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What are the characteristics, major differences between a 2015 slick and a old slick like 2013? Dot2013 vs Dot2015

Do you feel differences? Can tire get sloppy? Grip level?

 

Thanks for Input.

 

Best Regards

Roland

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Yes, tires can get old. Generally, the recommendation is to:

* Not mount a new tire older than 3 years

* Not ride on a tire that is older than 5 years

 

The reason for this is that some of the tire components leak out over time, and when they do that, the tire becomes less soft and plyable.

 

Some tires even carry a warning that they must be stored above ~5 degrees centigrade or without weight on them to avoid damage (cracking of the rubber).

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Yes they do.

 

Years ago I had the experience of riding on old tires at the track. I had a bike that the tires had been replaced by the previous owner. They looked brand new but every time I got near the throttle the rear end stepped out. Needless to say it was distressing. The next session I replaced the tires on the bike.

 

I'm particularly anal about my tires because of this experience. I replace them once a season regardless if they need it or not. I only work with good tire dealers who don't try to sell me "older" date codes. If you do a google search you can find resources on how to read a motorcycle tire date code.

 

Over time the solvents and oils that make rubber pliable leave the tire material. When these materials are no longer present the tire gets hard and has substantially less grip. The amount of time it takes varies from tire to tire and varies depending on the way the tire was used.

 

Often times you will see "race take off" tires that have wear but have a lot of life left in them. There's a reason racers replace their tires like that. They want the maximum grip and don't want any surprises. Often times they will run brand new tires for races just for the peace of mind and that little extra bit of grip that could give them the edge to be the one on the podium.

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Yes they do.

 

Often times you will see "race take off" tires that have wear but have a lot of life left in them. There's a reason racers replace their tires like that. They want the maximum grip and don't want any surprises. Often times they will run brand new tires for races just for the peace of mind and that little extra bit of grip that could give them the edge to be the one on the podium.

 

R Chase, did you know that the School's Coaches use 'race take off' tires exclusively? I have seen them ride them to the belts without a problem many times.

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I was not aware of that actually. There's nothing inherently wrong with take off tires. If you know their history, age and heat cycles it's just like any other set of tires that are no longer new. The amount of grip they have of course will depend on all of those factors.

 

Tire choice of course depends on a number of factors as well. Even though my bikes aren't ever really going fast enough to get near the limits of tire wear and life new tires really help me. Knowing for an absolute fact that I have done every possible thing I can to ensure my bike has the best possible operating conditions takes tires off of my mind. It's one of the reason I run warmers. By eliminating the consideration of tires all together 100% of my attention is focused on the riding. I'm much the same way with mechanical stuff too. My bikes arrive in 100% as perfect as possible condition. When there's an issue I don't do repairs at the track. I take the 2nd bike. I don't want to be thinking "did I tighten all those bolts" while trying to navigate a hairpin. :)

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So if you had to choose between racing tires take offs or new Q3s, which set would you pick?

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That's a simple question that's also amazingly complex at the same time. :)

 

That really would depend on the type of riding someone was planning to do and if the Q3 was suitable for that purpose vs the other options available.

 

I would always want to go with a new tire for my purposes (track days). Just so I know the history, heat cycles and other associated information (such as how it ended up as a take off). This would be my choice and is probably not the best choice for everyone.

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My take is that as one progress towards fast advanced/expert level it's better to switch to take offs. It is good to run a street tire up to a point and develop a feeling for grip or cold tires. But when the pace increases does it makes sense to run a tire that is not designed for performance riding?

 

Some clues:

 

- Manifacturers do not reccomend or advertise Q3 for track use (the Dunlop tires web page now shows Q3 for both street and track, but there are other tires reccomended for 100% track use)

- CSS coaches use take offs

- The warmup time required for Q3s over the first couple of laps is not very safe in an expert group session

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Those are all quite valid points and there's really no right or wrong answer here.

 

I run Pirelli Supercorsa SP's on tire warmers. I have done the same on Dunlop Q3's. This helps with an accurate hot pressure but also eliminates warm up time. I ride some pretty casual track days where there's plenty of time to warm up the tires so many would say running warmers is not needed. For me it helps a lot completely eliminating any consideration of tires at any time. If I want to enter the track and head full speed into the first corner I can. Tires and the associated complexities don't "rent space in my head" while I'm out riding and that gives me more confidence.

 

Before you write off "street tires" completely. Here's something to consider. This is Nate Kern Riding his 2013 HP4 at Roebling Road in 48degree weather on Supercosa SP's. The people he's passing are all Advanced Group riders. I don't think street tires are slowing Nate down too much.

 

 

Possibly the most important thing you can do is run tires that YOU are comfortable with. This eliminates doubt and gives you confidence. In some cases our doubt slows us down more than the lack of grip available.

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So if you had to choose between racing tires take offs or new Q3s, which set would you pick?

 

This is kind of a cool question, definitely stimulates some thought and some discussion. Personally, if conditions were perfect (warm and sunny) and I needed to go as fast as I could possibly go, and the take offs appeared to have plenty of usable rubber left and were recent take-offs (not old and dried out) AND I was familiar with the specific tire model, I would choose the take offs.

 

However if it was cool, cloudy, windy or damp I would absolutely 100% choose the Q3s. Or, if I wanted to get multiple days from the tire, I'd pick the Q3s.

 

If I was not planning to run maximum fastest pace, I'd choose the Q3s every time - I find them to be more comfortable and predictable to ride on in general - they cost less, last longer, handle a variety of conditions, steer in a way that I find predictable and pleasant (race tires can be abrupt in steering transitions), warm up easily, and the performance level is so good that I wouldn't be worried about grip until I was getting into my absolute max pace. And even THEN I'd never worry about the front, just the rear when leaned over and hard on the gas on a very high horsepower bike.

 

In short, MOST of the time I'd take the Q3s. But, the fact remains that when they are up to their ideal operating temperature and still have rubber on them, race tires do give more grip and are more planted when you lay down the power.

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Yes they do.

 

Often times you will see "race take off" tires that have wear but have a lot of life left in them. There's a reason racers replace their tires like that. They want the maximum grip and don't want any surprises. Often times they will run brand new tires for races just for the peace of mind and that little extra bit of grip that could give them the edge to be the one on the podium.

R Chase, did you know that the School's Coaches use 'race take off' tires exclusively? I have seen them ride them to the belts without a problem many times.

 

 

To add a few bits to this discussion - 1000cc bikes in race conditions EAT tires. Often a club racer changes tires 'early' just because they have TIME to change the tires at a certain point in the day. Example - on a double-header weekend my husband races (typically) 3-4 sprint races Saturday and 3-4 Sunday. He changes tires Saturday evening because that is when he has time to do it! His take-offs usually have more life left in them, and sometimes he uses them for practice days. But they don't have enough rubber to make it through 3-4 more races, and often certain tracks wear one side more than the other, so you have to flip the tire or change it early. Usually on the 1000cc bikes they wear out the rear about twice as fast as the front. (For comparison, last year when I raced my 250 and 450 bikes I could run about EIGHT race days before I changed tires, and even then they still had rubber - they just had been heat cycled so many times that they were getting less grippy. Also on those bikes the FRONT wore out first. Horsepower makes a difference!)

 

The school does use race take-offs on coach bikes and we do run them until the rubber is visibly almost gone, to get the most out of them. But, we have a lot of training on managing tires and access to a mechanic to change them on request, so if a tire no longer has adequate grip for the conditions or for the pace we need to ride on a given day, we can get the tire changed quickly or hop on a different bike if needed. On wet days (and sometimes very cold days) the coach bikes get changed to Q3s because the race slicks don't do well. Running the coach bikes on race take-offs is more of a financial decision than a "maximum grip" decision - it costs less to run the take-offs and is a good use for tires that would otherwise probably be destroyed. They are not legal for roads so they are of limited use.

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Before you write off "street tires" completely. Here's something to consider. This is Nate Kern Riding his 2013 HP4 at Roebling Road in 48degree weather on Supercosa SP's. The people he's passing are all Advanced Group riders. I don't think street tires are slowing Nate down too much.

 

Say, what is that flashing orange light on the left side of the Odo - would it happen to be the traction control kicking in?

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Before you write off "street tires" completely. Here's something to consider. This is Nate Kern Riding his 2013 HP4 at Roebling Road in 48degree weather on Supercosa SP's. The people he's passing are all Advanced Group riders. I don't think street tires are slowing Nate down too much.

 

Say, what is that flashing orange light on the left side of the Odo - would it happen to be the traction control kicking in?

 

 

Sorta. The indicator light is a bit more complex than that. The bike an HP4 with the HP Race ECU. The Race ECU reports with the orange light a lot sooner than the standard ECU does. I don't ride anywhere close to Nate's pace and occasionally my light flashes on my Race ECU equipped bike. That's the bike telling the rider that the bike is over the target lean angle for the mode and that DTC is now getting involved to manage the torque. This could be a very minor management or a large management but it's saying "hey you probably want to be careful now" to the rider. The bike does this well before the tires get beyond the target slip rate. When the tires do get beyond that target slip rate then the full blown "traction control" gets involved.

 

While I have no doubts at all Nate was probably doing a bit of slipping and sliding out there the light alone is not really a good indicator of where it was happening. That's where the HP datalogger becomes SUPER useful. You can see exactly how DTC is interacting at any given moment. You can see slip rate, rider requested throttle%, DTC intervention, lean angle and actual throttle% the bike provided. It's an amazing insight where you get to "see" DTC doing it's magic to keep us all upright.

 

One word of wisdom from the guy riding in 48 degree weather like a crazy man. "DTC lets you manage traction you have. It can't create traction you don't have"

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So, here's my take on the Street Tires vs DOT Race Slick's and the advice I've given a few newer track riders that have asked my opinion on what kind of tires they should be using out at the glorious Streets Of Willow.

 

Find a local expert / fast guy and see what kind of lap times he/she can do on street tires, until you're lapping withing a few seconds of that pace, you're just fine using street rubber. At streets of Willow you can easily get into the sub 1:30's on a Q3, and until you're under the 1:30 mark IMO spending money on considerably more expensive rubber isn't the most cost effective way you can use it. The difference in cost is likely over a bit over 100$ a pair, 2 sets of tires and you've given up a full track day, 4-5 sets and you've lost out on another school day at CSS.

 

There's defiantly a time and place for using premium rubber, but I see a LOT of people at the track that are using way more expensive rubber than they need to be.

 

 

Also unless you're running warmers , street tires heat up WAY faster than a Slick/DOT will

 

 

Tyler

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Some great points there Tyler.

 

That actually reminds me of a conundrum that I recently had to deal with.

 

One of my bikes is a rather "wayward" RR with gobs of power and a BMW Race ECU. The bike honestly intimidated me a bit when I first owned it because of the way it made power and it's propensity to wheelie.

 

I needed to put new tires on the bike as the slicks it was delivered with were pretty shot. I intended to use the bike primarily at the track and considered doing slicks for that little extra amount of grip and in my mind protection because of the power. I talked to my tire guy who rides with us on the track and he had some interesting insight. My riding style is pretty random. At times I ride fast at other times I loaf around the track. I also ride well into the colder months. His concern was that on a cooler day straight off the warmers I might be in a loaf around mood and the tires might cool considerably without me thinking about it. Then my mood might change towards the end of a session putting me in a dangerous situation on cold slicks. The track we ride at adds to the danger. Most of the turns are Right hand turns with only two left hand turns. There's a super fast straight and on cold days it REALLY cools you and the tires off. Riders often get taken out by the first left hand turn after the straight because of the cooling factor.

 

If you decide to use slicks make sure they are hot but also make sure you will always keep them hot. When they begin to loose grip there's usually no warning at all and often times DTC won't be able to save you. See that word of wisdom about traction above. :)

 

Because of my random style and cold riding I'll likely always ride on street tires despite religiously using tire warmers for an extra margin of safety and confidence. I'll gladly give up the extra grip for a tire that's more consistent with it's grip when it comes to heating and cooling.

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One word of wisdom from the guy riding in 48 degree weather like a crazy man. "DTC lets you manage traction you have. It can't create traction you don't have"

 

Now, there's hard-earned wisdom right there :)

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