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I understand that tires must reach a proper temperature to properly grip in turns, but how do you know when this happens? Is it just feel? I read all these tire reviews and people say their tires warm up faster or slower than others. I want to know how I know when my tires are warmed up. I ride Pirelli Diablo Strada's but I can't say I've ever really noticed a difference between "cold" and "hot" tire conditions. A little discussion on this concept would be appreciated for those less informed like myself.
 

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eh...just don't take stuper sharp corners as soon as you ride out of your driveway??

it really depends on the speed, friction coefficent of the road, your weight and temperature of the road I would think...there's not really a cookie cutter answer to this...
 

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I've found this info useful.

Tire Pressure:
While the most scientific means of determining if a particular pressure 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.
Stamped on the outside of many of your tires is a recommended tire pressure range. (At least an upper limit.) For longest tire life it is my recommendation that you strive to keep them at the higher limit of those recommendations (regardless of what your motorcycle owner's manual might say to the contrary.) Further, this pressure should be determined while the tires are cold - meaning, have not been used for a couple of hours.
Start with the bike manufacturer's recommendation in the owners manual or under-seat sticker. This is the number they consider to be the best balance between handling, grip and tire wear. Further, if you're running alloy wheels on poor pavement, consider adding 2 psi to the recommended tire pressure just to reduce the likelihood of pothole damage. Just as you would for a car, increase the pressure 2 psi or so for sustained high speed operation (or 2-up riding) to reduce rolling friction, increase tire life, and casing flexing.
In order to get optimum handling a tire has to get to its optimum temperature, which is different for each brand of tire and different uses. Most of us don't have the equipment needed to measure tire temperature directly so we measure it indirectly by checking tire pressure since tire pressure increases with tire temperature. Tire temperature is important to know because too much flexing of the casing of an under-inflated tire for a given riding style and road will result in overheating resulting in less than optimum grip. Over-pressurizing a tire will reduce casing flexing and prevent the tire from getting up to the optimum operating temperature and performance again suffers.
Street
A technique for those wanting to get the most out of their tires on the STREET is to use the 10/20% rule.
First check the tire pressure when the tire is cold. Then take a 30-40 minute ride on your favorite twisty piece of road to get your tire temperature up, then measure the tire pressure immediately after stopping.
If the pressure has risen less than 10% on the front or less than 20% on the rear, the rider should remove air from the tire (to increase heating affect of carcass flex). So for example, starting at a front tire pressure of 32.5 psi should bring you up to 36 psi hot. Once you obtain this pressure increase for a given rider, bike, tire, road and road temperature combination, check the tire pressure again while cold and record it for future reference.
Each manufacturer is different. Each tire model is different.
• A tire design that runs cooler needs to run a lower pressure (2-3 psi front) to get up to optimum temperature. Remember carcass flex to generate additional heat.
• The rear tire runs hotter than the front tire on both road and track. So the rear tire cold-to-hot increase is greater.
• Dropping air pressure has the additional side effect of scrubbing more rubber area, and can additionally add more traction at the cost of a little stability
As an example for 2004 Aprilia RSV Mille the recommended starting temperatures for STREET use are.
• Front Tire 34.8 deg. Cold which in turn should be approximately 37.5 -38.5 deg Hot (3-4psi increase)
• Rear Tire 39.4 deg Cold which in turn should be approximately 45-47 deg Hot (7-9psi increase)
• Please note that these numbers tend to be too high for maximum traction but in turn increase the life of the tire.
 

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I understand that tires must reach a proper temperature to properly grip in turns, but how do you know when this happens? Is it just feel? I read all these tire reviews and people say their tires warm up faster or slower than others. I want to know how I know when my tires are warmed up. I ride Pirelli Diablo Strada's but I can't say I've ever really noticed a difference between "cold" and "hot" tire conditions. A little discussion on this concept would be appreciated for those less informed like myself.
Yeah, I think it's feel. If you think it's slippimg/sliding, or might be, or if you're not confident, it may not be warmed up.
 

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Feel it with your hand. Start checking after short rides. Warm tires will feel warm to the touch, but the hotter the better.
that doesn't help while you're riding...

you'll know if your tires are still cold if you give it throttle in a turn and your rear end comes a little loose, or very loose. If you aren't riding aggressively though this shouldn't be an issue for you, normal commute shouldn't need much of a tire warm-up, however as i found out from a fellow rider at my last track day, your tires aren't warmed up by turn two, he low sided on cold tires. It all comes down to how the bike is responding to your inputs.

Tire Pressure is a big factor in tire performance also, my room mate always says that proper tires and tire pressure are the best insurance a motorcyclist can have
 

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that doesn't help while you're riding...

you'll know if your tires are still cold if you give it throttle in a turn and your rear end comes a little loose, or very loose.
So rather than regularly checking your tire temp with your hand and getting used to it's warm up time, you recommend hitting the throttle mid corner to check?:rolleyes:

Have you ever felt your tires? If you haven't, for all you know your tires are never coming up to temp and you are only using part of what they are capable of. They should be pretty hot.

You are right about pressure though. Temp is a by product of pressure. If they get too hot and greasy feeling, raise the pressure. If you feel that are not coming up to temp in current weather, drop a few pounds.
 

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you recommend hitting the throttle mid corner to check?:rolleyes:
Now thats just silly, of course not, but when i first started riding i almost learned the hard way that your tires aren't warm when you pull out of the drive way

Have you ever felt your tires? If you haven't, for all you know your tires are never coming up to temp and you are only using part of what they are capable of. They should be pretty hot.
As far as feeling my tires...the only times i ride that i am worried about tire temp i ride 20+ miles to the canyons around Malibu, CA and i'm not about to stop and feel my tires while they cool down, that and on the track, what are you supposed to go a lap then come in and check your tires and then go out again, which again would allow them to cool back down.

From what i've found after a mile or two my tires are usually warmed enough to give me plenty of traction in traffic. I also ride on M Power Race tires so they warm up much quicker than the stock Dunlop crap tires Suzuki throws on the SVs, those prob never get warm.
 

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Now thats just silly, of course not, but when i first started riding i almost learned the hard way that your tires aren't warm when you pull out of the drive way


As far as feeling my tires...the only times i ride that i am worried about tire temp i ride 20+ miles to the canyons around Malibu, CA and i'm not about to stop and feel my tires while they cool down, that and on the track, what are you supposed to go a lap then come in and check your tires and then go out again, which again would allow them to cool back down.

From what i've found after a mile or two my tires are usually warmed enough to give me plenty of traction in traffic. I also ride on M Power Race tires so they warm up much quicker than the stock Dunlop crap tires Suzuki throws on the SVs, those prob never get warm.
What I was getting at was to feel them regularly to get a better idea of about how long they take to get warm. Also, if you feel them regularly after moderate/hard rides, you will get an idea what temp they are coming up to and will be better prepared to make adjustment. As you stated, tire pressure is one of the most important aspects of riding a sport bike.

Obviously if you pull in after said canyon run and they only feel warm, not hot, you need to drop pressure to bring temps up. ESPECIALLY on those Pilot races.
 

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This is what I do but I am by no means an expert rider.

Take a quick 15 minute ride just around town. Stop and check your tire pressure and just feel the tire. If the pressure has increased and the tire feels warm, then you know that 15 minutes or so of easy riding increases the temp pretty well. Ride for another 15 minutes and do the same thing. Pressure should have either increased or stayed the same. If it stayed the same, then 15 minutes is all it takes. If it increased, then you need about 15-30 minutes to properly warm up the tires.

You should do this on occasion to confirm that it stays the same throughout the wear of the tire. If it takes longer or shorter as the tire wears, then you know you need to adjust how long it takes before the tire is warm.

Just my two cents.
 

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It really only takes a few minutes on a warm day to get your tires up to optimum temperature. If you don't notice a difference between warm and cold tires then I'd say you haven't ever really pushed the limits of either one.
 

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From what I've read, traction in race tires are very sensitive to temperature, and racers and track riders pay close attention to tire pressure and temperature.

Street tire traction for street riding, though, are much less sensitive to temperature, by design. You can't corner that hard on the street to flex the tire carcass hard enough to heat up the tires like you would on a track even if you tried. Many street riders blame crashes on "cold tires" rather than blaming their own riding skills.
 

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I read in an article that for street tires, the best way to warm them up if you haven't already ridden them a few minutes to the twisties, is to do a few quick accelerations and stops in a straight line, keyword being STRAIGHT.
Swerving left and right won't be any better than accelerating and braking because the heat generated from that action will be transfered to the entire tire and air inside of it, regardless of whether you are scrubbing the sides of the tires or the centers of your tires.

Personally, I usually just do about 10 miles of twisties at a very quick pace on the straights, but braking hard before corners, just to make sure my tires are nice and warm.
 
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