Best Race Tires?

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M13
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Best Race Tires?

Postby M13 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:20 am

Where I live I only have Pirelli, Bridgestone and Michelin to chose from. Out of those two which do you prefer? Out of any which do you prefer? I don't race, but I do track days every week. So I need a tire that's 80-100% race.
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Retro Rocketeer
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby Retro Rocketeer » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:57 am

Man, I effin' love tire threads like this. There's no better way to pile on so much subjective info and piss people off than a tire thread that takes off. :cool

"Best Race Tires?" is the subject line. Well, I'll tell you what. The best race tires are by far Michelin. Why Michelin, because I have their stickers on my bike and their tires on my rims, and they pay me when I finish on the podium that's why. My Michelin tire guy at my track is also the best tire rep at the track and he'll bend over backwards to make sure your bike is properly set up for the compounds you are running. In fact, he's so awesome I still run Michelins from him even though I can buy another brand for less. If anybody says otherwise, I'll throttle your neck personally with one of my take offs. How's that? Michelin is best. Need any more input than that?

You're asking about race tires, but don't race, just track days. I'm gonna tell you, cause I know. No matter how hard you try, track days still aint racing. Racing still has more demands on the tires than track days. If you have tire warmers, an awesome shock, adjustable forks, and know how to use all three and have a race log to draw from, then fine, go for the race tires. If you can spot cold tear from compression spin from rebound hop, then fine, go for the race tires. If you can go a full session at 100% and not back off for any reason and let the tires cool, then go for the race tires. If however you are lacking any of those parts and the knowledge to optimize them, why waste your money? To get the most from a pair of race tires, that will last FOUR DAYS of quality practice and racing, you need everything right and it takes a lot of constant fiddling.

My Ninja rides on Michelin racing tires for racing. My Honda Hawk GT rides on Michelin Pilot Power 2CT for track days and will drag knee and pegs all day. Track days are about having fun, not about work. I don't need to worry about the Power 2CT's being on warmers between sessions because of heat cycling. I don't have to worry about whether I adjust that 1.5lb of air pressure after that 5 degree temp change after lunch. I'm turning less than 100hp at the wheel on a 650 twin. I don't have to worry whether that Power 2CT is going to be shredded and last the next week. I don't have to pay $350+ every other weekend. I can even take a quick street ride without changing tires.

All the tire manufactures have race tires and performance street/track day tires. They're all good too. I'm using Michelins for the reasons stated in my first paragraph. Find the least expensive with the best customer support in your area. If you aren't at all brand loyal, sample them all on a rotation and don't tell your wife. Oh, and try as hard as you can to buy local. Give your dealer a freakin' chance to price match before you order from some discount service.

However, one more qualifier. If you are filthy rich, and the reason you chose a 650 Ninja over an Aprillia RSV4 for track riding is because your smokin' hot naturally large breasted woman said the Ninja is so cute, then by all means, ride race tires.

(God, I'm gonna get flamed for this one. :lol: )
barbos
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby barbos » Mon Dec 19, 2011 2:11 pm

Image
After
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby After » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:49 pm

Bridgestone 003 RS
Pirelli diablo supercorsa SP
Michelin power one(street)
Dunlop d211 GP RACER
Metzeler racetec K3


I vote for GP racer :2020
M13
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby M13 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:50 pm

Well my last tires were the Dunlop Alpha 10 and I'm guessing they are comparable to some of the street tires you are mentioning. And they were sliding out on the corners on a regular basis...I pretty much just got used to sliding in corners. Then I put some Diablo Superbikes on and low and behold no more sliding. What's that? An amateur like me is using race tires?!? And they are actually working and not sliding out due to my inability to maintain high operating temperatures?!? How is this even possible???

See? I can be condescending as well. Although being older than 16, I generally choose not to.

Anyway...the Superbike tires work VERY well. But I am concerned about the fact that they are made to be used only once or twice and then thrown away.....and I'm using them week after week on the track. So that's why I want something that isn't pure race....that's why I made this thread....and I was hoping that someone who has tried a few different tires could share some of their knowledge on the subject.

I hear that when a full race tires starts to lose its grip...there is no warning. One day you're on the track doing fine....then next day you lowslide. So I'm thinking I should get something with more consistent performance.

And I don't fully understand the logic behind "Track days aren't the same as racing" if I'm doing lap times that are equal to the racers.....then what's the difference? I'm guessing in an actual race I'd be going slower due to traffic.....I often have the track to myself on weekdays and can run non-stop good lap times. In a race my lap times would be slower.

And I apologize if the title is misleading by saying "race tires" I should have written "track tires".

It's odd how the racers can be so quick to talk down to someone they don't know about track days not being comparable to race days......for all they know I could fly around the track quicker than they do on an actual race day (I don't...but still).
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Retro Rocketeer
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby Retro Rocketeer » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:52 pm

Mission accomplished. Too easy. :wave:
M13
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby M13 » Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:19 pm

Retro Rocketeer wrote:Mission accomplished. Too easy. :wave:



Yep, you made a post that incited some debate. It's not exactly an accomplishment worth bragging about. And now it seems that when the discussion has started and I've refuted more than a few of your statements....you're going to run off tail between legs and slapping yourself on the back. How quaint.
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Retro Rocketeer
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby Retro Rocketeer » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:10 am

Tail between legs? OK, whatever.

Don't exactly know what you've refuted, as your true understanding of race tires is reflected in your response. There's more to race tires than just some extra side grip. My being an ass in my condescending and belittling tone is beside the point.

Fact is, you should be able to ride comparable lap times on performance tires to what the club racers are running on race tires. Track days with clear rode and time to think allow you optimal lines and low stress. Been there. The Ninja comes with 1970's suspension, a liquid cooled version of a 1970's motor, held together with a 1980's frame. Tire technology leaves MotoGP testing and makes it to the streets in two years. The current breed of performance/track day tires are decades ahead of your bike.

Re-read the first parts of my response, even between the lines, and you'll find it all true and sound.

I can bare the weight of your hatin'.
M13
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby M13 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:15 pm

Retro Rocketeer wrote:Tail between legs? OK, whatever.

Don't exactly know what you've refuted, as your true understanding of race tires is reflected in your response. There's more to race tires than just some extra side grip. My being an ass in my condescending and belittling tone is beside the point.

Fact is, you should be able to ride comparable lap times on performance tires to what the club racers are running on race tires. Track days with clear rode and time to think allow you optimal lines and low stress. Been there. The Ninja comes with 1970's suspension, a liquid cooled version of a 1970's motor, held together with a 1980's frame. Tire technology leaves MotoGP testing and makes it to the streets in two years. The current breed of performance/track day tires are decades ahead of your bike.

Re-read the first parts of my response, even between the lines, and you'll find it all true and sound.

I can bare the weight of your hatin'.



So the final conclusion of your long tirade is to buy Pilot Power 2CT ? Even though I've stated that performance tires were sliding out on me regularly and it was only when I started using race tires that it stopped?
M13
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby M13 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:56 pm

Also...I have a serious question. You say that even though on track days you can do the same lap times (if not better) than on a race day.....you still need the more grippy tire for race day as on track days you have less stress and are able to ride more smoothly....as opposed to a race day where you sometimes need to unexpectedly change your line?

Well...by that logic then noobs should need full race tires MORE than actual pro-racers. Since Pro-Racers are very smooth and predictable in what they do. While noobs on the other hand often make errors which can cause the tires to loose traction and break grip.

At the track I ride at I often see people around me sliding out in the corners due to rider error.....BUT.....if they had better tires on maybe they'd have more room for error.

As I've said before.....I'm no pro....but when using Street/Track tires I found my rear tire sliding out in the corners regularly. But when I changed to full Race tires.....it stopped. Night and day.

But according to you I SHOULDN'T be using Race tires.....and I should in fact switch back to Street/Track tires. Am I right in my understanding of your logic?
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Retro Rocketeer
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Re: Best Race Tires?

Postby Retro Rocketeer » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:13 pm

I reread what I originally wrote. You realize, everything you are accusing me of saying, I never said. You are inferring a lot. I never said you should or shouldn't do anything. I only offered comment and perhaps some "devil's advocate". Just because I'm a racer doesn't mean I'm talking down, or better than, or trashing Track Day riders. It does mean that I have spent the money, and made the commitment, and that is no small feat for as long as I've been at it. Enough though. Lets get this back on the original track.

Its easy to summarize what I originally wrote: Race tires take a lot of time, experience, energy, and money to utilize. There are a lot of good track day tires out there that will get the job done without having to spend the extra money.

So, if you want to get more grip, its going to have to come from 1, 2, or all of 3 things; technique, setup, or tires. If you are having traction problems, why? Body weight? Wrong springs? Suspension setup? Wrong tire choice? Throttle usage? Worn bike parts? There are other reasons and the list can go on.

Its not uncommon to throw on some race tires and get some results. Some of those results are more mental than you may imagine, but there are real traction results too. Back to my original post though, are you prepared to really use the tires, take care of them, and are you prepared to pay the price in constant setup? All of those things cost real money beyond the price of the tires. Again, my money point. Race tires are unforgiving when it comes to poor suspension, chassis setup, and rider technique. Wrong setup will turn a brand new rear tire into a one day tire even on a 650.

There are other costs too, though less noticable. All that traction gets transferred in forces throughout the chassis. There will be more chain, bearing, and suspension wear. More money again.

Maybe you already have tire warmers (gotta have if you use race rubber), good to awesome suspension, know how to adjust your own suspension, and are a good rider. If you have the money, then like I already said. Do It.

The suggestion I made, is look at the track day tires closer. Just because you are loosing grip may not mean its the tire. What else could cause the problem? Maybe that particular brand isn't best suited to the Ninja or your riding style. Just throwing on a race tire and getting that initial confidence may actually be masking another problem. Does your shock suck? Does your expensive shock need rebuilt? Is the weight distributed properly to allow traction to the rear on acceleration? You say you've been riding well already on "performance" tires. I make adjustments to the chassis and suspension almost every race weekend because something about me, the track, or the bike has changed. Has something changed?

Remember this fact. Trackday/street supersport tires are more forgiving. I'm really repeating myself here, but you don't just throw on a set of DOT races and go. It takes a whole other level of commitment, or you're just throwing cash in the trash.

There are spec classes around the world that use trackday tires to keep costs down and keep the grids equal. How do they make their lap times fast and stay upright? Suspension. Buy the suspension, learn how it works, then throw on the race rubber. You will just burn your bank the other way around. I don't know if you've already done this, only you do. (I see guys practice on trackday tires, then use race tires for racing. Its a suspension nightmare. That's a different story.)

(Debating whether I should use one of those yellow faces on this particular reply. :problem: )

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