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Does not drive into smoke
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Discussion Starter #1
Do slick tires always require tire warmers?

Can tire warmers be used with street tires? Would it improve anything?
 

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I believe tire warmer's are used on slicks to get them up to temp before heading out on the track, and then in between sessions to keep them warm as they have less heat cycles. I doubt it would hurt to use them on the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I doubt it would hurt to use them on the street.
I have street tires on my track bike right now. I'm not sure if I want to buy two sets of racing tires: for dry and wet weather, so I'm contemplating just using street tires for track days.
 

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TIre warmers can be used in any tire, besides rain tires.

They just help to keep the tire warm so you can push first lap out already, usually race tires take a lot more to warm up than street tires, so you would be wasting track time trying to warm them up.
But the main reason is to keep the tire from hear cycling, some race tires dont like it.

I think Pirelli claims that this slick does not require tire warmers.
http://stores.sportbiketrackgear.com/Detail.bok?no=10692
 

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You can run any slick without tire warmers, you just need to make sure you give the tires a couple laps to come into temperature so they're safe to push it on.

Tire warmers will offer no real benefit on street tires, I wouldn't waste your time.

As for using them to reduce heat cycles and prolong tire life there is some truth to that. But it adds up to such a small savings that it may not be worth it.

I rarely use them at a trackday unless I've got a good group of buddies I'm riding with that want to push hard right out of the gate. If I'm racing they're always on as every lap counts.

As for using street tires at a trackday depending on your pace you should be fine. Just do some research on the correct track tire pressures as they will be considerably lower than what you run on the street.

If you've got them already they won't hurt anything by using them regardless of the tire. But I wouldn't run out and spend the money on them if you're just doing trackdays, they really aren't necessary.
 

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You can run any slick without tire warmers, you just need to make sure you give the tires a couple laps to come into temperature so they're safe to push it on.

Tire warmers will offer no real benefit on street tires, I wouldn't waste your time.

As for using them to reduce heat cycles and prolong tire life there is some truth to that. But it adds up to such a small savings that it may not be worth it.

I rarely use them at a trackday unless I've got a good group of buddies I'm riding with that want to push hard right out of the gate. If I'm racing they're always on as every lap counts.

As for using street tires at a trackday depending on your pace you should be fine. Just do some research on the correct track tire pressures as they will be considerably lower than what you run on the street.

If you've got them already they won't hurt anything by using them regardless of the tire. But I wouldn't run out and spend the money on them if you're just doing trackdays, they really aren't necessary.
In a 15-20 minute track session it's very unlikely that a rider will get a set of slicks up to ideal operating temperature. Even with warmers most riders will lose temperature in their tires the longer they are on the track. In ambient temperatures below 20C i struggle to keep my Dunlop rear hot. Below 10C it's impossible, I can't keep heat in the tire. The longer I'm on the track the colder the tire gets.

It takes 45 minutes to heat soak a tire and rim with a set of warmers that are heating to 80C. How warm can they possibly get on a race track when you're unable to push them because they're cold?

Dunlop rears are very sensitive to temperature too. If you're using a soft or medium rear and can't keep it hot you'll just end up destroying it. The Medium+ rear is great though, very resistant to tearing. In colder temps you actually want to use the harder Dunlop rear. Couter-intuitive, yes.

Operating temp for street tires is lower than for real race tires. Unless you have digital warmers and can set them to a lower temperature they will be over heating. Race tires are meant to be used with warmers and are sensitive to heat cycling. Street or street/track hybrid tires are not meant to be used with warmers and are less sensitive to heat cycling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all the information. No, I don't have warmers. I don't even have a generator, so the whole setup would cost me a bit...
 

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In a 15-20 minute track session it's very unlikely that a rider will get a set of slicks up to ideal operating temperature. Even with warmers most riders will lose temperature in their tires the longer they are on the track. In ambient temperatures below 20C i struggle to keep my Dunlop rear hot. Below 10C it's impossible, I can't keep heat in the tire. The longer I'm on the track the colder the tire gets.

It takes 45 minutes to heat soak a tire and rim with a set of warmers that are heating to 80C. How warm can they possibly get on a race track when you're unable to push them because they're cold?

Dunlop rears are very sensitive to temperature too. If you're using a soft or medium rear and can't keep it hot you'll just end up destroying it. The Medium+ rear is great though, very resistant to tearing. In colder temps you actually want to use the harder Dunlop rear. Couter-intuitive, yes..
The time it takes to get a tire to temperature on warmers vs. on track are very different because of the loads on the tire while riding. I've tested this with a temp gauge coming off track and have had no issues getting tires up to optimal temp on a normal weather day at an advanced rider pace. At a trackday I can get on my normal pace within two laps with no warmers. That being said I'm no Ben Spies so your results may vary.

There are obviously a lot of variables as you mention especially when it comes to tire compound, ambient temp and the riders ability. Yes, an advanced rider running a hard compound tire on a 55F day is going to have problems if they're not using warmers. But in my experience riding/racing/instructing most people do not need or benefit from using tire warmers at a trackday. As you point out, most riders will actually lose temp in their tires because they don't push them hard enough to keep them hot. But if they can't go fast enough to keep them hot then they aren't going fast enough to NEED them hot.

The one thing that can't be accounted for when it comes to warmers is the between the ears effect. If ,as a rider, you feel safer running tire warmers no amount of data indicating other wise is going to keep you from doing it. If that's the case then rock on! :thumbsup:
 

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The time it takes to get a tire to temperature on warmers vs. on track are very different because of the loads on the tire while riding. I've tested this with a temp gauge coming off track and have had no issues getting tires up to optimal temp on a normal weather day at an advanced rider pace. At a trackday I can get on my normal pace within two laps with no warmers. That being said I'm no Ben Spies so your results may vary.

There are obviously a lot of variables as you mention especially when it comes to tire compound, ambient temp and the riders ability. Yes, an advanced rider running a hard compound tire on a 55F day is going to have problems if they're not using warmers. But in my experience riding/racing/instructing most people do not need or benefit from using tire warmers at a trackday. As you point out, most riders will actually lose temp in their tires because they don't push them hard enough to keep them hot. But if they can't go fast enough to keep them hot then they aren't going fast enough to NEED them hot.

The one thing that can't be accounted for when it comes to warmers is the between the ears effect. If ,as a rider, you feel safer running tire warmers no amount of data indicating other wise is going to keep you from doing it. If that's the case then rock on! :thumbsup:
You measured the surface temp of the tire. That doesn't give you any information about how warm the carcass or the rim are.

Thats what I mean by 'heat soak'. It's one thing to get the surface of the tire up to 60C, it's an entirely other thing to get the whole tire up to temp as well as the rim. An aluminum rim acts as a heat sink when you're warming up the tires, as you're riding and working the tire and heating the surface up the rim is pulling that heat away from it.

I stand by what I wrote.
 

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You measured the surface temp of the tire. That doesn't give you any information about how warm the carcass or the rim are.

Thats what I mean by 'heat soak'. It's one thing to get the surface of the tire up to 60C, it's an entirely other thing to get the whole tire up to temp as well as the rim. An aluminum rim acts as a heat sink when you're warming up the tires, as you're riding and working the tire and heating the surface up the rim is pulling that heat away from it.

I stand by what I wrote.
I don't necessarily disagree with you, I just don't think it applies to all riders all the time.

As far as measuring the temp of the tire I use a probe a few MM into the tire, the only way I know how to measure them I guess. :dontknow: It's the same way my tire guy measures them at the track.

I've always used the temp of the rim as a gauge that my tire warmers are working but have never heard it has a major effect on the performance of the tire once it's up to temp.

Again, not disagreeing with you at all. But if you're running around a track 20-30 seconds off the pace I just don't see the benefit.
 

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This has turned into an interesting thread!

Threadjack....OK, Caboose and SlowerThanU you, what is the optimum temperature of the tire that you're trying to achieve in a session? If I was to come off the track and measure the tire temp (either with a probe or an infrared thermometer), what should the reading be? 140F, 180F, 330F????

Also, what does it matter what the temp of the carcass and rim are? They are not in contact with the road and the rim itself is mostly insulated from heating due to the air in the tire. So what difference does this make? I get the fact that the temperature of the rubber surrounding the carcass should be uniform across the surface for maximum effectiveness, and the rim being hot helps maintain a more even balance. Does the dynamics of the carcass change with heat? I wouldn't think so in a steel-belted radial tire.

But ultimately, isn't the goal of tire warmers and multiple laps to stabilize the air pressure gain/loss and make sure the rubber surface is at the optimum temperature evenly right from the start (and minimize heat cycling in between sessions)?
 

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This has turned into an interesting thread!

Threadjack....OK, Caboose and SlowerThanU you, what is the optimum temperature of the tire that you're trying to achieve in a session? If I was to come off the track and measure the tire temp (either with a probe or an infrared thermometer), what should the reading be? 140F, 180F, 330F????

Also, what does it matter what the temp of the carcass and rim are? They are not in contact with the road and the rim itself is mostly insulated from heating due to the air in the tire. So what difference does this make? I get the fact that the temperature of the rubber surrounding the carcass should be uniform across the surface for maximum effectiveness, and the rim being hot helps maintain a more even balance. Does the dynamics of the carcass change with heat? I wouldn't think so in a steel-belted radial tire.

But ultimately, isn't the goal of tire warmers and multiple laps to stabilize the air pressure gain/loss and make sure the rubber surface is at the optimum temperature evenly right from the start (and minimize heat cycling in between sessions)?
I am happy if I can keep the rear above 70C(158F). 80C(176F) would be perfect.

Carcass temperate affects how well the tire flexes. The tire is designed to be at operating temperature through the surface and carcass. If the carcass is below ideal temps then it's not going to flex as much as it's meant to. This is why Dunlops are difficult sometimes. If the carcass is too cold it won't flex but the surface will still grip. You'll over load the surface and tear the shit out of the tire. When Dunlops are at ideal temp they are amazing, but when they're off they are tough to deal with.

Pirellis, B'stones and Michelins are all a lot more forgiving of being off temp.

The rim acts as a heat sink and pulls heat away from the tire. If you hit the track with cold tires and rims the act of riding will serve to warm up the tire but the rim will pull heat from the tire. It takes a lot longer than people think to really get a tire up to ideal operating temperature.
 

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I am happy if I can keep the rear above 70C(158F). 80C(176F) would be perfect.

Carcass temperate affects how well the tire flexes. The tire is designed to be at operating temperature through the surface and carcass. If the carcass is below ideal temps then it's not going to flex as much as it's meant to. This is why Dunlops are difficult sometimes. If the carcass is too cold it won't flex but the surface will still grip. You'll over load the surface and tear the shit out of the tire. When Dunlops are at ideal temp they are amazing, but when they're off they are tough to deal with.

Pirellis, B'stones and Michelins are all a lot more forgiving of being off temp.

The rim acts as a heat sink and pulls heat away from the tire. If you hit the track with cold tires and rims the act of riding will serve to warm up the tire but the rim will pull heat from the tire. It takes a lot longer than people think to really get a tire up to ideal operating temperature.
:+1: I'm assuming Caboose is quoting temps for the Dunlops but every tire manufacturer has their own ideal operating temp range. If you're curious about temps you should consult with an experienced track side vendor that sells the brand you're running.

I run Michelin's which as Caboose pointed out aren't nearly as sensitive to operating temperature (and a whole hell of a lot cheaper too! :thumbsup:). For the Power One's they recommend being between 140-212F for the front and 194-266F for the rear. As I mentioned earlier I've had no issues achieving these ranges and getting on pace in a 20 minute session at a trackday without using tire warmers. Unless I'm instructing, then they never get up to temp. :headshake

The point I've been trying to make in this thread is that all of this data isn't necessarily useful for all riders. You're only going to hit ideal operating temps on your tires if you're pushing them. If you're a slower beginner or intermediate rider that's considerably off the pace you can spend all day chasing that optimal temp and never get there because you're simply not working the tire hard enough. Same goes for warmers, you spend $1k on a decent setup including a generator and it may all be a waste of money depending on your skill level.
 

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I'm REALLY looking forward to trying the US slicks this year. $380/set verus $495 for the UK slicks.
I've got a buddy that ran the new Med+ US Dunlops last fall and he really liked them. Says they're about 95% as good as the UK tires which for me would make it worth it considering the price difference.

I just got a new set of the Michelin Power Cup's for the 10R and I'm really excited to try them out. Same price as the US Dunlop's but reviews so far say they're as good if not better than the UK Ntec's, especially the front which apparently has mad levels of grip.
 

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OK guys, thanks for the responses. Makes sense.

I ran my ZX at the track for the first time a couple weeks ago on my Dunlop Q2s. I'm by no means an avid trackday rider or racer. But tire pressures and running temps are something that concern me and I want to be able to diagnose and setup my own shit as I need to. The tires pretty much stuck for the entire 8 sessions I got in at a decent pace. But I did have one big power slide and the tire looks oddly worn. I need to find out if the tire is getting too hot or if it was too cold.

I was initially running 33/34 psi but dropped it back to 31/32 psi as the track and air temp was only around 60F. I didn't track the tire temp like I should have, only the air pressure rise.

Is there anywhere online that has a reference to what the tire should look like under different conditions? Cold tearing vs. melting vs. normal? Don't know what I'm really looking at and how to tell the difference. :dontknow:
 

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OK guys, thanks for the responses. Makes sense.

I ran my ZX at the track for the first time a couple weeks ago on my Dunlop Q2s. I'm by no means an avid trackday rider or racer. But tire pressures and running temps are something that concern me and I want to be able to diagnose and setup my own shit as I need to. The tires pretty much stuck for the entire 8 sessions I got in at a decent pace. But I did have one big power slide and the tire looks oddly worn. I need to find out if the tire is getting too hot or if it was too cold.

I was initially running 33/34 psi but dropped it back to 31/32 psi as the track and air temp was only around 60F. I didn't track the tire temp like I should have, only the air pressure rise.

Is there anywhere online that has a reference to what the tire should look like under different conditions? Cold tearing vs. melting vs. normal? Don't know what I'm really looking at and how to tell the difference. :dontknow:
Your local Dunlop race distributor would be the person to ask.

I have never run the Q2s so I have no idea.

It's also likely that it's a suspension issue, not a tire issue. Have you had your suspension set up for your weight? Without getting that out of the way first trying to diagnose tire wear issues is akin to herding cats.
 

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Yeah, the suspension has been setup properly for my weight. The forks are still stock, but the rear shock has been re-sprung and re-valved for me and the sag numbers look pretty good.

I'll have to see if I can get in touch with a local guy then and pick his brain. Thanks for the help though!
 

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Yeah, the suspension has been setup properly for my weight. The forks are still stock, but the rear shock has been re-sprung and re-valved for me and the sag numbers look pretty good.

I'll have to see if I can get in touch with a local guy then and pick his brain. Thanks for the help though!
In my experience, again like Caboose said, your best source of info is your local race tire guy. The internet is full of crap information, especially when it comes to running street tires at the track, so you need the expertise of someone who does it day in/day out. If there isn't an experienced vendor at your events then shoot an email to the authorized distributor. It may take some time to get a response as they're all really busy guys but it's more than worth the wait to get the info straight from an expert. And no, the racer you're pitted next to is likely not an expert. :wink:

The first step is to ensure you're running recommended pressures for your tires. I wouldn't worry about temps too much with Q2's, setting your suspension up correctly is going to be a lot more important than that. Having your suspension sprung correctly and the sag set is just the first step, then it's a matter of fine tuning it to your riding style, track surface and weather conditions. But that's where the fun comes in, you learn something new every time you head out!
 
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