Review of the Avon Viper Xtreme track day tires - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-04-2007, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Review of the Avon Viper Xtreme track day tires

Kind of long winded.
Background - Avon motorcycle tires Viper Xtreme, is owned by Cooper Tire and Rubber. Cooper Tire makes many car and truck passenger tires, so they are a large company in the tire market.

Avon motorcycle tires are used more in the European markets more so then here in the US market. Not really big in the motorcycle market when you compare them to say Dunlop.

Link to the Avon web site is below.

Anyway, I tried out a new brand of tires for my last event of the year at Barber Motorsports Park that was hold in November. I wanted a cheaper $$ tire than my normal Michelin Power Races, and perhaps try something different. I really liked the Power Races once I had come to grips with them. So why change a tire for one event? Well why not; and they are almost $100 savings for both the front and rear Avon tires compared to the Power Races.
After emailing Avon to get recommend tire pressures and to find out the uses with tire warmers, and other important questions, I was ready. They recommend tire pressures set with a cold tire and at the PSI of 29-31 both front and rear, but to start at 30psi and adjust from there. No problem, kind of like the Dunlop 208GP’s, I can remember that. Tire warmers can be used and should be turned on about a half hour before going out, no problem.
Granted the Power Races have tire pressures that are different for both the front and rear. The front Power Race has a cold PSI of 31 and the rear cold PSI of 22-24 range. I’d always taped a post-it note to my bike to remind me of those tire pressures from Michelin.

Avon does not offer a choice in compounds like the Dunlop, Michelin’s, and Pirelli super sport tires. At this time, the only offer a single compound tire in the US market, but that may change.

So what did I think of the tires? We’ll get to that later. First, I was very surprised to say the least. I went out the first few laps to scrub in the tires from side to side and to get a feel for the track in the direction it goes again. The last time I was at Barber, was in the April / May earlier in the year. In addition, it had been like a month and a half since I have been on my track bike, so I took it easy for the first session.

Came into the pits and the wife and kids have the bike stands and everything ready for me. When I pulled in, they would help put the bike on the stands. (That stopped about half way through Saturday and I still had Sunday to go with my newfound pit crew. HA HA.) Well the tires looked great after being scrubbed in; I’ll put the warmers on and pick up the pace a little the next season out.

Did I say I was at Barber Motorsports park, the weather was great? In the high 60’s and sunny, where else can you be in November? Went through the Barber Museum with the wife and kids after 3:30 Saturday and they enjoyed that.

All in all, the sessions went well and the tires did there job for both Saturday and Sunday. They offered plenty of grip for the slow advance person that that I am, riding a stock motored 05 GSXR 600 with a bolt on Hindle muffler.
The wear was even though out the tire with good stability from the front tire under braking load and corning. The steering was a little slow and that may have been from the broad tire profile or just from the fact that my bike was not set up to run the tire profile. Then again, it could have been the operator. I did not change the bike, as it was the last event and just wanted to have fun, for which I did just that.

The rear tire was planted on corner exits even under hard acceleration. It had a broad contact patch that could take plenty of abuse from my little 600. It offered plenty of grip both days and had no issues from either tire. The tire wear was better than expected.

What is the bottom line? I will be trying out the tires again come next year as there is more the enough meat on the tires to get more days out of them. That and I have a brand new extra rear tire in the basement, which helps. I took two rears and one front to Barber with me just in case I needed it.
This is a tire that if you are looking for more grip at the local track day than what your street tires are providing, then this is an excellent chose. A cost effective, entry-level track day tire would not break the bank. With pricing in line with Pirelli Diablo, Pilot Power, and Bridgestone BT-014, street tires, the Avon Viper Xtreme track day is a great tire. One smooth track is not enough, but I will continue in the New Year.

Below are the web site details.
Avon Viper Xtreme

Ultra-high performance tyre
• Recommended for track day use
• Superb dry weather performance thanks to super-sticky rubber compound
• Very quick to reach working temperature
• Large footprint at extreme lean angles
• Stable under hard braking
• Matched profiles provide composed turning characteristics.
Developed on the track for hard use both on the circuit whilst remaining road legal, the Viper Xtreme is uncompromising in its pursuit of ultimate dry surface grip and high-speed performance. The Viper Xtreme’s rubber compound is specially formulated to be both super-sticky and to reach its optimum operating temperature extremely quickly, making it ideal for track day use.
Of course, extreme grip is just part of the story. The Viper Xtreme is also designed to be very stable during hard use; its tread contour, for example, is profiled to give a large footprint when your bikes cranked right over and also to provide confidence-inspiring handling as you flick from one side to the other. Stability is also key to the Viper Xtreme’s performance under heavy braking, while the front tyre’s profile is carefully designed to reduce shimmying through the handlebars as you throttle away hard from corners.
http://www.avon-tyres.co.uk/motorcyc...showtyre&id=13

Web articles
http://www.motorcycledaily.com/19june06_vipersports.htm
http://www.visordown.com/motorcyclen...dict/1413.html

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 02:08 PM
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any updates to the avon tire experience?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 04:56 PM

 
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My friend over at SportRider thought they were pretty much crap (they used them in a recent test) ... He said the are good tires until ya try to go fast and then you'll wish you were on something else.

Avon and Continental are trying to make decnt stuff.. they have a long way to go but they'll get better every year... problem is so will Michelin, Pirelli, B'Stone and Dunlop.

Monte

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Well there is your answer, they are crap. But then again I can say things about the other tires too, for which I have tried all be the Bstone's and latest Pirelli's.

IHO, they are very capable tires for a Track Day Tire at less cost. Having used them at Barber, Road America and Black hawk Farms they hold up well at my slow A pace.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 06:52 PM

 
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Well there is your answer, they are crap. But then again I can say things about the other tires too, for which I have tried all be the Bstone's and latest Pirelli's.

IHO, they are very capable tires for a Track Day Tire at less cost. Having used them at Barber, Road America and Black hawk Farms they hold up well at my slow A pace.
I kinda respect Lance Host's, Aaron Franks and Kent Kinisugu's(sp) opinions.. they spend a little time in the saddle.

Anyway, there seems to be this "ok for track days" thing. Mid-Ohio's pavement and my bike and tires don't understand the difference between me running 1:36's during a race or during the Advanced session at Mid-Ohio or any other track. Difference is I ask them to do that for 3-1/2 HOURS during the day. It takes just as much traction at a track day to go fast as it does at a race.. IMO, it's not worth chaeping out and saving 10%-20% on a marginal budget tire "hoping" it works out and when I can buy something I KNOW will do the job and then some but that's just they way I roll. I hate gambling on "maybe".

Monte
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Monte, as much as I understand your point that you are trying to convey, the point to the whole post is that they are a capable tire for the track day market for which they are advertised. What to tell me Ford is better than Chevy go ahead.

You may not like them for whatever reason and that's OK. I'm not a professional track day rider, just enjoy the sport, but that does not make me the expert in tires and how one tire should handle better or last longer than the other. They are a capable tire for the needs.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 10:34 PM
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i dont do track days, or at least i havent sampled that new addiction yet

im curious about these tires since i currently have a set of avon viper super sports mounted and on the bike, Ive been pleased with them thus far but I by no means ride the bike hard, and I have little to nothing to compare them to except for the horrible stock battalax's that came on the bike when i bought it, had to litterally fight the bike to get it to start to turn in

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 06:17 AM

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRSMAIL View Post
Monte, as much as I understand your point that you are trying to convey, the point to the whole post is that they are a capable tire for the track day market for which they are advertised. What to tell me Ford is better than Chevy go ahead.

You may not like them for whatever reason and that's OK. I'm not a professional track day rider, just enjoy the sport, but that does not make me the expert in tires and how one tire should handle better or last longer than the other. They are a capable tire for the needs.
Actually more like Mercedes is better than Hyundi, they'll both get you to where you are going but the comparison ends there. Now imagine the the Benz was only 10%-20% more money...get the point?

I don't like them (or other tires like them) because better tires (meaning tires with more grip, better feedback, better ultimate traction and better handling properties and ultimately SAFER) are avalable from no less than four other makers for nearly the same money or a small premuim.

You are totally missing the point that the demands a fast track day rider puts on a tire many times, actually often exceeds that of a race. an average sprint race is EIGHT laps. My average session is that and on a three group day that is done seen times, on a LED day I ride 15 laps six or seven times a day. Do the math real quick and you'll see that thats a bunch of laps.

To this end...I have spent the last three years hammerig this fact into Michelins heads in the USA and France. Not banging my own gong but our tire distributorship sells more tires (think many, many, many thousands a year)into the track day market than anyone by about 500%. Michelin FINALLY listened to us and wait until you see our new products this fall.. Sweetness! We need products that offer good to excellent grip in a wide range of temps and also are easy to set up. As if that is not enough, we also want pridictible tires that go-off gently and in shallow curve. It's no small feat to make a tire meeting this wish list. Oh ya..... and they have top be able to last too!

Avon markets the tire we are discussing because as a entry level "race" tire it failed miserably, just like Maxxas's did. So now they're stuck with this thing so they say "hey.. lets pawn it off as a "track day" tire.. which BTW shows that they absolutely do not understand the market they are targeting. That's why they are a second tier tire manufacturer.

Like I said, when entering the track environment I don't want nor do I wish to sell a tire that is most likely "capable" of meeting my or my customers needs... I want a tire that exceeds my needs and one which I am not capable of exeeding it's ability to perform. That's is worth a few extra dollars in some cases. You have a few square inches or grip between you and disaster....

Monte

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 06:35 AM
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Does Cheng Shin make a track day tire? I bet they're really cheap, probably good enough for trackdays. They make decent dirtbike tires afterall.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 07:00 AM

 
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Does Cheng Shin make a track day tire? I bet they're really cheap, probably good enough for trackdays. They make decent dirtbike tires afterall.
Ya they called them Maxxis cause no one would run it if they called them Cheng Shin.... of course no one ran them under Maxxis name either.

I hear the make an excellent 120/60 Motard front for you.

Monte
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SportBike Track Time View Post
Ya they called them Maxxis cause no one would run it if they called them Cheng Shin.... of course no one ran them under Maxxis name either.

I hear the make an excellent 120/60 Motard front for you.
No thanks!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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tough crowd..

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 10:11 AM
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-25-2008, 11:41 AM

 
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