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Are slicks a waste for a newbie?

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I know it's a broad question and many factors are involved. I'm converting my CRF450 and am planning on running open practices at Beaverun. From what I've seen, they don't usually open the dirt section for practice, so dirt traction isn't an issue. I was thinking that a quality set of DOT tires would be cheaper, have enough grip and have better longevity than slicks. Being a noob, I thought a little less grip than slicks might actually help me learn to slide a little easier. I did 2 open practices with a sportsman WR and was really surprised how much grip a skinny set of Cheng Shits gave, so any decent quality wide 17" tires should be an improvement. I'm sure alot of guys egos will convince them that they need slicks but I'll readily admit that Jeff Ward has nothing to fear from me. :applause: Any opinion from guys who have run both?

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i would suggest Pilot Powers or Pirelli Diablo Corsas (on my track bike, i was able to run 1:04s at BeaveRun with no problems with Pirelli Diablo Corsas). i always liked how the DCs slid.

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Who told you that DOT's last longer than Slicks..? Not so..

Get the DOT's they warm up quicker. If you get "Good" take offs, you be $$$ ahead once you get some practice and confidence, then buy some New tires, be it DOT's or slicks..might wanna think about gettin some tire warmers at some point If your gonna race.

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Not really planning on racing. I had a great time just at the open practices and don't really need to be taken out by some goofball ready to kill both of us for 1 finishing place higher in the last turn. Besides, I get more track time for my money at practice than I would racing.

Actually it was only my assumption that DOT's lasted longer than slicks. I have no real experience with slicks. Are they a better buy?

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Depends...usually slick's cost more. Imho if your not that fast, don't waste the $$$, DOT's will serve you well. But if you can get some "Good" take offs (slicks) for a reasonable price, try em.

Oh, if you get take offs, make sure they are the super soft, or soft compund.

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The Dunlop 208 Qualifiers are a great DOT as good as some slicks and last a fair amount of time. If you do go get take offs the Dunlops work great for this and second choice would be Michelins. Take offs will save you money but will not stick as good as you think. Watch out for old take offs or over heated ones they will have a blue or purple color to them. Make sure you warm them up good before doing any real fast laps on them.

Darrick

www.westcoastsupermoto.com

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Thanks for the replies. I think I will take your advice Darrick and go with the Qualifiers. I know Dunlop seems to get beat up around here pretty good but I've always had good luck with them. I'm going to try and avoid take offs. I hate changing tires and want to do it as little as possible. I still think that some guys use slicks when they might actually be better served with DOT's. (Cold weather, etc.)

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Hang out in the pits at the track you ride at and see what the hot set-up is. I kow alot of guys at Loudon run Dunlop Soft slicks, and that seems to be the way to go for that particular track. Alot of manufactures are makeing SM specific tires now that function better in the relatively lower speeds than that of a sport bike tire.

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if you want to start sliding go for the the slicks.

might sound strange, but sommehow they are kind of less grippier than average DOT tires. this is what alows you to perfectly slide into a corner, BUT most importantly alows you to powerslide off the corners helping you to turn better and acelerate earlier.

average DOT tires (except racing DOTs like MICHELINs or PIRELLIs) do grip alot, but once they "take-off" it´s hard to control them.

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how much do slicks cost?? im looking at some for my noname china dualsport bike. i cant tell u what the tire sizes cuz i dont no i'll have 2 check. do u think its a good idea?? im just looking 2 have fun n throw the back of the bike out around turns

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Glad to know im not gonna be the only noob at Beverrun this summer :applause:

Im gonna be sporting Powers - Work great on the R1 so why not..

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Slicks are " Less" griper than DOT's..???? :applause: Seriously, do some research my friend, it's just the opposite. When any tire goes off, they'r all slippery..

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missed my point. I was talking in a overall, good tarmac, road racing surface kind of way.

if someone rides on gokart courses whith that "polished" surface, obviously, the only tire that sticks whould be a softer compoud slick.

think of tires as pieces of diferent tipes of rubber on diferent surfaces. if you pick a very soft erasing rubber and scrap it on a hard sandpapper you´ll see that it shreads alot and doesn´t grip much though, on paper it shreads less and progressively rubbs, and on a surface like glass or a plastic cd cover it whould stick firmly.

picking an hard piece of rubber (like a bit of a 10yr old tire) on the sandpapper it will stick even appliyng lots of streght but once you lean too much it´s goodbie, on paper it doesn´t even stick´s, and on the glass it feels like scapping plastic.

hope you guys understand

BTW, when going for slicks, the SM ones like DUNLOP or METZELER also have more rubber on them, helping to last a litle longer, unlike the road racing ones

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there is a lot more to tires than the surface you are riding on. what about SM racers in hardpacked dirt? they are running cut slicks. you also have to consider tire compounds (not all "rubbers" perform the same), tire temperature, track temperature, tire pressure, track surface, etc.

for tires in good condition and at their proper operating temperature, a slick will offer far more grip than a street tire. but but slicks require very hard riding to maintain their optimal operating temperature compared to street tires. (in fact some street tests have found better grip from sport touring tires than supersport tires because the sport touring tires have a lower optimal temperature) so that is why it is not a good idea to use slicks on the street.

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I know it's a broad question and many factors are involved. I'm converting my CRF450 and am planning on running open practices at Beaverun. From what I've seen, they don't usually open the dirt section for practice, so dirt traction isn't an issue. I was thinking that a quality set of DOT tires would be cheaper, have enough grip and have better longevity than slicks. Being a noob, I thought a little less grip than slicks might actually help me learn to slide a little easier. I did 2 open practices with a sportsman WR and was really surprised how much grip a skinny set of Cheng Shits gave, so any decent quality wide 17" tires should be an improvement. I'm sure alot of guys egos will convince them that they need slicks but I'll readily admit that Jeff Ward has nothing to fear from me. :applause: Any opinion from guys who have run both?

slicks are the only way to go. you will also need to invest in some tire warmers to make your race tires last longer. there are some slicks for sale in the classified section here that are a great price. fyi

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Here is my 2 cents. Basically I am a cheap bastard & Slicks cost $$$

When I bought my SMed 426 it came with Metz M1's. I took it to several tracks and ran them and "though" they were good. I sold the 426 and kept the spare wheels with 208s & rains and put them on my YZ250 2 smoke. I went to Ocala 4 months ago for the winter series opener with the 208s on and never felt comfortable on the pavement. Basically I would get smoked there! I ran practice and the 1st of 3 motos with them.

After walking around and checking what others were running I noticed a lot of people were running rains. After talking to one of them he told me unless you are backing it in don't worry about wearing them out fast. So back to the truck and swapped the tires to the rains that I brought along. I could feel a HUGE grip difference going into the 1st turn of the hot lap! With every lap my confidence and speed climbed until by the end of the 3rd moto I was just as fast on the pavement as the guys I had been dicing with in every race only before they would easily pass me on the pavement but I would get them back in the dirt.

So since this made such a huge difference my next step will be to get slicks. Maxxis slicks are fairly inexpensive but I know from a few SM Pro friends that using the higher quality ($$$) tires will instantly cut 2-4 seconds off your lap times. I will probably try the Maxxis 1st or do like I did for the rains and put a used tires wanted post on the wera site for some used Dunlops or Michelins.

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Ericz... Newbie here too... I did an open last fall at beaver on my 250F shod with avons front and back STOCK SIZE. Sticky once warm!

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/garage.php?do=viewattachment&attachmentid=27811

Had a blast as I am sure you did. The traction was great until I really felt comfortable pushing it, then the sliding began. Mainly a front push on the downhill right coming back. As I played with the suspension and tire pressures things got better again. There are so many factors as with everything else, I think it will take time and patience to get to YOUR best setup! This year I have a 450F and will be trying Shinko's because of the price. I hear both good and bad, but at my level my kid will probably spank me on his KLX110. Dunlops have crossed my mind but they're actually more expensive! I may go up to beaver next month with the skinnies until I get my wheels. That should be a treat!! It's all going to come down to your wallet and comfort on the bike.

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Slicks are worth every penny!!

i'd recommend getting the best you can, and buying them new, if you can find the money.

Correct me if i am wrong here:

Seconds are seconds for a reason.

Some racers can afford to throw a good deal your way - but often if the tires are that good they give as deals to their friends, or even back to the shop that sponsors them (for the shops to pass out to favored customers.) The sets the shops dont want their name assocated with (cause questionable quality) get sold at the track

Tire warmers are for persons racing for a purse, or that have more money than i am willing to spend..... These are racers (and riders) that NEED to be through and out the first corner already in the lead, at the start of the race.

Me, i am not fast. And justl warm-up my slicks a little / sometimes fairly well / before the race - without tire warmers - by running a lap or more.

But, this is just my opinion.

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how good are the slicks that come standard on ktm smr's? anyone know? ive only ran pirellis on the big road course and it stuck like glue.

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