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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I cant help but notice just about everybody else at the track seems to use tyre warmers. I'd always thought they were just to warm up your tyres so they aren't cold when you go out for a session and that on street tyres which seem to warm up quite quick wouldn't really be needed but I shared a pit garage with a guy on Sunday who was telling me it is more to extend the tyres life. He explained that it is the heat cycling which kills the tyres, getting hot, cold, hot, cold and that the theory behind the warmers is if you put them on when you come in, your tyres don't get a chance to cool so the whole day is basically just one heat cycle.

Is this the case? How much more life would I be able to expect from a set of tyres when used at the track with warmers? Are they worth getting or are they kind of unneccesary?

I've noticed there are sets for as little as $220 delivered on ebay. STG also sell a pair of their own brand for $275 that are made in the US by Chicken Hawk which might be a better bet than the ebay stuff which is no doubt made in China.

Thoughts?
 

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I cant help but notice just about everybody else at the track seems to use tyre warmers. I'd always thought they were just to warm up your tyres so they aren't cold when you go out for a session and that on street tyres which seem to warm up quite quick wouldn't really be needed but I shared a pit garage with a guy on Sunday who was telling me it is more to extend the tyres life. He explained that it is the heat cycling which kills the tyres, getting hot, cold, hot, cold and that the theory behind the warmers is if you put them on when you come in, your tyres don't get a chance to cool so the whole day is basically just one heat cycle.

Is this the case? How much more life would I be able to expect from a set of tyres when used at the track with warmers? Are they worth getting or are they kind of unneccesary?

I've noticed there are sets for as little as $220 delivered on ebay. STG also sell a pair of their own brand for $275 that are made in the US by Chicken Hawk which might be a better bet than the ebay stuff which is no doubt made in China.

Thoughts?
Your paddock mate wasn't blowing smoke your way. Tire warmers do a lot to help you get extra life out of your tires, especially if they're race compound tires. Street tires are formulated to handle many, many heat cycles whereas a track-specific tire has only a finite life before grip really starts to fall off. Yes, it's a small investment up front, but you get more than your money back, even after just a few trips to the track.

First thing, you'll get less cold tearing on your first few laps out on track since the tire are already up to temperature. In losing less tread, you're increasing tire life.

As you've mentioned, fewer heat cycles are a big bonus - instead of having say, five or ten - you get one heat cycle throughout the day. Some guys like to heat their tires all day, starting at the hottest setting to get heat into the rims before heading out first thing, then bringing the temp down to keep the tires warm for the rest of the day.

We recommend that you talk to your tire guy about the best method for your tires!.

The biggest bonus for me, personally - is being able to run my first lap as hard as I want right out of the pits. I get more hot laps in this way and ultimately, more bang for my trackday dollar. Furthermore, with grip at, or near maximum from the off, there's less chance of throwing it away and causing other expensive damage just because my tires weren't warm.

Hope that helps. :D
 

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Thanks for the advice. I plan on running street tyres for a while yet, do you think it would be worth while using warmers on Q2's or SC III's or should I wait til I'm running track tyres?
A bit depends on how serious and often you want to run.

Do you trailer the bike to the track?

Basically, to fit the warmers you need paddock stands front and back, so carting them, plus the warmers leaves you no room for lunch, if you ride to the track.

Do you do more than a couple of track days a year?

If you only do one or two a year, you'll have changed tyres more frequently than that anyway, so the saving in tyre life isn't quite so important.

BTW, and this may be a silly question, but at Mallala, do you have access to a socket to plug the warmers into?

I have been to tracks where there isn't handy electrical sockets all over the place, and if there isn't then you need a gennie to power the warmers.

BTW, while having the tyres warm can let you go faster on the first lap, it's a smart move to take the first lap reasonably gently to have a look at the track...... sometimes the surface changes between sessions......

regards,CrazyCam
 

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Don't bother with warmers until your up on the fast pace and need to use DOT racing tyres.. total overkill on street rubber. Correct pressures are far more important for you at this stage.
 

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A bit of advice on warmers, buy a good set once, and not a cheap set several times. Cheap is not always indicated by the retail price of the warmers. ;)

  • Take care of your warmers. The heating element(s) on many units can be fragile.
  • Look for heating element that crosses the entire tire surface, not an "S" shape.
  • Look for an elastic band around the edge of the tire to hold in heat, and keep out wind - this can be worth up to 20° F.
  • Get an inexpensive IR thermometer, or tire warmer with a digital guage, and look at the temps at different areas of the tire - especially the edges.
After years of using and selling warmers, the Woodcraft ones are the only ones we use and sell. And now that they will be bringing the digital units back, I would consider these as well - not mandatory, but definitely a nice feature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A bit depends on how serious and often you want to run.

Do you trailer the bike to the track?

Basically, to fit the warmers you need paddock stands front and back, so carting them, plus the warmers leaves you no room for lunch, if you ride to the track.

Do you do more than a couple of track days a year?

If you only do one or two a year, you'll have changed tyres more frequently than that anyway, so the saving in tyre life isn't quite so important.

BTW, and this may be a silly question, but at Mallala, do you have access to a socket to plug the warmers into?

I have been to tracks where there isn't handy electrical sockets all over the place, and if there isn't then you need a gennie to power the warmers.

BTW, while having the tyres warm can let you go faster on the first lap, it's a smart move to take the first lap reasonably gently to have a look at the track...... sometimes the surface changes between sessions......

regards,CrazyCam
Hey Cam

I rode to the track last weekend as I had to leave around lunch time but I normally put my bike in the back of my ute to get it to the track so have plently of storage space. Need to buy some axle stands but they are fairly inexpensive. Have been told to get a head lift stand for the front.

I've only just started doing trackdays but I've already done 3 this year and plan to do a heap more. Mallala has powered pit garages so there's no problem with plugging in.

Don't bother with warmers until your up on the fast pace and need to use DOT racing tyres.. total overkill on street rubber. Correct pressures are far more important for you at this stage.
This is pretty much what I was thinking. My street tyres have always felt like they warm up really quickly anyway but the guy I was sharing a pit garage with on Sunday was using them on SC III's and said that he got better wear out of them with the warmers. Considering how quickly my SC III's wore out on the track I thought it might be a good idea. I see a lot of other people using them on street tyres also.

A bit of advice on warmers, buy a good set once, and not a cheap set several times. Cheap is not always indicated by the retail price of the warmers. ;)

  • Take care of your warmers. The heating element(s) on many units can be fragile.
  • Look for heating element that crosses the entire tire surface, not an "S" shape.
  • Look for an elastic band around the edge of the tire to hold in heat, and keep out wind - this can be worth up to 20° F.
  • Get an inexpensive IR thermometer, or tire warmer with a digital guage, and look at the temps at different areas of the tire - especially the edges.
After years of using and selling warmers, the Woodcraft ones are the only ones we use and sell. And now that they will be bringing the digital units back, I would consider these as well - not mandatory, but definitely a nice feature.
Thanks for the info mate.
 

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Setting your tyre pressures off the warmers is a pretty rough way to do things.

Tyre pressures should be set cold, and measured at track hot. It's the pressure gain that tells you if your tyre is set correctly for the conditions. You are generally aiming for a pressure gain between 5 and 7 pounds. It varies a little dependant on ambient temp, ground temp, compound and personal preference.

It is well worth your while to take copious notes on the tyres you use, ambient temp, surface temp, cold temp and hot temp to work out what is best for each track and set of conditions if you are serious about looking after your tyres.

Mind you, i'm a nerd and it is this sort of thing that gives me as much interest in motorcycles as actually riding them.
 
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