tyred and emotional...

pirelli diablo supercorsa pro

Words by Simon Bradley, pictures by Simon Bradley and sharon newton

Tyres are among the most subjective things you'll ever find discussed where bikers talk about...stuff. You could reasonably suggest that if you ask two bikers what the best tyres are you'll get at least three answers. And you know, that's perfectly OK, because there's more to a good set of tyres than grip. You may prefer your tyres to last a long time. You may want them to heat up fast, you may want them to be great on motorways and long trips, you may want ultimate cornering or the fastest turn-in or stability or even for them just to have acool tread pattern. See what I mean?

Recently our long-term S1000RR needed a new set of boots. The Michelins it came with were good - very good in fact - but in this brave new post Covid world, where like most people I don't get the chance to ride anywhere near as much because I work from home, I don't need to think about longevity as much as I did before. So I decided to try something a little...sportier.

Enter a set of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa Pro SP V3s. The V3 is, you'll be staggered to hear, the replacement for the V2. I don't objectively know the difference, but I'm sure it's enough to keep a team of advertising copy writers busy. This is the road baised verion of the SC tyre used as the control tyre in World Supersport and European Superstock racing, so it's got a pedigree. Apparently it also has the same profile as the Superbike tyre, so your turn-in and stability will be similar to your SBK heroes. Importantly, it's got a decent amount of tread to clear water - we need to use our tyres on the road in all conditions, after all...

The front tyre is a single compound, while the rear is harder in the centre to provide a bit more life - on the road most of the hard acceleration is done upright and actually tyres tend to get squared off as even the most sporty riders spend the majority of their time going vaguely straight. It's actually not entirely true to say the centre part is harder, probably fairer to say the shoulders are softer, because none of this tyre is even remotely describable as hard.

My getting them came toward the end of a long dry summer, but happily in time for a trackday at Snetterton. They were literally fitted the day before riding up, so I didn't get much time to get properly acquainted. As it happens that didn't matter. The afternoon ride up to where I was staying gave me plenty of opportunity to discover that they are predictable and stable in normal use, with no nasty surprises when presented with the wild varieties of road surface we get in this green and pleasant land. So far, so good.

After a session to get both me and the bike dialled back in, we were able to get out and make a proper assessment. Look at the datalog readout at the bottom of the page. Take the map with a pinch of salt, because GPS gets a bit excited sometimes, but the speed and lean angles are accurate. This is a road tyre on a road bike with road suspension. I hadn't changed anything from my normal day to day riding config. And, in truth, that means I hadn't changed anything from the way the bike left the factory - I'm happy to admit that while I'm good I'm probably not better than a BMW factory rider, so if it's good enough for them it's good enough for me. So while 155mph isn't especially unusual, Snetterton being a fairly fast circuit, a 53 degree lean is. That sort of angle would have been unusual even on slicks just a short while ago. It's quite remarkable.

The rest of the day went on much the same way. It was quite warm and the track was dry and grippy. At the end of the day, while there was obvious wear on the tyre there was no tearing or other signs of distress - it seemed to take the quite tough treatment in its stride. The stable and predictable behavious I'd noticed on the road remained, and turn-in was easy and smooth with no sudden flopping into the corner or, perhaps worse, reistance to turning. Adjusting line in mid-corner was also completely devoid of drama, which is a good thing considering that needing to change line mid-corner normally means something has gone wron in the first place...

The ride home was as undramatic as the ride up - the tyres remained predictable and stable even after multiple heat cycles, which is important for road tyres. Since the end of summer, of course, I have had the opportunity (if that's the right word) to use them in the rain, on cold, damp mornings, in fog and, this evening, on what appeared to be kerb to kerb cow dung. While the dung experience was both smelly and deeply unpleasant (because there was no grip whatsoever) everything else has been compeltely uneventful. Now I'm not suggesting that these are the most confidence-inspiring tyres ever in the wet. They aren't - there's a bit of movement there and, probably more importantly, the degree of feel you get from them means that the little movment there may be is magnified in your head and backside. But accelerating out of roundabouts, rapid changes of direction and firm (occasionally very firm) braking don't seem to present any real problems. And after two thousand miles they're still in decent condition as well, which is a result as well.

So, to sum up. The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V3 is a brilliant track day and fast road riding tyre with a perfectly adequate performance in the less-than-ideal conditions we frequently enjoy here. It seems to have a pretty decent wear rate, making it perfectly legitimate choice as a replacment tyre on any performance bike. This pair was sourced direct from Pirelli via TwoTyres and, at about £350 a pair they're not especially expensive compared to others.

I really rate them...





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