Pirelli only had themselves to beat when it came to developing their new Angel GT II sports touring tyre. Of course, it needed to be better than the Angel GT (Gran Turismo) original, but it also had to somehow compete with one of the best all-rounders of recent years: the Metzeler Roadtec 01… and as we all know, Pirelli and Metzeler are the same company.
Pirelli and Metzeler share a lot of the same technology, but they follow different paths in their development and each brand has its own distinctive character, whether it’s a sports touring tyre, race rubber or anything in between.
Metzelers tend to be very friendly, neutral handling tyres that feel hugely plugged into the road and a Pirelli has a slightly fimer ride with lighter, sportier steering characteristics. True to form this is exactly how the new Angel GT II feels compared to the brilliant Roadtec 01.
We tested Pirelli’s new rubber on a BMW R1250R, Honda CB1000R and BMW S1000XR on dry roads. Warm-up time is instantaneous and they offer an excess of front and rear grip, even if you drag the brakes into a corner or are particularly keen on the throttle on the way out. They steer with the accuracy of a sports tyre with none of the flat-profiled, stodgy feel you use to suffer with old-school sports touring rubber.
In mixed conditions and the pouring rain, they’re even more impressive. Such light-steering tyres don’t normally go hand in hand with wet grip and but the Angel GT IIs are so reassuring on wet tarmac you need to reprogram your brain to trust them, giving Metzeler Roadtec 01-levels of confidence and enjoyment and that’s the highest praise you can give.
All this extra all-weather grip and confidence is achieved with new profiles, compounds (dual for the rear) and constructions, not to mention thousands of hours testing on the road and track.
As well as using compound technology from Pirelli’s racing rain rubber, the front tyre’s twin radial groves are lifted from their intermediate tyre. And with ABS and traction control fitted to just about every new machine now, Pirelli’s new tech is designed to manage a stuttering tyre on the edge of adhesion.
Available in dealers now the Angel GT II comes in a variety of sizes, to suit everything from A2 licence-compliant machines, through to nakeds, sports tourers, sportsbikes and adventure bikes.
We’ll be fitting a set to one of our long term fleet this year to check durability, but expect at least 6000-miles from a rear.
||£260 per pair (120/70 x 17, 190/55 x 17)
|| Sunshine, showers and heavy rain. Temp: 12-22°C, wind 7mph
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