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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are some pretty hard core riders on here that don't let the cold temperatures prevent you from carving the canyons and twisty roads. But with that said I always make sure my tires are good and heated up before any aggressive riding, however doesn't there come a point where performance tires (or at least the kind we run on our bikes) begin to lose significant traction and grip when the outside air temperatures drop? At what temperature outside do you begin to lose confidence in your tires ability to not give way? I know adjusting tire pressure effects the way they heat up, so what adjustments do you do and at what point do you do them?

Many thanks in advance for your input-
 

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Personally, I have always treated riding on cold pavement like riding in the rain. The chances of getting your tires up to a good gripping riding temperatures is lessened as the temperature drops. Some people might see that as being over cautious, but it has served me well over the years. Plus doing an unexpected doughnut in an intersection once, can wake you up in a hurry first thing in the morning, lol.
 

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Thanks for starting this thread.
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was surprised I couldn't get any appreciable heat in my PR4's despite riding what I believed to be an elevated pace on mountain twisty roads in temps somewhere in the upper 50's with tire pressures at 32F/34R. I never felt the tires slip, but when feeling my riding partner's tires, his were warmer. And I was riding right with him. So it wasn't like he was running off and leaving me. That discovery caused me to question how different compounds/manufacturers products build heat.

Confidence is, in part, about perception and it was my perception that my tires were barely warm after a spirited 30 minute ride. When thinking about the differences between our relative tire temps, I came to realize that it might all be down to something as simple as, my riding style was less "vigorous". Just the same, I would feel a lot better if my tires had built up some real heat. I wonder how greasy they will get on a 95F day when I'm strafing the curves?

And then I came across this...

The following is from the Michelin site, and is excerpted from a Sport ride magazine review of the PR4 tires:

Michelin suggests that each of the aforementioned changes provides multiple benefits: the Pilot Road 4 is claimed to stop 17-percent shorter than the leading competitors (from 31 mph to 0 mph), last 20-percent longer than the Pilot Road 3, and have a 90 degree operating range, meaning it can operate as normal in conditions ranging from 23 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit.

So...that excerpt tells me that I don't need to worry?
 

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Interesting thread here, but in the wrong location........I'll move it to the Tires and Wheels section...........carry on.
 

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OK, now that I've got it moved here is my comments on the subject. First of all, remember that each and every tire brand and tire model is different. Some are vastly different than even a same brand tire, but different model, so it is safe to assume that differences between brands is significant. Ambient air temperature plays a huge role in how well a tire will warm up ....or not! There are other factors like tire compound, air pressure, how hard the tire is pushed/ridden, etc. Personally, when the temperatures start getting below 70 to 75 degrees, I expect the grip to drop off to some extent, especially riding on the street, where you normally don't push a tire really hard, or at least up to it's capabilities. So, I don't think there is really an "answer" to this question in general. My advice, and the mode of operation that I use to to back off the pace somewhat, and keep my lean angles less than normal. Obviously, this issue affects acceleration and braking, so those two factors must also be taken into account. As already posted, some of the tires that are less "sport/track" oriented are better choices for colder weather as they are made to heat up quicker and with less pushing. Best advice I can offer is to just slow down a bit, especially if you are on a more sport oriented tire........oh, and be extremely smooth on both the throttle and the brakes.
 
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So Vern, is it possible for a sport-touring tire to provide equivalent grip at lower tire temp when compared to a Supersport tire measuring at a higher temp?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
OK, now that I've got it moved here is my comments on the subject. First of all, remember that each and every tire brand and tire model is different. Some are vastly different than even a same brand tire, but different model, so it is safe to assume that differences between brands is significant. Ambient air temperature plays a huge role in how well a tire will warm up ....or not! There are other factors like tire compound, air pressure, how hard the tire is pushed/ridden, etc. Personally, when the temperatures start getting below 70 to 75 degrees, I expect the grip to drop off to some extent, especially riding on the street, where you normally don't push a tire really hard, or at least up to it's capabilities. So, I don't think there is really an "answer" to this question in general. My advice, and the mode of operation that I use to to back off the pace somewhat, and keep my lean angles less than normal. Obviously, this issue affects acceleration and braking, so those two factors must also be taken into account. As already posted, some of the tires that are less "sport/track" oriented are better choices for colder weather as they are made to heat up quicker and with less pushing. Best advice I can offer is to just slow down a bit, especially if you are on a more sport oriented tire........oh, and be extremely smooth on both the throttle and the brakes.
Good info Triple, thanks! I am running Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa, so they are pretty sport oriented and stick like glue in this Arizona heat, that is until I take it up north to Jerome next week where the temps could easily drop into the high 40's or low 50's. The roads I am traveling are the type of road that would make (especially YOU) your mouth water as the switch backs and elevation changes through Mingus mountain tempt one to push the pace just a tad.

When one tries to research this topic of ambient air temps and tire grip, it becomes obvious that what you say is so very true in that a straight answer can't be found. At a minimum I will drop the PSI by 1 or 2 don't you think?
 

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I know there are some pretty hard core riders on here that don't let the cold temperatures prevent you from carving the canyons and twisty roads.

But with that said I always make sure my tires are good and heated up before any aggressive riding, however doesn't there come a point where performance tires (or at least the kind we run on our bikes) begin to lose significant traction and grip when the outside air temperatures drop?

below 60 is where I lose confidence and tend to be extra cautious especially when first getting on the bike and letting the tires warm up. for street riding lower 50's and below I would use more caution than normal.

At what temperature outside do you begin to lose confidence in your tires ability to not give way?

you'll learn this with riding experience, but this answer can differ a bit depending on other conditions like riding pace, tire conditions and pressures. I would be extra cautious under 60 degrees

I know adjusting tire pressure effects the way they heat up, so what adjustments do you do and at what point do you do them?

decreasing tire pressure - easier to build heat, build also easier to over heat and become slick
increasing tire pressure - harder to over heat and become slick, but harder to warm up and keep heat. also gives it better mileage on the tire.
Also in general, a street tire will do great between 32 psi and 36 psi (COLD tire pressure) but try your best to get the recommendation directly from the manufacturer or a reliable source


Many thanks in advance for your input-
Another thing I would really like to add is that the tire gauge that you use, I have used and bought several tire gauges which include themselves from walmart, autozone, advance autoparts, cycle gear, personal sales. I have found that every single SLIME branded gauge i bought was faulty, and off by a few psi up to several psi off what a calibrated gauge was at.

Here is one that I have had several track riding friends buy and ive never seen them off more than one psi which is perfect for a street rider. they are $17 which is affordable

STOCKTON TOOL COMPANY - Tire Air Pressure Gauge with Hose - Pumps - Tire Tools - Tires - Cycle Gear

I know everyone cant afford this gauge, but if you're not tight on money think seriously about investing in a gauge like this because it is worth it in the long run.

MOTION PRO - Professional Tire Gauge - Pumps - Tire Tools - Tires - Cycle Gear

Lol this next point may be a little extreme, but its information to have better understanding of tires The most important thing about your tires is the Temperature. now if you want to really make sure they are getting to temperature. You can get a pyrometer to measure the amount of heat in your tires to get them in the temperature. lol but for street riding i wouldnt do that. I'll set my tire temp in the garage with my calibrated gauge in the morning real quick, when the tires are cold (this is important because your tire pressure is suppose to increase as you build heat, set thee COLD pressure) and i'll just start riding.
 

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Another thing I would really like to add is that the tire gauge that you use, I have used and bought several tire gauges which include themselves from walmart, autozone, advance autoparts, cycle gear, personal sales. I have found that every single SLIME branded gauge i bought was faulty, and off by a few psi up to several psi off what a calibrated gauge was at.

Here is one that I have had several track riding friends buy and ive never seen them off more than one psi which is perfect for a street rider. they are $17 which is affordable

STOCKTON TOOL COMPANY - Tire Air Pressure Gauge with Hose - Pumps - Tire Tools - Tires - Cycle Gear

I know everyone cant afford this gauge, but if you're not tight on money think seriously about investing in a gauge like this because it is worth it in the long run.

MOTION PRO - Professional Tire Gauge - Pumps - Tire Tools - Tires - Cycle Gear

Lol this next point may be a little extreme, but its information to have better understanding of tires The most important thing about your tires is the Temperature. now if you want to really make sure they are getting to temperature. You can get a pyrometer to measure the amount of heat in your tires to get them in the temperature. lol but for street riding i wouldnt do that. I'll set my tire temp in the garage with my calibrated gauge in the morning real quick, when the tires are cold (this is important because your tire pressure is suppose to increase as you build heat, set thee COLD pressure) and i'll just start riding.
why you posting commission junction links..thats pretty shady dude

here are the links without the click bait commission link crap....

MOTION PRO - Professional Tire Gauge - Pumps - Tire Tools - Tires - Cycle Gear


STOCKTON TOOL COMPANY - Tire Air Pressure Gauge with Hose - Pumps - Tire Tools - Tires - Cycle Gear
 

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So Vern, is it possible for a sport-touring tire to provide equivalent grip at lower tire temp when compared to a Supersport tire measuring at a higher temp?
There again, it would depend on the two tires you are comparing here. My short answer is no, you aren't going to get a sport touring tire to grip as well as a supersport tire in the temperatures that you are referring to. Of course, the S.T. tire would be a much better choice in lower temps, as far as grip goes, but the best advice I can offer is to slow your normal pace and try to be aware of what your tire is telling you.....in other words, how does it feel when you push it a bit, is it starting to slide around, etc.

It reminds me of a time on the track at Barber in the summer of 2013. I was following my wife Peggy out on the track and she was absolutely railing the bike through the corners (she has lean angles that scare me when following her). I could see her sliding the back end through some of the corners and even though it was pretty impressive to watch, I was starting to get a bit nervous because of her lean angles and the fact that it was so hot on the track that the tire was (in my opinion) starting to get a little greasy because she was pushing it so hard. I watched this for a couple of laps and finally passed her and got in front and gave her a motion to slow it down a bit. When we came off the track and back to the paddock area I asked her.....Did you not hear your tires talking to you? She smiled and said, "I heard every word they said, I just didn't really want to hear it though". True story.
 

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Good info Triple, thanks! I am running Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa, so they are pretty sport oriented and stick like glue in this Arizona heat, that is until I take it up north to Jerome next week where the temps could easily drop into the high 40's or low 50's. The roads I am traveling are the type of road that would make (especially YOU) your mouth water as the switch backs and elevation changes through Mingus mountain tempt one to push the pace just a tad.

When one tries to research this topic of ambient air temps and tire grip, it becomes obvious that what you say is so very true in that a straight answer can't be found. At a minimum I will drop the PSI by 1 or 2 don't you think?
Dropping the tire pressure by a couple of pounds will certainly help the tire to heat up a little more, but there is a thin line between heating up more, and heating up to the point of the tire becoming less stable........differing sidewall constructions, compounds, etc. It's definitely something to experiment with if you want to try and keep some of the tire grip at lower temperatures, but most of the time I don't do much adjusting, I just take it for what it is.......a cooler day with less grip and a reduced pace..........Winter time sucks! :cool:
 
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commission junction links?

I copy and pasted them from my web browser.
Wow, looks like the forum is adding them.....my apologies man....:(
 
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I can say that the stock Dunlops are down right scary on a cold day. My PR4's warm up much quicker, but as mentioned before, I treat it like a wet road when the temps dip down into the 40's.
 

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I can say that the stock Dunlops are down right scary on a cold day.
Even in a modest commuting environment on a cold mornings late last winter, not pushing the motorcycle very hard, I agree. Using sport touring tires since June, but now commuting during recent very cold November temps, the difference in perceived tire grip is substantial.
 

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I know there are some pretty hard core riders on here that don't let the cold temperatures prevent you from carving the canyons and twisty roads.
I don't think hard core riders ride the same pace in cold temperatures as they do in warm temps. At least I don't and from what I have seen with my friends crashing when the asphalt is cold....it's a good idea no to. Regardless of what tire manufacturers claim the "range" of temps that work....I know how hot a tire has to be to haul ass in the corners....and when it's 40 degrees outside, that tire is never going to get hot enough.

When it's cold outside, ride down your favorite road at 75% of what you usually ride, and when you stop..put your bare hand on top of the rear tire. If the tire is luke warm or under.....don't push it any farther. If it's hot and you can hold your hand on the tire top indefinetly.....you're ok. If the tire is blazing hot with rocks and leaves stuck all over it.....and you can hold your bare hand on it for 10 seconds....it's at optimal temps. If the tire is hotter than that....and you can't hold your hand on the top for anymore that a few seconds without getting burnt...then you have too little air pressure.

Now do the same on the front tire. If the rear tire is slightly hotter than the front..and both are the 10 second test....you have it right. In the SUMMER and your tires never get hot enough to be even luke warm at the end of your favorite twisty road...turn in your man card immediately.
 

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The cold temps don't prevent me from carving, but I do back it down a notch and go easy on the throttle and try to be smooth. I've got the Angel GTs set at 32/34 and they seem to be happy with a smooth style even when temps are below freezing, start pushing it thou and they let you know right away just how little grip you really have. I need a better tire gage thou too, I might be running as low as 30/32 actual pressures (based on my car tire wear using the same gage).
 

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Haven't ridden in cold temps for a while and found this out yesterday... A mode and a heavy right wrist = drift bike.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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I need to swap out the original Dunlops shortly as I ride all year and use the bike for commuting. I think the PR4's will be a good Winter choice given the treadwear rating and better wet grip. Hard to have the right tires on this time of year, as it was 23 degrees yesterday morning and will be 73 degrees in a few days.
 
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