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Thread: Tires?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    New Hartford
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    Default Tires?

    How do you know when it's time to change your track bike tires?

    I imagine the obvious answer is "when they start sliding", but being the slow guy I am, I think if my tires ever slide, it will be too late. Or at the very least I'll need a change of leathers.

    My tires are Metzeler Sportec M3, they have four track days, minimal street miles, and are two years old. It was raining my first day on the bike, so I think we can count that as zero heat cycles. The last day and a half I'd consider fast red group. The tires show no wear, and only on the last few sessions showed just the slightest sign of feathering, not quite gum balling.

    Is there a certain age or number of track days you change tires, regardless of how they feel or look?

  2. #2
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    Oct 2006
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    Meriden
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    Default

    Post a picture of the tread
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  3. #3
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    I change them right after I get up off the ground, duh!
    Central Mass Powersports #123

  4. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    union ct
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    Default

    Certainly look for cracking in between the tread. Wear indicators should also be looked at as well. Track day tires will wear on the sides faster that the middle obviously so check the indicators on the side tread. If I was close on one side but not the other I would consider a replacement.
    Piece of mind comes into play too. If your worried about your tires but can't see a reason to replace them yet but still worry about them then its time to replace.
    I will remind you that tire pressures play a huge part in wear and feel. If you think your sliding or they feel mushy I would look at your pressures closely. Last week at palmer my cold pressure was about 24 but my hot pressure was about 34. Not too bad but the one session on did on my normal 32 psi cold gave me a hot pressure of nearly 50psi. No wonder the bike was sliding on the tires.

  5. #5
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    Berlin Ct.
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    I would ask a tech when you are at the inspection at the trackday. they have a good sense and will usually say something if they feel you are on bad tires.

  6. #6
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    Your description says they are probably fine, at your current pace. A picture is, as they say, worth 1000 words.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Like I said, I have a bad habit of being slow. The tires literally look almost brand new. I'm curious when age or heat cycles kill traction by hardening the rubber. I know I'm good for another few track days, but 1-2 or another season is my question. I don't have experience "at the limit", so I don't know that I will recognize the mushy/squirming/sliding before I ball it up.

  8. #8
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    Heat cycles are a thing of the past.

    I wouldn't worry about age until you can see cracking.
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  9. #9
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    Smutty is very right, about race tires. Street tires a little different, and you will lose performance before they reach the wear bars. It does not sound like you are there yet, and generally feel, not looks, will dictate that. Barring wanting to find the limit of traction on the existing tire, you may want to replace them when you've hit your personal threshold for confidence in them.

  10. #10
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    I think heat cycles are more an issue on specific track/race tires. For street tires, like the ones you have, I think regular wear would be the limiting factor long before heat cycle aging. For bike that sees the track regularly, I wouldn't go past ~4 year old tires. For a purely street bike, I'd stretch it a little longer, maybe 5-6 years, as long as they looked/felt in good shape with good tread.

    The beginning of this year, I replaced the Pilot Powers which were on my CBR, probably ~80% tread left, and I think they were about 3 years old. I got a deal for a pair of Dunlop Q3's for about $175, and I wanted the extra confidence in the turns, since I was never really 100% trusting the tires since I didn't know the previous owner of the bike. I plan on using them on my FZ6 when the current tires reach the end of their life.

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