How do you manage tire temperature on very cold days? I did a test day at Thunderhill to work this very topic and produce this page.
The day started with temps in the low 50F’s for the 9am session, climbing to a noticeable 59F. As always on cold days, tire pressure is a big issue and you lose a great deal of heat behind slower riders, never mind coming off the track.
Temp probes recorded 130F in the rear and 100F in the front, but rubber forming a liquid band on the edges of the rear tire suggested that on track and at pace, the tire was getting far too hot. Begin educated guessing per session – hmmm……
MotoGP riders have visual data that shows the tire temp is up and they can get on with practice at pace. Wouldn’t that be nice for us lesser mortals? Is there a solution available for us to use?
Driven has recently launched it’s Mantis product.
This should improve tire wear and consistent grip by at least 20% is my guess. Let’s see how that works out with mileage based on all the data we have on the R10 type 2 rear.
Curious? I know I am……….
INSTALLING THE PRODUCT
This really can be done very quickly indeed if there’s no bodywork on the bike and you have the tank lifted. As this is a product specifically for the track removing bodywork will take just a few minutes and trust me when I share with you that this is a task worth doing!
Route the cables correctly based on where the wiring harness goes in the frame from throttle bodies back. All you need to do initially is lay them out on the bike with the routing you want. There is a front sensor cable (shorter) so that is easy to distinguish and yes, there will be a lot of excess cable (it doesn’t matter at this juncture).
I chose to use the OEM clutch cable holder to route all the wires from the dash as this seemed to be perfect for the task in dimensions and for alignment.
It was much easier to have a location where all the wires would be held securely while bring free of any stress or impingement. This also allowed both the rear sensor and power wires to route cleanly under the air box.
Once the cables are laid out on the bike, you can then take a much closer look at routing for each one and where you are going to coil up the excess wire. You will come back to that later and knowing where you are going to makes this final task easy and quick.
Next step – thoroughly clean the places/parts/areas that will receive the base plate for the IR Sensor. In this case I used Windex and a microfiber towel to make sure there was nothing that could inhibit full contact between the adhesive and paint/plastic. I took a little extra time to make sure everything was very clean as I only wanted to do this job once AND the adhesive would be holding the sensor in place at 140mph or more. Enough said…..
When the cables are set, then it is time to put the holder for the sensor onto the front fender first. Why here? You can see it clearly, it is fully accessible and there’s no weird angles for forearms and hands to get the base plate set perfectly. Be aware that the adhesive will stick right away where you place it so have the location fixed in your mind and apply the base with purpose and confidence.
Once the base plate is set, note the side with the set screw and then bring the sensor over. Match the orientation of the sensor holder to the set screw, then see how it will mount to the sensor. YES – you can put the holder on BACKWARDS!!!!! With the holder secured to the IR sensor, go ahead and mount the holder in place with the groove facing the set screw and snug the screw.
Time to get the tape measure out and you will need to make sure the base of the IR Sensor is 1.5 to 2.5″ from the tire surface. As the holder has a machined arc in it (very ingenious!), you can instantly change the height of the the sensor to get the range you need the sensor to be.
NOTE: this arc allows you to run any set of tires on your bike eg:- from 60 to 70 series fronts and 190-200 series rears on 6″ rims by loosening the set screw and resetting the sensor height. Brilliant.
With the front fender sensor mounted, move to the rear fender. In the case of the 09 R6 we had to remove a small amount of the molded spine in the center of the fender to create a flat area for the base plate to mount securely to. Easy to do with a simple razor blade. Take a look at your rear fender to see what you need to do!
Be careful to make sure that the set screw is on the same side as the front fender. Is it mandatory – no – but it is a lot easier to keep working on the same side of the bike 🙂 As with the installation on the front fender, know where you are aiming for if the fender is in place and conditions are cramped, or remove the rear fender and put the base plate on while the it is on the work bench. Your choice!
Orient the holder correctly to the base of the IR Sensor to match the set screw arc and install. One more time – get the tape measure out and use the arc to position the sensor in the required height range. Once there snug the set screw up.
Lastly connect up the power cable to the battery and secure the excess wire appropriately. With this R6, the space behind the battery was perfect for the small gauge wire while leaving the wire to the battery terminals with plenty of free play.
Once that was done, the connections could be made to both sensors and to power up the unit. For convenience the top sensor connector was the front tire and the lower connector was the rear. To me, that seemed perfectly logical. To you it may seem quite bonkers, so you choose how to orient the cables to meet the way your brain works.
As the dash worked just fine and once all the programming was done (4 minutes total time).
You must take great care with the blocks in order to ensure they are aligned correctly and leave enough free play in the attachment cord from the housing to the connector.
Zip ties and blocks are supplied!
Now I have to wait to get the bike onto the dyno for engine break in next week and I’ll fire up the system while I’m in the dyno room to see how tire temps change. The dyno will be set at 30% load and there will be a series of runs based on rpm’s and throttle opening so the tire temps should change quite a bit.