Roadracers have many factors to consider when racing motorcycles, and one major concern is tires. Depending on conditions, many run special tires with extra gripping power (i.e. they are made of softer rubber that grips pavement very well once they have heated up). The soft rubber raises the friction coefficient between the tires and the pavement, which prevents them from slipping out so easily during intense cornering. Less slipping means less crashing, which is good.
Depending on a racer's preference, there are various kinds of tires that can be used for racing. Slicks are soft rubber tires with no tread whatsoever. The lack of tread allows for the maximum amount of rubber to be in contact with pavement at all times. More surface area means more friction, and thus less slip. Others prefer treaded tires, still made of the more pliable rubber. Tires with some tread are much less likely to hydroplane upon contact with moisture on the track, and tend to grip better than slicks in cool weather. There are also rain tires for those gung-ho types who won't call the races off for a bit of rain.
(Photos Courtesy of Motorcycleusa.com)
Return to Main Page