Follow-Up Tire Question

Ulrich Wiedmann uw_micapeak at
Sun Jun 8 14:22:59 PDT 2008

You and others on this list probably know far more about bike setup than I
do, but I can relate a few things I've heard:
1. Tire circumference (and hence diameter) can vary significantly from brand
to brand, even if the nominal size (e.g. 120/70 front) is the same. I
surmise that the difference between the front and the rear can also vary -
i.e., with a given fork height & shock length, changing to a different brand
will change your setup.
2. For quick turn-in SV's appear to benefit from more rake (raising forks,
increasing shock length). Most of the feedback I've received points towards
raising the forks and lengthening the shock (if you have a ride-height
adjustable shock) considerably over stock settings.
3. If you're running a stock front-end, it's probably set up for a 120/60
tire. Many race tires are only available in 120/70 - meaning you'll have to
raise the forks a little more to account for the difference.
4. In addition to their standard race compounds, Michelin has a Power Race
front tire with a compound called "PRC". This tire is not available retail -
you need to find a race distributor to get one. I'm told that this tire has
a deep "V" profile, which is supposed to help with turn in. (I'm not
fast/good enough to feel the difference). If you like fast turn-in, this may
be something you're interested in.
5. Michelin does not offer their race compounds in the stock rear tire size
- you have to buy the retail version. If you have a rear wheel conversion,
and run 180's, you'll have access to their PR compounds (these are also only
available through race tire distributors).
6. Rear compound recommendations vary - For Thunderhill - a local track
that's known to be hard on tires, and also tends to be quite warm during the
summer - paradoxically Medium tires (the hardest retail race compound) were
recommended against - Med/Soft is the right one for that track. For
Infineon, however, I've been told Medium works fine. In general, I've been
told the Soft compound is not worth running unless you're really trying to
win races at all costs - they'll go off pretty quickly.

I can't offer any useful feedback on one brand vs. another, unfortunately,
but thought my information on Michelins might be relevant.

-- Ulrich

On Sun, Jun 8, 2008 at 12:33 PM, Thomas J. Fitzpatrick III <
celticracing at> wrote:

> Thanks for all of the responses.
> I'm looking for the best tire, regardless of brand.  "Best" would be the
> best gripping, warm up and handling tire.  If at all possible, I don't ride
> in the rain.  Grip speaks for itself, but to be clear on handling, I prefer
> quick turn in as my former race bike was a single (GB500) and a Hawk, and I
> never liked big bikes.  I prefer the bicycle like handling of small bikes.
> Also, I need specific information as to the exact tire, and where
> appropriate, the compound.  So, for example, I have heard a lot about
> Pirellis, but not about which specific Pirelli is best.  At the shop I work
> at, the owner has used the Corsa IIIs on his ZX6 track bike, but I'm not
> sure that is the best for a stock SV.
> As to the Pilot Powers, I was checking out the web site and the catalogues,
> and there are quite a few in there, as well.
> Once I nail down the tire I want, I need to find the best source.  I get
> 10%
> over cost, but I believe cost varies a lot between vendors due to their
> specific contracts/arrangements.  It appeared that the most expensive
> Pirellis would cost me over $500 for a set, even at my shop.  That set me
> back on my heals.  So, what is the most reliable source of fresh Pirellis
> at
> a reasonable cost?
> Thanks again,
> Tom Fitzpatrick
> Celtic Racing #806

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