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Discussion Starter #1
I will soon need some new track day tires. They are for a 1997 900 SS/SP, 330 lbs (no fuel) and 80-85 hp, track use only. I was thinking of the new Dunlop Q2s, but then I saw an ad for D211s and Sportmax GPAs. My question is, with a Marvic 5.5" rear rim, would the 190 wide (the only size D211 or Sportmax GPA available for 5.5" rims) rub the chain :think:? I only have about 3/16" clearance with my present 180 Michelin Pilot Powers. Also, will these DOT racing tires wear out too fast? I would like to be able to get at least 4-6 track days out of a set. Any idea if they would be any heavier than Q2s? I'm into lightweight, especially tires (rotating mass you know). Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Joe
 

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Chain clearance i cant anwser, but if you only have 3/16" now, its going to be even tighter with a 190. Why do you want to go up a size ? Because fat tyres look phat ? I would stick with a 180 because a: it fits and b: it will turn in quicker, c: 5mm extra on each side of the tread, is that really offering you more grip ? and d: all that extra rubber creates weight you know!

As for tyre wear, you should easily get 4 or more ride days out of them. 80hp is not a tyre shredding amount of power, and the Ducati power delivery is very smooth so it does not chew up tyres. run the right pressures for the day and warm the tyres up before you start cutting hard laps.

As for the weight of tyres... yeah... well... you could be talking about grams here... And that is a huge difference. I mean you could always use nitrogen or helium to fill the tyres as well to get that unsprung mass down. Remove the front fender and mount it to the upper part of the forks. Replace all the lower fork and brake parts with titanium bolts. Remove one caliper and brake rotor off the front will get that weight down as well...

My point here is that there are better and more effective ways of reducing unsprung mass, as for rotating mass, you might want to look up centripetal force and how it works. If you want to lose a lot of rotational mass, look into a set of carbon fibre rims. splitting hairs over what tyres are lighter is a waste of time, hence tyre makers dont really mention weight when they try and sell tyres.

Everyone will be on this thread later giving their 2 cents worth on what tyres are better. For me, sticky round black ones are good. What is more important is feel and handling. This is different for every rider. Best bet is talk to the guys who sell them and ask what their opinion is, buy the ones that are the best for what you want to do. If they turn out to be shit, then change them and sell the 1 track day old tyres on ebay. Go out and buy the other makes. Rinse and repeat....

In all honest fact, i think it wont matter what tyres you put on your bike, as the bike was built 12 years ago for the tyres around at the time and any tyre now is going to work well for you for track days.

Have a read on this thread about tyre sizes... Its very informative.

http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?t=29752
 

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My opinion:
Tires are the most important safety equipment that I have on the bike. The better the tire the bigger my safety margin is for the mistakes that I may make while on track. I have been racing now since 2003 and I have garnered some wisdom since that time. I often wonder why the amateur racer/rider crashes more than the expert racer/rider even though the amateur is considerably slower. Same tires? Same equipment? I have come to the conclusion that for a given tire there is a certain amount of traction. The expert is capable of keeping that usable level of traction at a consistent level. The amateur on the other hand is not and his level of traction fluctuate to a greater degree sometimes using more than the available traction.

What's the point? Get the tire with the best traction available to you and that you can afford. This will allow you the biggest safety margin. A tire that lasts 6 track days is no good to you if you crash. Crashing costs a lot more than one more set of tires.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. I want sticky tires, not bigger ones. But as I said, I'm worried about chain clearance since the D211s and GPAs only come in 190 for my 5.5" rims. Shazaam did a post about tire weight and pointed out that there can be 2-3 lbs difference! I already have magnesium rims so I don't see carbon fiber rims in my future. I guess I'll get the Q2s and see how they work :rolleyes:.
Joe
 

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You might want to look into Pirelli Supercorsa tires they are lighter and have a more flexible sidewall so are less prone to cold tearing which can be a problem on a light bike with not alot of horsepower. I've raced on Dunlops, Bridgestones, and Pirelli and find the Pirellis to be the easiest to go fast on. It seems the Dunlops were developed mostly for the 600 supersport bikes and their much more sophisticated suspensions and higher horsepower.
 
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