, and I run 27F and 26.5R, and they're like glue. You'd have to think that 31 on a new tyre like that must be high.

 

Have you tested the pressure when you come off a hot session? I'd think it should be about 35 when off the track, not of warmers?

 

Bullet

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Cobie,

the factory recommendation is 31 cold for the front. I checked my tire pressure before I removed the tire warmer for crash run and the front tire pressure was 36 psi. I am sure they got hotter and harder after 10 laps. I thought it was high myself. I dont feel comfortable running that high of a pressure in a hot tire.

 

That does seem very high. In the UK we're running GP Racers at something like 27F and 25R cold (which does seem very low, but they come up so high. I personally run Pirelli slicks on my own bike, and I run 27F and 26.5R, and they're like glue. You'd have to think that 31 on a new tyre like that must be high.

 

Have you tested the pressure when you come off a hot session? I'd think it should be about 35 when off the track, not of warmers?

 

Bullet

 

Fossil--Talked with other guys racing on these things?

 

CF

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Last year I ran Pilot Power Race's at 29F 26R cold on a GSXR 1000. Excellent grip. I cornerworked four days with those tires in May, then rode one hot lunch session and then Level 1 in Sept. and never had a bit of a problem. Only ran fasters times on the Dunlop G-tech slicks.

 

Had crazy grip and excellent life on the Power Races. Been racing Dunlops this year and just haven't felt the same with them. Not sure why cause I know alot of people like em.

 

Now if Cobie would just shoot over some N-tecs... :rolleyes:

 

 

Hotfoot and Fossil, good luck with your coach try-out! If you make it just make sure you stay in the books!

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Last year I ran Pilot Power Race's at 29F 26R cold on a GSXR 1000. Excellent grip. I cornerworked four days with those tires in May, then rode one hot lunch session and then Level 1 in Sept. and never had a bit of a problem. Only ran fasters times on the Dunlop G-tech slicks.

 

Had crazy grip and excellent life on the Power Races. Been racing Dunlops this year and just haven't felt the same with them. Not sure why cause I know alot of people like em.

 

Now if Cobie would just shoot over some N-tecs... :rolleyes:

 

 

Hotfoot and Fossil, good luck with your coach try-out! If you make it just make sure you stay in the books!

Derek,

I ran Pilot Power Race and loved them. I rode cold tire pressure of like 28 front 25 rear....only problem I had was wear. At the time I was riding an RC51 (tire eater)! The tire I do not like is the new Power One "V" profile. I do not have anything against any other Michelin tire I have ever used and probably should have put in a disclaimer ahead of time to that effect. I went to Barber this weekend and put in one personal best lap after another on my Dunlop slicks. I was riding faster this weekend on the Dunlop slicks with no issues with max lean angle. The only problem I have now is that they are not making the slick I am using anymore so I am thinking about going back to the new Sportmax and changing my geometry a little to suit that tire.

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