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You probably already know that different motorcycles need different tires. Track tires aren’t the same as sportbike and race wheels, although many people tend to mix them.
There are critical differences, especially given the fact that track tires aren’t typically used for race purposes. You might think that finding the right pair is tricky, but there are a few things you can consider.
Ending up with the wrong model could make your rides uncomfortable and possibly even dangerous. For this reason, take a few moments to read the article below as we review the top motorcycle track tires.
For more general tires, see our top list.
Top 6 Motorcycle Track Tire Reviews
Michelin – Durable
Michelin is a big name in the industry, so you can hardly go wrong with its products. This is a rear model with a 50.6° lean angle in dry, and 41.9° in wet conditions.
It’s made of a rubber compound that reaches its operating temperature quickly. As a result, there’s only a short warm-up time, so you don’t have to wait. This is a high-performance model with excellent cornering grip and durability.
This one is specifically made for high-performance sportbikes, allowing you to use it in street and track conditions. The synthetic rubber mix is derived from MotoGP technology, made specifically to deliver consistent performance at all stages of tire wear.
Its tread pattern covers less than 12% of the surface, allowing excellent cornering adhesion. Rim diameter is 17 inches, while the rim width is 180 millimeters.
Dunlop – Great Grip
Dunlop is another great company that has been around for ages. Its Sportmax Q3+ tire is among the most long-lasting models suitable for street and track. It offers stability, grip, and impeccable steering feel.
Sportmax Q3+ is an improvement from the brand’s Q3 model. It’s redesigned and made to be more durable and comfortable in different riding conditions.
Its hyper-sport performance is suitable for track-day and sport riders. It offers extended life and even wear, allowing you to enjoy spending more time on the road and track.
This one provides stable and smooth handling, making your rides comfortable right from the moment you turn the bike on. It takes very little time to warm up as well. The carbon fiber reinforcement in its sidewalls allows stable cornering and exceptional feel.
Shinko – Flat
Shinko SR267/268 is a front wheel designed to deliver the highest level of performance for sport riding. It’s available in three different compounds, allowing you to choose based on your needs and preferences.
The available compounds are soft, medium, and hard, making it easy to pick what suits you the best. One of the most important things to note is that this is DOT approved. It’s legal to use across the United States of America, regardless of the road surface.
This model is a good value for your money, and it’s among the best choices for beginners. It’s easy to mount, so you can probably do it without any professional help.
However, keep in mind that it might slide in hard cornering. Also, it’s not the most durable model, but you’ll still get decent mileage out of it.
Bridgestone – Hypersport
If you’re looking for MotoGP quality, you might want to check this Bridgestone tire. It delivers supreme performance when it comes to cornering and braking. It provides maximum side grip, reliable traction, and good stability.
It features a new triple compound with the center offering stability while the shoulder compound transfers power to the road. The edge compound delivers a strong side grip and comfortable feeling at lean angles.
Its L-shaped grooves improve the shock absorption and rear-end steering. Thanks to its construction, it also provides great performance in wet conditions, allowing strong traction at times.
Another thing worth noting is the steel MS-BELT construction applied to both front and rear wheels. It improves its absorption, allowing a more comfortable ride.
Pirelli – Ultra-high-performance
Pirelli offers both front and rear wheel of the same model. Although you can buy them separately, they’re much better when used together.
The featured tread design is what’s currently used in the World Superstock 1000 championship. As such, it’s among the best choices for track and sports riding.
Its high modulus fiber carcass provides a lower deformation ration, making the structure stiffer. As a result, you get a better synergy between carcass and compounds.
The Single Element Tread Pattern allows a 24% larger slick shoulder area when compared to the previous Diablo Supercorsa. It increases the contact area and the overall great. On top of that, this also helps the tire to wear evenly.
Its compounds give it balance of grip and mileage. It’s going to last you a long time, always wearing evenly.
Metzeler – Supersport
This Metzeler is among the most popular choices because it’s quality-made but also quite affordable. It features a unique compound technology and a tread pattern that allows supreme grip in dry and wet roads and racetracks.
Its progressive handling comes from Metzeler’s patented 0° steel belt. Another thing that adds to the overall performance is Multiradius technology development.
The tread pattern design and its unique compound ensure safety, comfort, and extended mileage. It is safe to use in different conditions, although it might take a while to warm up.
It’s tubless and W-rated for speeds up to 168 mph. However, keep in mind that it’s W-rated for speeds of 168+ mph. It’s a unique-looking model, available in several sizes for both front and rear use.
How to Choose a Motorbike Track Tire
Type of Motorcycle
The first thing you should know is if your motorcycle can work with track tires. As you know, every motorbike requires a specific type of wheel that match its weight, performance, and intended use. For this reason, sportbikes might not work with the same ones that a chopper would use.
If your bike can handle sport and racing tires, you can use track models as well. However, it all depends on the particular motorcycle you have.
Choosing the right size is critical and can significantly affect the way your tires perform. To choose the right size, you need to know what the codes printed on the side mean.
Some manufacturers use alphanumeric, while others use metric and standard inch systems. The industry standard is the metric system.
You’ll find codes for section width, aspect ratio, rim diameter, load rating, and speed rating. You should know how to recognize each number.
When it comes to construction, tires can be bias-ply and radial. Choosing between the two takes a bit of thinking because construction can greatly affect your riding and handling.
Bias-ply models last longer and offer a softer ride. However, they also offer a reduced grip. On the other hand, radial models are stiffer, providing more traction but at the cost of durability.
Choosing between the two depends on what the manufacturer of your motorbike recommends.
Durability is a significant factor you should consider when buying a track tire. You don’t want to replace them every few months, so make sure to give this a good thought.
Some models are more durable than others, as this depends on the material as well as the overall quality. However, your riding style and road conditions affect the durability, speeding up the wearing process.
Read more about how long tires last.
Tread is the part of the wheel that hits the road, and as such, it’s quite a critical point to think about. In most cases, the smooth tread is better for smooth and dry surfaces, while knobby treads are better for off-road conditions.
There are different tread designs, so make sure to consider which would work the best for your needs. Track tires wear rather quickly due to high temperatures and speeds. However, they should wear evenly and still offer decent mileage.
Track wheels aren’t the most expensive models out there. Plus, there are many different options since most major manufacturers make this type of tire.
This makes it a bit tricky to choose, but gives you a vast number of options regarding price. The price tag doesn’t have to do much with quality, but keep it in mind when looking for a track tire. Don’t forget that some of the most affordable models are durable and long-lasting.
Racing vs. Track Day
The first thing you should remember is that a track day isn’t the same as a race event. Many people confuse the two, especially when they hear the term “racetrack”.
Riding on a racetrack is a great opportunity to improve your skills and have great fun doing it. It’s much safer than doing it in the street with ongoing traffic.
However, it’s not about speed, and it’s not a race. There are no speed limits, but you don’t necessarily have to make it first.
Tire Pressure Guide
Occasional track day riders should stick between 28psi to 30psi on the front, and 30psi to 32psi at the back. Try your best to resist going any less than these numbers. It might be tempting, but lower pressure might cause slow turning and steering.
You can experiment a little if you’re a regular rider with some more experience. The pressure often depends on your motorcycle, as well as the track you’re racing at.
How To Prepare for Your Track Day
Find An Event
Track day events are held by private organizations that rent racetracks for a day or weekend. Some tracks run their events, and you can usually find them on their website.
Find an organization in your area or somewhere near you. You can find information online or ask your fellow motorcycle enthusiasts.
Prepare Your Bike
It’s essential that you prepare your motorcycle before you head to the event. Tape your taillights, headlights, and turn signals as well as all other lenses on the vehicle.
Remove things like cell phone mounts because they can fall off during rides. You’ll probably also have to remove your license plate.
Find a Way to Transport Your Motorcycle
Finding a way to transport your motorcycle might take some time and effort. In most cases, you’re best off trailering your bike to the track, as this method allows you to pack all your gear and supplies.
If you’re on a limited budget, you can ride the bike to the track.
Invest in Appropriate Gears
A full leather tracksuit is your best option when it comes to protective gear. However, it’s also the most expensive one as well. If you already have a leather jacket and pants, you can wear them instead of the tracksuit.
Invest in some leather gloves and boots. Of course, don’t forget your DOT approved helmet.
Be On Time!
You should check the schedule before the day actually comes. Track day events usually start somewhere between 7 am, and 8 am as it’s when people begin to arrive.
You’ll have to go through tech inspection, but that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Riding probably won’t start until 9 am, depending on the number of riders.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are these brands also great for touring?
Touring tires deliver smooth rides and decent wet and dry traction. They have a rather long tread life and are generally quite comfortable.
On the other hand, race and track wheels have a short wear life and are made specifically for high speeds. For this reason, track tires might not be the best for touring, although some models might work.
Are these also great for streets?
Again, most of these tires are street-legal. However, they’re not the best for riding in the street, mainly depending on the pressure you opt for.
For street use, you want tires that are versatile and can perform in different weather conditions. Track tires might not be the best option to use in the rain, although it depends on the model.
As you can see, track tires are easy to find, as some of the biggest brand names offer at least one model. Choosing among as many might be tricky, but we hope you found our buyer’s guide somewhat helpful.
Make sure to consider the type of bike you have, as well as the riding style and the road. If you’re looking for tires to use on track day events, one of the models above will definitely match your needs.
If you need something more versatile, you should consider the important buying factors as well as the conditions you’ll put the tires through.