Track Tire pressure hot vs cold - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-13-2018, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Track Tire pressure hot vs cold

This question just came to me the other day and I did not have an answer for it. Most of the time we speak of tire pressure, we usually discuss cold pressure. No one really discuss what pressure X tire should be when hot and how long does hot officially last for, since the longer the tires are not used the cooler they get. Let me give a typical track day scenario of how I maintain my tires to get my point across. I ride 32 cold F and 30 cold on my Q3's. When I get off the track, my pressure usually range from 36-38 hot (don't quote me it can be higher, I do not pay much attention to it hence this thread). When it is time for my next session, I do pay attention and depending on the temperature outside, the pressure is usually 34 or 36. I bring the pressures back down to the 30F 32R and go back out and continue this cycle throughout the day. Is this the proper tire maintenance process? Should I be paying attention to how much pressure the tire gain once I get off the track and depending on how high the pressure get, should I make adjustments to the 32F and 30R pressure and is there a number where we can say the pressure is getting too high in the tire? And for those that use tire warmers, what is the process used to maintain your tire, what pressure do you keep it on? Since you have constant heat, do you keep a constant hot pressure or is there still a hot and cold guideline with warmers?
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-13-2018, 08:57 AM
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At the track you should be checking temps when you come off the track (hot tires). I run Q3's at 30/30 hot. Translates to about 24-26 cold depending on ambient temps.

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-13-2018, 10:04 AM
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+1 to what PG said. You should be able to get hot tire pressure specs from the tire guys that are at the track, or contact the tire rep for that brand ahead of time. It's a little easier when you're running tire warmers, because they at least get the tire closer to operating temp, then you set your hot pressure, go out the first session, come back and check them again. The first thing I do when I get off the track is put the bike up on the stands, then throw on the tire warmers, then maybe check the pressure if the tires didn't feel right that session. I run race rubber, but the same principal applies to street tires.

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post #4 of 16 Old 06-13-2018, 10:09 AM
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I feel like Q3's are tricky when it comes to cold temps. I usually start at 32/28 and adjust from there.

Dave Moss recommends lower cold pressures due to the tires not reaching optimum temps otherwise. See this artice: Dunlop Q3 track day tire initial evaluation

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In the afternoon the coastal fog burned off and in one case (the CBR600) the tire gain cold to hot exceeded 7psi, so that bike would have needed an extra 1-1.5psi hot to get the contact patch to the right size to regulate carcass temps. How did I know that? Look at the small debris on the back edge of the outer sipes on the rear tire. For day 2 of the school we started all four bikes at 23 rear and 25 front as ambient temps were predicted to be higher and we saw gains of 4-8psi from the morning to the afternoon. Again, each rider needs to find their own hot pressure that day, that track, with those ambient temps!!!

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-13-2018, 01:42 PM
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Getting good tire pressures have to happen as soon as you pull off track.
Just about need three people. One for temps, one for front and rear pressure.

As temp decreases so will pressure.

Depending on whom you talk with warmers can help. Get temp coming off track, put warmer at that temp.
Now your not heat cycling tires and you can set your warm pressure.

Then biggest thing to consider is the wait before hitting the track, as in don't be there at first call.
DO Q3's need warmers NO, can they be helped by not getting heat cycled I would think so.

I set my pressures at temp and head out late OR give it a lap before cranking it up. Something to consider.
Will say, half the tire people I have talked with say do above, the other half say don't.
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-13-2018, 01:44 PM
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Checking tire pressure cold is useless. If you are not using tire warmers, check pressures right after coming off the track. Aim for the recommended hot tire pressure from the manufacturer. You can't correlate cold pressure to hot pressure....too many variables such as pace of the rider, track temperature, track surface and grip. Even the tire manufacturers pressure is just a starting point. You have to read your tires to determine if you need to go up or down in pressure. You have to know what to look for to tell if a tire is cold or hot tearing.

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post #7 of 16 Old 06-14-2018, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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Wow, I've gotten wrong information about tire pressure reading and have gone with it... It felt wrong but I just went with it... So basically, the informant factor is reading the tire hot, which will translate to the ideal handling characteristics during my session?

The flowing is a snip from the Dunlop page regarding the Q3:
"Tire pressures for Q3-Q2’s? And do I use a tire warmer on them?
If you are riding on the street, read your owners manual for recommended tire pressures. If you are riding on the race track, a good starting point is 32 front and 32 rear cold. After riding on the track and before you go on the street, let your tires cool, then adjust back to the pressures recommended in your bikes owners manual, Warmers are optional, but if you choose to use them, you can get tire warmer recommendations here http://www.dunlopracing.com/Warmers.pdf ."

They do not give any recommendation for hot, yet Q3's are widely used by track day enthusiasts. How should I make a decisions from this vague recommendation with other MFG?

I'm going to try the recommendation from PG and see how I like it but with other MFG it seems like it's easy to get wrong, but since EvilTwin gave some recommendation, I guess I should be fine...

Thanks for taking the time to enlighten me..

Last edited by Sabotage; 06-14-2018 at 04:16 AM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-14-2018, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerGroove View Post
At the track you should be checking temps when you come off the track (hot tires). I run Q3's at 30/30 hot. Translates to about 24-26 cold depending on ambient temps.
Do you start off at 24-26 cold or the recommended closer to 30psi and what temps are you talking about outside
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Originally Posted by jd41 View Post
I feel like Q3's are tricky when it comes to cold temps. I usually start at 32/28 and adjust from there.

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What do you adjust to, the same 32/28 psi range hot?

Last edited by Sabotage; 06-14-2018 at 05:16 AM.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-14-2018, 06:44 AM
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IF you can get temperature hot off the track, it can be useful. BUT, often we have a cool down lap and then go back to the pits. By this time the data is not accurate. This is why hot temperature refers to hot off the warmers in most cases- its repeatable and accurate (if your warmers are working properly).

The lower your cold temperatures, the hotter the tire will get out on the track. This is due to carcass and surface flexing of the tire. If you take a Q3 out at 30 cold... and another out at 25 cold.. the 25 PSI tire could came back reading a higher PSI.

If you're adjusting temps back to your original starting spot, you're going to end up with too little PSI..

Track day pressure for the Q3 is 30 PSI rear cold, and 32 or more PSI front cold. Anything lower will NOT give more grip on these tires- but you will lose stability.

Also- you should see about a 5-7 PSI gain from cold to hot off the track (Talking flying lap to hot pits! if a cool down lap and back to pit lane- maybe 3-5 PSI) .. if you are then leave them be!
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-14-2018, 11:57 AM
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LIKE to the immediately above post #9

I think running Q3 or Q3+ at anything less than 30 rear 32 front cold not ridden at all yet is crazy talk.......these should climb to about 34/35 when hot (but HOT is subjective and without warmers is also a moving target)

The gain in pressure at those super low pressures some of you mentioned and even what Dave Moss mentioned has to be crazy high...and to keep that spread lower you need more air not less (air pressure acts like a cooling system inside your tire)

but there are other factors as well............
How humid is the air you put in?
How much tire lube and water/moisture got inside the tire upon installation
humidity and water expand far greater with heat than "dry" air

I have burned through numerous sets on the track and on the street........ I hate how the bike feels even at 28psi cold in the rear and the gain-- suddenly it climbs to over 36 hot, and I have seen 38.....fricking more than 25%

I am a set it and forget type of person.......... 30/32 every morning fresh out of the trailer and never touch them again (that is Dunlops recommendation on the Q3 and Q3+.....cold 30/32)

but if you are looking for tenths or more tire longevity, it would make sense to actually add a little air as the day gets hotter and the sun heats up the track surface more
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Stupid people say stupid things on the internet, so be wary of who those people are. If you solicit advice on the internet, just keep in mind 99% of what you'll receive is not based on fact or science-and likely atleast 95% of it is based on bullshit and bravado regurgitated from some other schlub who also did not experience any of what they claim and are also full of shit. If you don't like my bluntness- too bad. I am not here to please you, so move along, your approval is not desired nor is it needed. So before opening your pie hole and adding more stupidity, perhaps sit back, listen, absorb and learn something. You know that saying, it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-14-2018, 06:04 PM
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If you look at what the tire vendors post on their boards at any race event, they always post hot pressures, not cold. Pretty much everyone I know goes by the hot pressures and that's the right way to do it and more consistent. Cold is useless because "cold" in Arizona on a sunny day in July is very different than "cold" in Minnesota in April. That alone could be 60-70 degrees difference in "cold" temp, which is probably a good 4-6 psi difference depending on the tires. With hot (off the warmers), you at least know that your tire temp is always going to be pretty consistent. Always best to use the pressures recommended by the manufacturer or the tire vendor if there is one at the track. The good ones (like Metric Devil Moto for the atlantic/central east coast tracks) have a lot of data from different tracks and different bikes and can give you a solid recommendation.

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post #12 of 16 Old 06-14-2018, 06:39 PM
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^ but......


Most people running a street tire are not running tire warmers (atleast every trackday I have attended that has been the case)

So hot is very subjective and an always moving target.........

So cold pressures (not ridden at all) of 30/32 or even 32/32 is a fine starting point for just about anyone who is riding street tires at the track regardless of who's tire.......they are street tires........ Never ever were they designed to be run at 22 or 24 psi like race tire tires (cold or hot)

Tire vendors at tracks are there for the racers and race tires (most the time) so any information they post is geared towards them on race tires.....


Besides, people riding on street tires at the track........... Joe blow A may be an A group rider while Jon Suck B may be the slowest turd in the world
and they both may be riding the fastest bike made with the same tire on it (lets just say they both have ZX10RR's on Dunlop Q3+) ....... How do you or would you even?suggest the same tire pressures for both of them when they clearly will have one set running way hotter (harder on gas harder on brake and faster through the turns building up more heat) and the other schmuck simply riding like he is coming home from work on a Monday evening (light to moderate braking, snails passed him accelerating and almost no speed through the corners)

For the sake of argument this whole discussion goes sideways immediately since there are far too many variables for anyone to answer with any authority........... but there is one constant.....street tires from any manufacturer are not designed to be run in the 20's for pressure for any reason.......... every one of them will state 30/32 or higher

go ahead, prove me wrong......... I invite the scrutiny and challenge anyone to show evidence from any tire manufacturer to support running 24 cold or anything in the 20's on a dedicated street tire.............

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Stupid people say stupid things on the internet, so be wary of who those people are. If you solicit advice on the internet, just keep in mind 99% of what you'll receive is not based on fact or science-and likely atleast 95% of it is based on bullshit and bravado regurgitated from some other schlub who also did not experience any of what they claim and are also full of shit. If you don't like my bluntness- too bad. I am not here to please you, so move along, your approval is not desired nor is it needed. So before opening your pie hole and adding more stupidity, perhaps sit back, listen, absorb and learn something. You know that saying, it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!
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post #13 of 16 Old 06-15-2018, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabotage View Post
Do you start off at 24-26 cold or the recommended closer to 30psi and what temps are you talking about outside

What do you adjust to, the same 32/28 psi range hot?
No, cold.

Rode this morning at Laguna Seca. Asked the tire guy what pressures to run on the Q3 and he suggested 30/28 cold. Worked great. Was warmer in the afternoon session but I adjusted it a minimally.

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post #14 of 16 Old 06-15-2018, 07:25 PM
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I found that some people are concerned way too much about getting the "exact" tire pressure that someone tells them is the right value, even though they are in novice or intermediate group. I've had beginners ask me about tire pressures on their 250/300s like it was a matter of life and death. I tell them to not sweat it if it's a couple of psi off because it won't matter when they're running 20+ seconds slower than the fast guys. For what it's worth, my buddy found his front tire pressure was 5 psi lower than what it was supposed to be in the MotoAmerica Junior Cup race at Road America a couple of weeks ago. He finished 7th in that race and posted the 3rd fastest lap of the race, on his last lap.

Now I have seen people crash when they had way too much air (like when they didn't check pressure after getting new tires mounted and they were at like 40 psi lol), but if you go a little lower it's not the end of the world. Usually if you don't have enough air, it's more forgiving, and you can tell something's wrong when you're riding. If you have too much air you just crash all of a sudden lol

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post #15 of 16 Old 06-17-2018, 05:37 PM
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Speaking of moto america riders......


a couple weeks ago at RA, there were racers who were running 40psi hot in their front tires........they were that hard on the brakes to need that much air to keep the tires cool enough to not overheat them.......... a few of those guys came in after the first session with tire temps over 260*when they were running significantly less air

pressures are relative...............

But street tires, they are pretty forgiving and couldn't give a rats ass if you run 32/32 or 30/30 if you are running 10-20 seconds off race pace........ which given the fact one is on street tires is more times than not the case
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Stupid people say stupid things on the internet, so be wary of who those people are. If you solicit advice on the internet, just keep in mind 99% of what you'll receive is not based on fact or science-and likely atleast 95% of it is based on bullshit and bravado regurgitated from some other schlub who also did not experience any of what they claim and are also full of shit. If you don't like my bluntness- too bad. I am not here to please you, so move along, your approval is not desired nor is it needed. So before opening your pie hole and adding more stupidity, perhaps sit back, listen, absorb and learn something. You know that saying, it is better to remain silent and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!
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