Do you want to ride a motorcycle, or are you already a fan? The choice of the tire is then essential because it is the only contact with the track. The performances being higher on a circuit than on the road, it is preferable to pay particular attention to it. This guide will help you to know if you are making the right choice of motorcycle track tire.
Let’s start with a basic principle: there are different types of motorcycle tires, including two families of motorcycle tires for the track: those who can ride on the open road and those who can only ride on the circuit.
Motorcycle track tires homologated road
Not everyone goes on a truck tour. Therefore, having track-approved road tires is then a definite advantage, in order to get to the circuit or to leave directly on a motorcycle. But not only! This type of motorcycle track tire has nicks that slick tires do not have. Beginners are happy to choose this type of track tire during their first circuit runs. They are more reassuring than slick tires, which by definition, are completely smooth.
Compared to slick tires, road-approved track tires have better durability. Also, their grooves allow them to ride again in case of rain on the track.
Within the road homologated tire range, there are variations in the road/track ratio. For example, some tires are more track-oriented than a road, with 90% track and 10% road; there are also more road-oriented tires than runways, conversely. Moreover, manufacturers often have two tire models corresponding to these two types of tire. The choice to be made depends on how you use your bike. It is important to choose your motorcycle tires.
Let’s see a real-life example: at Pirelli, choose the Diablo Rosso Corsa tire if you’re driving most of the way, and the Diablo Supercorsa tire if you’re mostly on the track. Both are circuit-approved road tires. We can say that the more the bike tire model is grooved within the same brand, the more it is road, and vice versa.
Of course, nothing prevents to go on a circuit with hypersport tires 100% road, like the Bridgestone S21 or the MICHELIN Power RS, which some road bikers who want to try out exceptionally to the track.
This is still discouraged: the tires are not made for, the performance might be disappointing. If you do it anyway, one tip: Adjust the pressure by lowering it slightly. Indeed, on the track under the effect of heat, the air contained in the tire expands.
Motorcycle tires 100% track
Once we are comfortable on the track, and we want to go further in terms of performance, we can switch to slick tires, dedicated exclusively to track racing. 100% track tires are marked “Not for highway service” on the flank, or “NHS.” It will then be necessary to go in a circuit in the truck or to envisage to change tires once arrived on the circuit if, of course, the circuit has this kind of service.
On this type of motorcycle tire, the rubber is even softer to the shoulders. The performance is very high level. The grip is exceptional in the corners. The tire is very handy.
Of course, you should not ride on the track in case of rain with slick tires. At this point, if you have to ride a motorcycle on a circuit in the rain, there are grooved track tires. These are actually variations of these high-performance tires. They usually bear the words “Rain” or “Rain.” There are even versions “WET” to ride on drying track or wet.
The different versions of eraser
Motorcycle tires going on the track can offer several hardnesses of rubber: soft, medium, or hard. The hard rubber will be ideal if the track is cold if you ride in cold weather. Also, this rubber will allow you to extend the life of the tire. The soft rubber, it puts everything on the grip, which is then optimal, at the expense of longevity, of course. It’s the ideal type of rubber when it’s hot. As for the gum medium, it’s a compromise. It’s a versatile eraser that allows you to ride on a circuit at any time, without worrying about the temperature of the track.
Do not hesitate to consult our advice on warming up motorcycle tires!
The Supermotard is a category apart; moreover, almost all the manufacturers of motorcycle tires have a tire specific circuit for the Supermotard: MICHELIN Supermoto Power, Bridgestone Battlax Supermoto … The tires are not necessarily slicks. It depends on the model and the manufacturer. Similarly, some models are road homologated, like the Conti Attack SM, others not, like the Metzeler Racetec SM.