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Couple tire questions for 12" wheels

Discussion in 'Mini Racing' started by tz250racer, Dec 8, 2022.

  1. tz250racer

    tz250racer Active Member

    Getting my son into mini racing next year and since I race big bikes and know nothing about minis I had a couple questions for folks familiar with running 12" wheels.

    1) What is the best tire to run (2.5/3.0 wheels) on an outdoor asphalt track (SHS in Md)? I see Dunlop, Mitas, BT and Pirelli options and a couple of them I've never even heard of.

    2) I assume all of these need warmers like we do on big bikes?

    Any help is like gold, thank you!
  2. Roger Baker

    Roger Baker Well-Known Member

    I like the PMT slicks. I use then on an NSR 50 that has a 70cc cylinder. Below 80 degrees the super soft front and soft rear are great. Above 80 degrees I use mediums. Warmers are optional but I use them because the tires last longer. I've found 16.5 psi cold front and 17.5 psi cold rear works best for me but I'm 190 lbs so maybe less for a lighter rider. What year is your TZ? I still race my '97!
  3. Toadmeister00

    Toadmeister00 Well-Known Member

    PMT has generally been regarded as the "best" 12" tire in recent years. The new 12" Pirelli SC1 slicks should also be very good. If you're not using warmers, tires with sipes like the Bridgestone BT-601SS, Mitas and PMT Blackfires might be better, they may heat up a little quicker at a small track like Sandy Hook.

    It's a good time to be racing on a 12" wheeled bike, so many good tires options out there.
  4. voss555

    voss555 Well-Known Member

    We've had the best luck with the Dunlop TT93 and the Pirelli Diablo Scooter. Haven't been able to get our hands on the Pirelli slicks yet. Warmers 20 psi.
    DmanSlam likes this.
  5. Greenhound386

    Greenhound386 Well-Known Member

    I put PMT mediums on my RM85 when I had it. Never ran warmers (even during the one time I raced it).

    I've done several 24 hour events on other minis, and the PMTs have always been excellent.
  6. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    How old is your son and what size bike are you getting? When we ran NSR's with Dunlop TT91/92 we didn't use warmers. When we moved to 17" wheels that used RS125 tires we always ran warmers. I'm guessing the newer/sticker slicks could benefit from warmers.
  7. tz250racer

    tz250racer Active Member

    This is all great info, thank you all because I have no clue about mini racing.

    The bike is a KTM SX65 he's been riding (off-road) that is getting the 12" wheels. Leaving it all stock other than the wheels and maybe controls that he may need to get comfortable on it for asphalt racing.

    Sounds like the PMTs are a good bet and I would use warmers because I would never go out on my bike without warmers. Hell, I won't even go out with warmers when it's below 60!

    Roger, I have an '03 that I currently race. Have a few others (older) that I'm in the process of rebuilding to eventually use in Vintage classes.
  8. Roger Baker

    Roger Baker Well-Known Member

    Nice! Do you race with AHRMA?
  9. tz250racer

    tz250racer Active Member

    Yup. WERA & CCS too, though last year only made it to a couple AHRMA's.
  10. Roger Baker

    Roger Baker Well-Known Member

    Very cool. I'll be at Laguna and Thunderhill in '23 for AHRMA.
  11. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    How old is he? I'm only asking because, believe it or not, a 65 is pretty darn fast on asphalt. My son ran a KX65 and the KTM is better from what I understand, but it seems out here most people have KX65's.
  12. tz250racer

    tz250racer Active Member

    Oh no, I know, that thing is pretty wicked for a little bike. Probably will outrun my TZ for the first bit and just wants to wheelie if you're not up over it.
    He's 17 and about 155 lbs.
    He'll struggle to begin with I'm sure, but we had the bike already so it was easier to convert it rather than dump money into another bike. In case he decides it's not for him.
    I'm sure I'll have more questions for you guys on what a typical set-up is besides tires, but for now the bike is down at Computrak with Kent getting the wheels and suspension set up since I needed my '90 TZ gone over.
    Boman Forklift likes this.
  13. Toadmeister00

    Toadmeister00 Well-Known Member

    I think the only thing that may be a bit of a headache is the front brake. I don't think there are any readily available, larger front rotors or bolt on set-ups out there. What year is the bike?
  14. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    Oh that's fine, especially if you stiffen up the suspension for him. I thought he might have been 10-11. When my son was that age range he rode a KX65 in the dirt and loved it, but when we finally the converted KX to mini racing, it was so quick I had him start on slower bikes for the beginning of that year. It's amazing how quickly those things go. I have one now and they are quick, especially for an old fart like me.

    I do think you are 100% doing the right thing starting him on a mini track. You can get so much valuable training, for so much less money on mini's. When you make mistakes, you usually pick it up and go again, without the high crash bills at the big track.
  15. tz250racer

    tz250racer Active Member

    It's a 2014 Toad.

    Yeah, for me even though I race big tracks, this will be more terrifying for me. But, like you mention BF, odds are pick it up and go again. And if he likes it and wants to eventually move on then cross that bridge later. Maybe even have him do some WERA mini weekends though not sure how long a mini that size could take that beating on a big track.
  16. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    Our third year of mini racing, a few of us dads took our kids to WERA with a 150R motor in a RS125 Chassis, or CR92 motors in RS125 chassis. This was one of the "mini" class bikes, when the kids were around 12. We quickly bought RS125's for the big track. Now a days, I don't think the RS125's are practical, since no one runs them and IMO you need competition to help develop your son.

    I think, since he has you to mentor him and answer questions, that riding a mini on the big track is really a waste of time/money. Having said that, we did it for 1/2 a season or so, so there is some value, if that is all you have and he wants to do it. Believe it or not, riding a mini on a kart track is actually a lot more action and tiring versus riding on a big track. You are on the gas hard and brakes and generally the mini tracks have a bunch of turns...which is what makes them such great training tools. Plus, at least out here, dad could walk around the infield of a mini track and then offer advice, which isn't allowed at big tracks.

    I'm sure he will want to ride that TZ in no time. :D
  17. StaccatoFan

    StaccatoFan My 14 year old is faster than your President

    Look at DMVMiniGP and NJMiniGP as well. I like Rob Miller, and he runs a pretty good event, but Sandy Hook is kinda boring as far as tracks go. Kinda like racing in a fish bowl.

    We raced it a couple times when my kid was like 8 or 9. He's 12 now....and when I've asked him if he wants to race there, I get "Nah Dad.....I'm good."
  18. DmanSlam

    DmanSlam Well-Known Member

    A Kx65 is a serious bike in good and not-so-good ways for a young (or old) beginner. But it sounds like your son is neither.

    All minimoto-converted dirt bikes need fork work. Keeping it stock adds a lot of fronted drama, lol. I have heard KX65/85 owners will do the fork mods to add "preload" (via pvc inserts) and weld (or use jb weld) to block a hole in the damping rod to stiffen it up.
  19. Toadmeister00

    Toadmeister00 Well-Known Member

    65s are deceptively quick. I had an early KTM 65 motor ('03-'08 non-powervalve) swapped into an 85 chassis. It was very strong even in the bigger, heavier chassis turning 17" wheels and pulling around my 200lbs. The newer '09+ KTM 65s are even better with the powervalve and make a little more power. I can imagine that engine in the small 65 chassis on 12" wheels is going to be rocket.
    DmanSlam likes this.
  20. RayRay

    RayRay Well-Known Member

    KX65 on 12's are very fast and a ton of fun. Bowman is correct. Kart tracks are way better for training / cost. My 8yr old is racing now and as a family we are having a blast traveling too new tracks and riding mini's. Best memories!
    StaccatoFan likes this.

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