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Relationship Between Suspension Setup And Tire Wear


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Hi Guys,


Made an interesting observation with some friends after our last track day. One of my friends is an experienced racer and we generally take advice and learn from him. We notcied that at the end of the day his tires were perfectly smooth (even though he rode just as much as us and was the fastest) while ours were worn with little beads of rubber all over the edges. His explanation was that his hard suspension was the reason but its still a little mystery to me. Somebody please explain what the relationship is and how harder suspension reduces tire wear if that is true.

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Hey Killadude,



There are too many unkown variables in your example upon which to base a singular conclusion.


A harder tire compound or higher beginning tire pressure will result in a similar result as your friend's.


Softer compound will exhibit more rubber wearing off. Lower tire pressures will result in more carcass flex leading to hotter temperatures and more tread wear.


Also, if your friend is faster and using more lean angle he will be knocking the little rubber balls right off the edge of his tires.


That being said...


A stiffer suspension setting will put more stress on the tire. Not less.





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Thanks Racer, somehow it didnt sound right to me that stiffer suspension would cause less tire wear, i was starting to think i am missing something very basic hence the question. To fill in details on those variables, the rider in question was running MICHELIN PILOT POWERS while the rest of us were on METZELER RACETECH K2's. We were running identical tire pressures 30 front and rear. The rider was running about a second or so faster and i definetely dont think he was running any more lean than i was..none of us are down to knocking the rubber balls off the tire yet. i guess that boils down to tire compound?

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Hey killa,


Even though it is only one second a lap, it is possible that your friend could be leaning over more due to differences in general riding style such as how much he hangs off or doesn't hang off, or how quick he flicks into a turn, etc. And, if you were on the same bike with the same tires at equal pressure, one second a lap would represent a relatively small difference in tire heat. But, we must consider the size/weight and power of the bike that will also contribute to wear characteristics. If you are riding a litre machine and your friend is on a middle weight bike, that too will make a difference.


That said, though I am not familiar with the current specifics of all the tire brands/models, it has been my experience over the years that different brands DO generally have unique characteristics. So, it seems likely to me that a completely different brand of tire utilizing different construction and/or compound would exhibit some different wear characterisics.


In any case, I think you have the right idea. Logically speaking, a stiffer suspension creates more stress at the tire.


Good luck,


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  • 2 weeks later...

hey killer, on track days and css days both my tyres, once-bridgestones twice pilotpowers were balled to bits. suspension was adjusted to softest settings. on the street on the k6-suspension still bedding in stock settings(hardish) though am faster than before no balling of rear,smooth a lil rough on the edges, but front more traumatised than rear,(street pressures).-bridgestones.have met guys who drop prssures on street whos tyres seem chewed up.

with softsettings actuaaly tyres last longer as suspension is working on hard setings tyres bounce wearing em out. going to get my suspension adjusted by my guru before css level 3 (december)and getting pilotpowers, will see what happens also track surface grippier than road .waiting to see what happens.with soft suspension settings and relaxing on bike tyre life was a third more than now. but now using just 3 gears thro twisties to work and back etc.more torque too i guess. anyway keep riding the wheels off and lets keep comparing notes.cheers guys

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