No not those !!
I’m sure we have all heard the bloke down the pub, telling stories of he’s daring deeds tearing up the streets, and how his tyres haven’t got any chicken strips on his tyres, so he must be a much better rider than you as you’ve got chicken strips.
They are commonly called chicken strips as “they”reckon because you haven’t lent your bike right over , you must be chicken.
So do you have to use all your tyre and remove your chicken strips to be a better rider. Maybe on race track yes.
But for normal , even fast road riding, I reckon not.
Do you really need to lean right over on the edge of your tyre to be a good rider, of course not.
A sign of a good rider is someone who’s shows , great control , great anticipation, great awareness. Not someone who rides on the edge of his tyre, that may just be a fast rider, don’t confuse fast with good.
Fast is great on a race track, good and safe is much better for the roads
Look at it from another point of view, safety ,if you ride on the edge of your tyre all the time , and suddenly you have to increase your rate of turn, because you made a misjudgment , be it travelling too fast , not judging the severity of the bend right , commonly to solve this error would to add some more steering, which in turns creates more lean, so if you are already on the edge of the tyre,you haven’t got any more lean , or turning potential to tap into, so you may run wide , possibly into the wrong side of the road and heaven forbid into another vehicle, or alternatively lose the bike from underneath, which could have the same undesired effect.
Surely from a safety point of view having some spare tyre to use if need be in an emergency , is a much better bet than riding on the edge?
The other option concerning cornering, is body position, if you move your body slightly off the bike ( towards the direction of the bend) it changes the weight distribution/centre of gravity , which in turn allows you and the bike to take the corner sharper than if you’re sat bang in the middle, and also you’d be using less tyre, which gives you that safety margin.
I found out myself via track days , and tutoring, that this method also can help you increase your pace.
I went from siting on the bike, using all my tyre, to moving off slightly and not going right to the edge of the tyre , but I actually improving my corning speed, which shorten my lap times also.
There is a lot of peer pressure to lose your chicken strips , and yes it is indeed a great feeling to lose said chicken strips. I did indeed feel a fantastic sense of achievement photos was taken lol, when I first lost mine, but is it the be all and end all to do so?
I honesty don’t think so.
So the next time someone criticises your chicken strips, remember you don’t have to be an edge of the tyre rider , to be a good rider.
Ride safe , stay safe All The best