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Can any of you share your perspective on when to replace your track tires?

 

I know they have DOT wear markers to check but that doesn't address heat cycles or too much wear on one side from riding a track with more lefts than right hand turns.

 

Any thoughts?

Kevin Kane

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I think it depends on a number of factors like how hard you are riding, your skill level, track and weather conditions and a host of other factors that I am probably not even aware of. For me, I almost always race on fresh tires. The reason being that while racing, I am asking a lot more of the tires than when I am just track riding or teaching. Either way, I really try to listen to what the tires are trying to tell me. I usually have a pretty good idea of when they are done. I ride on Dunlops and they tend to slide pretty smoothly and predictably when they are fresh. After they get baked, they start snapping around and become pretty unpredictable.

 

I think you are wise not to focus too much on the wear bar though. Learn to feel the tires and how they perform.

 

One other thing. Notice how the bike turns when tires start to fade. I notice that when my front tire starts getting long in the tooth, it becomes more difficult to control the rate at which I add lean angle (as if the bike just falls into a lean, often times going further than I really wanted it to go causing me to make a mid corner correction).

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Another thing to look at is the colour (UK Spelling!) of the tyre. When tyres have been through too many heat cycles they turn blue. This is s good sign to throw them in the bin particluarly if you are racing. I ignored this once and ended up with a busted collarbone and a very bent bike. :(

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Andy,

 

You might want to change the spelling of tyres to tires. Ahhhh yes .... the three things you can change on a motorcycle. Speed, direction and its shape.

 

When racing, there is nothing like fresh rubber. Currently I cycle two sets of rubber. The previous race meetings tyres (tires) are used Friday practise and Saturday. Sunday fresh rubber.

 

Racers using Dunlop GPR70s rest their tyres for a day ie: Use Friday, rest Saturday, race Sunday. They say it 'freshens' them.

 

Cheers

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No wonder you guys are always asking me to change your tires, sissies :lol: .

I run the tires bald. It builds character and skill. The first thing to go on a Dunlop is drive. the side grip will remain fairly constant so no worries in the turn but you will have feel the tire on the exit. the closer it gets to bald the less extra throttle it will take to spin the rear.

This will give confidence in the tires that can be gained no other way. truly knowing when and how they will slide. Unless you are getting free tires and a new one is on the bike every time you ride, that is of coarse the preferred method.

Will

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No wonder you guys are always asking me to change your tires, sissies  .

I run the tires bald. It builds character and skill. The first thing to go on a Dunlop is drive. the side grip will remain fairly constant so no worries in the turn but you will have feel the tire on the exit. the closer it gets to bald the less extra throttle it will take to spin the rear

.

 

OK - For those of you who do not know Will, he is not joking. We do run our tires pretty low on tread (often you can not even see signs that tread ever existed on the side of the tire when we replace them). It is so true regarding drive. At Pocono this year, my rear tire was so gone and so greasy by the end of day four (yes, I rode that particular take-off four straight days) that I had to do the pick-up drill in many corners and be seriously easy on the gas just to keep the bike up-right. Coming down the back and main straight were particulary tricky (at the exit like riding on in the rain) but I did hear a lot of guys having trouble getting traction coming out of that U-Turn (don't remember the turn number).

 

I will say it is good practice to ride on baked tires, but it really sucks at track days when you want to chase your buddies but you just can't keep pace for fear of bending your bike......

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Glad to see there are no tire primadonnas here! ;) The tread on those pirellis goes away pretty quickly, though. They also slide very easily anyway. I raced a set of michelins to the cords, it was definitely a learning experience. Front end chatter became a real problem as the compound hardened.

 

I don't think blueing is any indicator of traction. My tires go blue after one race if they sit for a while.

 

Obviously, you race on fresher stuff?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Do you guys flip your tires? I have a set of 207RR's on right now and did 1 track day, flipped them and did another. Track direction on both tracks were clockwise. Nope, don't run them til I see white walls, although on the 208GP's I almost made it. After 2 track days, they become my riding tire til they're history.

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