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First Timer Question - Tires

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Hi all -


Will be going to lvl 1 school, Sept 29 at Sonoma.


I'll be bringing my '03 Yamaha 600r (aka Thundercat).


Currently, the bike serves mostly as a commuter, so

I put Dunlop Roadmaster tires on it oh, about 4 years ago.

The tires are super durable, so there's lots of tread on them.


So, here are the questions :


1) Should I bring the bike as is?

2) Do I need new tires?

3) What tires would you recommend? I have no problem getting new tires and storing the extra set

4) Should I have the tires put on the bike before I get up to the track? I would likely only have

~100miles on them by the time I get to the track.


Thanks. I appreciate your input.



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4 year old tires are less that ideal for your first time at the track regardless of venue. Since you have Dunlops you might want to look at their Q3's (Qualifiers). They are dual purpose tires (street & track) and they are truly at home on the track (used on all student bikes at the School) yet wear well and offer superior grip to boot.

Also, any prep work you can do before you arrive will allow you to focus more on what the School has to offer.

Good Luck and Welcome to the Forum.



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I would agree with Kevin, 4 year old tires, even if they still have decent tread on them, are probably not the best for the track, and will most likely result in that little nagging voice in the back of your head wondering if your tires are going to work.


I would recommend getting a set of the Q3's FROM the school that morning, the school's student price for tires is cheaper than pretty much anywhere else your going to find, and Will or Daniel will mount them for you there, I do believe there is a small fee for the mounting, I would suggest you arrive early and let them know you need tires first thing so they can get them changed before your first track session.


Good luck with your school day, your going to love it




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While I do generally agree with the above, the potential downside to waiting to replace the tires is the bike's handling is very likely to change and that might throw you off balance also. If you could find a good deal beforehand then I suggest getting the tires replaced sooner so you can adjust to the new feeling. The Q3's are awesome but they feel quicker to turn-in than Q2's or GPA's; I suspect the same would be true for the Roadmaster's, especially at 4-yrs old.

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Brad's on point, especially about acclimating to your new tires before you get to Sears Point. On a related note, I work in the garage with Will and Daniel when the School is at NJMP. I can tell you that their schedules can get quite busy especially in the morning before the track goes green. Although they will try and accommodate your request, their first priority is to make sure the School's BMW's are ready to roll at first call. Last week we were mounting and changing Coaches' and Students' tires as quickly as we could. Students' riding their own bikes who asked for tire changes didn't get theirs replaced until there were bikes on the track.



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Replace those tires ASAP! As others have mentioned go with the Q3's. Great tires.


I took one of my bikes to a track day with tires that were about 3 years old. They looked brand new and easily flew through tech inspection. When I got out on the track I quickly realized the logic behind using fresh tires. In the corners the bike was sliding around and was a handful. It was so bad that after one session I had the tires replaced at the track.


When I bought my newest bike I had the dealer install Q3's before I took delivery. I had to do 600 miles before my first service to get the rev limiter turned off. The tires were fine. In fact with about 1600 miles on my Q3's I'm going to be doing a track day on them. The tires will be fine with 100 miles on them. I would replace them before you head to the school for the convenience factor and so you can get some street miles on them and get used to them.

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