Capit Suprema Spina Tire Warmers
Home site: https://www.capit.it/en/
USA site: https://www.tawperformance.com/
Tire warmers are only as good as their power supply. Easy……. take a second to think that through……. That is by far the first and most important facet of this type of product. If you have 5 devices running off one thin extension cord, the power is divided based on draw. That means the warmers are not getting the power they need to perform optimally and will therefore seem ineffective.
Case in point:- it was a very cold day indeed when we did the initial test for this article at Thunderhill Raceway Park with Editor Dave Williams and his GSXR1000. Alongside the Spina warmers we had a battery charger AND the CurbEater suspension heating devices plugged in to the same, albeit very heavy gauge extension cord and multi outlet surge protector.
In sampling the wheel and tire temperatures, once we unplugged the CurbEater and battery charger from the same cord, the tire temp shot up to the advertized and promised temperature within a few minutes. The point being made is therefore fairly straightforward:- every tire warmer needs it’s own dedicated power source to work optimally. For the Bridgestone R11 test therefore, we did just that.
Capit as a brand has worldwide fame earned through product dependability, consistency and durability. That is achieved via design, development, high grade materials and solid retail and warranty support.
The PTFE (Teflon to you and I) based heating elements inside every CAPIT tire warmer maintain a constant temperature of 85°C / 185°F. Lateral heating elements on the sidewall enable heat to travel to the rim for quicker heat up and uniform temperature, which helps maintain tire temperature even after the warmers have been removed.
These warmers are recommended to be used for a period no longer than 4 hours and have the following bullet points listed as key features:
- Guaranteed for 3 years
- Uses Teflon Heating cables (10 times longer life then silicon heating cables)
- 40 meters of heating wires in a radial arrangement
- No electrical or mechanical devices used for heating element (reduces risk of failure)
- Requires only 650W per pair compared to 1000W for typical tire warmers
- Runs off of 110V and US-style outlet with an on/off lamp
- 100% waterproof inside and out
- Physically very thin in regards to material depth and very light in weight
The average track day rider will do three to five track days a year, so the warmers will be used (on and off the tires), several times per day x the number of days = 100+ uses. My average use is 4 times per day and per year is 120 track days = 480 uses.
The interesting long term factor will be (with proper use and care) to see if the Spina product will create and maintain the same amount of heat after 3 years, so in regards to long term testing, will the Spina set still perform at “new” levels that far into their service life? We will see.
The test day started with a very chilly 48F ambient temperature. The trailer was powered with a 50AMP cable the thickness of my wrist, and the extension cord was a very heavy gauge that ran from one plug on a single circuit to the multi outlet surge protector. First data points were all taken at the same time using the infra red gun.
- track temperature was 43F
- front tire was 47F
- rear tire was 43F
As mentioned earlier, we also had the CurbEater suspension heaters plugged in and a 2amp battery charger. The next data point was taken at 30 minutes:
A very important piece of information is not just the upper surface temperature of the rubber, but also the upper surface temperature of the warmers itself. If the insulation material is very effective, there should be a considerable discrepancy between the tire temperature and the Spina surface. In feeling how thin the single temp warmers were, to me this would allay fears that the insulation material was too thin so we would be losing a lot of heat to the air.
- 95F front warmer
- 97F rear warmer
Once we removed the battery charger and CurbEater suspension heating product from the bike, we sampled the tire temperatures again and saw a noticeable rise:
The next data point was to be the temperature of the wheel. The Spina product is listed as having lateral elements that also heat the wheel and in covering the wheel as it does, we should see a significant increase in wheel temperature in the corresponding amount of time used for tire heat data collection. At 30 minutes, the rear wheel was 74F, and then we unplugged the extra devices so at the second tire temperature test we expected a gain in wheel temperature.
- 87F front wheel
- 82F rear wheel
Clearly the wheel is not as hot as the tire nor could it be as metal takes a huge amount of time to heat up compared to metal. With a cold and windy day and no blankets on the wheel, the wind was stripping heat out of the wheel so kudos to the Spin warmers for getting double the temperature from the morning start at 40F for both wheels!
That means no matter what, cold weather requires us to still take 3 laps to warm the tire and wheel until they reach a mutual balance point in temperature! If you don’t, the wheel steals heat form the tire until it is hot and then the tire gets to keep heat it generates.
Also realize that on cold days, we tend to ride slower so what we start with as a temperature off the warmers (as above) will drop significantly if we do not keep the suspension and tire under duress while lapping on the track, so we have to overcome our perceptions by ensuring we ride at a pace that keeps the tires at optimal heat. The next and most important data point is that front tires in cold weather suffer wind chill just the same as humans do, so do not be surprised when you get back to the hot pits/paddock to see a front tire significantly colder than a rear tire.
This also means that the front wheel is cooler and the rear wheel hotter.
When testing the Bridgestone R11 tires and leaving the paddock with the Spina warmers creating 190F front and 185F rear after 35 minutes, this was a very self evident truth with the rear tire temperature reaching 168F and the front at 127F in the hot pits after 5 laps at A group pace on my MV F3 800.
Once the Spina warmers were correctly installed and plugged in, after 10 minutes the rear tire was back to 190F and after 20 minutes, the front tire was at 185F.
- don’t be drawn into a misconception by the light weight and thinness of the CAPIT fabric
- use a warm up period of 30-40 minutes to get good wheel AND expected tire temperatures
- always remove the warmers carefully and place them on the ground to cool or hang them up
- NEVER assume the warmers worked – always put your hands on the tire to feel the actual temperature
- always clean the tire surface completely before installing the warmer to make sure it is completely flat against the surface
- always set the warmer attachment point close to the valve stem for ease of pressure adjustment
- use your knee against the tire for leverage to make sure the warmers are applied correctly
The DMT Total Access premium video of the Capit test is here: