Like most bikers, I enjoy riding on the road and getting a couple of trackdays in when the sun's out. I know what I'm doing on track but I'm not out there to set lap records. However on my last trackday I noticed that at least half of the garage had tyre warmers on their bike. I thought they were just wannabees at first but when I saw them all barrel off out of the pits while I had to cruise around slowly building pace as my tyres warmed up, I realised these guys with tyre warmers were onto something.
So I set out looking for a set of tyres warmers. All the advice I had was from racers who said I should shell out on a well-known make but they all cost £200+, so I chanced my arm on a set of Race-Tech Tyre Warmers from Holroyd. They were £99.95 delivered, are British made and come with a 12-month guarantee.
The first trackday I took them on was at Portimao and for the first couple of sessions I didn’t bother with the warmers as I was learning the track and to be honest couldn’t wait to get out there so I wobbled around for the first three laps of every session, the same as I always did.
After lunch I thought I’d give the tyre warmers a try so up went the bike on the stands and on went the warmers. Each individual warmer uses a conventional plug, so you just plug it in to the wall then attach the velcro strap at the tip of the warmer around each wheel and then spin the wheel around, stretching the warmer out to ensure it covers the whole tyre. One end of the warmer velcros onto the other holding it securely. Then 10-15 minutes later the tyres were properly hot and out I went.
Wow what a difference, I still gave it 85% for the first half lap but I’m sure as the racers do you could go flat out straight from the pits. It felt great having the confidence to ask the tyres to perform than having to wobble around on cold tyres for the first three laps. I always found I actually lost confidence on the warm up laps with cold tyres. I was converted and after every session the warmers went back on with minimal hassle. Putting them on after each session maintains heat in the tyre, stopping it from cooling down and going through heat cycles which can lessen the tyre's life span.
As far as I'm concerned, tyre warmers are a must for any trackday participant from beginner to advanced, it is the base level of confidence they create on the first lap that really makes a difference, and you can build your speed from the outset rather than wobbling around and actually losing confidence on the first couple of laps with cold tyres.
Now when I'm at a trackday, I look at the sea of tyre-warms on the pit floor and know they're not being used by poseurs, but by people who want to maximise their tracktime and confidence while minimising the chances of an avoidable crash. The Race-Tech warmers do the same job more expensive warmers do at half the price, they're perfect for the casual trackday rider like me. The only problem is how you get a set of paddock stand to the track if you're riding there!
Click here if you want to buy a set of Holroyd Race-Tech tyre warmers.