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Rain And Rain Tires


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Round three of my race series is this weekend. I missed the first round due to a mechanical issue but did well in the second. Forecast for this weekend is for RAIN. I have rain tires mounted on a separate set of rims (Bridgestones). They are lightly used but should serve the purpose. I am getting a bit stressed about the prospect of having to make the call as to which tires to use, given that it will take me at least 45 minutes to do the wheel swap if necessary (10 different fasteners to safety wire!). Hopefully I have help.

 

Anyway, there is a realistic chance that I will find myself sitting on the grid ready to start the race, on tires I have never used, in conditions I have never experienced. Other than using the siting lap to get a feel for the traction available, any advice?

 

Starting to feel like I might have been better off having only slicks. Then the decision is easy...rain, no race. On the other hand, many of my competitors will flake out if it rains, so it is a chance to accumulate some additional points.

 

 

 

 

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Round three of my race series is this weekend. I missed the first round due to a mechanical issue but did well in the second. Forecast for this weekend is for RAIN. I have rain tires mounted on a separate set of rims (Bridgestones). They are lightly used but should serve the purpose. I am getting a bit stressed about the prospect of having to make the call as to which tires to use, given that it will take me at least 45 minutes to do the wheel swap if necessary (10 different fasteners to safety wire!). Hopefully I have help.

 

Anyway, there is a realistic chance that I will find myself sitting on the grid ready to start the race, on tires I have never used, in conditions I have never experienced. Other than using the siting lap to get a feel for the traction available, any advice?

 

Starting to feel like I might have been better off having only slicks. Then the decision is easy...rain, no race. On the other hand, many of my competitors will flake out if it rains, so it is a chance to accumulate some additional points.

Got an adventure coming :).

 

I've heard/seen guys on rains, saying the grip is pretty amazing. Never having ridden on them I must admit, but I'd approach it with sound technique, you shouldn't get surprised. One comment on braking is it seems to be better than most think, but done upright.

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Simple, ride your limits and chalk the race up to experience. A DNF is no points guaranteed. Like you, maybe one day I will trust the rain tires and level of grip enough to drag a knee in the wet. Rains are not a free pass, you may still slide around a bit but they DO offer more grip. Don't forget... NO WARMERS on rains!

 

Good luck and don't forget to have fun!

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I am getting a bit stressed about the prospect of having to make the call as to which tires to use, given that it will take me at least 45 minutes to do the wheel swap if necessary (10 different fasteners to safety wire!). Hopefully I have help.

 

 

Not sure if you already have these on your bike or if they are kosher with your tech guidelines but I figured I would share just in case. These save massive time with safety wire. Instead of cutting and rewiring you just unclip and reclip. :)

 

http://www.kurveygirl.com/shop/index.php?cPath=276

 

I don't race so this might be a "stupid idea" but have you considered going with a good pair of tires like a Q3? Tires like that would eliminate the need to do a change at all. While there is some grip loss both in the dry and in the wet you eliminate some of the drawbacks of having to swap between tires and the "gotchas" of what if it rains and then stops raining and dries out and you start burning up your rain tires. You might not be able to win with tires like that on but if your strategy is a points battle that might be an option to at least think about. :)

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...and don't forget to keep Brodie away from your bike!

 

Ha ha ha ha! We only let him ride the endurance bike. No one but no one but no one but me rides the Ducati. I don't want to end up hating anybody.

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I am getting a bit stressed about the prospect of having to make the call as to which tires to use, given that it will take me at least 45 minutes to do the wheel swap if necessary (10 different fasteners to safety wire!). Hopefully I have help.

 

 

Not sure if you already have these on your bike or if they are kosher with your tech guidelines but I figured I would share just in case. These save massive time with safety wire. Instead of cutting and rewiring you just unclip and reclip. :)

 

http://www.kurveygirl.com/shop/index.php?cPath=276

 

I don't race so this might be a "stupid idea" but have you considered going with a good pair of tires like a Q3? Tires like that would eliminate the need to do a change at all. While there is some grip loss both in the dry and in the wet you eliminate some of the drawbacks of having to swap between tires and the "gotchas" of what if it rains and then stops raining and dries out and you start burning up your rain tires. You might not be able to win with tires like that on but if your strategy is a points battle that might be an option to at least think about. :)

 

 

Yes, one of these days I will figure out how to get set up with clips instead of having to cut and replace safety wire. It's a bit tricky on my bike because, for example, the caliper bolts are recessed. So, I would have to replace many of the fasteners with alternates with longer heads. For this first season I was just trying to get all of the zillion race prep items looked after in the simplest ways possible.

 

The idea of using Q3s is not stupid in the least. One of the guys running near the front in the Rookie 600 class is doing exactly that (Brodie, actually :)) and I have considered doing that myself. I had a thread on here a while ago asking about the importance of slicks for racing, when I wasn't even pushing Q2s to their limit at track days. I am still not 100% clear on whether I am faster or not on the slicks in the dry than I would be on Q3s. However, I have spun the rear up on the endurance bike a few times this year (Q3s) and have not done that nearly as much on the Duc with the V01Rs. My gut feeling is that at my current level I could probably race adequately on good street tires, but that the slicks are giving me a tiny bit of an edge when I am pushing things.

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Also keep in mind you won't be the only one in your race worried about the rain and riding carefully. Some guys are really comfortable with riding in the wet but most are not!

 

I look forward to reading about it on your blog, too - I haven't mentioned it but I HAVE been following what you've written and found it quite fun to read.

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Good luck on the race Yellow Duck. I know you have concerns but I'm sure you will do just fine in the wet!

 

I checked out your blog and saw that poor crashed GSXR and remembered that you are racing a Sport Classic. That's awesome!!!

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Some guys are really comfortable with riding in the wet but most are not!

 

 

There's a guy that rides with my track day group that loves rain so much and is so fast in the rain that his nickname is "The Moisture Missile".

 

I was once afraid of the rain as well. Whenever the pavement is wet I am still amazed at the traction that's available. Turning a disadvantage into an advantage is just a case of thinking about it differently.

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Thanks everybody. Short blog post with my thoughts going into Round 3 linked to the other thread. Big thing for me is that my daughter is planning on coming (she is 9). That will be so much fun.

 

I'll tweet to the blog over the weekend as things develop, then put up a full post with the video etc. later in the week. I am going to ditch the "butt cam" perspective and mount the GoPro where you can see the other bikes better and get a feel for the racing. If I was really confident I would put it on the tail, facing backwards...

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