Testing times as Isle of Man TT tyre search begins

Avon has supplied TT racers with hoops for 12 years although now the search is on for a replacement

Testing times as Isle of Man TT tyre search begins

ISLE of Man TT sidecar competitors have for the last 12 years leaned on the British brand Avon for a steady and consistent supply of slick racing tyres for their outfits.

That changes at the end of the 2023 season though, as Avon closes production of racing tyres from its Melksham factory after 119 years. That has left sidecar racers in a bit of a quandary, as Avon was, although not officially so, the only real choice for sidecar competitors.

To settle on a suitable replacement, TT organisers have been speaking to leading sidecar teams, and the American brand Hoosier is stepping up to the challenge. Hoosier already supplies tyres for disciplines like Nascar, stockcar, drag racing and dirt track, and its next challenge will be to develop a product that can stand up to the rigours of the world's most tortuous road racing course.

The Honda Mean Mower V2 used Hoosier to hit 150mph

Avon out, Hoosier in for TT 2024

TT organisers are keen to avoid a similar situation in the future, and as explained by Technical Director at the Isle of Man TT Races, Dave Hagen, that’s one reason they didn’t want to go down the control tyre route.
“There’s an argument to say this is the time to engage with a manufacturer and look to introduce a control tyre, but the technical team and the leading competitors are of the opinion that closing the door to other manufacturers would deter them from developing other products, meaning we could end up in a similar situation further down the line.”

Four sidecar outfits will now complete fact-finding laps at the upcoming Manx Grand Prix, with Ben and Tom Birchall, Ryan and Callum Crowe, Tim Reeves, and Dave Molyneux all testing the new tyres. After each lap the tyres will be analysed and studied, helping to shape the new hoops ready for the 2024 season.

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