Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa Tires
In our usual modus operandi, in order to keep all the literbike comparison contestants on equal footing, we had Pirelli's West Coast race tire vendor CT Racing (http://shop.coreytaylorracing.com, 805-444-1394) equip each bike with Pirelli's excellent Diablo Supercorsa DOT race tire. A direct result of Pirelli's continuing involvement with the World Superbike and World Supersport Championships as those series' spec tire, the Diablo Supercorsa incorporates numerous features aimed at improving overall grip and handling.
The Diablo Supercorsa features a much taller and more triangulated profile than the old generation Dragon Supercorsa, which enables the Diablo Supercorsa to have more contact patch area when the bike is leaned over. With a flatter profile on the tire's shoulder, contact patch size at moderate lean angles is dramatically increased, providing more traction and better feedback entering-and especially exiting-corners. The front tire's internal construction boasts additional cross-plies compared to the Dragon Supercorsa to help with stability under hard braking, and both front and rear Diablo Supercorsa tires still utilize the zero-degree steel belt design that runs steel threads lengthwise around the circumference of the tire to provide high-speed stability and reduce tire growth at speed. The near-slick design puts the maximum amount of rubber on the road, and there are four different compounds offered; unlike many other DOT race tires, there are no multi-compound designs offered with Pirellis, as the company feels that construction techniques can eliminate the need for separate compounds in the same tire.
We used the SC2 compounds (medium soft) for our track testing at Infineon Raceway. The tires were a little bit taller (especially in the rear) than much of the stock OEM fitment rubber on the literbikes, but that difference was easily compensated for by adjustments to the stock suspension components.
As we've found many times before with the Diablo Supercorsas, all our testers found them to provide superb grip over the course of a day's worth of ground-pounding punishment from the current literbikes. And they even survived quite well into the next morning's handful of sessions at the Northern California track. The front tire offered excellent feedback and allowed easy trail-braking into Infineon's many tricky corners, with the rear giving excellent grip overall with good bump absorption.
Many thanks to the fellows at CT Racing for constantly busting knuckles at the track to get our bikes set up with sticky rubber quickly and efficiently.