Track Day Tire Selection - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 27 Old 07-24-2015, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Track Day Tire Selection

So, I realize tire discussions are contentious, but I'm hoping my specific use case can help keep things useful and on topic...

I'm looking for suggestions for track only rubber. I picked up a 2009 GSXR 750 this week, and will only be using it for track days and maybe eventually racing. I know little to nothing about sport rubber, as I've always ridden with longevity and wet grip as premiums on the street. I'm looking for something that will give me good grip, but also semi-decent life, and I don't need super duper best of the best as I'm not an AMA level rider (yet )

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post #2 of 27 Old 07-24-2015, 08:17 AM
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Shinko Smokebombs, all the pros are doing it!

I kid I kid. I can't outperform q3s, so don't see the need to go to a race compound.

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post #3 of 27 Old 07-24-2015, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beefsalad View Post
Shinko Smokebombs, all the pros are doing it!

I kid I kid. I can't outperform q3s, so don't see the need to go to a race compound.
One of my good friends runs those (the Q3's) as his sometimes street mostly track tire and really likes them... and I like the price as well, right now those are my likely fall back, but figured it wouldn't hurt to ask for suggestions. appreciate the input.

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post #4 of 27 Old 07-24-2015, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
So, I realize tire discussions are contentious, but I'm hoping my specific use case can help keep things useful and on topic...

I'm looking for suggestions for track only rubber. I picked up a 2009 GSXR 750 this week, and will only be using it for track days and maybe eventually racing. I know little to nothing about sport rubber, as I've always ridden with longevity and wet grip as premiums on the street. I'm looking for something that will give me good grip, but also semi-decent life, and I don't need super duper best of the best as I'm not an AMA level rider (yet )

Ready GO!
I suggest you start by going to Motorcycle USA | motorcycle-usa.com and find 2015 Sport Motorcycle Tire Shootout.
Then fish about for other comparisons you might find.

The more extreme the tire, the more sensitive it is to temperature and chassis setup.
Stay away from anything that needs tire warmers.
Top end street rubber will be fine to start with.
If I was buying street tires today for dual purpose use, they would be Dunlop Q3s instead of the Michelins I've used for the last 10 years.
I'm not up on dedicated track day tires.
Your first set of tires will not be the limiting factor for your riding, the limit will be you and your setup.

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post #5 of 27 Old 02-18-2016, 10:14 PM
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Without a doubt Pirelli super corsa sc2 , fantastic track tire . They are expensive but worth it. Q3 are still very good but not as good as the SC2's .
What is even more important is getting the right tire pressure for the track . You want rear tire about 4-5 psi gain from a cold tire to getting off the track hot tire . 3-4 psi gain front tire. If you use tire warmer It should only gain about a pound . If you are not gaining enough psi lower your pressures to much gain raise pressures. Each tire and track will be different . Typical front tire pressures should be between 29-32 hot, rear vary a lot 21-30 hot . Dunlops like low pressures and Bridgestone like higher pressure . The super corsa's are in the middle. As you get faster usually you need to increase pressures slightly in the rear .

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post #6 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 06:55 AM
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My track bike came with nearly new Bridgestone slicks on it. Since this is a 'dry only' tire, I'm considering swapping out to something like the Q3 early so I don't have to worry about rain and/or damp track conditions. Ideally, I'd have a second set of wheels... but I don't.

Not to jack your thread. But is this a good idea, or should I just 'use' the tires I have and just sit out when it gets wet?



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post #7 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 07:48 AM
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I won't ride the track if it's wet . In fact I usually sit out the first session of the day , even the first few session in the morning most tracks or slick.
If the track is wet you are just going to go around slow and I don't find that fun or helpful. Now if you have pure track rain tires that's different

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post #8 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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I ended up getting a set of the pirelli superbike pro's, basically an endurance slick, ran it the last two track days of last year without warmers and had no complaints, and based on other's experience they should last a good while. My next set will have to be changing up again as I'm likely getting my race licence in July and slicks aren't allowed in the class I'll be running in.

Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle - Hunter S. Thompson
I just mı̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̨ade you wipe your screen.
-2009 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Race Bike
-2007 Honda 919
-1995 Nighthawk 750 (Tboned)
-1983 KZ 440 (Sold)
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crakerjac View Post
My track bike came with nearly new Bridgestone slicks on it. Since this is a 'dry only' tire, I'm considering swapping out to something like the Q3 early so I don't have to worry about rain and/or damp track conditions. Ideally, I'd have a second set of wheels... but I don't.

Not to jack your thread. But is this a good idea, or should I just 'use' the tires I have and just sit out when it gets wet?
Depends what your luck is like... I ran 4 track days last year and only saw rain once... and that was after I had already crashed out for the day... my buddy ran 8 track days last year and he saw rain at every one except the two he did with me. It's always nice to not have to spend more money when you don't need to, but if you have frequent rain those tires aren't going to be good for you because even a damp track won't be fun with slicks... I'm likely going to get a second set of wheels this year to mount up some rains... so basically my answer is that I don't have a good answer...

Love is the feeling you get when you like something as much as your motorcycle - Hunter S. Thompson
I just mı̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̸̨ade you wipe your screen.
-2009 Suzuki GSX-R 750 Race Bike
-2007 Honda 919
-1995 Nighthawk 750 (Tboned)
-1983 KZ 440 (Sold)
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 09:45 AM
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I ran 14 track days last year and seen rain once after lunch , Unfortunately it was at Cota .

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post #11 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by luker669 View Post
I won't ride the track if it's wet . In fact I usually sit out the first session of the day , even the first few session in the morning most tracks or slick.
If the track is wet you are just going to go around slow and I don't find that fun or helpful. Now if you have pure track rain tires that's different
If you are running dry slicks, I could understand that. But if there is a chance to ride in the rain on the track with decent tires, do it! I learned a lot just from doing a track day or two in the rain and it's amazing what the bike can still do in wet conditions.

It's also very good practice for being ultra smooth with all inputs. This will translate to you being faster when it's dry.

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post #12 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Pvster View Post
If you are running dry slicks, I could understand that. But if there is a chance to ride in the rain on the track with decent tires, do it! I learned a lot just from doing a track day or two in the rain and it's amazing what the bike can still do in wet conditions.

It's also very good practice for being ultra smooth with all inputs. This will translate to you being faster when it's dry.
I agree with Pvester, as long as you are on good street tires that have some degree of wet orientation.
It's the best way to find out what your bike can do in the wet on the road.
I was absolutely shocked to feel serious grip from my Michelin Pures while on a full wet track.
As in turning, braking and accelerating.
Once I had a clue about the grip levels, my perception of wet riding was radically changed forever.

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post #13 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
Once I had a clue about the grip levels, my perception of wet riding was radically changed forever.
Agreed! And not just wet riding, dry riding as well! If it had that much traction in the wet, you can most certainly push it much further in the dry. The amount of grip that modern quality tires provide today is just unbelievable.

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post #14 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 11:26 AM
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I guess I'm just bias about the wet , I have hundreds of thousands miles on the street and have gone down only twice , both times in the rain .

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post #15 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
I ended up getting a set of the pirelli superbike pro's, basically an endurance slick, ran it the last two track days of last year without warmers and had no complaints, and based on other's experience they should last a good while. My next set will have to be changing up again as I'm likely getting my race licence in July and slicks aren't allowed in the class I'll be running in.
I see two basic schools of thought as being worthy of consideration.
A
Buy DOTs and Warmers BUT be aware that bonafide race tires are way more sensitive to tire and chassis settings and rider induced heat input.
B
Buy street tires to start, then move to race tires once you can properly exploit them and have the supporting resource of warmers.
The Q3s warm up fast and you can get away without warmers, warmup lap will build heat, lap 1 should get you close, lap 2 for sure gummed up nice.
The Rosso Corso take much longer to heat up, if I was going to race on those I'd want warmers otherwise you give up way too much time re your race's total elapsed time.
Regardless, if no warmers are in your program, get some tire socks and use those to help retain as much heat as you can.
Also, if no warmers, orient your bike on your stands such that the length of the bike is 90 degrees to the sun.
(meaning pit area selection becomes part of the equation)
If cold and windy, drape the bike with a blanket.

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post #16 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by luker669 View Post
I guess I'm just bias about the wet , I have hundreds of thousands miles on the street and have gone down only twice , both times in the rain .
If nothing else, all the more reasons to do a track day in the rain! It will change your perception of how to ride in the wet in the street.

The very first time I did a track day in the rain, I was leaned so far over I was grinding my engine cage and I had no idea the entire day! It taught me that I actually could get knee down if I wanted to. It also taught me that at a slower speed, I was leaning over more and instead I needed to lean off the bike more. The very next track day, I was getting knee down all day while not scraping my engine cage (for the most part).

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post #17 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by badmoon692008 View Post
I ended up getting a set of the pirelli superbike pro's, basically an endurance slick, ran it the last two track days of last year without warmers and had no complaints, and based on other's experience they should last a good while. My next set will have to be changing up again as I'm likely getting my race licence in July and slicks aren't allowed in the class I'll be running in.

Superbike Pro's are nothing like an endurance slick. They are a street tire without a tread pattern.

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post #18 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 12:21 PM
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If you just want a street tire than can handle wet weather then go get some Michelin Pilot Powers, the old school ones not the 2CT version which are more expensive and wear out faster. They are awesome in the wet with the only caveat is that you have to get them scrubbed in before the track gets wet!!!! If you don't have them scrubbed before the water hits the asphalt they are like riding on greased ice and impossible to scrub properly. They can also go from dry to wet back to dry without changing pressure. I use them when instructing and back when I was teaching in the South about 50% of my trackdays were in the rain especially at Barber... Excellent tires for up to low A-group pace and in my opinion the best ever front tire for teaching front end feel and feedback as they are extremely forgiving.

If you are thinking about getting into proper DOT race tires or slicks then make damn sure you invest in tire warmers first! Otherwise you are wasting the money on the race tires.

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post #19 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 12:27 PM
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@LDH, I read that the Michelin tires warm up much slower than something like the Q3s.

So if someone is looking at a 'track only' tire to run without warmers... You would still recommend the Powers?



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post #20 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by LDH View Post
If you just want a street tire than can handle wet weather then go get some Michelin Pilot Powers, the old school ones not the 2CT version which are more expensive and wear out faster. They are awesome in the wet with the only caveat is that you have to get them scrubbed in before the track gets wet!!!! If you don't have them scrubbed before the water hits the asphalt they are like riding on greased ice and impossible to scrub properly. They can also go from dry to wet back to dry without changing pressure. I use them when instructing and back when I was teaching in the South about 50% of my trackdays were in the rain especially at Barber... Excellent tires for up to low A-group pace and in my opinion the best ever front tire for teaching front end feel and feedback as they are extremely forgiving.
I had completely forgotten about the Powers, thinking they had been dropped.
I just looked at the Michelin website and see Power associated with three tires, the "2CT", the "3", and the "SuperSport".
So when you say Powers, do you actually mean Power SuperSports ?

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post #21 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 12:46 PM
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I am talking about the original Pilot Power tires the same tire they made a decade ago is still available today and pretty damn cheap! I tested them back to back with the 2CT version at Barber and my lap times did not change a bit, but the 2CT version wore out about twice as quick.

They warm up in about a lap or a lap and a half at most in normal conditions without warmers which is quicker than many race tires WITH warmers considering the prerequisite waiting around on the grid that cools the tires off that always happens at trackdays while they go pick up some dumbasses crashed bike
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 12:49 PM
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I am talking about the original Pilot Power tires the same tire they made a decade ago is still available today and pretty damn cheap! I tested them back to back with the 2CT version at Barber and my lap times did not change a bit, but the 2CT version wore out about twice as quick.

They warm up in about a lap or a lap and a half at most in normal conditions without warmers which is quicker than many race tires WITH warmers considering the prerequisite waiting around on the grid that cools the tires off that always happens at trackdays while they go pick up some dumbasses crashed bike
Thanks, and when you say still available, you mean still in production.
Also, have you had a chance to try the newer design SuperSports and have any comments on those?

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post #23 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
Thanks, and when you say still available, you mean still in production.
Also, have you had a chance to try the newer design SuperSports and have any comments on those?
Yes still in production.

I have not tried the absolute latest and greatest street tires from any of the big brands, but I did try their offerings just a couple years ago and found them all lacking in one way or the other. More grip would be compromised by lack of longevity or long warm up times where half your session is over by the time the tire comes up to temp and most of them don't have even half the grip of a Pilot Power in wet conditions. So... I keep using the Power Powers on my streetbikes and when I an needing intermediate rain tires at the track and they keep working just as good as when they came out all those years ago. Additionally I have a personal preference for the profile shape of the Michelin Tires. I find them to be very easy to set-up for most geometry requirements. They aren't as neutral as some tires are, but they respond well to aggressive trailbraking which I do a lot of.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by LDH View Post
Yes still in production.

I have not tried the absolute latest and greatest street tires from any of the big brands, but I did try their offerings just a couple years ago and found them all lacking in one way or the other. More grip would be compromised by lack of longevity or long warm up times where half your session is over by the time the tire comes up to temp and most of them don't have even half the grip of a Pilot Power in wet conditions. So... I keep using the Power Powers on my streetbikes and when I an needing intermediate rain tires at the track and they keep working just as good as when they came out all those years ago. Additionally I have a personal preference for the profile shape of the Michelin Tires. I find them to be very easy to set-up for most geometry requirements. They aren't as neutral as some tires are, but they respond well to aggressive trailbraking which I do a lot of.
Very helpful and my plans for Q3s this year just got changed, trusting I can get the old school Powers up here in The Great White North, and for a reasonable price.
I would not be surprised to find out the Importer doesn't bring them in.
I shall find out !

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post #25 of 27 Old 02-19-2016, 01:33 PM
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Awesome advice. Guess I'm going to go price out some Pilot Power 3s.



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post #26 of 27 Old 02-22-2016, 08:51 AM
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Cant edit my previous post, but I see that there LDH was talking about the 'Pilot Power' (Michelin Pilot Power Rear Tires - RevZilla) not the 'Pilot Power 3' (Michelin Pilot Power 3 Rear Tires - RevZilla). I thought they were one in the same since I cannot get the 'Pilot Power' in a 160 rear.



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post #27 of 27 Old 02-22-2016, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crakerjac View Post
Cant edit my previous post, but I see that there LDH was talking about the 'Pilot Power' (Michelin Pilot Power Rear Tires - RevZilla) not the 'Pilot Power 3' (Michelin Pilot Power 3 Rear Tires - RevZilla). I thought they were one in the same since I cannot get the 'Pilot Power' in a 160 rear.
You can get the Pilot Power 2CT version in the 160. They are only slightly more expensive than the original version.

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