Q. I have a 2009 Yamaha R6 which I’ve been riding for the past two years on Dunlop Sportsmarts. But my mates really rate their Pirelli Supercorsas – when we’re parked up on a ride their tyres are always really sticky to the touch and mine aren’t
But I’m told they’re not too good in the wet, and I do ride in all weathers. I also value mileage and side grip. Help!
A. With Kevin’s all-weather riding requirements he’ll struggle to improve on his Dunlop Sportsmarts. They’re still at the top of the pile for a great balance of dry and wet grip, mileage and the occasional track day.
If you’re really riding hard they’re not as grippy as Diablo Supercorsas but as he’s found out, that tyre doesn’t have the wet grip abilities of the Sportsmart.
If Kevin wants stickier tyres there’s plenty to choose from but with every one of them he’ll be sacrificing all-round performance and mileage.
In no particular order the list of the more popular ones would be: Metzeler Racetec K3 Interact, Dunlop GP Racer D211, Bridgestone BT-003RS and Pirelli Supercorsa SP.
Our advice is to stick to the category of tyres he’s on and learn to trust them. A tyre that feels softer under the thumbnail test isn't necessarily grippier. It may feel softer simply because of the compound make-up.
But a ‘higher-performance’ tyre may not even be reaching its optimum operating temperature on the road and if it’s not, whilst it might feel softer it may not even be offering the same grip as his all-round sports tyre that has been designed to operate at the lower temperatures you usually achieve on the road.
Other good tyres in the Sportsmart’s category are the Michelin Power Pure and Metzeler Sportec M5 Interact.
Bridgestone’s new S20 and Continental’s new SportAttack 2 are being launched soon, too.