dot race / trackday tyres

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gixxtrixx
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dot race / trackday tyres

#1 Unread post by gixxtrixx »

Hello,
Last year I was a novice racer with the MRA and USBA/MoM at Miller, Pueblo, and Hastings. On my GSXR 600, I used Michelin PRC front and PR5 rear. This year I will be with WMRRA in Washington state at Pacific Raceways where the temps will be lower and often damp as well. Which dot supersport tires would be better for these conditions? Please don't respond just for the sake of your own sponsers. Painful as it is, most of us have to pay out hard cash.

Another question that I have is which tire to use for trackdays? I would still like performance but a less expensive tire that I can get many laps on (still considering cooler and wet track conditions). If money wasn't an object, well of course I would use the best performing tire; but as I progress along the learning-curve (attending many trackdays) I need a tire that provides VALUE performance.

My last question is on pricing of tires. As a novice, a new racer pays a high price for tires. This year, moving up to expert as a graduated novice, I suspect I'll still be paying quite a lot for tires. But it often it feels like I am getting ripped-off by extra-inflated prices. What is the range of pricing that I should expect to pay at the track for dot supersport tires? Any help here would be great. Please remove the seemingly 'shady' veil. Are there any alternative purchasing methods (e.g. direct purchasing, discount program) that you can recommend? I know the easiest way is to win expert classes, but realistically that's going to be a while. This is a huge concern for me in my future roadracing career.

Thanks for your advise. :)

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#2 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

I haven't ridden on any of the current hot rubber, and in fact have not roadraced since 2000, when i picked up an R6 to check out how nicely bikes had evolved since my last racing days on an FZR400...

Anyhow, my buddy has been a race track tire supplier here in Canada for a few years now and he keeps me filled in on the usual scene when we are chatting about stuff... key thing he's noticed that kills people is not realizing that different tires can work very well on a range of bikes, but often require very different, or very subtle changes to the bike setup due to changes in construction, profiles, compounds, measured sized vs. spec'd size, etc... i have about 4 seasons of roadracing experience under my belt and have beaten many people on a wide range of second-rate tires, in part because I was pretty decent at chassis setup and getting the most out of what i had on a very tight privateer budget.

One thing I noticed in my last race season was that even the new second-rate rubber I was on was still no match for the then-current TAKE OFF (that is USED rubber taken off a guys bike with more $$$ than I have, i.e. a sponsored pro who goes through 10 or 20 tires a day)... i could be driving out of a corner catching a guy mid-corner and getting hard on the throttle starting to spin and slide, while another guy would just be getting on the throttle and he'd be pulling away. Then I'd go check out his tire situation, etc... and often find the newer Dunlop D364s he was using were take-offs from another rider. (note this tire is about 4 generations old now)... so... the lowest price is to get take-offs... a pro rider will get the most out of a set of tires and after one heat-cycle on the track they loose something like 2-seconds per lap... SOOOO unless you are lapping within 2-seconds of a guy like Miguel DuHamel you will never be capable of noticing the difference.

The quick and easy advice for you BUY USED :-)

nuf said.

advice part 2 -- put gas in the bike, learn to adjust everything, keep it well maintained and tuned, keep physically and mentally fit, and just ride your "O Ring" off for 5 or 10 laps; then think about what you did, and keep putting fuel in the thing and riding harder; push it hard in practice so that you are ready to push it hard during the race; save money for the inevitable crashes, because if you are really riding well enough to improve, sh** will happen. and if your not riding well enough to improve, who cares about what tires you're on.

part 3 --- write a racing resume, get some decent ACTION photography and TEAM photography, create something focused, much like a work resume, print up some promo materials, and go knocking, digging, smiling for sponsors... etc... then keep adding kit to your race stuff.


additional info added:

for the cooler track conditions, you merely have to go with a softer compound, i dont know anything about the current Michelin's but every manufacturer should currently make Soft, Medium, hard; i.e. cool conditions, mid-temps and then Hard for endurance or high-speed/hi-G Daytona-like tire temps.

also, instead of used track spec tires, Motorcyclist magazined tested and proved quite conculsively that the highest spec sport street equivalnet in Michelin's line-up a few years ago was for everyone with the exception of (real) pro racers more than adequate and unlike pure race stuff was able to heat-cycle MANY times and easily provide something like 5 times the mileage with little change in performance. THe street tire generally has more tread grooves so is also better in the wet, however with the current state of specialization in DOT approved soft-compound rain tires on the market you can't touch a true Rain tire or even Intermediate design in the wet with those designed for dry conditions.

another thing though, on track days, if you shag a tire to death, you will learn ALOT more about the true nature of the handling of your bike on the limit, because you will be able to reach the limit much more easily and be forced to learn to slide front and rear wheels controllably or bite it trying. Either way, it's all good.
"Zounds! Zorched by Zarches, Spaceman Spiff's crippled craft crashes on planet Plootarg!"

For Sale: Ninja 600 with parts bike, needs minor work, $30, no title... (GEE THAT DOESNT RING ANY WARNING BELLS DOES IT?)

gixxtrixx
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#3 Unread post by gixxtrixx »

Quiet, this is probably some of the best advise that i've ever received. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm going to take action on your advice. This weekend i'll be walking the pits looking for recent takeoffs from the riders that always ride fresh rubber. I've also committed to more trackdays this year and hopefully will not see more then 2 weeks at most off the track this season. I'm going to volunteer working corners to get some track time as well. I'll be working on the sponsers too. Vortex and LP have been really cool so far helping me out. Panolin has offered too, but I'm a little concerned about putting their relatively new sync oils in my bike, since i only have one.

About running sport street tires. My concern would be that they would be slower to build heat during track sessions and that their highest temps would be significantly lower. Do you know if I would be able to use my tire warmers on sport street tires? Maybe on a lower temp setting? Have you ever heard of other doing this? Thanks!

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#4 Unread post by QuietMonkey »

gixxtrixx wrote:About running sport street tires. My concern would be that they would be slower to build heat during track sessions and that their highest temps would be significantly lower. Do you know if I would be able to use my tire warmers on sport street tires? Maybe on a lower temp setting? Have you ever heard of other doing this? Thanks!
I was going to edit my post and add a tidbit but forgot.

Another advantage of every street compound tire vs. todays race-spec is they stick BETTER at lower temps and they HEAT UP QUICKER than the race-spec stuff. Where tire-warmers make a huge difference on a cold race-spec tire (Michelin's are like rocks when cold - two laps of hell).

The tire warmers will work just fine on the Street tires too - yeah set warmers at slightly lower temp. The difference in the high-temp capability of the race spec tires is where that last 2-seconds of lap-times comes in, but realistically this isnt an issue until you are capable of riding consistently at the speeds of the top guys. You won't overheat your tire if using the correct tire pressures. The suspension may need different settings and slightly different tire pressures because the carcass construction of the street tires is a little different.

Try to buy tires from as few sources as possible. The riders with the best support can afford to change tires more frequently and more consistently than guys with lower budgets, and you can get the exact same tires all the time so you can nail down your suspension settings. After awhile you'll learn to read the look of a tire to tell if it's been overheated severely etc... excessive bluing, shagged rubber flack, etc... takes awhile to learn, and some tires brands can look rough when they are still OK, while others are toast.

You'll learn to read the sidewall for the tire differences, where two people could look at a tire and think they are identical, another person will see the subtle differences. Tire manufacturers put little codes on them which tell you EVERYTHING about the tire. i.e. midway through a season they change a tire, which might mean good deals on old ones; the newer version may be what you want, however, as is sometimes the case in racing, the OLDER one might be the one you want too :) if only because adding an unknown in the mix makes it more difficult for you to develop as a rider.

The above deal is another reason why buying new street-compound tires is a good idea... they are cheaper, last longer and you can get them new, thus you always know where you are starting from as far as tire condition.

note: Kevin Schwantz once test rode a new GSXR750, in something like 2003 for one of the major motorcycle mag's, and he said with that stock bike in street trim, he felt he couldve won the Daytona 200 SUPERBIKE race which he had won in 1990 (or thereabouts)) and he added, even on the current DOT race rubber vs. the race slicks they ran in 1990. That's a pretty good sign on the current state of sportbikes and sport-tires 10 or 15 years down the road compared with full-on race kit.
"Zounds! Zorched by Zarches, Spaceman Spiff's crippled craft crashes on planet Plootarg!"

For Sale: Ninja 600 with parts bike, needs minor work, $30, no title... (GEE THAT DOESNT RING ANY WARNING BELLS DOES IT?)

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