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Tyres for racing- when were they introduced

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#1 carrotcruncher

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 13:06

Forgive me for seeming ignorant, but when and by whom were the first racing tyres  introduced, been  watching bikes since 1968 at snetterton initially , but only just occurred to me that I have no memory of tyres changing from the old roadgoing ribbed front tyre ,and the rears having square "shoulders". 

                                                                                  Were there already race going tyres then ,or did I blink and miss the change.

                 You need to understand that I am getting on a bit .So  the few remaining grey cells get a bit muddled now,

this topic may have been discussed already. If this is so I am sorry , but still very interested in any tales related to tyres and racing.

                         Regards to all .



#2 tonyed

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 07:27

Avon had the GP tyre (this pattern is still available from Avon) in the 50s and 60s and predominated the sport in these eras.


In the 60s Avon stopped producing tyres for m/c racing and Dunlop introduced the Triangular KR73 front tyre and KR76 rear tyre.


Michelin introduced a more rounded profile tyre series, numbers of which I cannot remember, something 32, 45, in compounds PZ2 and PZ4. I started using these in 1975 at the same time that they were introduced in the GPs. 


Then Dunlop came out with a similar profile in the KR124 and KR145 which are still available as the KR124A front and KR164 rear  with a smaller section KR824.


The slick dry tyres first appeared in the USA, I think both Goodyear and Firestone (for a short while) produced slicks. Kenny Roberts used Goodyears when he came over on the works 500 Yamaha. Both Dunlop and Michelin also produced slicks. Up to the late 70s early 80s all racing tyres, like their road counterparts were of cross ply construction. Radial construction tyres are now the norm, However, I think that even modern classic tyres are still cross ply.


Yamaha TZs of the 60 and 70s were delivered from the factory with Yokahama (Jokeahama) racing tyres which were nothing better than probably a tyre from the 50s (if that).


Have a look at this site.


It lists Dunlop racing tyres fro the 20s



Edited by tonyed, 17 November 2013 - 07:27.

#3 carrotcruncher

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 10:38

Thanks Tonyed,

                          much obliged for such a full and informative reply.

                                                                                                      Regards David-carrotcruncher