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CBR600RR, ZX6R, R6, GSXR600, 675 Daytona, 675 Street Triple, and other 600-class bikes– The 600 class of bikes are the most prevalent bikes at a track day. They offer a good balance of power with very good suspension and brakes out of the box. These bikes aren’t the cheapest thing to run. They can eat up tires and crashing them can get expensive. Older CBRs, R6s, GSXRs and ZX6s can be had cheaply. Note, that if you want a track-only bike with race bodywork, premium suspension and bike protection, it’s often cheaper to find a bike that is already prepared and outfitted for track use than to take a street bike and converting it to a track-only machine. Just be aware of their condition.
The performance of a tire depends on several things. First, there are different types of motorcycle tires made for different riders and bikes. This means that a tire will deliver what it’s meant for. For example, sport tires deliver an unmatched grip on diverse surfaces, but at the expense of the tread. If you’re looking for tires with the highest mileage, the best choice would be touring tires. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a compromise, the best option will be sport touring. First, identify where you will be riding; if it’s a commuting bike, go for tires with improved mileage and that performs well on diverse surfaces.
Those of us who ride big touring bikes such as the Ducati Multistrada and the BMW R1200GS are usually only interested in two things; comfort and performance. You see, big bikes like these are designed to munch mile after mile comfortably and quickly. They are styled as adventure bikes but most of us will never take them onto any surfaces more challenging than a patch of wet grass or gravel – it is for this reason that you’ll see most fitted with a road biased touring tire.
But, these bikes can also be a hindrance to stress free learning. Many new track day riders are better off with a simple, low powered machine that keeps them running a bit slower until they can get a handle on racetrack riding. One reason my friend Josh was having trouble at his first several track days is because he was driven to ride his GSXR1000 faster than he should have. Read about Josh’s mishap.
They were new for 2011 and so have now had a few full seasons for people to try them out. Looking at the reviews from the people in the know, as well as listening to a lot of what is being said in the forums it seems these tyres are rated highly by the vast majority who have tested them, some well known sites saying they give a feel for grip like nothing they’ve tried before. They come in just the two compounds:
These tires are a downright steal. If you race competitively we would suggest you purchase a few and keep them on hand for when you need a spare set. If you are a competitive racer than we also suggest that you look into the other models in the Bridgestone range to see whether there is a tire that may be a little more specifically tuned to your needs.
The Power Ones were a very popular tyre in its old form with many track riders and racers swearing by them. The tyre was also used as a control tyre in some club races which further cemented it’s ability. Michelin have brought in the Cup tyres to replace the One, so I have no doubt they will be just as good and highly likely much better. Here’s a look at the three compounds:
Sporting tires, on the other hand, provide the best grip and are great for high speeds and have an impressive durability. They’re the most versatile as they’re made from softer rubber, with lesser treads. For a racing/track tire, they’re almost similar, but the latter provides better grip. This makes them good for rugged terrains and when taking corners.