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Discussion Starter #1
Hey there!

I'm doing my first track day (second ever) tomorrow at Streets of Willow, and I've been stoked ever since I signed up 3 weeks ago. Just wanted to throw a quick question regarding tire pressure. I read a couple threads, but this is a bit more specific to me personally. I'm an okay-ish (at best) rider, weight 157 lb, bike is essentially stock, and running Power RS tires. I was thinking 29 F/28 R for hot tire pressure. I saw many bikes using that in a video (had a chart which showed track bikes from 300cc to liter bikes w/ Q3+) I watched last year before my first track day, which I tried, and to me, it worked great. Contrary to that, I feel like that info may not be necessarily accurate, but a good baseline to start.

Below are pictures from my first track day mid 2019 on a stock 300 with Metz M7RRs. B- group.

One thing I'm confused with is tire pressure based . Is it:
1) Quicker riders run higher temperatures because they are able to get more heat in the tire to operate well (Operating Heat Theory)
2) Quicker riders run lower temperatures because they are able to generate more heat to get it into the ideal PSI (Ideal PSI Theory)
3) None of the above

Referencing the pictures attached, would y'all increase/decrease psi, or is does it look okay for where it was at? Thank you all in advance for the help :)

1.jpg
2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I also tried reaching out to Dave Moss, but wasn't able to get a response yet :/

The bike came pre-lowered as the previous owner was a shorter lady. Although lowering the center of gravity and such made the bike feel AMAZING, if you start dipping the bike lower, it scratches the fairing... I think it may be a great idea for newer riders, it definitely gave me confidence in the bike!
 

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Firstly, you dont want a lowered bike for racing. As you said, you need ground clearance. I've seen guys come off when a rearset has dug into the track. Probably not so much of an issue with folding stock pegs but not ideal.

Your tyres look fine. At the level your at I wouldn't get too concerned about exact pressures. I've found around the track if I borrow a couple of friends tyre pressure gauges I will get three different answers anyways lol.
My only thought is that (personally) I like a pound or two more in the front. When I take my Ninja to the track without warmers i generally run 30/28 pressure taken warm.

There is slight lip forming on the trailing edge of your rear tyre groove. This is because the stock shock doesn't provide enough rebound damping. ie The action on the return stroke is too fast, a symptom common to cheap stock shocks. This is where the facility to adjust compression and rebound damping with an aftermarket shock is beneficial.

Have fun out there!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Agree, it was my cheap intro bike and didn't want to spend more to get it raised. IMO, good for a beginner to use for a couple months to get comfortable handling a bike!

Haha good to know. I'm the type of person who likes to dial-in things that I can (the minimal mods I can do with a stock bike, and watch vids of the track to find lines that I would take - usually just try to mimic a good A-group rider), especially when in this dangerous sport, I want to minimize the chance of death. I know I won't be getting any great lap times, but I personally like tracking my progress - I'm usually pretty consistent with my times after a couple laps to get familiar with the layout. I think I'll probably bump the front up to 30 as well. I've read that those bubbles form when your tire overheats, so another PSI or two in the front may help.

Continues internal debate of getting Ohlins, or just moving up to an adjustable bigger bike that has decent suspension

Thank you good sir! I forgot the feeling of being able to send it without worrying about traffic, coppers, and debris...so excited!

One of my fave pics from my first track day, I'm a big advocate of finger guns.
15646


I'd post some pics/vids from tomorrow's track day, but doubt anyone wants to see anymore pics of a novice put around 🛵😅
 

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So many beginner track day riders overthink the tire pressures. Start from whatever is recommended by the manufacturer for that particular model of tires and if it's a street tire, then lower that by about 3-4 psi. You will be going a LOT slower than the tires can handle. This isn't a diss on you, but it's just what happens...beginners go slow in their first day, or first few days, unless you really think you're the next Valentino Rossi, which I highly doubt.

You're not going to be getting any significant heat in the tire so don't even worry about pressures at "hot", cuz they're not gonna be hot, unless you're going to use tire warmers, but you probably shouldn't on your first track day and with those tires.

Also, raise your bike back up. These bikes are already too low, you're going to run into clearance issues soon. Mine is raised higher than stock, and my Vortex rear sets are set at their highest position and it's still not high enough for me. I need to find another 15 mm or so somehow.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So many beginner track day riders overthink the tire pressures. Start from whatever is recommended by the manufacturer for that particular model of tires and if it's a street tire, then lower that by about 3-4 psi. You will be going a LOT slower than the tires can handle. This isn't a diss on you, but it's just what happens...beginners go slow in their first day, or first few days, unless you really think you're the next Valentino Rossi, which I highly doubt.

You're not going to be getting any significant heat in the tire so don't even worry about pressures at "hot", cuz they're not gonna be hot, unless you're going to use tire warmers, but you probably shouldn't on your first track day and with those tires.

Also, raise your bike back up. These bikes are already too low, you're going to run into clearance issues soon. Mine is raised higher than stock, and my Vortex rear sets are set at their highest position and it's still not high enough for me. I need to find another 15 mm or so somehow.
No offense taken! It is what it is 😅 - I prefer the ugly truth over sugarcoating. My first day I started 29/28, but after the 2nd session the rear was at 36 after a couple minutes of cooling (I have very selective memory) - granted it was also 100 degrees. I may have been fine, but I didn't want to take any chances

No where near close to that level/talent, but I like to believe I'm somewhat decent. Was able to catch up to, and pass some, the supersport class bikes in the corners + was able to keep the pace of the coaches with N300s as well (Also this was in B- minus group, so that's probably not saying too much haha).

The clearance issue was with my old N300 which I no longer have. The N400 I currently ride is 100% stock height, engine, & suspension w/ preload at 3 - all I did was change the clutch springs, and put some tank grips so far.
 
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Dont stress about tire pressures too much. I do have a question, how is it you are running Michelin Power RS? That tire does not come in sizes that fit the 400. Regardless you can simply google recommended tire pressure for what tires you have. The manufacturers website will pop up with tire pressure charts. I account for a 3-4 PSI rise from cold to hot. Set my tires cold to what should be the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Then after my first 2 sessions and I check tire wear for cold or hot tearing. Usually I just need to drop a psi or two and I am good to go. Unless you get lucky or have a calibrated tire gauge, good to use the same gauge and go more by tire wear than actual psi number.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Dont stress about tire pressures too much. I do have a question, how is it you are running Michelin Power RS? That tire does not come in sizes that fit the 400. Regardless you can simply google recommended tire pressure for what tires you have. The manufacturers website will pop up with tire pressure charts. I account for a 3-4 PSI rise from cold to hot. Set my tires cold to what should be the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer. Then after my first 2 sessions and I check tire wear for cold or hot tearing. Usually I just need to drop a psi or two and I am good to go. Unless you get lucky or have a calibrated tire gauge, good to use the same gauge and go more by tire wear than actual psi number.
I'm actually running the stock sizes (110 & 150) on the Power RS'! I usually check with the manufacturer themselves for tire sizes as I know not every third-party/distributor stocks all sizes. Sometimes they need to pre-order them if it's an uncommon size. If I remember correctly, I ordered from RevZilla - was debating between the M9rrs and the Power RS; I haven't decided if I like them over the M7s yet. My personal riding style likes the steeper tire profile on the Metz.

Your suggestion is actually what I was planning on doing haha. I'm not 100% sure on reading tires as of now, but I plan to wing it, talk to the other riders, or the suspension guy at the track.

Also, if I remember correctly, you're the ACH guy right? If so, congrats on the CVMA race! If you're still in the ACH area, I'd enjoy a ride/meet-up sometime if you're up for it! Always looking for fast guys to ride with and learn from. I haven't been fortunate enough to find fast riders/drivers at AFH, but I do tend to go quite early - on a weekend at 6am.

Edit: I didn't get them from RevZilla, I got them from some credible DIY guy with hook-ups to tire distributors. $340 installed, in the Cerritos area.
 
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Pretty much what has already been said, don't sweat it. Your starting numbers of 29/28 sounds good. I've been at the Streets of Willow twice, but in a go kart, and it is a very fun track. It has some fun elevation changes and no blind corners so it's easy to learn. One thing is to make sure to stay on the racing line or you will get into the dirty part of the track which has very limited traction. I'm sure they will mention that in the riders meeting. Also it tends to get very windy out there so make sure to keep all your stuff tied down well or stowed away to avoid things blowing away. Last time I was there in June the wind caught my brothers door to his Denali and blew it forward so hard it damaged the hinge and caused major body damage...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh wow thanks for the tip. I'm planning on riding there and back, so definitely good to keep my belongings in check.

I've been there once in a car about 5 years ago (my first of 2 track days in a car), and don't remember too much about it aside from the little dip at the apex at the "skid pad". If that bump is still there, it would be devastating to tap that on a bike - definitely going to take a look at that on my first sighting lap. Also really excited/curious on how I'm going to take the bowl - super tight all around, or a slight "V" cut turn for a straight line out; y'know, to really be able to put the power down on with the 400 :LOL:
 

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No offense taken! It is what it is 😅 - I prefer the ugly truth over sugarcoating. My first day I started 29/28, but after the 2nd session the rear was at 36 after a couple minutes of cooling (I have very selective memory) - granted it was also 100 degrees. I may have been fine, but I didn't want to take any chances

No where near close to that level/talent, but I like to believe I'm somewhat decent. Was able to catch up to, and pass some, the supersport class bikes in the corners + was able to keep the pace of the coaches with N300s as well (Also this was in B- minus group, so that's probably not saying too much haha).

The clearance issue was with my old N300 which I no longer have. The N400 I currently ride is 100% stock height, engine, & suspension w/ preload at 3 - all I did was change the clutch springs, and put some tank grips so far.
Oh I misread that part about the height. Also that it's not actually your first track day, but your second day.

But yeah, there are many things that will be going through your mind and many things to focus on as it is. Tire pressures shouldn't really be among them for now. I set my pressures in the morning and forget about it afterwards. Granted I use tire warmers, but still. I always get a crack at the guys in novice or intermediate group that fiddle with their pressures before every session, adding or removing a psi or something, like that's gonna make any difference when they're running like 20+ seconds off the lap record lol If the pace is so slow anything between "flat" and "rock hard" is good enough lol
 

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I'm actually running the stock sizes (110 & 150) on the Power RS'! I usually check with the manufacturer themselves for tire sizes as I know not every third-party/distributor stocks all sizes. Sometimes they need to pre-order them if it's an uncommon size. If I remember correctly, I ordered from RevZilla - was debating between the M9rrs and the Power RS; I haven't decided if I like them over the M7s yet. My personal riding style likes the steeper tire profile on the Metz.

Your suggestion is actually what I was planning on doing haha. I'm not 100% sure on reading tires as of now, but I plan to wing it, talk to the other riders, or the suspension guy at the track.

Also, if I remember correctly, you're the ACH guy right? If so, congrats on the CVMA race! If you're still in the ACH area, I'd enjoy a ride/meet-up sometime if you're up for it! Always looking for fast guys to ride with and learn from. I haven't been fortunate enough to find fast riders/drivers at AFH, but I do tend to go quite early - on a weekend at 6am.

Edit: I didn't get them from RevZilla, I got them from some credible DIY guy with hook-ups to tire distributors. $340 installed, in the Cerritos area.
My bad was thinking about the new power cup 2s. That's me and thanks, next race is in a couple weeks. I moved to Arizona, don't think I'll be riding angeles crest for a long time, especially since the fires decimated the whole area.
 

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If you see Jarred from Motorsport Exotic, go say hey. He has a trailer at SoWS and dials racers suspensions.He knows his stuff and helps tons of people. He has a great shop in Hollywood. He dyno tuned my N400 and did a full suspension rebuild and tune on my 848.
 

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Anytime is a good time to think about your tire pressures! If you are reaching out to Dave for advice, I recommend “donating” his fee. His videos are a wealth of knowledge. You will also be paid higher attention...

Looks to me your rear was running a little hot. All the gummy bits are chunks of your tire heating, balling, and being gooey. Lower tire pressures, more heat in the tire.Looking at that, I would add a couple psi to the rear. Do a session.Add a couple more. Do a session. Feel the difference.A couple psi will make a huge difference. Your front looks fine. But same, try a couple more, feel it, see the change in tire. Learn the change effect.
 

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I ran the M7RR's on my 18' N400 during July and August at NCM, $20 GSX-R 600/750 rear shock, front forks thicker fluid with more fluid and spring preload caps.
I am by no means the fastest out there...but I am also not always the slowest out there...lol and the Metz M7's worked just fine for me.
I ran 28-30 psi up front cold and 28psi out back. I typically stuck with 28-29.5 psi cold up front and I did not have any issues.

The M9's are suppose to be better and the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa TD tire is supposed to be one of the best track day tires...where your not in the SC1 and 2's or slicks.........but on the street they will probably wear out much faster, not as fast as the SC1 or SC2, but much faster than even the sportier street tire......
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone for the info! I wasn't necessary worried about potentially getting slightly better lap times with the "perfect" PSI, but more so worried it would be too bouncy or spongey were I would eat **** and die haha.

The day went fine/fun, but I drastically like Buttonwillow over SOW. The track condition in SOW got me very hesitant to push it. There were tar snakes everywhere, 2 inch cracks that ran across the whole track, holes in the ground the size of a cantaloupe, someone crashed in the second session and spilled fluid across the whole road, etc. Honestly, I'd rather go to the canyons than SOW again... They had the Yamaha Demos, so I did get to finally try an R6 & naked bike finally. It made me realize I'm perfectly fine on the 400 for my needs. I went in braking with almost the same pressure on the R6 as I use on the 400 at the end of the straight and the rear lifted a bit - I was a bit worried for a second 😅.

Next time, I think I'd strongly prefer a trailer of some sort. I wasn't looking forward to the 1.5 ride home after waking up at 5am and riding there.
 

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Oh I misread that part about the height. Also that it's not actually your first track day, but your second day.

But yeah, there are many things that will be going through your mind and many things to focus on as it is. Tire pressures shouldn't really be among them for now. I set my pressures in the morning and forget about it afterwards. Granted I use tire warmers, but still. I always get a crack at the guys in novice or intermediate group that fiddle with their pressures before every session, adding or removing a psi or something, like that's gonna make any difference when they're running like 20+ seconds off the lap record lol If the pace is so slow anything between "flat" and "rock hard" is good enough lol
Right that is usually what I do, set the back at 28.5 ish and the front about 29-29.5 or upper 28's at start of the day cold, check them once or twice through the entire day to make sure I am not loosing any air and leave them alone.

Unless something is just drastically off, I usually do the same with the rest of the bike, look it over after a session or two and make sure nothing is leaking anywhere or fell off and leave it alone, I know its my skill, body position, etc, that needs the most improvement...no way I am at the level that any adjustments to the bike I make will benefit my pace.....lol
 

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The Michelin power RS is an excellent tire for the 400 on the track at the beginner and intermediate level. I rode on it all last season and half of this season. I went with the Michelin power cup EVO 110/70 front and 140/70 rear. I put the used power RS on my 300, 110/70 front and 150/60 rear. The 300 sits lower than the 400 and putting the 150/60 on the rear makes it sit even lower. Many racers/track day riders prefer the 140/70 rear for even quicker turn in and it sits a little higher than the 150/60.

The GSXR rear shock has been mentioned above as a good cheap mod for the rear suspension on the 400. I did it and I love it! You can get a used GSXR shock for less than $50 bucks, years 2011-2019, 600/750 work.
 
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