For those track day riders that still ride their machines on the road, going out and buying the super sticky treaded tyres isn’t necessarily the best option.
Yes they are going to give you superb levels of dry grip that can only be beaten by slicks, but because of that you wouldn’t find them lasting all that long on the road (not to mention they would whimper at the first sign of a rain drop), and it would soon become false economy to keep shelling out for them.
You may feel that you wouldn’t be as comfortable without these pure track tyres, but do not underestimate just how good the more road biased sports tyres are at giving you the levels of grip needed to ride comfortably on the track as well as the road.
Some track schools even fit sports touring tyres to their bikes because they’re cheaper, last longer, and they know that it would take a very experienced rider to get to the point where they feel like the tyre is holding them back.
I personally know of riders that comfortably circulate in the fast group on some of the tyres listed below and still don’t feel like they’re being held back.
It must be said that you’re never going to find a tyre that will have you knee scratching on a Sunday, then going The Long Way Round on the Monday. Tyres will always be a compromise between sporty performance and durability, and being that this is a track day site I have gone with tyres that will have great sporty performance for your track day giggles, that can also go a good few thousand miles on the road.
With that then, here’s my top 3 tyres for the road and track.
The S20 came in to replace the BT-016, and while the 016 was said to be lacking a little in track performance behind some of the other tyres in this class, it was still a very popular tyre.
The S20 though has come in and erased that disadvantage, with many riders and testers claiming that the tyre has incredibly high levels of dry grip and will happily have you peg scraping on the some of the meanest machines out there.
You only have to watch Jeremy McWilliams giving them a good go to see just what they’re capable of.
Road riders are claiming to get between 3-4k miles if not more from the rear (which for this class of tyre is more than respectable) and also that the tyre performs surprisingly well in the wet for a sports tyre.
With its road going ability coupled with the claimed (and proven) level of performance they’re getting at the track, the Bridgestone S20 is one tyre that should be a serious consideration as a road and track rider.
A long-time favourite now, the Diablo Rosso Corsa is very much at the same level of performance as the Bridgestone S20, giving high levels of track performance, while having high levels of durability (for this type of tyre), and while it won’t be to proper wet tyre standards, impressive wet weather grip too.
As with the S20, you can expect the same 3-4k+ miles from a rear and another couple of thousand more from the front.
Just as I said with the S20, with the level of grip you get on the track coupled with its impressive road going performance, the Diablo Rosso Corsa would be a great choice for your road and track needs.
Looking more deeply into what reviewers and everyday riders are saying about the Pilot Power Pures, I could pretty much copy and paste from the above two overviews how good the track and road performance is, and as we’ve come to expect from this fiercely competitive end of the tyre market, the biggest names in the tyre business are all producing tyres to a similar standard.
There is one trick that the Power Pures have over the competition though, and that’s their Light Tyre Technology (LTT).
Michelin claim that fitting a set of Power Pures will save you the equivalent of installing wheels that are 3kg lighter than standard. Obviously saving weight on your bike in any area is going to mean all round better performance, but loosing that weight on wheels that spin very fast means that ‘flickability’ will ultimately see the best improvement, something that has indeed been noted by reviewers.
So again, the Michelin Power Pures are right up there with the best of them for road and track performance and would be an excellent choice for track days and road miles.
All of the above tyres will give you superb dry weather performance that will satisfy 99% of riders; they’ll last a good few thousand miles on the road with some track days thrown in as well; they’ll keep you adequately safe in the wet, and ultimately mean you can ride your bike how it was meant to be ridden. Choosing between them then is not the easiest of tasks.
For me though, out of everything I’ve read from the media, well known reviewers and public opinion I think the Bridgestone S20s just edge it.
Obviously it’s difficult to gauge properly because different riders and reviewers will have different abilities, but reading how blown away people have been with the level of track performance they have (seeing Jeremy chuck them around helps too) means I lean more towards the S20s because that’s where I would personally use them most.
In truth though, as I said above any of these tyres would be an excellent option for the road and track and I would guess very few people could actually find sizeable performance differences between each tyre, meaning the deciding factor will probably be down to which you can get for the best price.
Just know that whichever you choose, you’ll have a tyre that is plenty capable on the track and will serve you well for a good while on the road too. Sporty riders couldn’t really ask for more.