Pirelli's new-generation Diablo high-performance street radial was just introduced to the U.S. press in early December and met with high praise. But the Italian tire maker has wasted no time in upping the ante with the introduction of the second tire in the Diablo line, the Diablo Corsa.
Dubbed the "Trackday Devil" (Diablo is the Italian word for devil), the new Diablo Corsa is a more-aggressive, premium, trackday-oriented version of the Diablo. It was designed to retain much of the advanced wet- and dry-grip street manners of the Diablo, but is targeted at "hypersport riders who spend most of their time riding track days and the rest of the time wishing they were". The Corsa's use ratio is 70% trackday - 30% street; the Diablo's is the opposite, 70% street - 30% trackday. (Which means that riders no longer have to buy Pirelli Supercorsa race tires for elevated performance at track days.)
Visually, the two tires look similar, sharing the same tread design, but a side-by-side comparison shows the difference: the Corsa has more of a "semi-slick" look due to its narrower tread-groove width and an even greater pitch distance between the minimal grooves in the shoulder area, both of which increase the amount of rubber on the ground, thereby improving dry grip without sacrificing wet street performance.
The biggest differences in the new Diablo Corsa are ones you can't see. The rear Corsa's construction has the distinction of being the first Pirelli motorcycle tire built by the company's highly-advanced new MIRS(r) robotic system. MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) builds the tire from beginning to end on a single robotic fixture, eliminating the traditional need to move tires physically from machine to machine during the various phases of the manufacturing process. Pirelli says the MIRS technology produces tires "built with an unprecedented degree of precision, so much so that it redefines all existing tire-quality reference parameters". Allowing the construction of a tire with no tread splice, MIRS "provides users with a tire whose qualitative standards are on a whole different plane than those obtained via the traditional process: absolute structural uniformity, no vibration or imbalance, and maximum comfort". The uniformity possible with the new production method also allowed Pirelli engineers to develop a more precise compound blend that improves track performance via its greater high-speed stability, grip, and shorter warm-up time. Pirelli says the improved stability and grip are also a function of a new design in the sidewall and bead - a design made possible by MIRS - that results in a "tuned" sidewall stiffness with better damping properties and a further reduction in contact-patch distortion.
The Diablo Corsa's carcass is also different; it is the same as Pirelli's famed DOT Supercorsa race radials. (Supercorsas won a staggering 322 national and regional U.S. roadracing championships in 2002, broke 20 U.S. track records over the past two seasons, won the 2002 World Supersport Championship, and swept the podiums in all six major TTs at last year's Isle Of Man - a modern-era record). The Corsa also has Pirelli's Diablo's patented 0( steel-belted radial construction and advanced ICS contour shaping, both of which are also featured in the standard Diablo.
So what's the performance difference between the dual Diablos? That's a little bit like asking parents which one of their brilliant offspring is better. Considering the two tires' design missions provides much of the answer: The Corsa has an edge in dry grip and handling; the standard Diablo in wet performance and mileage. High-speed stability is even.
True to its "hypersport" mission, the new Diablo Corsa is priced 20% higher than the Diablo, and is available in just one front size and two rears: 120/70ZR-17 front, 180/55ZR-17 and 190/50ZR-17 rears, with MSRPs of $177.95, $217.95, and $252.95 respectively.
For more information, see your nearest Pirelli dealer, log onto www.us.pirellimoto.com, or www.pirellidiablo.com. Or for information and a free copy of Pirelli's new 48-page 2003 full-line brochure, contact Pirelli directly at: PIRELLI MOTORCYCLE TIRE DIVISION, P.O. Box 700, Rome, GA, 30162-7000. Phone: (706) 368-5826; Fax: (706) 368-5832.