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Hello Forum,

I just wanted to drop a line and Thank you all for the great information you all give up on this site. It has become one of my Favs. I can find almost anything about my bike and what not. I do have one question probably a easy one but my tires Pilot Powers after a run at the track orange peel alot and become very sticky...which is good It makes me feel more confident, but does lowering the air pressure and putting the heat cycles through the tires hurt them. I do ride the street with them and went to 2 trackdays, but pretty much wore out now. I guess Iam being picky considering some people at the track were changing after 1/2 a day. The tracks that I went to had instructors that told me to lower to 29lbs in rear and 30 in front. I have read that this is pretty typical beings your pressure comes up with heat/speed. Thanks again for the info

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Hi and your welcome!

 

Each tire compound is designed for or will operate best at a specific temperature or temperature range. Varying tire pressure alters the amount of flexion in the carcass which creates heat, hence changing tire pressure changes operating temperature at speed. How fast or hard you ride also affects how much the tire flexes. I don't think average street riding (a few fast corners here and there) will really do it unless you are on the highway or riding really hard for prolonged periods.

 

Back in the day, the rule of thumb for bias ply DOT race rubber like Dunlop K591's or Metzlers was 10-15% rise in pressure to acheive optimal temp range. Radial tires like the Sportmax were maybe less, but, the bottom line is the temperature of the tire tread compound. Think temperature probe. I am not familiar with the Pilots or just what you mean by "orange peel", but, personally, in lieu of a temp probe, I look for just enough heat in the tire to see a bit of rubber "balling up" at the edges to know that fresh rubber is being exposed. And not too much to help the tire last a bit longer. If the tire looks like it is melting, it is probably too hot for max traction and will wear out faster.

 

Typically, the rule of thumb is about 8-10 heat cycles for DOT full race rubber before losing track performance level of traction. I've never ridden race "take offs" on the street so I can't say whether or not they are good enough traction for street riding after 10 heat cycles. I know people do it, but, it certainly won't give performance level of traction and the tread surely won't last long in any case. The Superbike School sells a dual usage Dunlop that is really good for both street and track use. I believe it is designed to give decent traction for trackdays and last many, many heat cycles. If you are a street rider doing some track days, I would recommend that as your best choice. You can contact them to find out what the model number is. If you are a student, I think they will even offer a discount.

 

Good luck,

racer

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I really like the pilot powers and have used them on the track a lot and on the street.

 

Here's a pic of my pilot power after it lived through 4 straight track days:

http://picasaweb.google.com/harnois.adam/V...636749624135650

 

The orange peel effect you speak of is visible in the picture. After 3.5 track days I noticed some serious problems with traction in right hand turns and had to slow down a lot. The track I was on is a clockwise track so more right hand turns. And you can also see in the pic the glossy band on the right edge which appeared at the same time all that sliding started. I was running 30psi.

 

From this experience my opinion is that unless you are a lot faster than me those tires can last 3 track days. Of course there are lots of variables.

 

I still have the tires on my bike now and ride them on the street and there's no problem. But obviously I'll put on a new pair before any more track days.

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I have a picture of my tire after a few sessions at Blackhawk Iam unable to post pictures here I guess it says error when I try to insert picture so here is the link @ photobucket

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p260/mu...k_5150/tire.jpg

 

here is me 2nd trackday

 

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p260/mu...5150/DRcopy.jpg

 

local closed riding area

 

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p260/murdock_5150/1.jpg

 

 

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p260/murdock_5150/2.jpg

 

 

any way sorry for the links instead of actual pics I will have to learn this site better. any critisism is welcome. I love the stories here on BP and Throttle control. I truely love carving those twistys. Thanks again

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Yeah I really like this site too. I hope it gets more active in the future.

 

I can't figure out how to embed a picture either. There's a button that says "insert image" but nothing happens when I click it.

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I should get Will up here, he's way more versed. I do know some of the Michelin race tires (I think Pilot Power Race) runs low pressure, like 22 in the rear, and some of the new Dunlop slicks too, possibly even lower.

 

The coach bikes use take offs, and we run the heck out of them. Will says they loose drive grip, not so much cornering grip when they start to go. I think Lonnie had the record a few years ago with 30 school days on a front tire.

 

Best,

C

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Hey guys,

 

When talking about full race compounds, the heat cycle thing really isn't some urban legend. While counting track days may be fine for some riders, there is no standard number of sessions for a track day and it really isn't possible to compare one rider's track days with another unless the bikes are the same and the riders are turning similar lap times on the same track. Bike weight and power delivery and riding style all affect the tire wear.

 

Bottom line, the traction begins to go off after a number of heat cycles. And, though there is some traction after that, that does not mean it is reliable for 10/10 riding or will be consistent, ie. if you are getting faster throughout the day, the traction or tire that was ok in the morning can put you on your butt in the afternoon. So, while some tires may be ok for trackdays or practice until the tire is shredded, you really don't want to go racing or be exploring the upper limits on tires with more than about ten cycles.

 

That said, different tire compounds do "go off" differently. Some go off like a light switch while others go off more progressively. And some tires give better feedback and slide more progressively throughout the process. I know some 125 riders that can run the same set of slicks for several race weekends by turning them around and running them backwards after one side starts wearing flat. :blink:

 

I believe the school may run the same tires for more than 10 heat cycles, but, I don't know if they run full race compound and the majority of students probably aren't turning near race times.

 

Personally, I've found out the hard way that you can't cheat the tire man. The bike damage and bruises really aren't worth the potential $2-300 savings... to me.

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I should get Will up here, he's way more versed. I do know some of the Michelin race tires (I think Pilot Power Race) runs low pressure, like 22 in the rear, and some of the new Dunlop slicks too, possibly even lower.

 

The coach bikes use take offs, and we run the heck out of them. Will says they loose drive grip, not so much cornering grip when they start to go. I think Lonnie had the record a few years ago with 30 school days on a front tire.

 

Best,

C

 

Ah... we were posting at the same time. There ya go then.

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Well the only reason is I count the trackdays is because at most they require to have 75% to new tires on your bike. I did get 4 out of this set and still have alot of tire left just not enough for another track day. I had run the 2ct's once...and thats enough for me...I felt as if I wasnt using them correctly riding on the street and my center wore out quickly. The trackday I had with them was great, but I got the same feel and alot more road time out of the Pilot Powers. Beings the 2ct's are alot softer on the sides I will continue to buy Pilot Powers. I know track condition and weather has alot to do with your pressure selection. I live in WI not always sunny and 80 degrees here.

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Got it.

 

I was just thinking about harnois saying his tires lasted four days and thinking that there are all sorts of factors that could make your tires last less days ... or more. So, usinghis results to guage your own might not be too accurate.

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Thanks Captain Obvious. :-D

 

Just like "about 10 heat cycles" and "30 school days" may also not be that accurate.

 

From my original post in this thread:

"From this experience my opinion is that unless you are a lot faster than me those tires can last 3 track days. Of course there are lots of variables."

 

There's no point rid'n around on burnt up tires, but there's also no point in throwing perfectly tires and money in the dirt. Just learn to recognize when the tires are done before it causes you to crash. Use the same brand and model tire regularly so you can get to know how it reacts. Each track session or heat cycle, start out easy and work up to speed slowly, over about 3 laps, so if you've done one too many heat cycles, you'll get a friendly hint before crashing. Smooth throttle control and other good riding techniques are probably fairly important during those 3 laps. :-D

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Just like "about 10 heat cycles" and "30 school days" may also not be that accurate.

 

Ten heat cycles is precisely accurate for full-race compound DOT tires that you can buy. That is a maximum figure when they are toast for riding at or near racing speeds. They actually begin to go off at around half that. In fact, even the fastest club guys don't race on a DOT tire with more than five or six heat cycles. I'm told some higher level racing tires last even less cycles before starting to go off. Like maybe three. That doesn't mean that you or anyone tooling around at school speeds would necessarily notice the difference.

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Bottom line: After six heat cycles the DOT race tire has constantly decreasing traction and, after ten cycles, less than enough to handle racing speeds or anything close.

 

And, if you stop and think it through... if you have to adjust or limit your riding, heck, if you even need to spend a penny of your $10 worth of attention thinking about how much you need to hold back to accomodate a tire with increasingly less traction, possibly less than enough to handle your best riding at any given moment, the tire is toast and you are risking your life riding on it.

 

Three laps at the beginning of each session? Dude... after a point (like ten), the number of heat cycles becomes irrelevant. The tire is constantly losing traction every lap. So, all day long with that niggling in the back of your mind... wondering just how much that last lap reduced the tire's traction so that each lap you ride throughout the day you have to think about holding back more and more, riding progressively slower and slower ... that would pretty much be my definition of insanity.

 

I mean, are you kidding me? Aren't you supposed to be pushing yourself and your riding to find the limits, to improve your riding, going faster and faster all day long at this point? Not facing a vague and ever decreasing limit which forces you to go slower and slower?

 

One could make the argument that the tire is the tire whatever the limit and sensing that traction is a skill in itself. Sure, but... that is a challenge for a top level world class GP racer, sensing a change in traction from lap to lap and knowing just how much his tire will go off by the end of the race. Not a novice racer... or someone who has only attended one superbike school and a few "open to the public" track days.

 

Reality: If you can't afford fresh rubber, you can't afford to ride. Full stop.

 

How much is your life worth? $200? $300? I guess only you would know the answer to that.

 

 

EDIT TO ADD: And how much is the life of the rider you take out when you fall down worth?

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When I head out at the beginnign of each and EVERY session I take it easy one to get the heat back in the tire ( looking at tire warmers now) and two to see how the track may have changed....like someone going off and little gravel or the heat of the day getting groove slick. I noticed some people are balls to the wall every session where I look at each session and try to better myself with proper BP and Throttle control. Doesn't pay to blow out turn 1 and loose it in 2. I can still beat the squid who thinks he's fast down the straight but looses it in the corner having to wait 4 ever to pick up the throttle from coming in 2 HOT. Anyone can hold the throttle wide open, there is alot of driftwood at some trackdays, but still the best time I have ever had.

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For sure it is a good idea to have good tires on the bike, no one would argue that. With good clean technique one can find the limits of the tire without having to risk life and limb. It's really the same skills with warming up a cold tire--progressively bringing the speed up to build some head in the tire. At the school for example, it's just not possible to even consider heat warmers, either on the coaches bikes, school bikes. I didn't even use them the last spring race I did, and it was pretty cold in the mornings.

 

I think some guys use this as an excues: "I crashed because of my tires." Well, I don't think they go off that fast, that hasn't been my experience with them. UNLESS, I change something, like adding more throttle, addling a little more lean angle, adding some more entry speed. But from just one lap to the next, I don't think it's a light switch.

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For sure it is a good idea to have good tires on the bike, no one would argue that. With good clean technique one can find the limits of the tire without having to risk life and limb. It's really the same skills with warming up a cold tire--progressively bringing the speed up to build some head in the tire. At the school for example, it's just not possible to even consider heat warmers, either on the coaches bikes, school bikes. I didn't even use them the last spring race I did, and it was pretty cold in the mornings.

 

I think some guys use this as an excues: "I crashed because of my tires." Well, I don't think they go off that fast, that hasn't been my experience with them. UNLESS, I change something, like adding more throttle, addling a little more lean angle, adding some more entry speed. But from just one lap to the next, I don't think it's a light switch.

 

I'm not really clear what you are saying here, Cobie. Are you talking about full-race compound DOT racing tires like the Dunlop Sportmax? And what exactly is it you are saying about them? Are you saying that they are good for racing past ten heat cycles? Are you saying that riding on racing tires beyond their manufacturer recommended heat cycle limit is ok as long as you "are smooth"?

 

For full-race compound DOT tires, like the Dunlop Sportmax, ten heat cycles is it. The tire is useless for racing speed or anything close to it, not even race practice. Perhaps fine to go burn up on the street for the few miles you'll get from the tread, but, dangerous for knee dragging at speed.

 

I do not take this matter lightly and do not think it is OK to just let it go by saying it is a matter of opinion. I think we need a definitive answer. And I think there is one as Dunlop tire representatives state ten heat cycles as the upper limit and any racer will tell you that ten heat cycles is it. My personal experience is that heat cycle number eleven will put you on your head.

 

But, please, do not take my word for it. Ask a Dunlop race tire rep you would trust... like Bru.

 

steve@dunlopracing.com

 

http://www.dunlopracing.com/rts_home.htm

 

Dunlop/Race Tire Services Tech line: 615-641-3323

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I will say that back in the day riding Metzler bias ply or Dunlp K591 bias ply's, the cutoff point seemed less precise and more progressive. But, unless tire technology at the club racing level has significantly changed again in the past few years, that is no longer the case.

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Racer,

 

I was simply commenting on some that I have heard complain that the reason they crashed was due to tires, when technique was really what was missing/not used/abused. I'll give you an example. At a recent school, a coach was leading a student, and the student crashed (the coach did not). It's arguable the student's tires were even better than the coaches, so that wasn't it. What was a major factor is it was cold on those days, and the track is almost all right hand turns. The crash (and every crash over the 2 days we were there) were all on the "cold" side of the tire. In this case, the left. The left side of the tire never really warmed up.

 

With solid technique, tires just don't all of a sudden give way, have a tremendously different amount of traction from one lap to the next. With solid technique, you get warning, usually lots of it.

 

In one of my earlier posts I commneted that Lonnie did like 30 days on a front tire. The tire was for sure not as grippy as new, but Lonnie is one of my fastest guys and regularly takes and trains racers at the schools. He got away with this because of his good technique, rock solid fundamentals.

 

But then, I work at a school, you'd expect me to say technique is senior to machinery :)

 

C

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.

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Racer,

 

I was simply commenting on some that I have heard complain that the reason they crashed was due to tires, when technique was really what was missing/not used/abused.

 

Oh. It sounded like you were contradicting standard data on race compound tires that have gone beyond ten heat cycles.

 

With solid technique, tires just don't all of a sudden give way, have a tremendously different amount of traction from one lap to the next. With solid technique, you get warning, usually lots of it.

 

"Tremendously different amount..." ? How do you define "tremendous"? Oh yes... a race compound Sportmax past ten heat cycles most definitely will just suddenly give way at less than a "tremendous" difference in speed from the previous lap... at racing speeds.

 

In any case, I'm still not sure what tire or what compound or how many heat cycles you are speaking of here. And, it still sounds like you are intending to contradict standard data. I am speaking specifically about a full race compound Dunlop Sportmax with more than ten heat cycles on it. Personally, the characteristic of how a tire that is already toast continues to degrade doesn't seem of much import to me for the reasons stated above, ie. I don't do it. I like being alive.

 

However, in my own extensive experience at racing speeds with Dunlop Sportmax tires, the difference between heat cycle ten and eleven is exactly like a light switch. And, after that, grip degrades ongoing from lap to lap. What the tire will handle on lap three it won't handle on lap ten. I don't like to admit that it took 3-4 incidents with a Dunlop Sportmax tire on heat cycle eleven that put or nearly put me on my head at racing speeds; but, I am one of those people who needs to find the limits for myself. Just because the Dunlop racing rep tells me, "no more than ten heat cycles" doesn't mean I will believe it because in the back of my mind I will be thinking he might just be saying that to sell more tires.

 

In one of my earlier posts I commneted that Lonnie did like 30 days on a front tire. The tire was for sure not as grippy as new, but Lonnie is one of my fastest guys and regularly takes and trains racers at the schools. He got away with this because of his good technique, rock solid fundamentals.

 

So, on some unknown tire of some unkown compound, Lonnie "got away with" doing "like thirty days on a front".

 

Got away with? Implying he was doing something he shouldn't. Hm. Kudos to Lonnie. And... ?

 

Are you, in your position of authority with the school, actually advocating that others with far less skill and technique than Lonnie do the same thing while attempting to develop their skills, ie. making progressive improvements from lap to lap, perhaps tremendous leaps of improvement as a particular skill sinks in? Don't you advertise just that sort of tremendous improvement by practicing the techniques you teach?

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Racer,

 

I was simply commenting on some that I have heard complain that the reason they crashed was due to tires, when technique was really what was missing/not used/abused.

 

Oh. It sounded like you were contradicting standard data on race compound tires that have gone beyond ten heat cycles.

 

With solid technique, tires just don't all of a sudden give way, have a tremendously different amount of traction from one lap to the next. With solid technique, you get warning, usually lots of it.

 

"Tremendously different amount..." ? How do you define "tremendous"? Oh yes... a race compound Sportmax past ten heat cycles most definitely will just suddenly give way at less than a "tremendous" difference in speed from the previous lap... at racing speeds.

 

In any case, I'm still not sure what tire or what compound or how many heat cycles you are speaking of here. And, it still sounds like you are intending to contradict standard data. I am speaking specifically about a full race compound Dunlop Sportmax with more than ten heat cycles on it. Personally, the characteristic of how a tire that is already toast continues to degrade doesn't seem of much import to me for the reasons stated above, ie. I don't do it. I like being alive.

 

However, in my own extensive experience at racing speeds with Dunlop Sportmax tires, the difference between heat cycle ten and eleven is exactly like a light switch. And, after that, grip degrades ongoing from lap to lap. What the tire will handle on lap three it won't handle on lap ten. I don't like to admit that it took 3-4 incidents with a Dunlop Sportmax tire on heat cycle eleven that put or nearly put me on my head at racing speeds; but, I am one of those people who needs to find the limits for myself. Just because the Dunlop racing rep tells me, "no more than ten heat cycles" doesn't mean I will believe it because in the back of my mind I will be thinking he might just be saying that to sell more tires.

 

In one of my earlier posts I commneted that Lonnie did like 30 days on a front tire. The tire was for sure not as grippy as new, but Lonnie is one of my fastest guys and regularly takes and trains racers at the schools. He got away with this because of his good technique, rock solid fundamentals.

 

So, on some unknown tire of some unkown compound, Lonnie "got away with" doing "like thirty days on a front".

 

Got away with? Implying he was doing something he shouldn't. Hm. Kudos to Lonnie. And... ?

 

Are you, in your position of authority with the school, actually advocating that others with far less skill and technique than Lonnie do the same thing while attempting to develop their skills, ie. making progressive improvements from lap to lap, perhaps tremendous leaps of improvement as a particular skill sinks in? Don't you advertise just that sort of tremendous improvement by practicing the techniques you teach?

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Racer,

 

I have one point major point that I was trying to make: it hasn't been my experience working as a coach at the schools that tires fall off so drastically in a lap or 2 or 3 that one will end up on his head--one gets some warning. I totally agree that one should have good tires, we work hard on that point at the school. I've also heard riders blame tires and suspension for dramas and crashes that were really the fault of poor riding technique.

 

Make sense?

 

C

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All and all it is best to have proper technique and newer tires. I will continue to buy the Pilot Powers they really hold up well for me, maybe down the line I will be more aggressive at the track and want another tire, but for now these are great for street and track. It gives you a good feeling when you know your tires are new.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Racer,

 

I have one point major point that I was trying to make: it hasn't been my experience working as a coach at the schools that tires fall off so drastically in a lap or 2 or 3 that one will end up on his head--one gets some warning. I totally agree that one should have good tires, we work hard on that point at the school. I've also heard riders blame tires and suspension for dramas and crashes that were really the fault of poor riding technique.

 

Make sense?

 

C

 

What kind of tires (brand, model and compound) does the CSS run on its student bikes?

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I think you guys are comparing apples to oranges. DOT "Street" tires to DOT "Race" tires. Both are designed for a different purposes.

 

Lets talk heat cycles.

Race DOTs are slicks with rain grooves and are designed for racing. It takes time to get heat into the tire, and as posted before, the tire must be ridden hard enough to actually get heat into the tire. Heat cycles are more critical with race tires at "race pace", but for the most part even after the recommended heat cycles have passed the tires are still very sticky and great for track days. Would I ride them on the street? No. The type of riding done on street my never get the tires to "proper" temperature for maximum grip. A track day for a moderate rider? Sure.

 

 

Now to the oranges. DOT street tires. They are designed to heat up quickly and go through many, many, many heat cycles. The grip is not as good as "new" DOT race tires (when ridden hard enough to heat them), but them are still very good. Will they have more grip than a race tire at race pace after alot of heat cycles? Maybe? Would I ride them on the track? Absolutely. Is the grip good enough for a track day and later street use? Yes

 

-------

 

 

Racer to answer your question about the school's bikes. All bikes are on Dunlops.

The Coach bikes are race take offs with ALOT of heat cycles already through them PRIOR to being put on a coach bike. And they go through many more during a typical school day.

The Student bikes are on brand new DOT street Qualifiers.

 

Here's my experience comparing "Street" tires to "Race" tires while at the school.

If I have a fast, near race pace student, riding a school bike on the street tires, I have to really pay attention to how many laps I have done that session to heat up my tires. More than once I have finished coaching a much slower student and go after my fast student, only to have my tires sliding all over the place. Again, the student is on street tires and I'm riding on old race tires. Once I do a lap or two at a fast pace to actually get some heat in tires I have no problems with grip.

 

 

Can new grippy tires mask poor riding technique and let the rider get away with it? absolutely. I think this maybe what your shooting at Racer. Can this keep a rider with poor technique from crashing? Possibly. Should the tire be blamed if it passed it's heat cycles? Not necessarily.

 

Here's a good little comparison I personally experienced.

 

I was riding behind a very fast student at Sears point going down the carousel feeling like I was getting close to the traction limits of the tires, when Leon Camier (British Supersport champion) passed us on the outside riding a "student bike" with " Street tires". Now, if the theory of heat cycles holds true, that would make sense as to why my tires were getting loose, and I was being passed by a bike with street DOT's. But...his coach, was right behind him on the same line riding a coach bike with the same "Race" take off's as my bike.

 

So, which is it??? Heat cycles? Type of tire? Skill? (This is my opinion).

 

Should a rider's ability govern what type of tire they should use? IE a slow rider on DOT "Race" tires which may never get enough heat in them to obtain proper grip vs. the same rider riding a street tire which will get closer to it's proper grip with less speed.

 

 

 

 

Am I fueling the fire of debate?

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