Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Yellow Dog" Super Tires tested

The new Yellow Dog Super Tires were developed as a competitor to Ortmann tires, which provide a high level of traction, and don't require frequent cleaning of the tires or the track. Yellow Dogs are evidently urethane, similar to Ortmann tires. Yellow Dogs sand more easily than the original silicone Super Tires. And when you do sand them, the dust is gray, just like Ortmanns. The tires have a nice sticky feel, and are easily slipped onto the rims of our Slot.It Nissan test car. Fit is excellent. They are very true, and have the same sharp edges we find on the original Super Tires, but now it is easy to sand them off. And be not afraid, the production tires are to be black. The bright orange tires are only for test purposes. We hope.

To begin the testing, a quick 66 laps with original Super Tires was done with the Nissan test mule. The fastest lap turned was 4.652 sec, no magnets, on East New York Raceway. Of course, the usual track and tire cleaning was done prior to starting the laps. The YD's go on, 66 more laps are done, and we get a best lap time of 4.835, which is significantly slower in a head-to-head test against the original ST's. This difference may be specific to this track.

Next we move to an outer lane that we're sure is quite dirty. YD's are the first tire we use, and we get a best time of 5.211. Yes, the track is dirty. Next we go to the Ortmann scrap heap to find 2 round-enough tires to use in the still dirty lane. A set of tires is matched, and we get a best lap time of 5.178, just a bit faster, but not by much. A tie is declared between Ortmanns and Super Tire Yellow Dogs.

Lap times don't tell the whole story. For a fast car using Ortmanns, you need to do lots of work truing them. The Orts we used are "seasoned" tires with tons of laps, and lots of work done to them to get them close to round. The Yellow Dog Super Tires were just profiled a bit around the shoulders, and away we went. The quality that goes into the original Super Tires is clearly seen again. If you're in need of non-silicone tires that will perform well on wood or plastitrack, or if you're building a proxy racing car that will be raced on a variety of tracks (some dusty) you need to check these out.

Above you can see the tire dust created after we did a bit of profiling.

Conclusion? Not as fast as original Super Tires on very clean, latex painted wood; about as fast as Ortmanns on a dusty lane of the same track. Far easier to sand the tire shoulders than original Super Tires, and way more concentric than Ortmanns. Yellow Dog Super Tires are highly recommended.

Thanks to Nick at Super Tires for the tire samples. Testing will continue with these tires, on a variety of cars. It looks like the whole Super Tires range is being duplicated in the new material. We will update with more testing data, and we will be updating with more brands of tires for comparison.

Dave Kennedy and Robert Livingston of Slot Car News

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