'Round The Campfire > General Technical

Motorcycle Tire Performance

(1/2) > >>

Modifying Motorcycle Tires Can Affect Motorcycle Performance

By Maina Karoki Ijohn

In the World of motorbikes there are two words that are very frequent on many bike owner's lips; speed and performance. Some bike owners can go to all lengths to have their bikes modified so as to experience high performance whenever they are out for a spin or a ride. Those who do modifications by themselves have in mind two fundamental factors that can affect the performance of your bike; the size and pressure of your tire.

Reducing Pressure
The technique used when pressure is involved is to decrease tire pressure which then achieves a better grip on the road. This increases more rubber on the road which in effect increases the surface area on the tire. High performance is then enhanced when the tire can handle sharp corners faster especially for race bikes that need a higher performance.

Despite the maximum grip from low pressure, a compromise of stability and feel is experienced. While low pressure achieves the ability to make quick sharp turn on those corners, it decreases the tire's ability to run on a straight line. As a result you as the bike racer will end up overheating your tires and a catastrophic situation will highly occur. The same factor will also negatively affect your ride since a high percentage of the riding period will be on a straight line.

While extra traction on the corners is an added advantage due to low pressure, proper pressure is a better option when doing lap time. With proper pressure, you find yourself doing more lap time than the tire with low pressure.

The best practice for you as a rider especially on the race track, is to invest in a pyrometer which will give you the recommended measure of temperature that your tire rubber should reach as stipulated by the manufacturer. Most manufacturers like Dunlop and Dennis Smith give an allowance of six to eight pounds of temperature on the rear tire and two to four pounds of the front tire. In addition, when your tire has proper pressure the front tire will turn quicker and with better precision.

Increasing Tire Width & Diameter
With a similarity to automobile tires, motorcycle tires are designed to have a certain size that will offer the performance desired. Tires designed for high performance motorcycles are large in size to enable the bike to accelerate and quickly turn corners. Sport bikes are commonly spotted with tires designed with features such as a large diameter and width for better track performance.

A modification of the tire's width leads to more 'rubber' (an increase in the tire's surface area) on the road and an increase of adhesion as well making the tire have a better grip. A larger width also transforms your bike's ability to stop and take corners faster.

But despite the enhanced performance, wide and large diameter tires will require stronger shock absorbers to handle bumpy effects on the road. This is due to an increase in the weight of the tire and its wheel which will need stronger shocks that will control the heavier 'bounce' that will be experienced.

Maina is an expert in Motorcycle tires about Motorcycle accessories. You can visit 4wheelonline.com to get comprehensive details about the trends and best brands in the market.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Maina_Karoki_Ijohn

Motorcycle Tire Maintenance

By Derek J Smith

Have you checked your motorcycle tires lately? It is always good to check a few key aspects of your motorcycle tires after constant use or an extended layoff. Failure to keep your tires in good condition could put you and others at risk. Here are some tips that will help you keep your tires maintained.

Why You Need Good Motorcycle Tires

There are many different reasons why having well maintained motorcycle tires is important. Good traction is not only very important for all types of vehicles, but it is especially important to motorcyclists due to the safety reasons involved with riding a motorcycle. Having good tread helps you in all road and weather conditions and prevents you from sliding off curvy roads.

Without the right amount of tread depth in your tires, water has nowhere to flow so you might experience hydroplaning more often which can be very dangerous especially on two wheels. One of the biggest tell tale signs of lack of tread depth is a constant slipping or sliding of tires in wet conditions, this is an early sign that you might need new tires.

Tread is not only very important for the safety of the persons on the motorcycle, but it is also very important for all other drivers on the road. If you're bike skids out of control, who knows what the result might be and who knows who else might be hurt as a result of your negligence.

Maintenance Tips

Maintaining Proper Inflation: One thing you can do to help extend the life of your tires is always keep the proper amount of air in them. Proper inflation can help reduce wear and tear and can give you maximum amount of usage out of your motorcycle tires. Under inflated tires are just as bad as overinflated tires as they may very easily blow out during a ride. When your motorcycle tires are running to hot, they are more likely to break down and wear out quickly.

Keeping Good Tread Depth: Besides inflation, tire depth is something that is very important when dealing with your tires. A good rule of thumb is that if you tires or 2mm or less, then it is time to start shopping for new tires. Another good tip is the check the depth on all areas of the tire, as some tires may have extended wear and tear on only certain parts.

So as you get ready to embark on your motorcycle journeys this year, use these tips wisely and drive safe.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Derek_J_Smith

Tire Pressure-Not a Lot of Hot Air

Tire pressure leads to high performance and optimal grip on the track.

Although many riders spend a great deal of time discussing the virtues of various tire brands and rubber compounds, rarely does the subject of tire pressure enter the debate. Besides performing the essential function of holding a tire on a wheel, tire pressure affects a variety of factors. While most riders know that the wrong pressure can reduce a tire's life expectancy, the amount of air you carry can also dramatically affect handling and stability.

For optimum performance while heeled over on the track, tire manufacturers usually recommend running pressures lower than those reserved for the street. Why? The lower pressure allows for a larger contact patch and therefore more grip in the corners. How low should the pressures be? They shouldn't be so low that they allow the carcass to deform and cause handling problems. Also, if the pressure is too low, the tires could overheat and the extra traction being sought will slip away. In the days of bias-ply tires, setting tire pressure was critical for keeping the tread in the correct operating temperature. Although radial tires have minimized some of the temperature fluctuations caused by pressure sensitivity, setting a tire to the proper pressure will pay off dividends measured in lap times.

While the most scientific means of determining if a particular pressure is working for a tire is the use of a pyrometer to assess whether the rubber has reached the manufacturer's recommended temperature, charting the pressure increase of a tire after track sessions will give a good impression of how hard a tire is working. Dennis Smith of Dunlop's Sport Tire Services recommends an increase of two to four pounds in front tires and six to eight in the rear. But he adds, like most of the tire representatives we contacted, that club racers should talk to their tire vendor at the track since their knowledge base will negate the need for a lot of trial and error.

Since maximum grip is a good thing, why not just run race pressures on the street? First, according to Michelin's Claude Leroux, increased cornering grip comes at the expense of stability and feel. Lower pressures decrease straight-line stability, and regardless of how talented the rider is, most street bikes spend a high percentage of their time straight up. A side benefit of using the proper pressure is that the front tire will feel more precise and turn in quicker-a good thing during point-and-shoot sessions. Second, you can easily overheat your tires simply riding in a straight line by running the pressure too low. Remember, the lower pressure is to ensure a large contact patch, which is created by the carcass flex. The same process happens when you're not cornering. Take your sport bike out on an extended interstate ride with too little air, and all that flexing of the tire's carcass can cook the life right out of it.

Tire manufacturers spend a lot of time determining what pressures will provide the best compromise of performance and tire wear on the street. While some manufacturers recommend running the same pressures listed in the owner's manual for the bike's OE tires, a significant number-such as Metzeler and Pirelli-have proprietary pressures that should be run on particular tire/bike combinations. Be sure to ask your dealer or check the tire manufacturer's product literature for specific numbers. And check the pressure before every ride! Cory Johnson from Metzeler/Pirelli says between 75 and 80 percent of the tire warranty claims he reviews are caused by underinflation. When the cost of today's premium rubber is considered, investing in a good tire gauge-and using it religiously-is cheap insurance.

This story was originally published as part of the tire test in the February 2000 issue of Sport Rider.
Read more: http://www.sportrider.com/tech/tires/146_0206_motorcycle_tire_pressure/#ixzz2hQgiT0vN

Motorcycle Tire Guide

Press information and technical articles to help you find the best tires for your sportbike


Motorcycle Tires 101
Understanding the rubber that meets the road



[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version