Pushing a motorcycle to its limits, or even its perceived limits, depends on the confidence you have in the machine, and to perhaps an even greater extent, the tires. Most sporting road riders will choose the ‘stickest’ tires they can get, whether their riding ability is good enough to actually use that ‘stickiness’ or not. ‘Confidence is everything’ they say, and that’s pretty much spot on.
If confidence plays such a big part in a rider’s tire choice, it usually comes in part due to the ‘name’ the tire brand has. Pirelli has been in the tire game for over 100 years, and really, brand names in tire technology do not get much bigger than Pirelli. I can go back to when I started riding big bikes, when the Pirelli Phantom, especially the Silver Dot Phantom was the tire to have. The Italian company has produced pretty good sporting road tires since then, and the Diablo Rosso III I have tested is probably one of the best sports road tires I have ever used.
Rosso means red in Italian, and as the national motor racing color for Italy is the color red, then it matches the ability of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III. It’s not a race tire though, it was never designed to be. Like the original Rosso from about 17 years ago the Diablo Rosso II, the Diablo Rosso III is primarily a supersport road tire, capable of doing a track day. In the hands of a professional racer it’s probably capable of much more than that.
Pirelli is the tire supplier for the world superbike and supersport championships, and has been for as long as I can remember, so development for race tires has been steep. The knowledge gained from this race development has obviously crept into the road sphere of Pirelli. It’s amazing what you can do when under the pump…
Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso III design team knew, like most of us in the motorcycle industry, that pure sports bike sales have declined over the last decade, and sales of more everyday friendly big capacity naked bikes and sports adventure bikes have gone up. As a result the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III was designed with this in mind, to cope with both hard core sports bikes and also motorcycles with ‘softer’ suspension and less aggressive horsepower. In other words, to ensure riders of all these types of motorcycles are happy with the abilities of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III. Older motorcycles were also kept in mind. And because of this, the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III is available in some sizes for older machines.
The tread pattern of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso III is taken directly from the Supercorsa race tire. It’s called the ‘Flash’. The strong points of the Diablo Rosso III tire, according to Pirelli, is the twin compound rear tire, with high percentages of Silica, giving both grip and high durability. Having both in one tire has always been like chasing unicorns for designers I’d hazard a guess, and high durability on a sports tire is a mute point anyway. If a rear can last say 5,000 kilometers and give great grip then job don I’d say.
Besides that, handling is a strong point, stability and performance consistency over time. According to Pirelli the Diablo Rosso III tire excels with all.