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Discussion Starter #1
Wanted to see what the consensus was on choice of tires, and the longevity of tires wrt heat cycles. I consider myself an intermediate-advanced rider and have finally considered dedicating my bike to full track use. So, heres a couple of questions for you guys:

Essentially, I'm after making the "right" choice between say a Pirelli Corsa III trackday tire, and a DOT race type tire, say a Pirelli Corsa Pro.

In trying to make a good choice, and I'm struggling with understanding what the difference in performance is between these two tires for one. The other thing is that I've heard DOT race tires are heat cycle limited, say 15-20 cycles? Is this in fact true, and what (if any) are the heat cycle limits for a trackday tire such as a Corsa III? I'm trying to undestand if these tires can be ridden to their treadwear limits (for track use), or should they be removed following the suggested heat cycle limits?

All thoughts are appreciated!
 

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from my understand of it there isn't any set amount of heat cycles for any particular tire. but I think you can run a tire such as the Corsa III closer to the wear bars than something like a DOT race tire, since the Corsa is also a street tire its constructed in such a way that numbers of heat cycles doesn't really apply. On the track you'll probably have no rubber left before it reaches maximum number of heat cycles.


if it were me I'd just run the Corsa IIIs to save money until I got really fast where I'd need the grip of a DOT more.
 

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Run a set of Super Corsas and see. I have run a variety on the RC and pretty much settled on Bridgestones, though I might go to slicks next year. This is not a Bridgestone is best issue it is what "I" like. You may prefer something else. I go through a set in about 3 days now so I don't have to live long with a test set.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Run a set of Super Corsas and see. I have run a variety on the RC and pretty much settled on Bridgestones, though I might go to slicks next year. This is not a Bridgestone is best issue it is what "I" like. You may prefer something else. I go through a set in about 3 days now so I don't have to live long with a test set.

Thats a good point. In the end, I think I'll probably try both types of tires. I'd rather do some homework beforehand. No doubt that in your case, going thru a set of tires in three days, you have no issue regarding respecting heat cycle limitations.
 

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I use bt002 race tires on my everyday 954.... I drive to work weekdays and play on the weekends (track/canyon carving)...

I find the race tires to be much better than the street equivalent (Bt014-bt015) because of their much faster geometry and the stickier compound.

Heat cycles, do affect them, so I would not expect my everyday race tire to be as good as a new race tire, but in every case I find the grip of the many times heat cycled bt002 to be much better than the normal tires and the faster crowns are still there no matter how many heat cycles...

3 things to note.
They last about half the time to normal tires before they reach the wear limit indicators.
They really do not have any grip for the first 300 meters(esp the rear breaks loose for almost no reason when starting in cold morning) and fianally,
When its raining, I let moppeds and maybe pedal bikes overtake me (not really) as they are not made for rain. They drive ok and do not aqua plan in the wet, but they break loose very very easy and very very suddenly....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I use bt002 race tires on my everyday 954.... I drive to work weekdays and play on the weekends (track/canyon carving)...

I find the race tires to be much better than the street equivalent (Bt014-bt015) because of their much faster geometry and the stickier compound.
Like i said, my bike will be restricted to the track.... So no issue for street i.e. rain and so on.... Just to be accurate, the BT-002, is a DOT race tire, so in line with a Pirelli Corsa Pro (or old gen Dragon)?
 

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you are welcome, and in case you are interested, I consider the bt002 much better than the corsa pro.

IMO the pirellis needed too much time to warm up, and by the time they had reached working temps, they felt like they started overheating and balooning and sliping all over the place....

Plus, although the bt002 have a very agressive crown that allows for very fast turn in and excellent transitions, they are perfectly stable on the straight bits with no wobbles etc With the corsas on the other hand, I was getting head shakes all over the straight bits when on the throtle. Not very confidence inspiring. As good as the bt002 when in the corner.

Then again thats only my opinion and others might have different experiences... I'm fat anyway, and I think the corsas would deliver better on a ligher combo.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
you are welcome, and in case you are interested, I consider the bt002 much better than the corsa pro.

IMO the pirellis needed too much time to warm up, and by the time they had reached working temps, they felt like they started overheating and balooning and sliping all over the place....

Plus, although the bt002 have a very agressive crown that allows for very fast turn in and excellent transitions, they are perfectly stable on the straight bits with no wobbles etc With the corsas on the other hand, I was getting head shakes all over the straight bits when on the throtle. Not very confidence inspiring. As good as the bt002 when in the corner.

Then again thats only my opinion and others might have different experiences... I'm fat anyway, and I think the corsas would deliver better on a ligher combo.
Thanks again buddy. I think it'll be between these two tires in the end, provided I go with a dot race tire. Still not convinced that I wont go with the Corsa IIIs. I sent Pirelli an email on the subject, we'll see what they say....I'm over 200lbs myself....
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I spoke to a friend of mine thats followed a F2000 team on the subject and his take is that all tires suffer from heat cycles. He mentioned that the first 1.5mm is probably the sweat spot for most tires, and its downhill from there on as far as traction is concerned.
 

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Think of it like this... You have met two blondes. They are both hot! Your initial reaction with each one of them, is awesome! But after 2 months of dating them both, which one would you want to bring home to meet mom? Which one will you be avoiding after 2 months? LOL For track day purposes, a long lasting tire that performs well is best. Unless you have the money to buy new tires everytime you decide to do a track day. That gets expensive, like the blonde with her hand out all the time!!! Sucking...your wallet dry! LOL Proper air pressure also has an affect on how long tires will last. Make sure you check tire pressures EVERY time before you head out on the track. Also check the pressures as soon as you come off the track. Tires have a starting pressure and an after track pressure. Check with the tire manufacturer as to what these are for the tires you buy. On the track days I do, I see guys check their pressures at the beginning of the day, then never again the rest of the day. Not good. Thats like throwing money away. Air temps and track temps change throughout the day, so you should adjust your tire temps accordingly... Just my 2 cents. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good Answer ptlcb1!
Interesting you mention the tire pressures..I was told the best way to ensure your tire is in the "sweet spot" is to check tire (internal) temperature, which is what we're trying to do by measuring pressures I think.
I spoke to my local Pirelli rep and it was interesting how he sized DOT tires. One point being, they are a RACE tire, so if your objective is to "podium" thats what you want, the other is that their quoted heat-cycles are with RACING in mind, so they DO work beyond their HC limitation, just dont try to set a lap record on the 4th heat cycle! It was clear to me that a trackday day tire is the way to go to save $$$, unless you're an upper echelon rider where the trackday tire doesnt give you the lap times you want!!!!
 

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I learned when I first started racing, how important tire pressures were. Im a budget racer, so I make what I have, last as long as possible. When I finally bought that next set of tires, from the same guy, he was surprised to see how worn those tires were, because he knew I was dropping my personal best lap time at every race weekend. By wearing that set of tires out, I developed that FEEL, an understanding with my tires and its been a great relationship ever since! :)

Pirelli has come a long way. They have a great product now! As the supplier for the World Superbike Series and Im sure some other series around the world, the average track day/club racer reaps the benefits, of the knowledge they are gaining, being the tire supplier for those series! Here in the States, Dunlop use to be "the" tire to have. I think every year, they are losing some of their market share to Pirelli. Over the last few years, Pirelli has been making it on the podium. Last year at the Daytona 200, Pirelli finished 1st and 2nd! They make great shoes! lol
 

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Re Bridgestones for track use..my supplier reckons that the 002 is just a slick with grooves for supersport approval... same compounds...!!??
I'll tell you later if thats true, as thats all iI can get for my next clubmans/superbike race.
use tyrewarmers asap to lessen the effects of heat cycling and remember you'll get you best grip for approx 2 laps from brand new- so use that to qualify with.
A rear slick lasts one days racing (6 races) and a front should last two days but I always change as a pair and reuse the fronts for trackdays...
Pressures = no more than 34 hot- immediately after coming in.
The pressures are a balance between grip and longevity and feel!
-read keith codes site... not gospel but interesting.
Cheers.
 

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Hey there Towbar :)
I just ran a rear Pirelli SC2 slick to 1300km and 68 heat cycles - a record for me.
Its final raceday was a downpour at Wanneroo so it was a ton of fun :)
Despite still having 2-3mm of tread, even in the dry the tyre finally had less grip than the Diablo Corsa road tyre I ran last weekend at Collie. I think I exceeded its heat cycle limit :)
I swapped out the SC1 front at 1000kms - after a 150-lap day at Collie totally chewed out the left side - and put on a secondhand Corsa road I got from the US on a wheel.
In '03 I ran a set of Pirelli's for 400 laps at Wanneroo over one weekend until the rear started throwing scabs of rubber.
Anybody else ever run a race tyre for 1300kms?
I ran a set of Dunlop slicks on the road for 11,000kms (including two track days) in '06 but that doesn't count :)
 

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I weighed the tyre I ran for 1300km of racing and discovered it's 1.28kg lighter than the new replacement. I wore away 20% of it's mass :)
 
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