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Superbike tire change help

1775 Views 19 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  DMCTRUBY
I got in allot more riding then I expected to over the last month and have some rides planned this week. My tires were border line for a track down a few months ago...but now (and with rides planned next week) I am will be at or very close to the wear bar on th 05 999s pilot powers. *I presume they are orginal as I got the bike last fall with 2k miles, they have have 5,100 on them now. Mich Pilot Powers.

So I no longer think I want to go to New Hampsire Motor Speedway June 1 on these tires.

So my questions are:
1) Does anyone know if the NHMS track has a facility to mount tires. I think I can get some pilot powers shipped to me before next week and just take them up with me.

2)...or maybe because this is a Ducati Revs NewEngland event there is mechanic support/tire change equipment to assit with a tire change ?

3)If I decide to do this locally before June 1 (time is my issue to get to a local Duc shop)...I have a few choices, including my local dealer who is wonderful bunch of folks. I support them use often for parts and accessories as well as buying bikes....but the service dept has been a bit sloppy in prior service work and the mechancis change out so often it seems like the good ducati focused mechanics left for smaller independent shops. I know the good, careful mechanics there are on major service jobs and tire changes go to the guy that frankly I don't trust my bike too. So, what equipment is needed to do this right ? (mount and highspeed balance)...I may use a local independent shop with an awesome duc mechanic who is on the way to a planned trip I have....but if he does not have the high tech balance equipment a dealer would have I may be back to going to Duc dealer.

Suggestions welcome on what to do. * I might be making a bigger deal of this then needed, but I own a lifted Jeep with 35's and when ever I have mount/ balance work done on the tires and it's not done by someone familar with oversized offroad balance it's a nightmare, jeep is undriveable. Soon as I get a shop/tech familar with doing the work correctly it drives like a dream. Since the 999s sees some spirted use I'd like to know the mount and balance is done correctly.
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In my experience, mail order tires and a local guy mounting/balancing them for $15-20 each (off bike) is definitely the cheapest way. Track service will be about $40 more per set (if you can remove your own wheels). Dealers will probably be another $100 on top of that. You have to weigh the other factors (like supporting your dealer) yourself.
I always buy my tires from one of the local tire distributors, and have them mount and balance them (they are the guys that supply all the shops, but they do retail as well as wholesale, but a lot cheaper than having it done at a shop). The same couple guys have been doing most of my tires for the past 20 years, and I can watch while they work.

There's nothing special about Ducatis as far as tires go. Find a local guy who knows what he's doing.

5100 miles is a lot. My 999R typically gets 2500, regardless of make/model, and even my SS only gets 3000.

Thanks for the replies. Is the balance machine used like a auto tire spin balancer ? or is the process for motorcycle tires commonly a static balance machine ?
They always spin-balance mine.

Similar machine, just with special mounting hardware and software for bike wheels.

I'd call BCM to see what will be at the track and/or if they can mount them up for you they day before.

It seemed that Brian Paquette (RIP) was always there for track days mounting tires in between sessions. I don't know if anyone else is carrying that torch
I got someone lined up for new Pilot Power install tomorrow...but it's going to be using a static balance process.
I've had the last two sets static balanced without a problem.
Yeah, I've had tons of tires static balanced over the years, no issues.
Thanks for all the quick replies guys, much appreciated. Now that I have replacement scheduled for tomorrow...in relooking at my tires I think I was kidding myself there was more use left in them :)


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and the front


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Those probably won't pass tech. I just tossed my pilot powers today with 3500 miles on them. I had Ducvet put some Michelin Pilot Power 2CT's on. As a general rule tech wants you to have 75% tread left.
yes, thanks, I am aware they I must replace them. They would never pass for a real track day. FYI, for the Ducati event they relax the track inspection. For example they allow regular coolant. Normally a track session would involve replacing coolant with water or race approved coolant. For the Rev's NewEngland it's pretty much tape up the lights and go (presuming your leak free and otherwise in good overall condition). Still, I know these tires were worn to much for even relaxed track rules.
FWIW I replaced mine because they we stepping out around corners. I've heard PP are prone to this.
The guys at ECS in Middletown NY got my tires mounted up today. I went with a 180 profile on the rear at their reccomendation and I do like it much better then the stock 190. Most of the 70 mile ride on them today was thruway, but I did get a chance to drop into a few corners on the last leg of my ride and the difference was immediately noticeable. Much easier and smoother turn in. Thanks again for all the responses.
Last time I had to change mine I just got the simple tools to do it myself. Had to get a special adapter to static balance the SSSA. Never have to rely on someone else to change a tire ever again :)
For those of you who are do-it-yourselfers :think: and go through a few tires, here's a good read http://www.clarity.net/~adam/tire-changing-doc.html . Also, here's some guys who get rave reviews in the K1200S world http://www.nomartirechanger.com/ .

Ride Safe,
Thanks for the do-it-yourself info. I will not likely go thru more then one set of tires a season. For me it's worth having a pro do it. In my case I apprecaite having an experienced Duc mechanic who also checked bearing play (wheels and steering head) and did a general look over as he changed the tires. Money well spent for me , but I do appreciate the links and pointers and I am sure someone else here may bennefit from the how-to info. *Since there were also serveral experienced track riders in the shop that day I had the additional advantage of getting some in person tips for the track day next week, which was another nice bonus.
What tires did you get?
Pilot Power
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