I don’t have a dedicated trackbike so I take my road bike to trackdays and usually ride it to and from the circuit. Up until now, I’ve always done trackdays on road-legal tyres. Riding to the track obviously makes it slightly more difficult to bring stands and warmers than going in a van so I’ve always just taken it easy at the start of each session and picked up the pace gradually, getting fully up to speed towards the end of the second lap.
This has always been fine, but, I now realise, mostly because I didn’t know what I was missing.
Italian Racing Components is an Italian brand, passionate about racing and making high-quality performance products. They are fully in control of the entire process from production to sale so they are wholly responsible for everything they sell. Selling direct enables them to use direct customer feedback for continuous improvements of their range. Everything they produce is tested internally on their own bikes and, because they own several patents, their products are exclusive rather than copies of other manufacturers’ items.
As I was heading to Jerez for a 3-day trackday over Easter weekend, I decided it was high time to start using slicks and tyrewarmers so I spent a fair bit of time researching different warmers and reading threads online about the different brands. A lot of people rave about Capit and Diamond and no-one was really talking about IRC but they make them in cow-print which is essentially what sold me on them. Plus I’d seen a picture of Eugene Laverty using them and I thought, if they’re good enough for him, they’re good enough for me.
What are they like?
So, decision made, I ordered them, Gianni from IRC shipped them pretty much straight away and they arrived within 3 days.
They are absolutely gorgeous (which I know is a weird choice of adjective for tyrewarmers but they really are!) – the faux fur is really soft and they feel more like a high-class hooker’s best coat (…I would imagine), not something to wrap around motorbike tyres.
The warmers have elasticated sides and big velcro patches so putting them on nice and tight is really easy. They don’t have a digital display and aren’t adjustable but there is a red LED which illuminates when they’re heating up.
There isn’t much to say about tyrewarmers when reviewing them – they either work really well and consistently get the tyres up to a good temperature quickly, or they’re a bit crappy and don’t get hot enough.
Thankfully, these are the former – over the entire Jerez trip they were phenomenal. They heated up very quickly always got the tyres nice and hot. A dude in the same garage as me was using Diamond warmers and he had a magical little thingymajig a bit like a laser pointer which, when aimed at something, measures its temperature. His tyres, as soon as he took his Diamond warmers off, were always around the 65° mark whereas mine were consistently around 80°.
Although I didn’t ever go out and try to get my knee down at the first corner, I’m completely confident I could have with no problem at all. As it was, I still went for it pretty much straight away but not flat-out for the first half a lap, usually kneedown by turn 4 or 5. This meant I was getting an extra 2 laps at speed each session, which I suppose equates to getting 20% more value out of my trackday.
In short, these are absolutely fantastic warmers, highly recommended. They heat the tyres up to the perfect temperature very quickly which means I got much more out of every session. Plus, keeping warmers on in between each session means that the tyres only go through one heat cycle a day which means they’ll last longer.
I genuinely love these, they look fantastic (obviously this is subjective but they also do plain designs for anyone who doesn’t like cow print) and can’t imagine how I managed for so long without using them!
More about IRC
To see the entire range of goodies they offer, visit the IRC website.