Track Time Motorcycle track-related discussion

Old October 26th @ 12:48 pm   #1
Got2Go's Avatar
From: Las Vegas[Summerlin]
I contacted Dunlop Race Tire Service and asked for tire pressure recommendations for the track.
Here is what they said:


Cold starting pressures are 30 front and 30 rear….

Go get-em!
And this is the guy that sent me the info:


Dennis Smith, co-owner of Sporttire Services Inc. Dunlop’s Western U.S. Roadrace
Tire Distributor, located in Paso Robles, CA (850) 434-4810 has been in the business of supplying tires to the motorcycle community for more than 30 years. He’s one of themost well known and beloved personalities in the high-speed world of the AMA Pro and Club racing. When it comes to knowledge about tires, he’s one of the people racers and race team owners turn to for information on just about everything there is to know about tires, compounds and tire pressure.
Dennis started riding motorcycles at 15, and has ridden and raced all types of bikes ranging from trials
to moto-cross to dirt bikes and AMA flat track and he raced AMA Superbikes as a Pro for 5 years finishing 6th out of an 85 bike field and first privateer at the AMA National at Daytona Beach Florida in 1980. He’s done tire testing for various manufactures as well and was featured alongside Kevin Schwantz as a tester for the magazine’s first performance tires shootout back in 1985 in an article for CycleGuide Magazine testing about nine different brands of tires.
Dennis started testing for Dunlop tires in the summer of 1980 and help them develop a class of high
performance street/racetrack tires the K291 model for the then fledgling Sportbikes of the day. Suzuki GS1000 and 1100s Honda CB1000, Kawasaki GPZ1100. By 1985 he was also running one of the largest volume Vance & Hines Performance Center in Torrance Ca. and was managing the Vance&Hine’s AMA Pro SuperSport program out the same shop. One of the high points in his race team management resume is a string on 3 straight overall WERA 24 Hour West wins over all of the full time endurance teams at the at famous Willow Springs International Raceway in 1986-87-88. “We ran that one 24 hour endurance race once a year and did the job 3 times in a row. It was a 35 person team we put together and it was a blast!” Just ask any race team, no small feet to accomplish. We couldn’t think of a better person to ask about some much needed facts about tires, and so we could know what’s the best to use whether it’s on the track, canyon or just cruising down the freeway

In determining which tire is best to use, what should you consider?

Well, if you’re a racer, you should go out to the track and find out what tires the winners are using. See what’s winning locally. A street bike on the race track can use race tires and go very fast on them. In other words, most tire companies make race compound and race construction tires that are very competent on any of the newer sportbikes. Dunlop has a all new tire called the Sportmax Q2 which is a very good tire and will fit most all of the late model sportbikes. And they’re at very reasonable prices. Just ask any
motorcycle dealer about them. The reviews are extremely good on their performance.
Also we have some of the AMA Spec. tires that are called the Sportmax GP As, that we sell to track day riders, club racers and these tires were raced in the AMA Daytona Sportbike class this 2009 race season. They sold all year for $369.00 a set and are currently on sale for $299.00 a set until they sell out. You can order them by calling us at 805-434-4810.

Here’s a question we get a lot from our members and it would be very helpful to get your take on clarifying tire pressure - The manufacturer prints one pressure on the tire, the bike manufacturer often recommends another and actual use dictates yet another. Can you clarify?

I’ll make this statement and then elaborate on it; There’s no absolute “best tire pressure”. That said, let’s take an example of a rider who buys a bike and the owners manual says “inflate your tire pressure to 40lbs. front and 42lbs rear.” Those pressuresettings are done by the manufacturer for liability reasons. Now, let’s take that same bike and rider a year later and because he has NOT checked the pressure, it has dropped to 25lbs. front and 30lbs. rear. He goes out for cross country ride. He weighs 200 pounds and puts his 185 pound girlfriend on the back along with 40 pounds of luggage.

They go for a ride in 103 degree weather on a hot freeway. This can be a real problem waiting to happen because the tire has less pressure than it should, making it flex more in the tire sidewall and the tread area which in turn makes the tire run hotter than it’s designed for and it can possibly fail. So, the road
temperature, load and speed have a lot to do with how the tire is going to perform and last. If the tire flexes too much…it can fail. It can do what’s called delaminate and or come apart.

Everything your motorcycle does, it does through its tires. It accelerates, turns, stops and rolls on/through the tires. Needless to say, having good tires and maintaining them is critical to having a safe and fun ride. The expert motorcyclists will check thetire pressures and tread depth once a week to be sure they have a
motorcycle that will perform up to their standards in a casual ride to work or for that foray to Angeles Crest on the weekend with his or her riding partners.

I myself have logged thousands of mile touring and race track and commuting over the last 43 years and the following is my personal experience regarding tire pressures and doing it safely and at the same time extracting the maximum grip and wear from the tires that are keeping myself and sometimes my wife out of the ditch that’s beside the road we are traveling on:

1. First let’s take my 2002 Honda Goldwing with Dunlop Elite -3 tires. I run the tire pressures at 38 lbs front and 42 lbs rear when the tires are cold. All the time!

2. Next would be my 2006 GSXR1000, with Dunlop’s N-Tec D211s on it. I run these little jewels on the race track? They are run at 31 lbs front and 21 lbs rear cold starting pressure. When I ride it on the
street? I up the pressures to 32 front and 29 rear cold starting pressure for solo riding. Should there be 2 people on the same bike? I’d set it at 34 lbs rear cold, for extended long runs on the hwy.

In general, tires are the key to having fun on a motorcycle, it has been my experience that, the better the tires perform the more fun you have riding and the safer the riding is……riding a fast motorcycle with great tires, is the closest thing to flying in a plane and still have your butt close to the ground. Know your tires better and you’ll have a much higher fun factor and less cost and
pain in the long run.

They really are that important.
Link to article: <clicky>

And I also contacted Dunlop for regular street use pressures:

Hi again,
recommend 36 front and 42 rear for street riding.
Need any further information or assistance, please call or e-mail us.
Consumer Affairs
Dunlop Motorcycle & ATV Tire Division

Last edited by Got2Go; October 27th at 12:50 pm.
Old October 26th @ 01:30 pm   #2
JetMech's Avatar
From: Vegas

Motorcycle: 2007 GSXR-750
Good to know.
Old October 26th @ 01:43 pm   #3
vegaseric's Avatar
From: Las Vegas/Summerlin

Motorcycle: 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa LE/2007 Suzuki GSXR600/2000 Honda CBR600F4
Good info... I'd hit up Jim Cox as well to get his opinion.
Old October 26th @ 03:23 pm   #4
Mustang's Avatar
From: my moma's cooter

Motorcycle: your mom
I started mine at 33R 34F cold and they jumped up to 36R 37F hot and they performed great. Will try it 30/30 cold next time
Old October 26th @ 04:57 pm   #5
Got2Go's Avatar
From: Las Vegas[Summerlin]
Added some info to top post.
Old October 27th @ 11:00 am   #6
Green_Dragon's Avatar
From: North Las Vegas

Motorcycle: 2006 Kawasaki ZX10R/2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Nomad
great info. that guy knows his Dunlop's. would definitely take his advice.
Old October 27th @ 12:50 pm   #7
Got2Go's Avatar
From: Las Vegas[Summerlin]
Top post updated with street use pressure recommendation.
Old October 27th @ 01:16 pm   #8
vegaseric's Avatar
From: Las Vegas/Summerlin

Motorcycle: 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa LE/2007 Suzuki GSXR600/2000 Honda CBR600F4
Originally Posted by Got2Go View Post
Top post updated with street use pressure recommendation.
That recommendation seems more like a canned response.
Old October 27th @ 01:26 pm   #9
Got2Go's Avatar
From: Las Vegas[Summerlin]
Originally Posted by vegaseric View Post
That recommendation seems more like a canned response.
Sure seems like it...but maybe not...

The sidewall on the Q2's show max load at 42PSI...on both front and rear.
Yet they recommend 36f/42r...hmmm....

dunlop, pressure, tire

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