The best motorcycle track day tyres without the fuss of slicks, here's our top picks

Best motorcycle trackday tyres
Best motorcycle trackday tyres
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When you ride on track, whether on a trackday or actually racing, you want the highest performance, grippiest, best motorcycle tyres available.

For pure racing classes, that means slicks, and sometimes trackdays allow slick-shod bikes as well. But for most production-racing classes, and nearly all trackdays, that means road-legal, treaded tyres.

But even within that definition, there are plenty of track-orientated, high-performance track day tyres available, sometimes even in different compounds, and many trade-off little in terms of performance compared to a pure slick – especially for non-professional riders.

Plus the added bonus is that, being road legal, trackday buffs don’t have to van their machines to the circuit, as long as the rest of the bike is legal, there’s the option of riding it there, too.

But which trackday tyres are currently available? How much do they cost? And what do you get for your money? Here’s our current pick of some of the best, reviewed by us.

Price: £291.99

The Metzeler Racetec RR (read our review) are top-of-the-range trackday tyres and are a favourite among TT and track racers, plus trackday riders. As the successor to the RaceTec Interact it comes in three different compounds – K1 (soft, most grip but shortest lifespan, so some use on the front only), K2 (medium, the most popular choice for trackday riders for its balance of grip and durability) and K3 (being the hardest, so best for riders who do most of their riding on the road but the odd trackday as well).

Pros

  • Three compound choices (K1 - Soft, K2 - Medium, K3 - Hard)
  • High duration and performance consistency
  • Precision and stability at high speed
  • Grip in warm and dry conditions

Cons

  • Lack of suitability for cold and wet weather
MCN Rated: Best trackday tyre
Tested by Michael Neeves, for one test day - Quality 5/5, Value 4/5

"Racing slicks have immense grip, but no point using them for trackdays. They’ll tear if compounds don’t match track temperature, degrade through heat cycles and need to be baking before they work properly, so you need tyre warmers, paddock stands and power. Pressures need to be set hot, so you’ll need to constantly check them after each session, too. It’s only worth the massive faff looking after them if you’re actually racing."

"These trackday slicks come very close to the grip and feel of a race tyre without the hassle. They can be used from cold, so no need for warmers - just set pressures at the start of the day and off you go. The Metzeler Racetec TD Slick can ‘flipped’ to even out wear, too. I tried them on my race S1000RR and although the electronics, suspension and geometry were set for taller profile race rubber they were only a second off my Brands Indy practice time."

Pros

  • Great performance consistency
  • Abrasion and cold tearing resistance
  • Reversible rear tyre

Cons

  • Not road legal
Price: £129.29

As with Metzeler's RaceTec, the Supercorsa is Italian brand Pirelli's top-of-the-range trackday tyre and production-racing tyre, which is perhaps not surprising as they're basically made by the same firm, and is one of the most popular of its type in the UK.

The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V3 (read our review) is the very latest version with a new tread design, new compound on the shoulder as developed in World Superbikes, new profiles to heighten response, handling and grip and a bi-compound rear to combine grip, stability and mileage.

Pros

  • Bi-Compound rear that combines grip, stability and mileage
  • Tread design that improves wear regularity

Cons

  • Grip doesn't hold well in the wet

More options to consider

Power Cup Evos are lightweight trackday tyres designed for circuit use but also road legal on up to 300cc machines. It delivers excellent grip with its Dual Compound Technology (2CT) and is a 'plug & play' tyre that can be used immediately without any specific adjustment. Tyre warmers are recommended but not mandatory.

Pros

  • Tyres heat up quickly
  • Provides great grip
  • Absorbs road imperfections well

Cons

  • Not the best choice for abrasive asphalt surfaces
Price: £212.49

Bridgestone's latest premium high-grip radials that achieve excellent dry handling, grip and stability. The tread pattern adopts 3D groove shape to improve tread rigidity. Chosen by the major motorcycle brands as standard fitment on their high-end models.

The RS10 has been recognised for its high performance and its combination of stability and controllability, designed to extract every bit of performance from supersports bikes.

Pros

Cons

The Battlax Racing Street RS11 is Bridgestone latest set of trackday tyres to take its track developed technology and put it on a street tyre. It's the Japanese company's first road-oriented tyre to adopt its new V-MS-Belt construction which is currently used in Bridgestone's highest performing race tyres. The pattern design also finds many similarities with the dry racing grooved tyre R11. The grooves are in line with the needs and requirements of track use and include the necessary adaptations for a safe usage on the road.

The compound configuration is a 3LC on the front as well as on the rear. On the rear it has an additional cap and base compound to match the required tread stiffness and stability.

Pros

Derived from the legendary D212 GP Pro - Dunlop's Isle of Man TT race-specification bloodline - the road legal GP Racer D212 delivers the kind of performance, handling and endurance that until just a few years ago was only available to factory-backed teams.

Its race-derived mould profile gives faster turn-in and reduced steering effort; the NTEC system allows pressure adjustment for track conditions; there are revised centre and shoulder compounds for maximum dry grip while a new construction combined with compound development provide improved endurance for sustained racing performance.

Pros

German firm Continental's most high-performance road tyre so far is also more than capable on track and features a new profile to five a larger footprint at extreme lean angles, 'Multigrip' technology for extra durability; a refined 'zero degree' steel belt construction to improve high-speed stability front and rear and a slick shoulder area to offer maximum grip when cornering.

What is the best tyre pressure for motorcycle track day?

Normally you’d look in your bike’s manual for the manufacturer recommended tyre pressures. However, these are only a good guideline for the street, and they assume you’ll have the stock tyres fitted.

As soon as you put a decent set of track-focused tyres on, you need to check the tyre manufacturer’s recommendations, not the bike manufacturer’s. These will vary depending on your rim size, and whether you’re pumping them up hot or cold.

Of course, what the tyre manufacturer recommends may not work best for you, and a few PSI one way or the other isn’t going to cause any issues. The manufacturer’s recommendation is a good starting point, then you can keep experimenting until you find the perfect sweet spot for you.

How many track days do motorcycle tires last?

It depends how hard you ride, but you can usually expect between two to five days out on the track before they need changing.

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