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Old 08-28-2008, 08:42 AM   #1
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Exclamation Race tire selections (Real serious discussion)

I have a good questions, alot of guys have there fav tire's to run because of different factors and such. But would like I hear alot of opinionated people who give there .2 on the selections of tire they are running and why. Im not trying to get in a match about which manufacturer is better then others and " Ty Howard, Larry Myers, Benny T, John Hanner runs these tire, so it the best" (But these guys could ride rim and it wouldnt make a difference) and yada yada yada...
But trying to have a good discussion on tire's so that we can all get some good informational news.

There alot of tire companys out there so Ill start a list. Not saying one is better then another but they are listed by alphabetical order.

If your going to talk about the brand, please list what kind of tire so that why we can all see the difference between the selections.

Bridgestone
Dunlop
Michelin
Pirelli


I want to thank everybody who gives a input into this, I know your helping me and others make the rite choices in finding a great tire selection.
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:01 AM   #2
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BRIDGESTONE CAUSE JOHN'S THE SHIZNIT!
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:11 AM   #3
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Is your question based on a street or track perspective?

On the street I run my Bridgestone DOT race take offs.

I choose to race on Bridgestone tires for the following reasons:
Great feel,
the best support from John and Raymond (South Central Race Center),
long life,
predictable behavior,
fair price!

Bridgestone riders with the CMRA get an unparalleled level of support. I tried Pirelli and Michelin before I stumbled into the Bridgestone camp. John Hutchinson is very quickly becoming a wizard at this "tire thing"! Going so far now as to accurately predict the lap times necessary to win races
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:14 AM   #4
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You left out Metzler....those are pretty good for the track. I think the M3's are a bit softer now...
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:19 AM   #5
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I'm sorry, I am really shooting for race tire info...
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Old 08-28-2008, 09:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0oAndyo0 View Post
I have a good questions, alot of guys have there fav tire's to run because of different factors and such. But would like I hear alot of opinionated people who give there .2 on the selections of tire they are running and why. Im not trying to get in a match about which manufacturer is better then others and " Ty Howard, Larry Myers, Benny T, John Hanner runs these tire, so it the best" (But these guys could ride rim and it wouldnt make a difference) and yada yada yada...
But trying to have a good discussion on tire's so that we can all get some good informational news.

There alot of tire companys out there so Ill start a list. Not saying one is better then another but they are listed by alphabetical order.

If your going to talk about the brand, please list what kind of tire so that why we can all see the difference between the selections.

Bridgestone
Great tire life - rough ride - good service - their new DOT tire is supposed to ride much better - I have not tried the new tire because it's not available in slicks when I last checked, and I run slicks - just me - that's what I like.

Dunlop
Not much experience with these - tried a set of slicks from them about a year ago - felt awesome in the corners - caused headshake on the straights - I HATE headshake - didn't want to try to work the headshake out, so I took them off after a couple of laps and sold them - service at the time was nearly non exsistent in our part of the world - don't know about now

Michelin
They don't (last time I checked) have a good slick in 17" sizes - only some cheezy trackday slicks - their DOT's are ok - not bad - not great - good (not great) all around - life/ride/traction/handling/price. I personally have ALWAYS gotten FIRST CLASS service from David Hirsch - Island Racing - I still buy some steet tires from him. One thing David does that I like - may seem unimportant to some, but he ALWAYS ships the tires in a box or boxes. I like that - they are cleaner and I like the fact that they spend that much less time in the sun. NO one else has ever shipped me tires in boxes.

Pirelli
Great traction Great Ride both DOT's and slicks - best front tire on the market . The rears ride great and sticks great, but don't get nearly as good of life as the others. Very expensive (but cheaper than plastics / subframes / Emergency Room visits. Service is not good - not Larry's fault he'll do anything he can for you, problems are upstream of him.


I want to thank everybody who gives a input into this, I know your helping me and others make the rite choices in finding a great tire selection.
All things considered I am running Pirelli's, and have been now for a couple of years.
It is all a compromise. I wish the Pirelli's were cheaper and that the rears lasted longer. I wish they had the strong local presence that John (Bridgestone) and David (Michelin) provide for us.
That being said, I am old and don't tolerate the beating as well as I did when I was younger, and I REALLY notice the difference in ride - nothing I have ridden to date even comes close (haven't tried the new Bridgestones - because they don't have them in slicks).
If price and local service (not your fault Larry) were the deciding factor - the Pirelli's would lose.
I have the most confidence in the Pirelli's traction and the ride is awesome, but it comes at a price ($$).
The only crash I have had (knock on wood - or GB's head) were on Michelins. The front went out on me - after a ton of study and soul searching - I do not think it was the tires fault - I think (nearly 100%) that my front suspension bottomed out and the tire went next.

There ya go Andy - you asked for input - this is mine.
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronnie H. View Post
Is your question based on a street or track perspective?

On the street I run my Bridgestone DOT race take offs.

I choose to race on Bridgestone tires for the following reasons:
Great feel,
the best support from John and Raymond (South Central Race Center),
long life,
predictable behavior,
fair price!

Bridgestone riders with the CMRA get an unparalleled level of support. I tried Pirelli and Michelin before I stumbled into the Bridgestone camp. John Hutchinson is very quickly becoming a wizard at this "tire thing"! Going so far now as to accurately predict the lap times necessary to win races
+1
Haven't tried the others for the stones have worked very well for me when I came off the michelins several years back.
I'm loyal to with what I become comfortable with.
Unless of I get that huge contract. Then...
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Old 08-28-2008, 01:22 PM   #8
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Michelin: Good grip, predictable, wear is consistent but they don't last long. They stay pretty predictable until they're very worn. Decent price

Pirrelli: Nice feel and edge grip, but wear is terrible and they get scary/ unpredictable when worn. Very expensive to boot. (Metzler is made by Pirelli)

Dunlop: Good edge grip, very rigid carcass, wear is OK, very consistent and predictable. Very expensive tire too.

Bridgestone: All of the best with edge grip, wear, predicatability, and feel, not to mention they're currently the least expensive tire out there! The 003 is a softer carcass than the 002 was which for some folks is a less harsh ride like the Pirelli (which is probably the softest carcass out there).

YMMV
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:41 PM   #9
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Ive only tried 3 of the 4.

Bridgestones: Solid grip all around, rougher ride then some tires. IMO when the Bridgestone go they just go, not much of a sign that they are about go.

Pirelli: Bad front tire, solid edge grip, predictable when they move. Cons are rears dont last as long as other brands but when the tires go they continue to go. Very predictable tire though.

Dunlop: Longest lasting tire around only if it is the new D211 ntec. This tires edge grip and drive is insane. I can mash the throttle alot earlier on exit and not spin the tire. Front tire is a little sketchy when braking hard/trail braking. It feels like it wants to tuck. Ive run some Dunlops for 8 sprint races, 3 pratcices and half a trackday and the tire has gone off a little but it plateaus instead of continuing to fall off like the pirellis. Sure they are expensive but you get twice the life out of them. Racers gotta look at the year cost for tires not just one weekend.

This is all just IMO, most tires are similar it is just a matter of preference. Find a tire that suits your budget and riding style the best.
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Old 08-29-2008, 05:35 PM   #10
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MICHELIN
No experience with them.

DUNLOP
Very hard carcass, but great performance, but hardest to find optimal set-up. When you have your t dialed in, they rock and you can roll. The problem is that optimal set-up is harder to find. Great wear and very predictable to slide and feel when worn. Great edge grip (IF you can find that optimal tuning window). Haven't dealt with David Roy (the current Dunlop vendor).

PIRELLI
Super-soft carcass soaks up the bumps nicely. I've been on bikes that had Dunlops on them and the bikes felt horrible because the set-up was not there. Then, threw on a set of Pirelli's and the problem was gone. They wear fast and are not very predicable when worn and some complain of not enough feedback. A plush ride though. Shane Stoyko is a good guy and a long-time racer.

BRIDGESTONE
Carcass feel is harder than Pirelli, but softer than Dunlop... so a nice balance I think. Wear is very good and are almost as easy to tune as the Pirellis. Performance is predictable when worn. Awesome edge grip and overall performance. John of South Central Race Center is The Man.

SUPPORT
This is very subjective because different people will have different experiences. Still, I've ridden all three brands with various vendors over the last six years. As far as the last couple years go, Bridgestone has been the most consistent with the most professional presence.

Take that for what it's worth...
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:51 PM   #11
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Michelin:
I've ridden with them personally on several occasions and never could get a very good feel of what was going on with the tire, and I seemed to have alot of rearend issues... however Trevor uses them and he flies on them.

Dunlop:
As stated, when set up properly for the tires the rearend grip is absolutely incredible and never seems to have a major amount loss in performance... however if you get that wrong you have alot of headshake and many other problems... very good wear. Very high price point...

Pirelli:
The best front tire I've ever personally run, with amazing feel and a ton of grip. The rear is great, but wears quickly and loses overall grip faster than the Dunlops. The slides, to me seem pretty controlled and easy to deal with. Great tire for the dollar.

Bridgestone:
Never run a Bridgestone tire at pace to give my impressions.
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Old 08-30-2008, 07:48 PM   #12
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Just ran the BT003s for the first time today. Had the BT002's before. Incredible tire. The front carcass is soft enough to really feel what's going on, but doesn't feel too mushy. The rear felt very similar to the 002s. I will buy these again.
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Old 08-31-2008, 02:09 PM   #13
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Dunlop: Very sticky. Predictable wear / traction fade characteristics.
VERY Stiff carcass, head shake issues. Limited compound availability issues off and on during the season.
Expensive, no real local support, terrible contingency pay out.


Michelin: Also very sticky. Not as stiff as the Dunlops, decent mid corner bump compliance.
Predictable wear / traction fade characteristics.
Good local support / availability. Good contingency pay out.


Pirelli: Equal to / better traction than the rest. Very soft carcass, rear tire wears quickly / traction drops considerably.
Semi-expensive, local support but intermittent availability issues, decent contingency pay out.


Bridgestone: Equal to / better traction than the rest. Soft / medium carcass. The new BT003 seems to have really good mid corner bump compliance.
Great wear / traction loss predictable / minimal. Affordable price.
Excellent local support, availability and contingency pay out.

IMO, you can throw a blanket over the 4 brands performance wise.
In the end it comes down to 4 things for me:

Tire handling / traction / wear characteristics.
Support / availability.
Price.
Contingency pay out.

Bridgestone has the best package around currently as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:37 PM   #14
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Hello riders,

I have been watching the boards since the inception and finally have need to chime in. Per Patricks reply which is based on incorrect and non-current information please let me set the record straight.

Patrick - Dunlop: Very sticky. Predictable wear / traction fade characteristics.
NTSB - I agree in all aspects. Dunlop rear tires last much longer than any other race tire made period. The fronts last forever(no warranty expressed or implied).

Patrick - VERY Stiff carcass, head shake issues. Limited compound availability issues off and on during the season.
NTSB - Disagree on every point - The new N-Tec technology and carcass construction is more flexible than previous models but they are designed to take more of the tire out of the suspension equation by allowing the tire to not flex as much due to track, temperature, or humidity, thusly not affecting change in your suspension. Other brands of tires (and i know from experience, i will expound in a second) unfortunately cause handling issues as they wear and a consistent setup is very hard to maintain. As far as the Dun-Wobble conspiracy theory, i agree that setup was difficult on pre-N-tec tires because tires grew at speed. The tires were made larger at one point to keep heat and stress out of them at tracks like Daytona etc. and this caused problems for the everyday trackday guy or racer because as the tire grew it affected the geometry of the motorcycle causing in some cases wobble. The new generation tires are more freindly to the geometry as they do not grow like the old ones.

As far as compounds go, this has not been a problem since late 2006, as availability of tires in general had been a problem. We have all the compounds available or that anyone would need and tire availabiity is not an issue any longer.

Patrick - Expensive, no real local support, terrible contingency pay out.
NTSB - Disagree. I am not going to lie to anyone, Dunlops are more expensive. But you get what you pay for. Ask the 3 fastest guys in the CMRA what tires they ride on, Ty Howard, Dane Westby and Dustin Dominguez, all on Dunlops. Why? Ask them, they are paying for them every weekend. When Ty originally tried the Dunlops i gave him a used N-Tec , this was in February, he ran over 150 laps on the same rear at 1:17 laptimes with little or no changes to his formerly Pirelli shod machine. Dustin uses the same set for 5-7 sprint races, Dane and Ty have broken almost every track record this year by big almost 2 second margins as some tracks, on the same bikes they were on last year on different tires. Hmmm??? Anyway i am not TY you are not Ty but if you are going slower they should work better and last longer. if you are club racer say for example your name is "john ham&^%"(who unfortunately broke his colloarbone in a mini race last weekend) but for the entire season on another brand of tire he bought one set per weekend. $350x10weekends = $3500. This season on Dunlops where his times have gotten faster by leaps and bounds 1:23 at Cresson, he just purchased his 5th set of tires 5X$432=$2160. You do the math. ***FOR 2009 there are new technology tires coming at a much lower price, i just cant give specifics but they are coming*****

I personally restructured the contingency for our region at the beginning of the season and increased payouts accross the board, including $750 for a win in B SS/SB endurance, higher than any other brand. Dunlop is paying out within 2 to 3 weeks much faster than previous.

Patrick use to be the Dunlop race vendor and he probably is basing his info on personal experience but this is now not the case, so please if you have something to say make sure your facts are current and unbiased.

As for me here is my bio:

started club racing in 1990 won 14 regional championships
Turned pro in 1993
Tied for 10th AMA Pro Series 750 SS 1994
7th in Superteams in 1995
Crashed my brains out in Superbike in 1996
1997 injured
1998 4 florida regional championships
1999 injured, raced CCS and limited AMA rounds
2000 7th in AMA Pro Thunder Championship
Retired
Manager of Racing Operations for Ducati North America from 2000-2003
2008 2 for 2 in CMRA F40 Class. (just turned 40 in July)


I have raced on Bridgestones, Pirellis, Metzelers(helped develop the original MEZ1's), and Michelins, but I always went back to Dunlop. They always provided the reliabiltiy, performance, life, and confidence that i needed. Ultimately you need to decide what you feel you can excel on. And once you have all of the facts make an educated decision. No one makes a bad tire, there are just better ones.

Best regards
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:12 PM   #15
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A bit sensitive aren't we.

Yep, I was the Dunlop distributor for a few years, prior to selling my half of SCRC to John, so I'm pretty knowledgeable on the Sportmax / 209s but I also have some experience with the NTECs as well.

Both Radar and Tom listed the Dunlops as expensive, so I'm not alone there.

Ty gets his tires for free. Last year he was on Pirellis, this year he's on Dunlops, because they made him a better deal.
Next year, who knows, and as Andy, the starter of this thread posted; who cares?


Contingency?

Compare Dunlop to Bridgestone:

Bridgestone pays down to 5th in most classes, Dunlop only to 3rd.

Bridgestone sponsors more classes than Dunlop.

Bridgestone pays more for 3rd place than Dunlop pays for 2nd in most classes other than a few Endurance classes.

Top 5 finishes in the CMRA?

Check the results, Dunlop is not in the majority. A racer needs to place to earn contingency.


From the CMRA website:

DUNLOP TIRES
Payment by certificate
All events
Minimum entries – Sprints - 8
EX A, B, C, D Superstock
EX A, B, C, D Superbike
EX Formula 1
EX Heavyweight Twins
1st-$150, 2nd-$75, 3rd-$50

NV A, B, C, D Superstock
NV A, B, C, D Superbike
NV Formula 1
NV Heavyweight Twins
EX Formula 40
1st-$75, 2nd-$40, 3rd-$30

125 Grand Prix
1st-$50, 2nd-$40, 3rd-$30

CMRA Endurance
Minimum entries – Endurance – 8
C Superstock
C Superbike
1st-$750, 2nd-$200, 3rd-$100

A Superstock
Formula 2
1st-$400, 2nd-$200, 3rd-$100

BRIDGESTONE TIRES
Payment by certificate
All events

1st-5, 2nd-8, 3rd-5th-10
EX A, B, C, D Superstock
EX A, B, C, D Superbike
EX Formula 1
1st-$200, 2nd-$150, 3rd-$100
4th-$75, 5th-$50

EX Formula 2
EX Heavyweight Twins
EX Lightweight Twins
NV A, B, C, D Superstock
NV A, B, C, D Superbike
EX Formula 40
EX Formula 40 Lightweight
125 Grand Prix
Supermotard
Unlimited Supermotard
1st-$150, 2nd-$100, 3rd-$75

NV Formula 1 & Formula 2
NV Heavyweight Twins
NV Lightweight Twins
NV Formula 40
NV Formula 40 Lightweight
Classic Unlimited
E Superstock
Clubman
Junior Motard
Formula 4, 5, 6, 7
1st-$100, 2nd-$75, 3rd-$50

CMRA Endurance
Minimum entries
1st-5, 2nd-8, 3rd-10
A Superstock
C Superstock
C Superbike
1st-$400, 2nd-$300, 3rd-$200

Formula 1, Formula 2
1st-$300, 2nd-$200, 3rd-$150

CMRA Mini Endurance
Minimum entries
1st-5, 2nd-8, 3rd-10
Formula 4, 5, 6, 7
1st-$200, 2nd-$150, 3rd-$100


I won't mention names, but I know of a few Dunlop riders who could not get the tires they needed. ,
But if you say supply isn't an issue after an AMA weekend, o.k..



If you say they don't wobble, well again, o.k., although Radar posted:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Radar
tried a set of slicks from them about a year ago - felt awesome in the corners - caused headshake on the straights - I HATE headshake - didn't want to try to work the headshake out, so I took them off after a couple of laps and sold them - service at the time was nearly non exsistent in our part of the world -

Lastly there's the LOCAL service issue, as in HOUSTON local.
David / Michelin is in Galveston, Larry / Pirelli is in Angleton and John / Bridgestone is in Magnolia.

Lewisville? Not exactly local to Houston.

Andy asked for opinions, I stand by my statements and offer points to back them up.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:15 PM   #16
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Wow, the content in this thread just went up a great deal over the past few days. Looks like I'll be taking some time to read it finally.



I can't comment like any of the guys above, but I have no complaints about the 003's after riding two trackdays on them this past weekend. (Soft front, medium rear) for what it's worth.

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Old 09-03-2008, 06:16 PM   #17
racerboy4
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I didnt mean to sound defensive Patrick I am just providing updated information to your D209 info that is no longer valid, and i dont want to get into a huge debate as i was just trying to give the orginal poster the correcet info. I feel that you cannot go wrong with any of the tire vendors at the track as they all give superior service to any other club i have ever been in. As far as your Dunlop servicing issue, i think that when you say there is no local support It sounds as if you are saying there is no option of Dunlops around, be it Houston or otherwise, so my point was there are Dunlops around. You are correct Bridgestone is paying in more classes and i dont think i said that we paid more just that it is better than before, including the C SS/SB classes that we pay the most.

As far as availabilty at the Nationals this is not something i can attest to as i am only at a couple of nationals a season but at the ones i did attend there were no problems. Since you broguht up the club, I think you can quote all you want about finishes and in racing i think people should aspire to win, and to date Dunlop riders are leading 9 out of 20 expert sprint classes in overall points and on the cusp of leading 3 more so i think our results speak for themsleves almost 50%.

Anyway i dont want to get into a fight with anyone about it, i am just here to provide any accurate info to anyone that needs it and they are welcome to contact me at any time.

Best Regards
Daivd Roy
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:13 AM   #18
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There is a reason dunlop is run by the majority of ama road racers.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:17 AM   #19
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What's the price difference with the Dunlops vs. Bridgestones?
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Old 09-04-2008, 10:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Predator04 View Post
There is a reason dunlop is run by the majority of ama road racers.
Your right there is, the reason is, politically Dunlop has ran off most everyone else. Dunlop once made a race shorter than planned because thier tire would not last the originally planned length. So the AMA actually shortened the race so the Dunlop guys would still be able to finish.

Dunlop has had a strangle hold on the AMA for years. The AMA is also the only place in the world they consistently win races.

Fim World Endurance - usually Bridgestone wins
BSB - Spec Pirelli
WSBK - Spec Pirelli
Canadian Superbike - Spec Pirelli
Japanese Superbike - Usually Bridgestone with a Dunlop win here & there
Motogp - duh Bridgestone, Dunlop did so well they left
Australian Superbike - Spec Pirelli (I think)

Esentially AMA is Dunlop's last stand. They have all of the fastest riders and the factory teams. There is not one full factory team running Pirelli or Michelin. BTW Bridgestone pulled out of the AMA after 3-4 seasons because of the harsh treatment of the AMA officials and quite frankly the BS in the paddock.

Since David felt the need to turn this into a Dunlop commercial, I guess I can change the channel again.

Derek Wagnon (on Bridgestone BT003's) consistently beats most of those fast guys on Dunlops. He beat Cory Burleson (Pirelli) & Dustin Dominguez (Dunlop) and Cresson, as well as at Hallett. Heck I even let Derek endurance on Dunlops and he still goes faster on Bridgestones...every weekend. Nobody is going to beat Ty, when Ty wants to win, and I know Ty does not buy tires. Good for him, I know he deserves the deal he has.
As far as how long the tires last, Ask Dustin Dominguez why he only got 8 laps out of a rear at Cresson? All tires wear out. I see Dane, Ty & Dustin....heck all of your riders getting tires every weekend, just like the rest of the riders.

Mini Sprints - 4 of 4 championships are led by Bridgestone riders
Novice Sprints - 10-14 championships are led by Bridgestone riders
Expert Sprints - 8 of 20 championships are led by Bridgestone riders
Mini Endurance Overall Championship was won by a Bridgestone bike
Big Bike Endurance - Superstock C & Formula 2 are both being led by Bridgestone bikes

Most of my faster Novices bought a few sets at the beginning of the season, since then the contingency money has bought all of thier tires. Most of my Novices get 4-5 sprint races out of a set and still do trackdays on them after that. My experts typically get 2-3 sprints out of a rear, with the front lasting all weekend. When these guys are done with them at the races, they still ride on them at trackdays.

John
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