One of the problems that has always faced flat track racers is tires, or to be more precise, the lack thereof. With flat track tires being such a specialty item, you just can’t go to your local Yamaha or Honda dealer and order a set. In fact you will likely find that most dealers will be confused as to what you are actually after. There is a Maxxis warehouse in Brampton, ON, but despite numerous phone calls and emails, nobody has ever got back to me about my tire requests.
Over the years, many racers have survived a racing season living on ‘castoffs’ from the likes of legends Chris Evans or John Parker. These guys have always had the tire connections, and it is common practice for them to buy a dozen or so each season. While the average racer was unwilling to pay exchange, duty and shipping to get a tire from the US, getting by on used tires became the norm for many. For those not willing to run used sneakers, it sometimes cost them upwards of $300 to get a rear tire by the time it was shipped to them.
With the 2014 season fast approaching, flat trackers can now rejoice. When that first race date arrives, riders in Canada will have their choice of three different tires from three different suppliers, all within the $200 range.
Competition Tire in Niagara-on-the-Lake will continue to supply Goodyear racing tires in both CD5 and CD8 compounds. While not new to the flat track game, there has been a problem on occasion with availability here in Canada.
Golden Tyre came into the North American scene last year after making the trip from across the pond. Developed with the help of AMA flat track legend Chris Carr, Golden is the series sponsor of the popular Steve Nace Racing Series. Here in Canada, Golden Tyres are available from Expert rider Doug Lawrence at any of the Canadian races. These will be available in CC4, CC5 and CC6 compounds.
The newest tire distributor on Canadian soil will be Brian Olsen from Brian Olsen Racing. Olsen has confirmed an order of 80 Maxxis rear tires and has already pre-sold a good share of them. These will only be available in the most popular CD5 compound and can be picked up from Olsen at the track or from his Georgetown area shop.
It’s unfortunate for the youth riders, but as of now there still isn’t a production tire available for them. That means that the fathers of the riders on 50 and 65 cc bikes will still be scrambling to find scooter tires that they can hand-cut for the tracks they are racing on.