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Tire Pressure Surprisingly High.


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On my last track day I was told by the Michelin tire tech that they recommend 36 psi front and rear in my Pilot Powers for the track.

I was surprised at how high that was so I talked to him about it and he said that track specific tires are designed to run at a higher temperature and one of the ways they achieve this is to run less pressure. He said that less pressure will raise the temp of the tire.

 

Street/track tires like my Pilot Powers use higher pressure, which lowers their operating temp to the target range for that specific rubber.

He said they are designed this way so that you will have decent grip coming out of your driveway and they will be up to temp by the time you hit a fwy on-ramp. He also said that by running something in the range of 30 psi you will be cooking the tire and all that will happen is that it will wear faster, might seem a little "greasy" and you are challenging the integrity of the sidewalls.

 

What do you guys think?

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It does seem a little high, but I guess he would know. How did it feel to you when you were on the track?

 

We run our Dunlop Qualifiers at 30psi front and rear (or there abouts). It does help them heat up a bit, but they definatley overheat by the end of a 20 minute session if your having a bit of a go.

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To be perfectly honest it did feel like there was a level of stability there that hadn't been there before. I didn't notice anything wrong before I raised the pressure and I'd been running about 30/30, but with the higher pressure it did feel better, I just couldn't really put my finger on it.

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Was the tyre tech talking about hot or cold tyre pressure? If you started at 36 cold, pretty quick it would end up in the 40s.....and that's not going to be good from my experience....in terms of tyre wear. <_<

 

Cold!

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Well that's the end of my ideas. Perhaps lower pressures suit some tyres and riding styles....maybe learners like myself on the track prefer a lower pressure/ quicker warm up to get the tyres to their optimum operating range....but the css guys run low pressures too.....I'll continue to run lower pressures, in the past when I ran higher pressures, the tyres "blued" at the edges and scalloped pretty badly. Much better now. I run Pilot Power 2CTs front and rear by the way.

 

But after reading atotw AGAIN I'm changing to a Pilot power at least on the rear......because they grip too well and I'm learning nothing about control. On an older bike with sports touring tyres on, I was sliding it, now with a better bike and grippier tyres, there's no blackies!

 

db

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I do think most street tires for sportbikes are softer compounds then track/race tires. The Bridgestone BT016s that are on my bike feel way softer when cold then slicks. I can actually compress the rubber with my thumb on my tires and I couldn't do that at all with the slicks I saw which hints that they are a harder compound. So if you run lower tire pressures with a soft street tire it will just overheat and you'll lose grip. You need to run the low tire pressures in the race tires just to get them up to temp.

 

Has anyone ever taken a temp gun with them and tempted the surface of their tires after a track session? I haven't been on the track yet but I know just street riding I have done it with my tires. The front is usually around 145 degrees Fahrenheit and the rear is around 130 under normal riding around the speed limit in 80 degree weather. It would be interesting to see what the temps are when you get off the track.

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