Posted: 20 Jun 2013
Martin McGrath recently asked for advice on our Facebook page about tyres and track days. We asked Cambrian Tyres and all-round tyre guru Bryn Phillips to see what he’d advise…
Martin: “Can tyres go off even if there’s plenty of tread left on them? I was at a track day charity event and back tyre kept breaking away out of corners. Got to a point where it was nearly every corner, had to ease off a bit…”
Bryn: It very much depends on what type of tyre along with a bunch of other information including exact details of what tyre it was (size as well as pattern), what pressures were being used (and state hot or cold), what the bike is, what the suspension set-up is and what group the rider enters (novice, inter or expert).
If it’s a race tyre it has more ultimate grip and performance than a road tyre when used on track but it has fewer available heat cycles. So assuming the bike’s set-up is correct it could be that the tyre has simply exhausted the available performance and the compound is breaking down leading to reduced grip.
If it’s a road tyre being used on track, and assuming the set-up is correct, it could just be that the rider has taken the tyre above its road-biased, and therefore lower, temperature operating window and this is why grip is reduced.
Of course, if the bike’s set-up isn’t optimum all bets are off because it could be this that’s causing the problem.