They are also round and black and according to the gods of Formula one and MotoGp the important thing when riding or driving is getting heat into your tires, and when you have done that the next most important thing is not getting them too hot. In the wet they rave about the block sections created by the tread moving about generating heat and so providing grip. I am sure they are correct, they should be, after all they are paid millions to be correct about these things, however maybe they are only correct in their world of ultra high performance vehicles?
Of course heat does make tires grip better, they have an optimal operating temperature when they become soft enough to be grippy but not so soft they get ripped apart. If you have ever had the chance to touch a formula one car tire you might well have been surprised to find that even the soft compound ones feel as hard as a church pew. They need to be, first of all I am sure the drivers burst into spontaneous prayer at times and secondly they have to deal with about a 1000Bhp which would make your expensive “normal” Pirelli suffer “catastrophic delamination” fall apart to us normal people, in about 2 seconds. Anyone who has been on a track day and pushed it a little bit will know the effect that those conditions have on normal road tires. The graining that even I, a normal human being, gets is quite impressive and it is all due to the tire being pushed to do something it is not designed for, unrelenting hard acceleration and deceleration and aggressive direction changes.
It is not meant to look like this
So the real world requirements of a tire are completely different from those of a race track. They need to operate at much lower temperatures, and work in a variety of conditions, from high summer to deepest winter, rain and shine and on ever changing road surfaces. They need to last for thousands of miles without losing too much performance, they need to suit a hundred different machines and a million different riding styles and keep us safe while doing so and they need to be not too expensive. In short they are a highly tuned and thoroughly researched product very capable of doing what is needed.
So why do I see people pretending to be on a MotoGP warm up lap weaving around on the road trying or pretending to warm up their tires? This goes out to that guy I followed in traffic yesterday, “What the fuck do you think you are doing? Really there is absolutely no need to do this and you just look like a bit of a dick so stop it”.
An object of desire!
My Santa list is getting longer. I thought the new Katana was lovely, and it is but then like yesterday’s beer it went stale and lifeless. My latest object of desire is the Norton Commando 961 Street . It is basically a 961 that has undergone a makeover. It was certainly not bag on the head material before but now it is , well in the words of its creators “reminds me of all my mad mates who were riding Z1000s or GS at that time…..It’s a gorgeous thing”. I for one do not disagree with them, so yes please Santa.
I am off out to put the tire blankets on ready for my ride to the shops