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Trackday Tires

1214 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  crammer
I have D220s on my bike right now. I know I they are somewhat capable because I did a trackday on my katana with D205s and got it leaned over pretty far.

But is this kind of tire really sufficent to say, get a knee down? So far I just haven't trusted these tires to do it.

I'm hesitant to do a trackday on this bike with D220s because of the greater power output of the fizzer (I've spun the back out coming out of turns on the street).

Is my lack of confidence founded or do you have to be really really fast to test the limits of sport touring tires?

Maybe someday I should just try a set of sport tires or dot race tires, but I just don't have to money to play around with that.
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Most tires will "get your knee down" but there is more too it than that. Try some of the more common supersport tires, Michelin Pilots, Supercorsas, Diablos, etc, they won't break the bank, and they will do you fine until you learn. When I finally decided I was skilled enough and exploring the limits of DOT tires, I moved up to slicks, and "oh what a difference!" Now I don't even like riding friend's bikes on the street, because I'm so used to the traction and behavior of slicks. But yeah, for now, a nice set of supersport tires will do you just fine.
Right... But heres my deal - I'm planning on going to a track tommorow (go kart track, 1 mile, $20 all day), and I have D220s on my bike right now. Do you think I should go or is it too much of a risk with these tires? Are the limits of my tires pretty close to the limits of my bike?
If this is your first track day you aren't going to be getting anywhere near exploring the limit of your tires or your bike. You are gonna be concentrating on getting comfortable and your technique/suspension more than your tires. Trust me, if you go down, it's not gonna be because of your D220's. Also what you could do is buy some tires trackside, sometimes Michelin sells their DOT race tires trackside, they install them right there, normally for free, and are normally decently priced. Check into it, but you will be fine on your tires you have now. Just enjoy the track, and remember a few key things.

1) Don't have a deathgrip on the bike, loosen up, relax, it will help with stability
2) Get comfortable with countersteering, it helps a ton
3) Don't worry so much about getting your knee down, don't TRY to get your knee down, just let it happen.
4) When you are hanging off in a corner, don't support yourself with your arms, use your outside leg, or forearm on the tank. Also when you are transitioning, make it as smooth as possible, don't upset the bike on quick transitions
5) DON'T PANIC! Panic is what causes wrecks, look through the corner, smoothly roll on the throttle.
6) Most of all HAVE FUN! It's addicting

Honestly I could go on for hours about techniques, but just get comfortable first, then worry about getting quicker lap times. If you lowside (or even highside) don't get discouraged, it happens at the track, that's where you want to have your wrecks, because you learn from them.
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Jackal79 said:
Right... But heres my deal - I'm planning on going to a track tommorow (go kart track, 1 mile, $20 all day), and I have D220s on my bike right now. Do you think I should go or is it too much of a risk with these tires? Are the limits of my tires pretty close to the limits of my bike?

Wow, I missed that whole go-kart part. I've driven fast go-karts on go-kart tracks but they are so tight it's not exactly motorcycle friendly. Also alot of go-kart tracks have grip tape in some corners, you DO NOT WANT TO HIT THIS ON YOUR BIKE! I can't really reccomend anything for a go-kart track, except I kinda wanna reccomend you shouldn't go, but you've seen the track, I haven't. If you trust the layout and the management and the track crew, go for it! All of my above suggestions still apply, except the trackside vendors.
Actaully this is my 2nd trackday. I did one at the beginning of the season when I had my katana. I guess I'd still be in the same experience catagory though.

How do you figure lap times? Have someone stand at the side of the track with a stop watch?

edit: I could go to a real, motorcycle/car track but it costs twice as much. I'll just go to the go-kart track and give it a try. I know a lot of people use it in Colorado to get their feet wet.
Sounds cool, some people have friends that time them on a stopwatch, some tracks have sensors you can attach to the bike. Personally, my bike has a built in lap timer, I just click a button just below my left handlebar. The bike also tells me avg speed and top speed, has some pretty neat features built in
Also, with a bike as heavy as yours, if you go a full day, expect your tires to be basically shot. These new SS600's can barely get a full trackday out of a set of tires.
I did my first track day on a set of Michelin Pilot Sports. They worked well, I only had them slide on me once. I'm sure the slide was completely my fault because of incorrect input or something but still, it really took away my confidence when the front started to slide. When I do my next track day, I'm going to get a set of Pirelli Diablo Corsas. They are labeled as a trackday tire that is susposed to be 70% track and 30% street.
I recommend Pirelli Supercorsa race take offs from ebay or the Pirelli Diablo Corsa's.
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