Pro Stock Motorcycles gain traction using one ginormous Mickey Thompson tire. The tire you see on Ryan Oehler’s Pro Stock Motorcycle this weekend at the Auto Club NHRA Finals did not go directly from Mickey Thompson Tires to the back of his EBR. Oehler, like all riders, breaks in his tires before using them in competition.
Think about breaking in a pair of shoes before wearing them to Disneyland for a long day of walking — Pro Stock racers, both car and motorcycle, treat their tires the same way. Not everyone breaks in their tires the same way; we’ve seen videos of Angie Smith performing a burnout in her driveway, for instance. Oehler began using a particularly unconventional method two blocks away from his shop in Illinois during the NHRA Countdown to the Championship: Mounting his tires to giant rims on the back of his 1997 Camaro.
“The key is to not to do any rollout once you have the tires mounted because the pavement is dirty,” said Oehler. “Once we have the tires heated up we roll it back to the shop and then we actually scrape off the excess rubber with a putty knife. We’ve found that makes for a pretty good tire.”
Oehler says he can get about 30 runs out of his rear tire before he starts to experience drop off in 60-foot performance. That has been an area of improvement for Oehler in his second full-time season; his season average time to 60 feet is 1.095-second. He has improved to a 1.085-second clip over the last six races, which while not world-beating is a step in the right direction as he prepares for the 2020 campaign.