Archive for January, 2011

Diesel Joe, on Rock Central Canadian tires, sets up for the corner

So I have to thank Diesel Joe for getting me started on this ice riding gig and he was an early proponent of using Rock Central “Canadian” ice tires.  So when I started riding on the ice I tried Fredette AMA legal tires first and then bought a set of Rock Central’s from my buddy Dennis (you don’t want to know why he was selling them – not a good experience).  Now I’ve been on Canadians for six years and there’s no going back for me. 

Diesel Joe in final approach

A lot of ice riders call the Canadian’s “cheater tires” because they hook up so well in the “fluff” on the apron of the track and you can ride an outside line that the AMA tire guys struggle with.  The better hook-up is because of a longer screw head and a more open tire pattern, more of a knobby. 

Dirty Dave at full lock, sliding it in...

Whether one style is faster than another is open for debate.  With Canadian’s you don’t use the brakes much and you pitch and slide the bike into the corner, scrubbing off speed.  With AMA tires you have much more stability on the brakes and you front brake much harder into the corner, then drive around the corner.  I find that it’s easy for a good rider on Fredettes to take an inside line and beat me through the corners.  It makes for interesting corner exits – watch the video below.

Wayne learning to trust the tires...and not use the brakes!

If you’re on a fast, wide open track with lots of sweeping corners the Canadians can be a definite advantage.  Especially if you’re riding a bike with a lot of power.  The Canadian tires are significantly heavier and require more power to turn the mass and also to change direction in the corners due to rotating mass.

Wayne after a little more practice...this is fun stuff!

On a tight track with a lot of switch-backs the AMA tires can usually out-perform the Canadians.  You’re not wasting all that time sliding into the corners and riding the outside line.  Fredette’s will allow you to brake much harder into the corner and hold a tight inside line.

To see the Rock Central Canadian tires is full video action click the You-Tube link below.  Diesel Joe mounted up his new HD Go Pro camera on his helmet and chased Wayne around the track and got some nice footage of the “Canadian style” of riding.   Not that we’re any pro’s at this…we’re just out having some fun and checking out the differences between the Canadian tires and AMA legal tires like Fredette’s.   Diesel Joe is riding a KTM 400 XCW with Fredette tires and you can see the different lines he takes as compared to me.  There’s a couple of times where he had to resist taking the inside line and blowing by me for the sake of the video! 

My favorite part of the video is at 1:55 in when we hit the fast right hand sweeper and Joey is on the outside and just getting pelted by the tire blast.  I got to use the power of the 560 in that section!  If you notice the next time through that area Joey takes an inside line and stays out of the ice shower 🙂  So check out the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcvi3F3RqYI

Canadian (#33) vs Fredette (#70) tires cornering style

It’s that time of year again when bike riders in the northern hemisphere get that itch to ride and that means ice riding!  I caught the bug about six years ago and have been having a blast with it ever since.  Part of the attraction is getting out with a group of friends and dicing on the track, getting the adrenaline flowing.  It definitely gets the competitive juices flowing and certainly is better exercise than sitting on the couch watching football all winter.

Safety is a big factor when riding around with “buzz saws” on both ends of your bike so we promote the use of “ice fenders” on the bikes if your going to ride with our group.  Over the years we have seen some guys get injured from not having fenders installed and it’s not a pretty sight so that is one of the first things we like to see on a riders bike.

Good, professionally built tires can make a huge difference in your riding experience, although they aren’t cheap.  They will usually cost $600-$900 for a good set and then you’ll want to invest in a set of tire wraps to keep them protected and in good condition.

Then you just need to slap on a set of hand “muffs” or bar heaters to keep your hands warm and your pretty much set to go.  A good jacket and pants with protective armor is a smart thing to wear just in case you do crash.

Ok, so it’s not cheap to get started but it’s worth it once you’re out on the ice with a big grin on your face.  And once you’ve made the initial investment it really is pretty cheap going forward.  Just gas and go!  Your tires will usually last 3-5 years and everything else is pretty much a one time investment.

A great resource for info on ice riding is:

http://dieseljo.com/

and the forum linked to that page:

http://dieseljo.com/ice/index.php

There is a ton of good information at those sites and you can get most of your questions answered on the forum.  Check it out and come out and ride with us…

Polish Pete found out he had a flat rear tire shortly after this shot!

Wayne showing off the power of the 560 SMR 🙂

Swiss Joe showing the way for Wayne & Wolf