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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up an '05 SV to use as a track bike and I've been riding it on the street to get used to it and see what it will need to be track ready. I rode in to work tuesday and came out to a flat rear tire. I plugged it and have been riding it since.
Tires are in great shape, lots of miles left. The question is, is it safe on track with the plug(rope style)? I am too old really to be going down at speed so if it isn't safe, I'd rather buy a new set of tires. Current rubber is Conti Track Attacks.

Thanks, Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, but $250-300 for a new set carries a lot more weight in my head if I don't really need them!

Matt
 

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What level do you ride at track days? Novice/Intermediate/Advanced? The plugs are reliable at all paces, and if it does fail it'll just go soft which you'll feel before it gets dangerous.

The real problem is in your head like the poster above says -- if you don't have confidence in your tires it will be in the back of your mind while you're on the track. Since you went through all the time and trouble to do the track day anyway, you might as well do it with a clear head.

If you do ride a fast pace normally, you won't be at your best if you don't have confidence in your tires. Every time I've agonized about coughing up the dough for a fresh set of tires, I've never regretted it after the first lap. If you ride a slower pace, you're probably thinking about a lot more than just your tires so I wouldn't worry about it too much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I did one track day on my Concours earlier this year and loved it. I bought the SV so I wasn't risking a lot of cash. I doubt I'll ever get beyond novice since my competitive edge has faded over the last 20 years. I just haven't had much experience with tire plugs. This was only my second in my 50+ years and I honestly didn't know whether they are safe especially under track conditions.

Matt
 

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Check with the track day organization. They may not allow it.


If it were the kind of patch you put on from the inside, I'd lean towards "sure, ride it"... but with it being the rope style you put in w/o removing the tire..... ehhhhhh, I dunno.
 

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it doesnt sound like your going to be knee-down, WFO'ing it around the track... you'll be fine.

The organization may not allow it, but I dont see a plug popping out at lvl 1 pace really causing you to do anything but pit out
 

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From the personal side, I've done several novice-level track days on a rope-plugged tire. Just keep an eye on the pressure and if it drops throughout the day your plug might be leaking. But it's not going to just blow into pieces on you. Hell, a bad batch of tires on the MotoGP bikes at Assen this year were shedding entire chunks of tread rubber with no blowouts, at race pace! Tire belts are tough.
 

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The odds are good that it will be fine. If it does fail, it will probably leak slowly enough that you'll feel it and can get off the track. But...(and there's always a but :)) I have known a couple of guys who have had them blow out suddenly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sounds like as long as it holds up over the winter and spring, it's going on the track, plug and all.

Thanks guys, Matt
 

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i wouldnt even run a rope style plug on the street, they have been known to come out or leak and at the track where tire pressure is a precission adjustment you dont want an unknown variable not to mention the tire is spinning much faster when your moving 120+ mph making it more likely to fling it out if you dont want to spend the money on a new tire (wich i dont blame you) i would at least take it to a tire shop pay 10 bucks to have them puul off the tire and install a patch/plug style from the inside. my opinion is i just dont like people saying it PROBABLY will be fine.
 

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Think of this from a non-emotional, worst case economic standpoint...

A new tire costs about 200 bucks and you know you've reduced your chances of something happening.

If it were to fail it very well may cause you to crash. Then it could cost you as little as a new tire if nothing breaks and you don't care about scratches, or as much as a new bike and hospital bills.

Tough call... one could easily argue it either way. I'd probably err on the side of caution and throw a new tire on there, but I spend upwards of 1.5-2g's on motorcycle tires a year anyway.
 

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Bet that thing was fun driving outta the corners! :D

My concern isn't a blow-out.... that's no more likely than it is on a good tire. My worry is that it'll toss the plug coming out on a straightaway, start quickly loosing air and you don't notice until you bend it into a corner when it's lost 10psi.

Is THAT likely? No. But it's possible.

It's all in how much risk you want to accept. I'd have touble making a decision myself, that's why I suggested contacting the track day organization. If they don't allow it then it makes your decision pretty easy.
 

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I had flat few times on the track, running over somebodies bolts.
Never crashed due to it or come close to it, you can feel when tire is going flat. I think it needs to explode to crash easily.
 

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I had flat few times on the track, running over somebodies bolts.
Never crashed due to it or come close to it, you can feel when tire is going flat. I think it needs to explode to crash easily.
Not everyone has your riding skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I contacted STT which is the org I rode with earlier this year. They have no rules against it but all of the STT forum members that responded were wholly against riding on a plugged tire. Either now or later when my tires need to be replaced, what should I get? I know I want to stay with a street tire since I want more than a few track days out of them. I put a set of PR3's on my Concours earlier this year and I like them so far. I want a tire with good grip in the wet as well as dry. I read through one of the long tire threads here and I was even more confused after reading than before. How about suggesting a good all around track/street tire?
Don't know if it matters on tire selection but I am pushing 250lbs in full gear and bike suspension is set up for track.

Thanks, Matt
 

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I had really good results at a novice pace track + street mix on Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsas. Last year at a C pace I got about 4k miles and maybe 6 track days out of a set, they were well worn out by the end there but weren't doing anything scary. Once you get to a faster pace the life drops quite a bit like any tire but I'm still running a DRC rear at A pace with a sticky DOT slick front. I went through 2 DRC fronts and 3 rears over the past two seasons.

They have excellent feel, the first time I bought a fresh set at a track day it was a revelation compared to the Michelins I had been running. I can't compare them to any other brands but I've been pretty happy so far. They worked really well on wet track too, as well as any tire could. I rode them from Portland to Roseburg on I-5 in washing machine rain conditions this spring, no complaints there either (tire-related anyway).

Any new tire will feel awesome when it's fresh and you're on the track, is my thought.
 
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