Tire Temperature Monitors

Discussion in 'Tech Forum' started by Kurt, Dec 2, 2018.

  1. Kurt

    Kurt Member

    Looking for recommendations...

    First--is it a good idea to use tire temperature monitors on the track, and will it pass tech inspection?

    Next--What would be a good choice for an accurate, waterproof system? (I will still ride in a light rain.)

    Explanation--due to limited trailer space and weight capacity (I tow the bike behind a Gold Wing), I don't use tire warmers, so I'll take the first couple of laps off-pace, or until "I think" the tires are up to temperature. I never really know when, or if I can fully trust them.

    Just FYI--I use Dunlop Q3+, and/or Q4 tires on a BMW S1000RR. I contacted Pirelli for their best recommendation of tires a few weeks ago, and to date, I can not seem to get a reply from them.
  2. adotjdot

    adotjdot Control Rider ATP/3C

    Hey Kurt, great question. This relates to something that comes up in the ATP class all the time. The question of tires being "up to temperature" and when you know that you can use them to their optimal grip level. So, here is how we need to look at the situation. What would knowing the specific temperature of the tire provide us? Just a number. What we really need to know is where is our limit of grip. We do not know this...ever. I cannot look at a specific tire temperature number or track surface condition and say for certain that I know exactly how much brake pressure or throttle application to use. So how do I approach this? I constantly need to SNEAK UP on that limit of grip. Gradual application of the controls to build up to these limits in a linear fashion is the only way we can safely approach available grip.

    So while a tire temp system might tell you a number, that number is irrelevant to how you should be applying the control to find that limit of grip. I run Q3+'s on my FZ1 for coaching. I too spend a couple of laps building heat into my tires. But even having confidence that my tires are up to temperature, I do not then proceed to push as hard as I can. Watch GP racing. They show the overlay of the controls when they are on the rider cameras. They are always applying their controls smoothly, and linearly. Even though they are coming right off tire warmers and riding at full tire temp throughout the race. You mentioned that you never know when you can fully trust your tires. That is great! You never should fully trust your tires. You should trust in your ability to apply your controls in a linear fashion so that you can sneak up on your available limit of grip, regardless of where that limit might be. Rain, cold, hot, DOT's, slicks...shouldn't matter. Always be sneaking up on that limit...because none of us know where that limit is!
    Kurt, chrisplm and HondaGalToo like this.
  3. Kurt

    Kurt Member

    That is an absolutely awesome way to put it, A.J. Thank you!!
    Even though it's "nothing but a number", can't I still expect a different "limit of grip" when that number is higher, than I can when it's lower?
    Yes, smooth will make you faster, but fast will never make you smooth. Definitely agreed, and that's what I preach as well.
    Again, thanks for the much appreciated wisdom.

    Hey A.J., do you have the dates and prices for your Yamaha Champions classes at NJMP yet?
  4. adotjdot

    adotjdot Control Rider ATP/3C

    Kurt, having confidence in our tires is huge. One of the ways we build that confidence is making sure our tires are up to their optimal operating temperature. That is why we run tire warmers on race tires. We know that they need to be within a specific operating temperature to get the most out of them. Without warmers, we would need to spend a longer period of time building heat into them before we could start to push the limits of the tire. So let's say we know what the optimal tire temperature is for a given tire. And let's say we can get that tire up to that temperature in some way...warmers, building heat with a few laps, etc. And let's say we have a way to monitor that while on track and know that we are in that optimal range. Now what....? Do we push? Do we put all of our faith in the fact that the tire is warm? What if the tire is warm but the track surface is cold, or wet? What about how we are using the controls on the bike? Are we being abrupt? Are we trail-braking? Tire temperature is only one aspect of available grip.

    So to answer your question...yes. We should be able to expect a higher level of grip from a tire that is within it's optimal operating temperature. But we always need to keep in mind that that number is only one factor to our limit of grip. We still do not know where that limit is. So while we may be able to sneak up on that limit a bit more aggressively, we still need to sneak up on it.

    To answer your other question, the 2019 schedule is out now. Check the link below for dates and prices. Notice that we have a couple of PITT Race events in there as well!
  5. Kurt

    Kurt Member

    Thanks once again A.J.!
    I pretty much have these things covered, and I preach the same sermon to others. However, continuous practice and reminders are always welcome.

    Here's why I'm asking...
    When I enter the track, the temps are low. When I exit, they're higher.
    At exiting track temps, I have more trust in their grip than I do at entry temps. Is that me? Maybe--I might even say "probably". Never the less, I store more faith is warmer tires than I do colder ones, and I ride better with a higher level of faith.

    Question-1: When do they come up to exiting temps?
    Answer-1: Maybe within a lap.
    Answer-2: Perhaps a couple of laps are enough.
    Answer-3: We don't know.
    Question-2: I'd love to go to Barber over Thanksgiving weekend. With the cooler weather and lower road surface temps, how will I know if the tires ever get up, until I come off the track and check them?

    All we know is entry, and exit temps, but we have no idea when the tires arrive at those exit temps.
    I'm really not asking if a temp monitor will replace all other riding skills and techniques.
    I'm good with sneaking up on lean angle & grip, staying smooth on the controls, etc., etc.

    Let's roll back to the original question:
    "First--is it a good idea to use tire temperature monitors on the track, and will it pass tech inspection?"

    Is anyone currently using them?
  6. adotjdot

    adotjdot Control Rider ATP/3C

    Hey Kurt, to go back to your original question first, I am not aware of any rules that would deny you the ability to run a tire temp system. As long as the system is properly installed and secured to the bike, it should pass a tech inspection. I would have a concern with it though. I would not want it to be a distraction to you while on track. If you are looking to use it as a way to check your tire temps after a few laps, that would take your focus and attention off of the track. Again, don’t get me wrong, it’s good to feel confident that our tires are in their optimal operating temperature. I would just not want to be trying to check this while out on track. If the system had a very easy to read display where a quick glance would provide the info you need that would be better. Just remember, this is just a part of the equation and I would not want knowing your tires are up to temperature to give you a false sense of security and create overconfidence.

    As for your other questions...
    Question 1: We have to work the carcass of the tire hard to build heat. That means building brake pressure and acceleration while the bike is straight up and down. Let me clarify. Hard acceleration while bike is upright, hard braking while bike is upright. We are still trail-braking into the corner, and gradually adding throttle on exit, just not as aggressively and with less lean angle until we give the tires a chance to heat up. So the answer is “it depends.” If you are able to build this stress into the carcass properly, you can get more heat into the tire quicker. So a Q3 can heat up pretty quickly. A DOT race tire will take longer if you are not coming off warmers. So we can’t really say one lap, two laps...etc. It all depends.

    Question 2: I just got back from Barber. A bit cold in the morning and the afternoon, and a bit of moisture on the track so conditions were not optimal. Which means the conditions were changing throughout the day. I conditions like this, you may be able to get your tires up to a decent temp in the morning but the track is still cold and could have moisture on it. So in these type of conditions, you may never get the tires up to their optimal operating temperature. What do we do then? Comes back to the idea of sneaking up on those limits. Again, tire temp is only a piece of the equation. Example: Let’s say optimal tire temp is 180 degrees. But let’s say I can never get the tires up to that temp. What do I do if the temp is only 160? What about only 120? Does this tell me how hard to push those limits? No. Again, it’s just a number. It doesn’t tell the whole story.

    Bottom line, work the tires hard while the bike is straight up and down to build as much heat as you can before being more aggressive on entry and exits. Gradually add speed and lean angle so you are never jumping past that level of available grip. Linear, smooth inputs so that we can better feel as we approach those limits.
    Kurt likes this.

Share This Page