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Choosing Between Track Tires


khp
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Dunlop, as all other motorcycle tire brands, have several options available to the racer/track day rider.

 

If you're running close to the lap record, trying to break it or competing at the (inter)national level, your choice for tires is probably fairly simple: you want the best, stickiest tires - regardless of cost.

 

But the hapless trackday riders like myself, who are 15+ seconds off the race pace, we probably don't need the super-sticky stuff. I recall that Keith actually argues in Twist-2 that it would be detrimental to have too sticky tires and you'd be picking up debris from the track instead.

 

So how do we choose a good tire? We could probably live just fine with a not quite so sticky tire, which is less expensive. But how do we strike a good compromise?

 

As an example, I have personally been running Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC's for the past two years (they don't come much stickier than that from Pirelli), simply because they were on the bike when I bought them and I got a nice deal on those tires from the guy I bought the bike from. But they're not cheap. Instead I could go for Pirelli's Diablo Superbike Pro, which is a slick, less expensive, but also has less grip than the Supercorsa SC's, according to Pirelli's website.

 

Edit: as a price comparison, a set of Superbike Pro is $343, while the Supercorsa SC's are $458 (€259 and €346 for this side of the pond), in Germany.

 

Also, why should we choose a slick tire over a tire with (minimal) sipes (like the Dunlop D211GP-A)?

 

Steve: I'm pretty clueless when it comes to Dunlop's offering, but feel free to use Dunlop examples if you will (but please explain the "pecking order" for Dunlop tires if you do).

 

Thanks,

 

 

Kai

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Dunlop, as all other motorcycle tire brands, have several options available to the racer/track day rider.

 

If you're running close to the lap record, trying to break it or competing at the (inter)national level, your choice for tires is probably fairly simple: you want the best, stickiest tires - regardless of cost.

 

But the hapless trackday riders like myself, who are 15+ seconds off the race pace, we probably don't need the super-sticky stuff. I recall that Keith actually argues in Twist-2 that it would be detrimental to have too sticky tires and you'd be picking up debris from the track instead.

 

So how do we choose a good tire? We could probably live just fine with a not quite so sticky tire, which is less expensive. But how do we strike a good compromise?

 

As an example, I have personally been running Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC's for the past two years (they don't come much stickier than that from Pirelli), simply because they were on the bike when I bought them and I got a nice deal on those tires from the guy I bought the bike from. But they're not cheap. Instead I could go for Pirelli's Diablo Superbike Pro, which is a slick, less expensive, but also has less grip than the Supercorsa SC's, according to Pirelli's website.

 

Edit: as a price comparison, a set of Superbike Pro is $343, while the Supercorsa SC's are $458 (€259 and €346 for this side of the pond), in Germany.

 

Also, why should we choose a slick tire over a tire with (minimal) sipes (like the Dunlop D211GP-A)?

 

Steve: I'm pretty clueless when it comes to Dunlop's offering, but feel free to use Dunlop examples if you will (but please explain the "pecking order" for Dunlop tires if you do).

 

Thanks,

 

 

Kai

 

I too have have a question between what tires to get. I have never been on the track, but hope to when riding season begins again. My question however is what type of tire should I get. I know with Dunlop you have the Q2, but I know those are from what I understand more for the track. I want something that I could use when commuting as well as going on a ride where there is a lot of cornering, but at the same time I can use at the track. I know its kind of a broad area. Is there such a tire? Or am I expecting a bit too much? Thanks!

 

Ozzy

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Dunlop, as all other motorcycle tire brands, have several options available to the racer/track day rider.

 

If you're running close to the lap record, trying to break it or competing at the (inter)national level, your choice for tires is probably fairly simple: you want the best, stickiest tires - regardless of cost.

 

But the hapless trackday riders like myself, who are 15+ seconds off the race pace, we probably don't need the super-sticky stuff. I recall that Keith actually argues in Twist-2 that it would be detrimental to have too sticky tires and you'd be picking up debris from the track instead.

 

So how do we choose a good tire? We could probably live just fine with a not quite so sticky tire, which is less expensive. But how do we strike a good compromise?

 

As an example, I have personally been running Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC's for the past two years (they don't come much stickier than that from Pirelli), simply because they were on the bike when I bought them and I got a nice deal on those tires from the guy I bought the bike from. But they're not cheap. Instead I could go for Pirelli's Diablo Superbike Pro, which is a slick, less expensive, but also has less grip than the Supercorsa SC's, according to Pirelli's website.

 

Edit: as a price comparison, a set of Superbike Pro is $343, while the Supercorsa SC's are $458 (€259 and €346 for this side of the pond), in Germany.

 

Also, why should we choose a slick tire over a tire with (minimal) sipes (like the Dunlop D211GP-A)?

 

Steve: I'm pretty clueless when it comes to Dunlop's offering, but feel free to use Dunlop examples if you will (but please explain the "pecking order" for Dunlop tires if you do).

 

Thanks,

 

 

Kai

 

 

 

There are 4 usable tire choices for track days -

 

Q2

D211GPA

D211GP

N-Tec slicks.

 

 

Q2 is the top of the line sport/street tire. Excellent for street riding. You can use it for your first couple of track rides, but the moment you start to get with the program you will want to step up.

 

The D211GPA is the spec tire for the AMA. it is lower cost, and is a great all around tire. The AMA guys are right on the track record with this tire and there is no reason you can't go very fast on it. Use the Med front and rear compounds.

 

The D211GP UK N-Tec, this tire will cost you more, about $125 more than D211GPA. It is good for about 0.5 seconds per lap faster than the D211GPA (depending on the track, may be less at some tracks). This tire will last longer than the D211GPA and you will get more competitive laps from this tire. The increased cost is about the same as the increase in laps. Its a toss up if you are looking at the laps/cost issue. you need to try them both to determine on your bike which is the best bang for the buck.

 

The N-Tec Slicks. Top of the line. Nothing available is better, and I mean NOTHING IS BETTER. Cost about $519 per set, 2011 prices. This tire will last longer and grip better, for more laps, than anything available.

 

All these tires are great choices for track days. You can't go wrong with any of them. I recommend to start at the top (Q2 or D211GPA) and if you like it stay with it. If you desire more as a rider, then step up to the next tire.

 

BTW: the lower 3 tires have the N-Tec construction, the D211GPA does not use the name N-Tec, but is still the N-tec construction.

 

Beginner group I would stick to the D211GPA and keep it simple. Learn to track ride with lots of laps and lots of classroom.

 

 

The reason for choosing the slick over a tread or DOT tire is performance. The N-Tec slick performs better. But if you are not at the very top of the lap time board you may not be able to feel that grip level. Also you can sell your DOT tires or use them on the street to save street riding cost.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow, Steve, this is fantastic. I am SO GLAD you are here. That is the best, most understandable, concise summary of the Dunlop models I have seen or heard from anyone, and believe me, I've been asking!

 

I have been running Q2s on my 600cc bike, even in WERA races (I used to run Power Ones but I like the Q2 much better), and you are the FIRST person that has made me interested in moving up to a more race-oriented Dunlop tire. The Q2s are pretty amazing but now I look forward to trying some of the other models, and I am SO pleased that I finally have a place to go to get info about them.

 

While you are discussing available tire models, I just got a Moriwaki MD250. It has Bridgestone slicks on it right now. What models does Dunlop have for this terrific little bike?

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bridgestone 003 racing. best tire i have ever used for both track and street.

have gotten couple track days and months on the street from one set.

been using them for like 3 years now. kinda pricey but well worth it.

 

Cool!

 

How much are they?

 

What other tires have you tried? and with what result?

 

What championships have you won?

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Wow, Steve, this is fantastic. I am SO GLAD you are here. That is the best, most understandable, concise summary of the Dunlop models I have seen or heard from anyone, and believe me, I've been asking!

 

I have been running Q2s on my 600cc bike, even in WERA races (I used to run Power Ones but I like the Q2 much better), and you are the FIRST person that has made me interested in moving up to a more race-oriented Dunlop tire. The Q2s are pretty amazing but now I look forward to trying some of the other models, and I am SO pleased that I finally have a place to go to get info about them.

 

While you are discussing available tire models, I just got a Moriwaki MD250. It has Bridgestone slicks on it right now. What models does Dunlop have for this terrific little bike?

 

 

Thanks for the props!

 

The MD250 uses the same tires as the 125gp class. KR149 front and KR133 rear. The same tires used by the RedBull Rookies Cup riders and USGPRU competitors.

 

You can always call me to get specific information on any racing tire application.

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Wow, Steve, this is fantastic. I am SO GLAD you are here. That is the best, most understandable, concise summary of the Dunlop models I have seen or heard from anyone, and believe me, I've been asking!

 

I have been running Q2s on my 600cc bike, even in WERA races (I used to run Power Ones but I like the Q2 much better), and you are the FIRST person that has made me interested in moving up to a more race-oriented Dunlop tire. The Q2s are pretty amazing but now I look forward to trying some of the other models, and I am SO pleased that I finally have a place to go to get info about them.

 

While you are discussing available tire models, I just got a Moriwaki MD250. It has Bridgestone slicks on it right now. What models does Dunlop have for this terrific little bike?

 

 

Thanks for the props!

 

The MD250 uses the same tires as the 125gp class. KR149 front and KR133 rear. The same tires used by the RedBull Rookies Cup riders and USGPRU competitors.

 

You can always call me to get specific information on any racing tire application.

 

Wonderful, thanks. I called a Dunlop vendor a few months ago and asked which model tire I should use on the Moriwaki and he asked me to measure the rim and call him back. I told him I thought they were the same as the RS125 tire, but he didn't agree. As you might imagine, I didn't buy anything from him. Anyway, I am really, really glad to have someone here who knows what he is doing, thanks for the model numbers, you saved me some effort and now I'll buy some Dunlops. :)

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Hello Steve,

 

I just started racing last year at MMP in Utah. I actually did pretty well for my first year in racing. I was typically at the fast end of the novice/amateur group times. I took 2nd for the season in NOV U and 3rd in NOV O. Plus a 4th in AM U for the season.

 

Being brand new I went for the folks that could help the most in my first year. Scott Larson with Fastline tire is the Michelin track side vendor. This guy is awesome. He really takes care of his customers, so I ended up going with the Michelins. I feel like I am cheating on my wife here, but I really want to try the Dunlops!

Last year I ran mostly the "V" front and switched between the "B" or "C" rear. I was on a Triumph 675.

 

This year I am going to be riding a 2008 CBR 1000.

 

My question is will I see a big difference with the Dunlops? I know Scott wont go broke if I don't buy tires from him, but I feel some loyalty to the guy. Even if I go with Dulops my wife and I will still feed him breakfast sandwiches out of the back of the trailer.cool.gif

 

Thanks for any help you have, Doug.

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Hello Steve,

 

I just started racing last year at MMP in Utah. I actually did pretty well for my first year in racing. I was typically at the fast end of the novice/amateur group times. I took 2nd for the season in NOV U and 3rd in NOV O. Plus a 4th in AM U for the season.

 

Being brand new I went for the folks that could help the most in my first year. Scott Larson with Fastline tire is the Michelin track side vendor. This guy is awesome. He really takes care of his customers, so I ended up going with the Michelins. I feel like I am cheating on my wife here, but I really want to try the Dunlops!

Last year I ran mostly the "V" front and switched between the "B" or "C" rear. I was on a Triumph 675.

 

This year I am going to be riding a 2008 CBR 1000.

 

My question is will I see a big difference with the Dunlops? I know Scott wont go broke if I don't buy tires from him, but I feel some loyalty to the guy. Even if I go with Dunlops my wife and I will still feed him breakfast sandwiches out of the back of the trailer.cool.gif

 

Thanks for any help you have, Doug.

 

 

Doug,

 

You should try all brands and you be the judge!

 

Certainly I am going to recommend the Dunlops, but this comes from seeing riders do better on them and not just because I sell them. You can sell someone something 1 time, that hard part is selling to them again and again.

 

You will see that many riders use Dunlop because its their choice. They come back over and over because the product works well and does its job and wins races.

 

There are good vendors out there, and some regions have loyal customers to a vendor, but ultimately its your dollars and your riding experience.

 

Give them a try.

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Hi Steve,

Welcome to the forum, the information you are putting up here is amazing so thanks for that!

Anyway, you seem to be telling people to try alot of different tyres by different manufacturer's to find what they like. I am doing a 3 day event in a couple of months which will include some endurance races and I have on my bike a pair of supercorsa pro SC1 front and SC2 rear with about a days worth of rubber left on them, I am then planning to put a pair of metzeller racetechs K2 front and rear compound on day 2 for the rest of the event!

I am mostly concerned about doing this change not because of different manufacturer's but because I will be using a slightly harder front and I dont know how the bike will react to it.

I am a mid pack intermediate trackday rider, I am nowhere near fastest laptimes, and I am mainly aiming for consistency in my lap times with a marginal improvement just to give you an idea of my riding ability

Do you think it will be OK to make a change like this part way through an event?

 

Bobby

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Hi Steve,

Welcome to the forum, the information you are putting up here is amazing so thanks for that!

Anyway, you seem to be telling people to try alot of different tyres by different manufacturer's to find what they like. I am doing a 3 day event in a couple of months which will include some endurance races and I have on my bike a pair of supercorsa pro SC1 front and SC2 rear with about a days worth of rubber left on them, I am then planning to put a pair of metzeller racetechs K2 front and rear compound on day 2 for the rest of the event!

I am mostly concerned about doing this change not because of different manufacturer's but because I will be using a slightly harder front and I dont know how the bike will react to it.

I am a mid pack intermediate trackday rider, I am nowhere near fastest laptimes, and I am mainly aiming for consistency in my lap times with a marginal improvement just to give you an idea of my riding ability

Do you think it will be OK to make a change like this part way through an event?

 

Bobby

 

Bobby,

 

My recommendation to try different tires is when a rider is unsure he has the best tire. Trying other styles to compare is always a good direction. You don't need to try all 20 different brands/styles, just the top few.

 

However it sounds like you are trying to switch in the middle of a race event and right before a race. This is not a good idea at all. Making a major change right before a race will most likely have bad results. There is no time to evaluate the tire and make chassis changes. You are better off to test the tire earlier and decide if its going to work well for you, then decide if you want to race on it.

 

I know there are costs involved when making different tire choices. Consider all the non tire costs before you take a risk on wasting your weekend. Fuel, hotel, entry fee, travel, food, consumable parts, all these cost $ and if you make a last minute tire change, which results in a terrible race finish, the price for that set of tires just got real expensive. So choose your tire in a non pressure setting like a track day or Friday practice.

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Hello, and a question for the "Dunlop answer man".

 

I've been reading incredible reviews about the Dunlop SportSmart available in UK. I'm led to believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that these will out perform the Q2 for road and track purposes.

 

Why won't Dunlop bring these to North America if they are so good?

 

I've haven't tried Dunlops yet, but would jump at the chance to try the SportSmarts based on the glowing reviews.

 

Cheers.

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Hello, and a question for the "Dunlop answer man".

 

I've been reading incredible reviews about the Dunlop SportSmart available in UK. I'm led to believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that these will out perform the Q2 for road and track purposes.

 

Why won't Dunlop bring these to North America if they are so good?

 

I've haven't tried Dunlops yet, but would jump at the chance to try the SportSmarts based on the glowing reviews.

 

Cheers.

 

Different tires are made for different markets. Different advertising programs are also targeted for different markets.

 

I don't claim to know each model of tire that is released in all other markets around the world.

 

Concern yourself with what is available to you in your region. I am certain that the top of the line Dunlop offered in your region would be a top performer. Trying to compare the offering of 1 region to the offering of another region will send you off the deep end. Much like bike models, what is offered in UK or EU is not what is offered in the USA. This does not mean that the manufacturer is trying to short change 1 region, its a matter of what the customer in each is going to buy. Often they are the same bike with a different color scheme.

 

So consider if you are in the UK and the SportSmart is available to you, then try them. If you are in the USA, the offering is the Q2, so try them. You have not tried either, so stop reading everyone's evaluation of the tires and try them for yourself and you be the judge. Don't think you are getting short changed if you read the rave reviews from one country and can't get that tire. Get the tire that is available.

 

Dunlop does not make a "good" tire for one county and "lousy" tire for another. The products are constantly getting better. When one factory makes a better tire the other factories use this advancement for their next model.

 

Also consider the cost. When you ship a tire manufactured in UK to the USA, there are shipping charges and currency exchange rate that need to be factored in.

 

Additionally, if you are in the USA, you must have read the rave reviews the Q2 has received. I can't imagine you are holding off on trying the top of the line Q2 because you hear the grass is greener on the other side.

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Hello, and a question for the "Dunlop answer man".

 

I've been reading incredible reviews about the Dunlop SportSmart available in UK. I'm led to believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that these will out perform the Q2 for road and track purposes.

 

Why won't Dunlop bring these to North America if they are so good?

 

I've haven't tried Dunlops yet, but would jump at the chance to try the SportSmarts based on the glowing reviews.

 

Cheers.

 

Different tires are made for different markets. Different advertising programs are also targeted for different markets.

 

I don't claim to know each model of tire that is released in all other markets around the world.

 

Concern yourself with what is available to you in your region. I am certain that the top of the line Dunlop offered in your region would be a top performer. Trying to compare the offering of 1 region to the offering of another region will send you off the deep end. Much like bike models, what is offered in UK or EU is not what is offered in the USA. This does not mean that the manufacturer is trying to short change 1 region, its a matter of what the customer in each is going to buy. Often they are the same bike with a different color scheme.

 

So consider if you are in the UK and the SportSmart is available to you, then try them. If you are in the USA, the offering is the Q2, so try them. You have not tried either, so stop reading everyone's evaluation of the tires and try them for yourself and you be the judge. Don't think you are getting short changed if you read the rave reviews from one country and can't get that tire. Get the tire that is available.

 

Dunlop does not make a "good" tire for one county and "lousy" tire for another. The products are constantly getting better. When one factory makes a better tire the other factories use this advancement for their next model.

 

Also consider the cost. When you ship a tire manufactured in UK to the USA, there are shipping charges and currency exchange rate that need to be factored in.

 

Additionally, if you are in the USA, you must have read the rave reviews the Q2 has received. I can't imagine you are holding off on trying the top of the line Q2 because you hear the grass is greener on the other side.

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

I am currently on a "world tour" by using a different set of tires from each mainstream manufacturer. I am currently running Mich PP2CT and am pleasantly suprised (didn't like , the previous Bridgestone 016, heavy turn in effort and wore waaay too quickly). I have a set of the new Pirelli DRC's waiting in the wings for spring season. By mid season, I will likely try a set of Q2's if the SportSmarts do not arrive here (Canada).

 

Cheers.

 

 

 

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