Sport Driving FAQ

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Sport Driving FAQ

  • Does a tyre's date of manufacture have a bearing on its performance?
    Tyres are made of different types of material including rubber-based components, the properties of which change over time.

    For each tyre, this change over time depends on a number of factors such as climate, storage conditions (temperature, humidity, position, etc.) and the usage (load, speed, inflation pressure, damage caused by road condition, etc.) to which the tyre is subjected.

    These ageing factors vary so much that it is impossible to predict the life of a tyre exactly. In addition to regular checks by the user, it is advisable to have your tyres checked regularly by a qualified professional who will determine whether or not the tyre needs to be replaced.

    The older the tyre, the more likely that it will need to be changed to due ageing or other factors determined during checks.

    As a precaution, even if the tyres look to be in good condition and have not reached the legal wear limit, Michelin recommends that tyres be replaced after 10 years.

    This 10-year limit is calculated based on the date indicated by the DOT code.
  • How does tyre responsiveness evolve with speed?
    It decreases. That being said, the use of aramid reinforcement fibres in MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport tyres enables the tyre profile to be controlled at very high speed, significantly limiting the normal loss of responsiveness.
  • What happens if I change the size of my tyres? What do wider tyres offer in terms of performance?
    Tyre upsizing normally improves steering precision and response. Comfort will naturally decrease slightly (firmer ride), as well as the aquaplaning performance when driving through puddles at high speed.
  • What is the correct way to run in tyres?
    Drive gently for the first few miles, well within the speed limits to stabilise the properties of the reinforcement fibres and other materials and to ensure that the tyre is perfectly positioned on the rim.
  • Whether on the road or in competition, what is the best driving style to strike the optimum balance between efficiency, performance and longevity for sports tyres?
    Generally speaking, it is absolutely essential that you keep an eye on the pressure of your tyres to maximize their performance and longevity. When at the circuit, it is best to split up your runs with a few cool-down laps. Two separate sessions of four laps at top speed have less impact on the tyres than one single session of eight laps.
    06/2013 - Sport tyres -
  • With MICHELIN competition tyres, how many seconds per lap can you save with a prototype or GT model, compared to standard sports tyres of the same size?
    There are too many variables involved to be able to give a general answer here (e.g. the type of vehicle, the circuit, the exact type of competition tyre). To give you an example though, on a three-kilometre circuit in a standard Porsche model, you can cut your lap time by six seconds by choosing MICHELIN Slick competition tyres ahead of the MICHELIN Pilot Super Sport.
  • How much does the temperature of a slick tyre rise when the wheels lock? In qualifying, why are tyres at their most effective after two or three laps, and not immediately? What happens to the tyres after this performance peak, particularly in terms of the surface rubber?
    When applying the brakes heavily (and locking the wheels) the phenomenon is so short and localized that there is no significant or long-term impact on the internal pressure or temperature of the tyre. However, the temperature of the tyre's exterior does increase significantly in a very localized area – particularly on slicks.

    The first time a tyre is used, polymer chains on the surface of the tyre break up. This irreversibly modifies the properties of the compound. Once this peak has been passed, the tyre becomes stable in terms of its pressure and temperature. Finally, there is no such thing as surface rubber – the same rubber is used throughout the tread.
  • How do I read the sidewall markings of a track day or road tyre?
    For road tyres, refer to "Understanding tyre markings".
  • How do I read the sidewall markings of a motorsport tyre?
    Motorsport tyres use a different size designation to road tyres. Taking a rally tyre of size 20/65-18 as an example; 20 corresponds to the width of the tyre tread in cm, 65 to the Overall Diameter in cm and 18 to the rim diameter in inches.
  • How do I find the manufacturing date on the sidewall of a road tyre?

    This is contained in the last 4 numbers of the DOT code. The first two of these 4 numbers indicate the week of manufacture, the last 2 the year of manufacture. A DOT code ending in "1310" therefore corresponds to a manufacturing date during the 13th week of the year 2010, i.e. March 2010.

    Understanding tyre markings

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