Winter Traction - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-03-2015, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Winter Traction

My clue to maximum tire traction capabilities come from seeing race cars peeling off some rubber just before a race too get more traction. Hot tires stick better, right?. I also remember that somewhere in this forum is a short discussion on getting your tires warmed up before pushing the bike hard. No problem in summer. I ride any way I please. Winter is a different thing for me. I am not sure just how much ice cold asphalt affects the traction. I run Bridgestone Hoops at 26/29. I tend to ride a bit more cautiously on very cold streets but not as cautiously as I do when the streets are wet. I have really no idea how the cold affects the the sticking power of these tires. If anyone has any science on this I would love to hear it. No science?- then tell me if you notice a difference between warm and cold weather traction. I would really like to enjoy my winter rides a little more but tend not to get the bike leaned over as far as i would in warm weather. So I would like to know if we get the same traction in winter on dry roads as in summer. Thanks

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 11:19 AM
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In general, the warmer the rubber (thermally) the softer the tire. The softer the tire, the more able to conform to road irregularities and this conformal characteristic at the tire/road interface is a significant contributor to traction.


But when you are as wimpy as I, you rarely approach any kind of limit. I know that on warm dry roads the scooter will hit the hard parts before I'm near the traction limit. I'd guess that the same is pretty close to true at any kind of temperature you would ride in. As conditions become marginal with loose debris (e.g. sand, rubble etc.), this warm/cold difference may be more apparent.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 12:39 PM
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I wonder the same thing. I did a lot of cold weather riding this season and never pushed it in the cold in fear of traction loss in a lean. I am more cautious when i first get on the bike in the morning, vs later after getting off the freeway during cold weather for example because I know the tires are warm.

I am curious to those in the know...

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 01:30 PM
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Softer is better but there may also be more debris around this time of year from leaves to grit so taking it easy is in order
Burgman 650 a good cold weather bike.

Nice January ride a couple years back





Foot protection in particular - could have used it today....chilly toes.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 02:13 PM
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Race tyres aren't the same as road tyres.

Race tyres need to be hot, they have different properties and rely on being "sticky"
(most race tyres also only last a single meet - or less)

Road tyres need to be warm only and will be damaged by high temps. They are warmed by the internal stresses as they roll and conform go the road surface.
That is why higher than posted pressure stops your tyre warming to the correct temp and reduces grip. Low pressure causes overheating because the tyre flexes too much.

If you know your tyre's correct operating temp you can use it to set the correct pressure.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-04-2015, 06:01 PM
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By the way, there is no point weaving your bike like you see the race cars do.

They aren't looking for friction, they are distorting and stressing the sidewalls so they heat from inside as they get displaced sideways.

Bike tyres lean so they stress differently.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDoc View Post
Softer is better but there may also be more debris around this time of year from leaves to grit so taking it easy is in order
Burgman 650 a good cold weather bike.

Nice January ride a couple years back





Foot protection in particular - could have used it today....chilly toes.
Love the pictures and looks cold!


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 08:58 PM
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Well, living in a cold climate we all know that +7C is the crossover temperature at which all-season tires loose their traction compared to specific winter tires.
By the time you get down to -14C, summer type tires have lost virtually all their grip.
Also, black ice can form from roughly +3C and down.


So those are the critical numbers we know up here in Canada.


Without a doubt once you get below +7C the tire will be likely to slide on you and frankly, because of the cold pavement temperature you'll simply never be able to get the rubber to "warm-up" to a point of providing any sort of good grip.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-12-2016, 11:31 AM
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As an all weather rider living in the snowy north east, a little common sense goes a whole lot further than soft compound tires or worrying if they're warmed up.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_YYZ View Post
..... all-season tires loose their traction compared to specific winter tires.
+1
Winter tyre compounds stay supple to lower temps

Last edited by Bluebottle; 01-13-2016 at 10:53 AM.
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