Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres
21 February 2011 16:27
Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres, £220 a pair
Miles covered/time: 3500/four months
What’s good: I had these tyres fitted to my long-term test KTM Duke 690 R this summer and absolutely loved them. I’m always dubious of claims like ‘the only hypersport tyre for road and track use with WSB technology’ and acronyms like EPT (Enhanced Patch Technology) but these finely-crafted beauties have the performance to cut through the bullshit.
Right from the first fitting – well, after the first few tenuous roundabouts and a few miles of scrubbing-in – they felt so right it was a revelation. They heat up quickly, building up your confidence rapidly, and the stand-out sensation is how seamlessly, smoothly and progressively they allow you to peel the bike into and out of corners.
And that WSB-derived compound on the shoulders of the tyres makes for amazing levels of grip as you progress from tipped over to upright while powering out of the bends. It’s a deeply satisfying feeling that, as I write this in deepest winter, I yearn to feel again. For summer blasts, they’re a ball.
What’s not: The Duke went through two sets of these through a long summer season of riding, getting 3500 miles out of the longest-lasting pair. But the power pulses of this big single eat up rear tyres more rapidly than many other bikes and I’ve heard of a set lasting 5000 miles on a colleague’s four-cylinder supersport bike.
So although the compound in the centre line of these multi-compound jobs is harder-wearing than a pure sports tyre, longevity is a good way away from touring-spec rubber. Towards the end of their lifespan, they’re not 100% confidence-inspiring in the wet, either.