Broadford New Track Surface – Tyres and More
Updated: May 28, 2020
Before COVID-19 rocked up, the talk of the town was the Broadford re-surface. This coming weekend we finally get to sample it.
Truth is until we have had some running on it we won’t really know exactly how it’s going to behave however here are some things we can expect.
1. The team at Broadford opted for a medium grip vs abrasion surface. While we might see some tyre tear it shouldn’t be anything near as bad as the Bend was in it’s first few months.
2. The surface is new and will be a little green without much rubber down. So as always with a new track have a feel first before you start to push as grip won’t be at it’s best until it is well rubbered in.
3. For small bikes like 300s we can expect awesome tyre wear from the get go, even the Bend was mint on day 1 for 300s. Going up to 600s a bit of tear is more likely and going up again to the 1000s more tear is likely. That said the surface has had a long time to settle now so let’s just see how it goes.
4. The type of tear we see at new tracks comes from a very high level of surface abrasion, as rubber goes down and the track wears a bit the abrasion will ease. The ‘grippier’ the compound, the more prone to wear / tear it can be.
5. We suggest you start off with the normal compound of tyres you would run keeping an eye on how the wear is going. If you see tear starting first raise the pressure about 2 psi, more maybe required but only testing will tell. Those concerned about tyre life on bigger bikes can start with an extra 2psi than normal straight up 😊 If tear continues you may need to select a less grippy compound until the track rubbers in. A less grippy tyre compound on an abrasive / grippy track will still provide heaps of riding grip. This is because the overall grip coefficient between the tyre and track will still be high. In fact it's when the overall coefficient is too high with high powered bikes that tear occurs.
6. Unfortunately once a tears starts it is very unlikely to ever clean up, it will get gradually worse and grip will reduce as it does.
7. Slower riders won’t experience tear like much faster riders will.
8. With the new surface the track won’t be as grippy in the wet as it used to be, the old surface was great in the wet but we doubt this one will be as good. Again time will tell. So if you have ridden the track before in the wet treat it like a new track you have never ridden to get a feel for the new level of grip
9. In terms of smoothness and bumps we are unsure yet so if you just have a good feel you before pushing too hard, you’ll be right 😊
10. A bit of general tyre info, different setups could require different compounds and pressures. Unfortunately it's not as simple as one compound fits all. Even in MotoGP you will see different riders on different brands of machine make different tyre choices for the race. For example a stable, high grip suspension setup won't work as well on a high grip qualifying tyre where as a more unstable agile bike will. Again this comes down to the overall grip coefficient.