Experimental Electric Vehicles

March 1, 2010

E*Speed Update, Tires, Brakes and Suspension

Filed under: 1 — tonyhelms @ 11:02 pm

When Riding a motorcycle, crashing is the last thing you want to have happen, and doing everything to prevent it is a must. There are a few things on a motorcycle that should never be over looked or ignored.

First being the tires, having a tire blow-out in a car can send you in the ditch. When riding a motorcycle a tire blow-out could result in serious injury and also trashing your motorcycle that you have worked so hard and long on. You must ask your self, is your Life and motorcycle worth spending three hundred dollars on to prevent an accident?

In my case I chose to put the “Dunlop Q2 Qualifiers” on my bike, they claim to have some of the best handling and grip on the track along with a good tread life.

I love driving fast, but if you cannot safely and confidently stop, then you risk your own life and possibly others. If your brake pad liner is under one Millimeter thickness, you should replace your pads and usually your rotor as well. It is also important to flush out old dirty brake fluid with new OEM spec brake fluid, remember never to mix DOT-3 or DOT-4 with DOT-5 brake fluid. DOT-5 is a full silicone based fluid and is designed to work with the special rubber seals of a DOT-5 system and will swell-up seals of a DOT-3/4 system.

Whether you’re on the track or the street your suspension setup is critical to how you plan on riding the motorcycle. The suspension setup on my E*Speed will have a slightly stiffer suspension then most street bikes because it will be driven on the track about half of the summer. Setting the sag of the front forks and rear spring to the weight of the rider will help you ride with more confidence on the track and aid in maneuvering the bike through traffic.

Tire pressure, an easy to over look but very important aspect to proper riding. You should always follow the recommended tire pressure specs per the manufacturer, for my E*Speed (Suzuki GSX-R) they recommend running the tires at 36 PSI front and 33 PSI rear. the manufacturer performs many tests to be sure the tire pressure is the best mix of efficiency, handling, traction, and tire wear.
For best efficiency, it is usually safe to increase the tire pressure about 15%, im my case I would increase it to just under 40 PSI front and rear for maximum range. This will unfortunately wear out the tires faster because you are driving on the very small peak of the tire. It is critical that the pressure NEVER exceed the maximum limits stamped on the tire, exceeding this could cause a blow out when you hit a bump, or pot hole, and will cause unusual and unpredictable handling of the motorcycle.
For track use where turning grip is more important it is safe to decrease the tire pressure about 15%-20% of the manufacturer spec. By doing this the tire has a larger contact patch with the track, and will subsequently handle sharper corners with ease. When track riding the tires will heat up quite a bit, some times several hundred degrees if its a hot summer day, this will cause the air inside to expand and actually “re-inflate” the tire to a higher pressure, it should be checked after each session for proper inflation.

this guy warmed his tires up a little too much!

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