[setup] tire tech

March 18, 2008

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i don’t claim to be a suspension guru or tire expert so take the following post with a grain of salt. hopefully, my logic is sound but feel free to leave a comment if something doesn’t add up. 

the 675’s dragon supercorsa pros reached the end of their life last season (see above photo) so i’ve been doing some research on new tires over the last couple of days. the dcp’s were great unexpectedly lasting 6k miles with 2 trackdays on them. i’d highly recommend them except they’re way too expensive (~$450/set).

choosing tires is often a difficult and arduous task. it’s a highly subjective matter that only you can judge. a particular tire may feel good for u but not for another person. in other words, it’s trial and error. 

superbike (uk journo) conducted a in-depth test of the popular high performance tires on the market. they ranked the pirelli diablo corsa 3 and dunlop gp racer (qualifier in the states) as the top track tires based on lap times and feel.

tires are pretty important since the they are only part of the bike that directly interfaces with the tarmac. profile and rubber compound are the key elements in the tire’s feel. sport rider has a good basic write-up on tire construction and how it affects handling (it’s a little old but still applicable today).

one thing to remember if u increase the rear tire size, it may increase steering head angle affecting turn-in and straight-line stability. raising the front forks will compensate for the larger rear tire thus altering swingarm angle which basically turns things into a cluster fuck. basically, if u don’t know how it will affect ur bike stick with the the stock size and u’ll avoid a headache.

new tires will be shod in the spring once things warm up. i’ll let u know what i went with and how they feel.