Racing Slick "Bible"?

Otto Man

John
Control Rider
My opinion as a novice racing a 600 using Dunlops.

I have found the Dunlop R7, which is the ”medium” compound, to be easier to get right than the other compounds. By get right, I mean not tear for the given track surface, temperature, pressure, pace. And they normally last longer for me than a R5. So I use the R7 as my go to tire for trackdays.

I don’t care about longevity for racing, so I use the R5. If there are conditions where a R7 is better than the R5, I’m not good enough to know, so I just go with the R5. Maybe the softer R3 would be even better, but the R5 is not the thing holding me back. By a 4th race, I can feel that it‘s not as good as it was, but they are normally good enough to still use at a trackday.

For the front, I always just use the extra soft R3 because they last at least 2-3 rear tires. I want to change the front by then regardless of wear because I can’t feel when a front is going off. Rather play it safe. But I might rethink this soon because I’m noticing the front wear a lot more as I’m getting faster.

So, I’d say you can’t go wrong starting on the R7 rear / R3 front and then trying other compounds to see how it works for you. All you have to lose is a $450 set of tires. But you will lose so many of those either way…

Golden rule with fronts: When in doubt, change it out. So what if a front tire costs $200 new and you throw it away early? One might be able to argue that you could have done another 3-5 races on it, or another track day, 2 track days...whatever. So you "throw away" $60, $80, whatever, of "tire life" left in it. All it takes is one front end tuck and all of a sudden you're spending a hell of a lot more than a front tire.

It took me years to learn and feel when a front is going off. Years. Lots of laps. In short, the front will start to profile like a rear does when you go too long without flipping it, and the bike won't want to finish the corner because the profile. It's just much harder, if not impossible to see on a front tire because it's so much skinnier than a rear, so it's more a feel than visual. And no, don't ever think about flipping a front tire. If you flip front tires you probably flip condoms too.

I've learned to feel when the tires degrade in grip to a certain pace. For the front, I can feel the bikes resistance to finish a corner. And it feels much different under braking/trail braking. Too many times my friends and I will say "I got shit tires, I'm only good for 17s/18s/19s unless I swap out the front/rear"

But the grip demands are so vastly different. A worn front tire that's struggling to do 15s/16s at Summit will be able to do another 70 laps doing 18s. And after you did those 70 additional laps running 18's, it could do another 100 laps control riding. As long as the cords aren't showing, just about every N2 coach out there can coach with them.

So if you're racing and pushing for the podium, you will absolutely have a "worn out" tire that's no good to you but another rider might be about to get another 3 sessions, maybe whole track days even.

Again, situation dictates.
 

domarena33

Track Day Superstar
But the grip demands are so vastly different. A worn front tire that's struggling to do 15s/16s at Summit will be able to do another 70 laps doing 18s. And after you did those 70 additional laps running 18's, it could do another 100 laps control riding. As long as the cords aren't showing, just about every N2 coach out there can coach with them.

So if you're racing and pushing for the podium, you will absolutely have a "worn out" tire that's no good to you but another rider might be about to get another 3 sessions, maybe whole track days even.
This is priceless and I did not know this. Seems like speed and tire life follow an exponential curve :like:
 

Otto Man

John
Control Rider
It absolutely does. The less you ask out of the tire, the far longer it'll last.

A SC1 rear doing 1:30's at Summit will last a very, very long time. Wear will increase a bit dropping to 1:25's, and it'll wear faster going from 25's to 20's than it did from 30's to 25s. That same brand new SC1 will see more wear in the same given time frame going from 17's to 15's than it likely would going from 30's to 20's. That's how much harder you have to get on the gas to find those 2 seconds than the 10 to go from 30s to 20s.

It's why YCRS's discussion of "100 points of grip" is so critical, yet also extremely vague and answers nothing at the same time. It does an outstanding job of articulating why we lose traction, but it's literally impossible to tell every single rider just how much any given tire can grip in any given scenario. If someone could bless a rider with the knowledge of how exactly much they could brake/gas/lean in any given scenario, they would be a billionaire overnight. But that's impossible, which is why YCRS teaches the mechanics/fundamentals on how a motorcycle operates, so the rider knows why the bike is doing what it's doing in a given scenario.
 

domarena33

Track Day Superstar
It absolutely does. The less you ask out of the tire, the far longer it'll last.

A SC1 rear doing 1:30's at Summit will last a very, very long time. Wear will increase a bit dropping to 1:25's, and it'll wear faster going from 25's to 20's than it did from 30's to 25s. That same brand new SC1 will see more wear in the same given time frame going from 17's to 15's than it likely would going from 30's to 20's. That's how much harder you have to get on the gas to find those 2 seconds than the 10 to go from 30s to 20s.

It's why YCRS's discussion of "100 points of grip" is so critical, yet also extremely vague and answers nothing at the same time. It does an outstanding job of articulating why we lose traction, but it's literally impossible to tell every single rider just how much any given tire can grip in any given scenario. If someone could bless a rider with the knowledge of how exactly much they could brake/gas/lean in any given scenario, they would be a billionaire overnight. But that's impossible, which is why YCRS teaches the mechanics/fundamentals on how a motorcycle operates, so the rider knows why the bike is doing what it's doing in a given scenario.
very interesting and although they're not billionaires, I suppose the closest thing you could get to that perfection would be Rossi, Marquez and Rea. Thanks to everyone who commented. This thread shed alot of info on tires.
 

tdelegram

Control Rider
I'll add one thing to John's posts above, as tires wear out they get thinner, which means they are unable to dissipate heat as quickly as they were when they were new therefore, they start to wear even faster and less and less grip everything else above is accurate.
 
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