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Pirelli tire selection

Discussion in 'Tech' started by Pneumatico Delle Vittorie, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    I have been getting a few emails asking tire questions so I thought this thread would help other too. And if you need more help after this the dude with the Pirelli logo on his tire machine/flag/shirt/truck at the track is your next go to. And don’t flame me if my grammar is messed up, I'm late for golf. :D

    Big Bike Tire Selection
    600s and bigger bikes can eat tires with reckless abandon so here is help for tire selection. Our top-level racing involvement worldwide means there is constant develop and that means for you the tires evolve and get better every 6 to 12 months. If someone tells you they rode Pirellis back in 2015 and nothing has changed that short sightedness needs to be ignored! Sure, Pirellis have a distinct feel but that's because of the patented steel belted construction.


    Slick Fronts
    The SC1 and SC2 fronts are very similar in grip but there is a distinct difference in feel. Both tires use the same carcass but because the SC2 has a harder compound it has a firmer feel. So, the key here is to try both to find your favorite. Don’t get confused on the SC2 and that it’s only for longer races or colder temperatures because it works even on tracks like Laguna in July which can get slippery. If your looking for the longest lasting of the two the SC2 gets the nod, but not by a huge margin. Then we have SC3 that we introduced in 2016. This tire has the most durability and is similar in performance to the SC2. That beginning said at Laguna 2016 WSBK a few riders tried them there, so you know the performance is good. But this SC3 compound is unique and different but it doesn’t feel harder than a SC2. So, you would think the longer lasting SC3 is going to have a harder feel than a SC2 but it doesn’t which is weird right?

    Slick Rears (180/60 & 200/60)
    When extremely cold or the track is really abrasive the track is the SC2 is the better choice. When it’s warmer and the track is less abrasive choose the SC1. Then when it’s hot and the track has low grip/is greasy the SC0 is the choice. Sure, you can use a SC1 in colder weather or abrasive track and go very fast with good wear. And a really fast rider can make a SC0 work in colder weather if the track isn’t too abrasive but your set up needs to be spot on. Or you can use a SC1 on a hot greasy track but the SC0 will be faster.

    Three points to hit here. The first is the SC1 is the go to tire that’s fast and works well everywhere. Second is the SC2 rear is a bit slower and it’s a long-lasting tire. Third is the SC3 which is designed for endurance and longevity but at a slower pace. So, I would suggest either the SC2 or 3 rears if you’re looking for value and want to do a lot of laps. And finally let’s be clear about the SC0. It’s never been so user friendly as it has been for the last 4 years. It is very long lasting and will take quite a few heat cycles.

    V2 DOT Fronts
    The 120 SC1 and SC2 are again very similar in grip but there is a distinct difference in feel like the slick fronts. Both tires use the same carcass but it’s different than the slick. So again, here the key here is to try both to find your favorite. Then we have the 110 SC1 front. A SC1 110 is all that is needed for these applications due to limited horsepower/speeds/G loads attained with the small bikes. A R3 or Ninja 400 weighs around 300 lbs. and in this application the 110 SC1 lasts forever with great grip and works everywhere.

    V2 DOT 140 & 150 Rears
    Both are available in either a SC1 or SC2 compound of course. The SC1 is faster than the SC2 BUT it may take a really fast rider to see the difference in lap times. The SC2 is fast, wins races, and grips great and lasts longer. So, try either one and decide.

    140/70 VS 150/60
    Here is the size difference in both when mounted on a 4.00 rim. The 140/70 is 140 mm wide and the diameter is 628 mm. The 150/60 is 149 mm wide and its diameter is 615 mm. The 150 has a larger contact patch while the 140 is taller. Some bikes can grind parts when using the 150 so you may want to use the 140 or raise the back end up a bit to get more cornering clearance.

    Other V2 DOT Rears
    The range is very complete with a 160 in SC1 & SC2, the 180/55 in SC2, the 180/60 in SC0, SC1, SC2, and the 200/55 in SC1 & SC2. We don't import the 200/55 SC0 as of about 4 years ago due to lack of sales. And if you’re looking at the 180/55 instead of the 180/60 forget about it and buy the 180/60, you will be happier! And of course, compound selection is the same as the slick rears.

    V1 DOTs (Version 1)
    The range is a 120 front in SC1 or SC2, with the 180/55 and 190/55 in SC2. These are current products with the old tread pattern and sizing. These are still imported here for track days/novice riders and are less expensive than the V2s.

    These will work perfect on a damp track without standing water and with no chance of the track drying out. Have you ever seen those conditions before? Yep not very likely as it’s always going to rain more or dry out, just stick with rains or dry tires!

    These are offered for anything from a Moto 3 to a big Superbike. The grooves are there to channel water. The compound provides chemical wet grip and this helps the tread blocks bite the tarmac while the water prevents it from overheating. Rains must have water to work and they need the correct psi to prevent the grooves from closing under load which causes the tires to hydro plane.

    Warmer use
    When the bike is off the track warmers are used to prep the tires for the next session/race and also to help control heat cycles. Harsh heat cycles cause the compound to change for the worse and you can lessen this effect by helping your tires cool down slowly with the warmers. Some riders leave them on all day and some do not, so you can decide what works best for you. But if you have 2 or 3 races in a 2-hour time frame just leave them on. It’s important to note the tire pressures and warmer for each type of tire. When it’s raining the track temp is much lower and the flying water acts to cool the tires. So, using dry tire settings doesn’t help because they will just cool down in a lap or so. And rain tires like to run well under 150F.

    Tire Pressure
    Get a good gauge then get the tires on the warmers. Once you’re ready to go out set the correct HOT psi. Then ride and when you get back check the pressures off the track. You’re looking for around a 2-psi increase. If higher or lower adjust accordingly to the correct hot psi settings listed on the attached tech sheet. And if you keep the pressures in our suggested range and find what you like you will be happy. And when it’s cold and the pavement is almost frozen there is no magic way to get your tires up to 170f with air pressure. You need to ride within the current weather conditions and deal with it.

    Tire Sizes
    Don’t get twisted up with tire size nomenclature. The tire industry allows manufacturers a fairly large range of said size. For instance, a tire marked 130/90 can be as small in width as 119mm or as big as 141mm but still be marked on the sidewall as a 130. So, don’t compare brand x 180/60 to brand y or z 180/55 or even a 180/60. Just check the tire tech data (in this thread) or for the others on line.

    Attached Files:

    J3FF, Nathey, Dom17 and 12 others like this.
  2. AC792

    AC792 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this thread, it's very helpful. I've been running my 180/60/17 SC1 rear at 27 and see that the range on the sheet is 23-26. What determines if I should be setting them at 23, 24, 25, or 26?
  3. mpusch

    mpusch Well-Known Member

    Your trackside Pirelli vendor :D
    track wagon and AC792 like this.
  4. track wagon

    track wagon MCAS MIRAMAR

    People say that alot. But this past weekend at willow. I had my surface temp gauge and adjusted pressure off of wear and temp of the tire off the track and then relayed this back to my tire guy.
  5. track wagon

    track wagon MCAS MIRAMAR

    So help him help you and everyone.
  6. HoyaXC07

    HoyaXC07 Well-Known Member

    Every you've said about SC0s and hot tracks is true. I always used 0s when I raced at Arroyo and it's gets super hot out there. Blues are my go to tire now.
  7. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

  8. bored&stroked

    bored&stroked Disclaimer: Can't spell

    So glad you did too. Thanks!
  9. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Bump a diddy bump
  10. wheelz96

    wheelz96 Well-Known Member

    Very helpful write up! I just ordered a set of SC1 front and rear Superbike Diablos and was wondering what would the ideal ambient temperature be for this setup? It was the only compounds available in my sizes. I will be at Lil Tally in two weeks and assuming temps will be around 60-70 deg but who knows. What would be your preference of tire for these temps?
  11. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Here's the updated 2019 tech data

    Attached Files:

  12. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    What bike please?
  13. wheelz96

    wheelz96 Well-Known Member

    18' ZX10R
  14. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Ok got it. So my suggestions above apply here too and a SC1 combo will be fine and fast! And just in case you haven't met him yet James Bock from Podium M/S is the SE Pirelli guy and you can reach him at 914 655-1433 or just see him at Tally!
  15. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    That doesn't make sense as Pirelli offers 3 front and 4 rear compounds in those sizes?
  16. wheelz96

    wheelz96 Well-Known Member

    From my supplier is what I meant. The other compounds were sold out. Thanks for the response and I will be sure to make friends with James Bock!
  17. drop

    drop Well-Known Member

    If it's the stt track day James will not be there.
  18. wheelz96

    wheelz96 Well-Known Member

    Track day in a couple weeks but I will be there for the WERA race 4/20 and introduce myself. Thanks for the quick replies and knowledge on Pirelli rubber! Looking forward to trying the Diablos!
  19. AC792

    AC792 Well-Known Member

    Please delete if this is the wrong area to ask this question.

    Should I be running a 180/60 or 200 rear slick on my RSV4 track bike? I keep reading that I should have a 200 on it, but I ran a 180 last season and am wondering if I’m missing some advantages by not running the 200.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  20. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Tire selection is done first and foremost by rim width. For 600cc and above racing/track days applications it goes like this:
    Rear rim 5.5ox17" 180/60 or 180/55 are suggested
    Rear rim 6.00x17" 200/60 or 200/55 are suggested

    More tech data is available in the attached data pdfs or the first post of this thread

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