Their portfolio covers all motorcycle categories, so something you should look into. A Bridgestone tire is a fast and long living tire for its grip level, but what I like the most is that they are transparent. That means that they have a gentle way to tell you that you’ve reached their limits. Also a positive thing is, that they are very easy on almost any suspension set up and that they deliver decent grip while warming them up.
The entire Superbike-Coach team uses Battlax slick race tires for the Supermotos and other track/race bikes, but I can assure you that their Battlax RS10 or S22 hypersport street tires are rock solid in performance and transparency as well. Give it a shot. You’ll be surprised.
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp
You feel like your baby could use a little bit more punch? This article is going to help you to unlock an up to dramatic improve in regard torque character and ride-ability for about 150 bux!
That might sound like those endless advertisements which promising 10% more horsepower for a race air filter- or some shiny extra strong glowing hyper-kryptonite-supersphereographical spark plugs, and you’ll get more for a extra fee :-)
Nope, this one is totally legit and easy to do yourselves. Let’s look into the slight sketchy background first.
All those motorcycle manufactures are selling their models mainly based on two numbers… horsepower and top speed. Yea, that’s how they get you, just admit it. While the horsepower is one thing- they are achieving those crazy top speed numbers mainly via primary ratio, gear box ratios and secondary ratios. Of course also the wheel sizes have and influence as well as the general weight and aerodynamics of your bike, but that’s something you kinda have to live with if you don’t want this to be your financial grave.
Let me just give a small overview what kind of weight this has for race teams, because racing is all about acceleration and only a fraction of time about top speed. We could set up every single gear in the transmission to match corner speed and RPM’s in a perfect torque range for turn exit performance. A “longer” (more top speed) 6th gear could gain passing chance coming out of a slipstream before late braking. The ratio was calculated on the mile exact to be fully rev’d out in 6th gear about one second before braking. Wind direction or a strategical aspect depending on- if you probably lead the race or if dog fights were predicted. All of this is a crucial part of racing. For you, we are looking at the secondary- also called the final drive. This is literally ‘outside’ the bike and can be done with regular tools and affordable parts. The influence can be surprisingly good.
So here is your scenario as the street rider or even track rider. The Germans have the Autobahn, giving their riders some top speeds we Americans on our Freeways won’t get to see ever. That might doesn’t include idiots here, but generally you are doing 70-80 miles per hour max, while your baby could do about 200 actually. That’s wasted energy if you ask me, sitting there literally never used. Another effect is, that the 1st gear is so damn long that you could do 70 with it already. The ratio makes this gear almost useless. So if we would change the final drive, it’ll also have a positive influence over the entire primary ratio for more ride-ability. Cool huh?!
The terms here are ‘longer’, for more top speed- and ‘shorter’ for more acceleration, and that’s what we want. The useful torque range will move by giving up on top speed. My Panigale 1199 is topping out at a 165. She doesn’t make 200 anymore, but the acceleration beats down the brand new V4, no kidding! So here is what I do, and that’s actually a good start out point for you as well…
I chose a specific ratio because this way, my ‘Cleopatra’ can still cruise at a 6800 rpm’s in 6th on the Freeway- while this ratio is still fair enough for the most race tracks I am going to to teach track riders. So no swapping drama here for me then. The general rule is:
Rear goes the opposite way:
- A bigger sprocket = shorter (more acceleration)
- A smaller sprocket = longer (more top speed)
Generally, I swap the sprockets this way: One tooth LESS on the front sprocket- and one tooth MORE on the rear sprocket. Rule of thumb is- one tooth more or less on the front sprocket is just like two and a half teeth on the rear. That is huge in terms of acceleration, drive-ability and responsiveness and you have no idea what you’ve been missing out here. So bare with me and get to it.
Go count front and rear sprocket teethes of your bike. Let’s say you have a 16 on the front- you go get a 15 for about $40. Now let’s say you count 45 teeth on the rear- you go get a 46 for about 80-100 bux. That small investment is the biggest ‘power upgrade’ you’ll ever get. Also no need to swap chain, because 1 down front/1 up rear needs the same chain length you already have- unless you also want to convert from your huge OEM chain to a 520 chain kit (I covered that in ‘Coach’s Motorcycle Bible‘)
Most of the needed parts are easy to get to at BikeMaster. They come affordable and fast. They also have chains if needed. if you want to go a slight different route with your sprocket choice, I’d suggest to see the ratio/speed differences ones you know the numbers of teeth your bike originally has, and compare it with the numbers you plan to go with here. If you are not sure about something- just drop a comment and I’ll see if I can help.
Please note though… if you make any changes in this regard- make sure all bolts are tight and take it easy riding it. Give it time to re-feel the new character of your bike. I’m not responsible for you bullshitting around, you hear me?! :-)
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp
Racers are a different breed, especially the ones you can find on top 10 result lists. Then there is the mid-field, which are about to develop something specific- and there is the back of the field which might, or might not make it to the mid-field one day. This doesn’t go for the MotoGP racers btw, because they have it and it is also why they are in MotoGP.
These racers are highly motivated aggressive machines. They are ego driven- no team player type of athletes, and no prisoners making competitors. But where the hell am I seeing a connection to you the regular street rider or amateur racer?! Well, let’s see.
Crashing in MotoGP happens ones or twice in average per race weekend. Their bodies are covered with scars and titanium plates. Blood, bandages and the smell of some kind of pain easing sport lotion on those bruises is your new aftershave cloud. A Mick Doohan almost lost his leg if the doctors wouldn’t have stitched his other leg over it to support blood circulation. He joined the championship in the same year, but he lost the title. Impressive huh?!
A Jorge Lorenzo crashes and breaks his collarbone again (that bone goes most of the time first). He flies home to Barcelona to get fixed up from the doctor he trusts, and he does. Next morning, Jorge flew back to join the race with literally an open wound and ‘gotta get use to it titanium bolts’. Now you can come with another lame one like ‘well, he’s filled up with pain killing injections’, and I’d give you right on this… but what would go through you mentally, thinking you could crash right back onto it etc?! However, Jorge made a podium spot that race!
I remember I crashed so hard at Bruno Circuit in Czechoslovakia in qualifying ones. One of the highest high-siders I’ve ever had, and landing on my hip bone. This is like dropping out of 2nd floor right on the hip and adding about 100 miles an our to it. It turns it wasn’t broken, but the bruise and pain made me walk like Quasimodo for four weeks. On the way home I called my team for tests at Nuerburgring, where they had to lift me on the bike.
Go and ask Wayne Rainy if he would do all of this again if he could reverse time and his horrific back injury which ended his career. What would he might say?!
Now let’s just put a away the most lame and quite arrogant conclusion, that this is their job and what they are all get well paid for. At this point you can trust me when I’m saying that they would do this even for free, so why and how the hell is ‘being like this’ even possible?! What is it that makes them come back after injuries you’d quit for, and performing on almost the same level where they were at before the crash?!
It’s because they love what they do, and they living their passion and dreams. It’s because they have distinctive goals- they are on a life mission. What’s stronger than fears and to get hurt is ‘passion and love’. That’s the gas of their mental motors, so it should be yours. Be driven by passion and love instead of being controlled by fears. Sound’s easy huh? :-)
Am I saying just go crazy, way over you abilities? NO I don’t. Just keep doing what you’re doing and have at least a fraction of that mentality. Have goals, work on something. That keeps you brain busy in a positive way. Think of how much you enjoy to be in this particular turn right now. Ride with passion in your comfort zone and stop thinking what could possibly happen. Racers don’t think this far. Were they at where you are?… oh yes, but they’ve learned how not to think this far. So you can… inner peace is freedom!
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp
I seriously love to ride our 2018 Ducati Multistrada Enduro Pro. When this version came out and I saw a pic of it- the first thing I thought was that the damn thang looks like a Indiana Jones movie. This is why we’ve gave it the name ‘Indy’ :-)
There are lots of reasons why I like this bike so much. Besides a ton load of technology in regard electronics (like an semi-automatic suspension), it’s got that mean battle cry only a 1200 V2 can put out. Well, especially after some mid pipe modifications. Furthermore it’s wild design, combined with all the tech and it’s pure size. That fascinated me the most.
But there was something else which got my racer blood temps up. Something which make this a bad ass ride. The aggressive look of those mud slinging animalistic appearing tires man. So I was sitting there looking at the picture smiling… who the hell is gonna ride that thing on asphalt?!
Even those Italian engineers an designers came to my mind. They seem to have a blast and went “F… it. Let’s give it 160 horses and put it on dirt tires!” So yea… I would ride it :-)
So when Indy finally arrived last January, it came on Italian manufactured 70/30 (dirt/road ratio) dirt tires with about 400 mls on them. So enough meat on them to do a row of Road Skill 1on1’s while I was waiting for Continental to send us replacement. In other words- I can compare here directly, right?!
Now here is the thing. 99% of the time I use this bike to work with lots of Road Skill students, so on asphalt. You might look for the sense of even putting 80/20 dirt tires on again, and even my boys at Conti are asking questions. But I have three reasons. I already mentioned one reason above, and the second is to literally keep me physically in check. You know… ex pro racers are very sick people ;-)
Logically, a dirt bike tire is not good on Highway mileage and top end grip, but the TKC delivers a hell of grip for a 80% knobby tire. I mean… look at the pic above. I have less chicken strips on my sides then most street riders have on their Sportbikes. That should tell the story in this regard.
So yea, the mileage I got out of my first set of Contis is not really compelling, especially when you are a true Adventure Biker. This is all relative though. I mean, if I would have used a Sportbike with comparable power- I also would get about 5000 miles out of the rear tire- BUT this set here cost only half as much. OK, I swapped the first TKC rear with 5200 mls on it, but I still had about 20% left. The 70/30/ tire the bike came with was totally done at 2800 mls already, and not to forget that the TKC is a 80/20.
At the air pressures I am riding at, I have phenomenal feedback from the rear and front. I ride those tires on the lowest Traction Control setting I have, and I can hang on exits right in there. I bet if Conti would redesign them a little, they would cost lots of Sportbike confidence for some. They could connect the smaller knobbies on the sides with the bigger one next to them to achieve more stability in full lean. Oh boy :-)
Good bridge to make my third reason. I kick so much ass on those TKC80 that it should turn on a light bulb on you, for what more asphalt appropriate tires from Continental must be capable of then, right?!!
Hoeadcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp
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Dean Lonskey’s pictures coming for free at Superbike-Coach classes and track days. Coach Akkaya on Ducati 1199R, October 2018 (click for video)