Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
Rep Power: 1
Lack of chicken strips are over-rated.
Firstly, around my place I need to do 80-90 mph around the corners away from civilization just to get down to about a 1/2 inch strip. There's no tigher corners away from people here. I'm not willing to go faster than that and risk loosing my bike and license or worse just to satisfy my ego with the track boys and those that rip it carelessly in populated areas.
If there were tight 2nd and 3rd gear turns around here than my tires might appear a little less poultry-orientated. Those of you with backyard playgrounds with such bends, I'm jealous.
Secondly, anyone can use up more of their tire tread by using improper body-mechanics, i.e. not getting their body on the inside. Alternatively, a rider can choose lines to tighten the radius of the turns for the sake of getting more lean, sacrificing proper corner entry visibility, etc.
Thirdly, for the above reasons and more, I find it offensive when people make comments that riders with chicken strips aren't safe riders. I know several life-long sport riders with 1/2" strips and some of these guys are long-term safety instructors.
Fourthly, there are WT members here that stated that they weren't able to use all their tire until they did suspension upgrades. So bike and bike status must also be considered.
Call me chicken, I don't care. One track day on my PR2's and I'm sure the strips would be gone.
Back to OP question, Chicken strip origin - I always assumed that the genesis was that the larger the strip, the more chicken (afraid) the rider is to get the bike leaned, i.e. go fast around the bends.