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Transitioning To Slicks


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So I probably have one of the age old common questions but I wanted to get some thoughts from people here who have likely been there and done that. I already have some ideas but it's always good to have that logic challenged. :)

 

I'm currently running Pirelli Supercorsa SP's as my tire choice and I'm not riding beyond the tire's abilities. I already religiously use tire warmers for the safety element of keeping tires as hot as possible and limiting their heat cycles and being able to set an accurate hot pressure. I decided to run the Supercorsa SP's because previously confidence issues gave me slow days and fast days. Those confidence issues are starting to become a thing of the past and since I'm going to be converting the bike for exclusive track use only I'm considering slicks because i never ride this particular bike in the rain and when it's converted I won't be able to ride it on the street anyway. Here are some questions.

 

1. How quickly will they cool if you run into a lot of slow traffic or have to stop the bike in hot pit for a temporary red flag?

 

2. How is the wear and heat cycle capabilities in comparison to a standard tire? I "barely" get an entire season out of a set of Supercorsa SP's with them being heat cycled out by the end of the season.

 

3. How much additional grip do you get from slicks vs a standard tire?

 

4. Any gotchas that you can think of?

 

5. What's a good compound to use that's good in most warm weather?

 

 

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So I probably have one of the age old common questions but I wanted to get some thoughts from people here who have likely been there and done that. I already have some ideas but it's always good to have that logic challenged. :)

 

I'm currently running Pirelli Supercorsa SP's as my tire choice and I'm not riding beyond the tire's abilities. I already religiously use tire warmers for the safety element of keeping tires as hot as possible and limiting their heat cycles and being able to set an accurate hot pressure. I decided to run the Supercorsa SP's because previously confidence issues gave me slow days and fast days. Those confidence issues are starting to become a thing of the past and since I'm going to be converting the bike for exclusive track use only I'm considering slicks because i never ride this particular bike in the rain and when it's converted I won't be able to ride it on the street anyway. Here are some questions.

 

1. How quickly will they cool if you run into a lot of slow traffic or have to stop the bike in hot pit for a temporary red flag?

 

2. How is the wear and heat cycle capabilities in comparison to a standard tire? I "barely" get an entire season out of a set of Supercorsa SP's with them being heat cycled out by the end of the season.

 

3. How much additional grip do you get from slicks vs a standard tire?

 

4. Any gotchas that you can think of?

 

5. What's a good compound to use that's good in most warm weather?

 

 

1.They will cool down slower than DOT racing compounds.

2. The durability depends on the setup. They will last longer than the DOT racing tires.

3. More, way more.

4. Not street legal unfortunately.

5. Depends on the tire manufacturer. In warm-medium abrasive tracks normally softer compounds.

 

Generally in comparison with the SP you will see a huge difference.

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Thank you for the info. Beyond what you see in the marketing information there's not a lot of practical use information available about the different tire types. This is quite helpful and confirms a lot of the information that I have already gotten from my tire guy.

 

I'm going a bit against the grain here and going to a slick tire before it's really time based on the general thoughts most people have on tire choice. I'm doing this mostly because of the bike I'm riding. Most of it's DTC tuning was done with slicks in mind and Race and Slick mode have been completely remapped to the point they probably aren't safe at all on standard tires. I have a second RR that's stock and it will stay on SP's for street use and for use when the conditions are not optimal for slicks.

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Robert, which brand of slicks are you looking at?

 

I run the Diablo Supercorsa SC's and last time I checked, they were actually quoted (by Pirelli) to have more grip than the Superbike slicks.

 

This year, I'm planning to go for the Supercorsa SC v2's in 120/70 & 180/60 for my R6.

I asked Pirelli in Germany and they recommended the 60 profile over the 55 for the R6 (5.5" rim width).

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That's an interesting tidbit about the SC that I had no idea about. How do you like the SC? How different is it than the SP?

 

I'm considering the Superbike Slicks. It might be worth considering the SC instead. Since my bike won't really be road legal anymore I can run any tires that I want. It's worth considering every option.

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Robert, which brand of slicks are you looking at?

 

I run the Diablo Supercorsa SC's and last time I checked, they were actually quoted (by Pirelli) to have more grip than the Superbike slicks.

 

If you are talking about Pirelli Superbike PRO Slicks yes the Diablo Supercorsa SC's have more grip in the exit of the turn after the apex. BUT there is not a chance the DOT have more grip than Pirelli Superbike Slick SC.

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Good questions guys. I went back and searched around on Pirelli's "hidepages" and finally found their Tyre Guide 2015.

 

On page 7 is shows the attached graphic. The Diablo Superbike and the Diablo Supercorsa SC are shown in the "professsional" category (contrary to the counter-intuitively named "Superbike Pro" tyre). The text blurb on the Diablo Superbike tyre (page 8) says "Improved SC compound". I seem to remember that the Superbike & Supercorsa SC tyres is using the same compound (but my memory has been wrong before).

 

Regardless, going to either will be a big up from the SP's, whereas the Superbike Pro's have only slightly more grip but has more longevity (according to Pirelli).

 

Anyway, I have seen a championship winning rider ride the Diablo Supercorsa SC's at pretty mind-blowing speeds (within 1 second of the lap record).

post-15296-0-41343000-1455184997_thumb.png

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Some really helpful information here. I had already decided that I had no interest in the trackday slicks. Having a grip profile that will allow me the option to use "all" of my modes safely is what I'm seeking. Race and slick on this bike were modified heavily by the previous owner who ran slicks on it 99.9% of the time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Cobie,

 

I'm still thinking this through at the moment. I'm about 90% decided on going with the Pirelli Superbike Slicks but I'm still gathering information. I have bodywork coming in from Italy so I have a bit of time to decide still and I also have my 2nd RR that I can ride with a set of Supercorsa SP's on it.

 

Would love to get your input on this as well if you have any suggestions or experiences that you would like to share.

 

Initially when I bought this bike I considered doing slicks because of how much more aggressive it is over a standard bike. I went with the Supercorsa SP's and that was an extremely wise move as it took me a bit of time to get used to the bike and in a lot of cases the sheer intimidation factor alone was slowing me down. When it throws the front wheel in the air I'm not yet happy to see that but it does not "rattle my cage" like it used to. :)

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Totally understand that with the power delivery. The first time I sat down on one of the School's RR's it intimidated the heck out of me. At the time the most powerful bike I had ever been on was an older R6. Thank goodness for rain mode!

 

When I finally do decide to take the plunge and finally try them on my own I'll come back and let you guys know what I think. I'll also let you know if I chicken out and stick Supercorsa SP's on the bike again. :)

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chase, don't laugh, but I'm seriously considering to go with the Superbike over the Supercorsa SC V2's, simply from a cost perspective: The Superbikes are USD410 vs USD485 for the Supercorsa SC V2's.

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Makes sense to me for sure.

 

I had an interesting thought as well that I figured I would ask if anybody had some knowledge on. In regards to tire flex and slip. A tire with no grooves cut in it for water clearing would be slightly "stiffer" and more resistant to flex assuming that they were the same compound. A tire with grooves would have more flex to it because of the travel area the surface rubber has when it encounters a force. Is my thinking correct or? :)

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Modern street tires and slicks, just a comment: Any lower temp day, my fastest coaches will beg to be on street tires (like the Dunlop Q3).

 

Also, the majority of all coach incidents over the last years have been cold tires. Street tires are more forgiving, lower operating temp (and broader), and work to a very high level.

 

But...if the pace is high enough to keep the slicks in their correct temp range, all the coaches do want them. I have to ride pretty hard to get them up there.

 

Just a comment...

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Thanks Cobie. That's exactly what I'm looking for.

 

The real question is will MY riding keep them hot enough. It's not really optimal to find out that you aren't keeping them hot enough as the front end is folding under!

 

I'm going to ask a couple of people who are familiar with my speed and style and see if the choice is appropriate yet. I might need to burn up a few more sets of SP's and pay close attention to their temps coming right off the track to see.

 

In some ways running slicks could be an interesting motivation for going faster. Go fast enough to keep the tires hot or you will crash. :o

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Hey,

 

It's interesting because what Cobie says pretty much fits what I ended up doing...not based on anything rational but on the way I feel on the bike. Here, on the tracks I go to, the weather can really be changing all the time...and when the season starts, it's cold, the track is cold...so although I use tire warmer, they get cold really fast. So I have actually 2 sets of rims for my s1000rr...One is permanently mounted with Diablo Rain tires...So I am getting pretty good at changing my wheels when rain comes (although I am thinking of getting one of this Fast Frank Racing system). Then at the beginning of the season, I also use Supercorsa SP...it's too cold and when I used the Diablo Superbike in cold weather, it did not feel as good. When the weather gets better, I am using the slicks. So yes, I actually like them pretty much, but actually I still have a set of Supercorsa SP. And every time on the track, there is someone that can change tires for you. So I just go with what works best for the weather...

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This weekend I picked up my first set of slicks. A friend of mine handed me a nearly brand new SC2 front. I picked up an SC2 rear at the track.

 

I'm going to give them a try and see what I think of them. I'll keep the heat thing in mind. On cold days I'll have my spare bike on standby with standard SP's in case conditions are questionable. I already religiously use warmers on all my tires.

 

First time out I'll probably leave a laser thermometer on the pit wall and come in to check temps. Better safe than sorry. :)

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Since you have warmers, hit them hard from the beginning :D

 

Exactly! This is what I do. I find that the tyre temp drops from ~70C out of the warmers to around ~55-60C when I return to the pits after a 20-30 minute session.

 

With warmers, I have delibrately gone out and put my knee on the ground in the first corner, without any kind issues or warnings from the tires at all. This wasn't the first session of the day, though, but we're still talking Scandinavian temps (~20C) :)

 

As for the coaches, they are in a different situation: they stop and start all the time, which means that they want a tire that heats up quickly, and has a good grip at lower temps. But ask them to hunt down Joe Roberts, and I'll guarantee you that they want slicks :D

 

rchase: Are those slicks the Superbike, or the Superbike Pro?

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khp. They are the Diablo Superbike slicks. The SC2's both front and rear.

 

The first time I ever rode my bike it was on the same tires and I fell in love. The Supercora SP has a different feel to it. Just as good of a tire for a rider like me but with a bit more sidewall flex. At least that's my observation. Its subtle but you can feel the difference.

 

I fully expect to have some adaptation time to the new tires. I'll have my second bike with me on standard Supercorsa SP's for cold days and "slow days". I'm going to have to figure out pressures that work for my style. As well my style will probably have to adapt as well. I'm going to need to pump up the aggression a bit. :)

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khp. They are the Diablo Superbike slicks. The SC2's both front and rear.

 

I'm going to have to figure out pressures that work for my style. As well my style will probably have to adapt as well. I'm going to need to pump up the aggression a bit. :)

 

Great, then we can swap notes. I'll probably be going for SC1/SC2 front/rear.

 

My experience is that the recommended pressures work really well (23-26psi front, 25-28psi rear; same as the SP's). High psi for warm days, low psi for cold days.

 

I grabbed the tech advice from Pirelli's website, printed it double-sided on a sheet of paper and laminated it for durability.

I've attached PDFs that you can print.

 

Edit: convinced my pdf printer to print both in A4 and US letter formats.

Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa - tech advice A4.pdf

Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa - US letter.pdf

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khp. Thanks for posting those PDF's. Quite helpful. I don't see the 200 series rear that I'm using but since the 170,180 and 190 all have the same pressures it's probably the same.

 

I chatted with a friend who's pretty familiar with my riding. He set my mind at ease about keeping them warm enough. I'm getting these tires installed sometime this week if things work out as planned. I may be riding on them sooner rather than later. I'll let you guys know what I think.

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The recommended pressures for all the Superbike/Superbike Pro/Supercorsa SC/Supercorsa SP rears are exactly the same, so they should apply for the 200/55's as well.

 

For some reason, I can only find the 200/55 profile in the Superbike Pro version on Pirelli's webpage :huh:

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Just got back from the track trying out the tires for the first track day of the season. The day started out pretty cold in the 40's so I rode my street bike on Supercorsa SP's until it warmed up. When the temps got into the high 50's I switched to the bike with the Superbike Slicks. Being able to ride both back to back was quite useful. I'll probably ride both bikes more frequently together as it's amazing to see the differences between the bikes.

 

The slicks were extremely confidence inspiring. I was running a pressure of 34/28 hot and making pressure adjustments off the warmers. I never really had traction issues with the SP's and was far from "out riding" them but the slicks had this solid and consistent feel to them that I really like. Despite the cold temps I got absolutely no cold tearing and had no traction issues even riding entire sessions. The solid and consistent feel was most apparent when the bike was leaned over heavily. It felt much more stable and planted than it did on the Supercorsa SP's.

 

Riding on the tires today answered most of my questions. Despite the cool temps I did not have any problems keeping them warm. I did not get any cold tearing or have any grip issues. Definitely the right choice for the bike I have them installed on. The street/track bike will stay with Supercorsa SP's. It's just way more flexible of a tire that allows street use and rain and much colder riding than slicks can really handle.

 

I'm really looking forward to this year at Barber at the school as I really want to get back onto a set of Q3's to compare again. Would love to try a set of the more aggressive Dunlop tires as well just to see what they are like. There are a lot of philosophies on tires. Many of them I don't fully understand. One thing I do know however is trying different tires gives you a lot of good information.

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