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10 Motorcycle Tires and Tire Accessories


9
Track Tires
Racing tires are specially designed to grip the track and prevent slipping.
Racing tires are specially designed to grip the track and prevent slipping.
Hemera/Thinkstock

Track tires are high performance. So why not just slap 'em on your aggressive street bike? Because track tires aren't street tires, that's why. Simply, a track tire makes you slower on the road.

Here's why:

First, track tires are designed to grab like gecko's feet to the road. They do this with soft, treadless rubber -- great for a smooth, dry track, but the tiniest bit of rain puts you up the creek -- and say goodbye to your gas mileage. Second, track tires generally have a high arch and high crown, allowing them to flip from left to right like a coin on its edge and ride smoothly in an aggressive lean -- great for high-speed cornering, but at the expense of stability. Also, despite sticky rubber, the track tire itself is more rigid, built to stand up to the increased load of high-speed cornering -- but this can make it chatter on street bumps. Finally, and this is a little more esoteric, a track tire is designed for fewer heat cycles. You heat it up, ride it, then you cool it down, as opposed to a street tire that's going from cold to warm with every stop. Track tires take longer to warm up, and until they do, riding a cold track tire is like riding a rock.

If you're trailering your bike to the track for a sunny day's ride, pick up a pair of slicks. Otherwise, stick with street tires, or at the very least, a sport crossover tire with enough tread to keep you alive in a drizzle.


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