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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure some of you must have occasion to use rain tires at the track. We had some fair wet conditions this past Sunday and lots of riders were swapping to rains. I can see if you regularly run slicks or more track only tires, but would like input on those of you that do swap for rainy days. My 'stones did very well, but as I'm a novice and was certainly not pushing the conditions I did notice that the riders with the rain tires were having way more fun than I did and could explore more towards the performance edge.
 

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As you are in the novice group currently I cannot justify the expense of proper rain tires for you. They are usually about $450 a set, they only work in very specific standing water conditions and do not last very long. They also have a very short shelf life even if you do keep them in dry, cool conditions etc.

I recommend Michelin Pilot Power tires as they can handle a ridiculous amount of lean angle in wet conditions and can go from dry to wet back to dry with no changes in tire pressure. When I was instructing they were my go to tire. I didn't have to use tire warmers and they work excellent all the way up to mid A-Group trackday pace. One caveat however is you have to have them fully scrubbed before the rain hits the track. If you try to go out on a set of unscrubbed Pilot Powers in the wet they are like riding on teflon sprayed with PAM. You'll never get the protective coating scrubbed off of them without the abrasion of a dry track.

Rain tires on my wifes 1000RR, Pilot Powers on mine - Same conditions
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry, been away for a bit. Really appreciate the insight, I never even thought about things like shelf or durability (although I certainly didn't expect longevity on them). My Battlax's certainly did me no ill intent in the wet, but I'm always looking/watching at what's going on around me. It was only 45*f that day along with the rain so it was as much temperature as anything. I got chilled before the mid afternoon part so that ended my day anyway. Prior to getting cold (my underskins were soaked by 2:00 even with a rain jacket over the leathers) it was just fine; but once the shivers set in and no place to really get warm it was just a matter of time before the shakes took over.
I totally hear you about the tires being scrubbed in, I would never consider riding on anything unscrubbed in the wet. Interesting about the pressure you mentioned though. Might make my next set of rubber an easier choice by that alone. That's why guys like me ask things of guys like you that are leaps and bounds ahead. Long as I keep learning I'm a happy camper. It was a greatly informative summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ideally, I'd have two sets of wheels ready to go, but on my current budget, I need an all around tire that fits the bill. My Battlax's do really well actually and I get enough feedback form them to fell the washout and slip in the wet so I can feel the 'edge' of their limits quite well. Sadly some of my track brethren didn't catch that and went off track last Sunday because of it. No injuries and little damage thankfully but they learned a lesson I hope. I'm leaning (no pun intended) towards the PP3 now thanks to member LDH's vast knowledge in spite of my allegiances to Bridgestone, but it's all in the interest in safety more than outright wet performance. The picture is from one of the more upright corner sections of the track so it's not super exciting, kind of limited as to where the photographer is situated but at least I have a photo memory.
 

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