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Old 10-11-2009, 01:51 PM   #1
maxgs
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Cold track and tire pressures

Racer guys and ballistically fast track riders... do you attempt to compensate for low track temperatures by lowering your tire pressures? At TWS (Texas World Speedway) yesterday, it was chilly, damp in the morning, and felt slick. I ran my standard tire pressures, and I never seemed to get the grip I wanted out of the front tire. I almost tucked it in turn nine, and had many moment wear the front tire was sliding over tar strips and other place.

In hindsight, I'm thinking that I didn't get the tire to temperature thus it never came in. Had I had it to do over, I would have tried running the tire at a few PSI lower... perhaps 2 to start with.

What is your experience?

-Curt
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:03 PM   #2
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Yes, I start at 2 less. Then look at the tire throughout the day.
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Old 10-11-2009, 02:08 PM   #3
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Thanks Keith.
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:19 PM   #4
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About what temp would you start to consider lowering the PSI in the tires?
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:34 PM   #5
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60 or if they look like they aren't getting hot enough. Sometimes 70-80 depends on track and/or tire. Nothing stays the same even if you want it to.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:37 PM   #6
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2-3 psi. less.
I may even go to a softer compound.

A word about tire warmers. When it's cold, you need to put the warmers on longer. What you're looking for is for your RIM to feel warm to the touch, otherwise it's just a huge aluminum heat sink and will suck the heat out of the tire in a lap or two.
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:37 PM   #7
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So Keith, I'd be looking to ensure the graining on the tire is pretty heavy, right? I could also use a pyrometer; if I did that, what minimum temperature would I be looking for on the front and rear?
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
2-3 psi. less.
I may even go to a softer compound.

A word about tire warmers. When it's cold, you need to put the warmers on longer. What you're looking for is for your RIM to feel warm to the touch, otherwise it's just a huge aluminum heat sink and will suck the heat out of the tire in a lap or two.
Patrick would something like the Woddcrafts with the Curtains help with something like that. John was talking to us about the warmers yesterday and how they are going to be hit or miss because of the cold track.. The tires were really getting up to temp and it would be hard to get a good steady cycle out of them.. Just wondering
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Old 10-11-2009, 06:50 PM   #9
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Nope! I set the tire at its standard HOT pressure then get onto the track as quick as possible to avoid the cooling and try and get the tire back up to temp as quickly as possible. The reason behind not dropping the tire press is simple, you should always start from your baseline hot temp to keep as many variables out, then adjust from there. To little press in the front can cause it to feel numb and even worse cause it to " TUCK" because of to much inside grip at which point the tire flicks inward cause the bike to fall and you have just lowsided. I just read Patricks post and thats what I meant by "hot" when the rim is hot then your in business he taught me that after a cold tire wreck and I had thought it was "hot".

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Old 10-11-2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Someone educate the uneducated.
Why do you lower the PSI when it's cold.
Is it to get more flex out of the tire and generate more heat?
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Someone educate the uneducated.
Why do you lower the PSI when it's cold.
Is it to get more flex out of the tire and generate more heat?
Yes.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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One thing we talked about last night at dinner is pulling the tire warmers off then sitting in line on the grid waiting.....my question is if you set the tire warmers at a higher temp so by the time you get on the track they will be at the optimal temp?
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:23 PM   #13
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Not so much.
Look. no matter how hot your tire is, you're not going to have the same traction one you get on the pavement.

On the race line the pavement will be a bit warmer, but it's still cooler than what the tire wants and you'll have less maximum grip.

My point on the rims being warm is to remove ONE of the TWO items that are leeching heat from your tires; the rim. There's not much you can do about the pavement.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:25 PM   #14
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I go the other way, 1-2 lbs more, idea being you want to achieve recommended "off track temps". By reducing the psi in colder temps that do not allow the tire to heat as much as normal will create a deficit that won't be shored up as quick or if at all. Off warmer temps are a generalization thus off track temps will vary with conditions and course layouts, kind of like using one jet for a 2 stroke in any condition.

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Old 10-11-2009, 07:28 PM   #15
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for normal temp track days, i set my pressures at 26 front, 22 rear per John's instructions. after one of my better sessions yesterday i checked my pressures (supposed to be hot by now right?) and they where still sitting at 26/22. is that normal? morning sessions had me slipping the rear a good amount.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:34 PM   #16
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The track was VERY green Saturday. Funny thing is, the track was way better today, before the rain came, and it was cooler today.

To answer the original question, yes. Drop your pressures approx 2 psi on the warmers. This will help the tire generate & maintain on track temps and thus resulting pressures.

Hey Curt, I was there all weekend. If your having issues always come see me. I'm there to help.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:36 PM   #17
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Quote:
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for normal temp track days, i set my pressures at 26 front, 22 rear per John's instructions. after one of my better sessions yesterday i checked my pressures (supposed to be hot by now right?) and they where still sitting at 26/22. is that normal? morning sessions had me slipping the rear a good amount.
I would have loved to have seen this.

I'M THERE FOR A REASON PEOPLE!!!
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:41 PM   #18
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I'M THERE FOR A REASON PEOPLE!!!
always willing to help, too.

Just another "thanks, John."
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:44 PM   #19
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Quote:
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The track was VERY green Saturday. Funny thing is, the track was way better today, before the rain came, and it was cooler today.

To answer the original question, yes. Drop your pressures approx 2 psi on the warmers. This will help the tire generate & maintain on track temps and thus resulting pressures.

Hey Curt, I was there all weekend. If your having issues always come see me. I'm there to help.
I did come and see you. I bought a new front tire and put it on.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRC John View Post
The track was VERY green Saturday. Funny thing is, the track was way better today, before the rain came, and it was cooler today.

To answer the original question, yes. Drop your pressures approx 2 psi on the warmers. This will help the tire generate & maintain on track temps and thus resulting pressures.

Hey Curt, I was there all weekend. If your having issues always come see me. I'm there to help.
After you suggested the pressure drop, my bike stopped sliding the rear out between 5 and 6.
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