The Diable Corsa III is the latest trackday/street tire from Pirelli. The front tire sports a single compound, while the rear utilizes two compounds in three distinct zones with a firmer center surrounded by softer shoulders.
When it comes time to turn some high-speed laps on a track, a rider’s best friend is a pair of capable and confidence-inspiring tires. Lucky for us, when we arrived at the drizzling and bumpy track surface at the Streets of Willow circuit for our most recent Supersport Shootout, the folks from Pirelli had outfitted our quartet of 600s with the Diablo Corsa III, Pirelli’s latest trackday/street buns.
We are not shy of shameless begging at the Pirelli doorstep and have utilized the tire manufacturer, which was founded in Milan 136 years ago, to supply us with rubber for many of our important and popular comparo tests. The Pirellis always seem to work well for a wide variety of machinery, an explanation for which we feel we have a plausible hypothesis – Pirelli’s position as the spec tire supplier for the World Superbike championship.
“Maybe it’s the influence from World Superbike racing that allows Pirelli to develop and test on all the different machines – I am not sure,” mused our Editorial Director and shootout test rider, Ken Hutchison, or as he is also known here in the office Shizztyt McWeazle (don’t ask for an explanation, because there is none). “The result is a great tire that sticks and is consistent.”
The World Superbike theory is expounded by Pirelli itself, as the Diablo Corsa III was developed across the pond in the European 600 Superstock championship – a WSB support class which utilizes supersport machinery with spec limitations that keep the bikes in mostly stock trim, which suited our Supersport track test parameters to a tee (okay, okay, maybe not in the rider talent area). Pirelli describes its relationship with racing as follows: “Racing means innovation, development, and, most of all, development for the street.”
Pirelli’s role as World Superbike’s sole tire supplier is no mean feat, as it entails 30 Pirelli personnel and 6500 tires at every round of the 13-round series. That’s a lot of rubber, but the benefits for Pirelli are the perfect stage to test and refine its product – yet another example of how development in racing technology filters down to the consumer. We know we were pleased by the Corsa III’s racing-developed traits.
“Feedback is excellent and the tires inspire confidence even during adverse riding conditions like the semi-wet and truly torn-up Streets of Willow circuit during Supersport Shootout V,” said Ken, I mean Shizztyt.
Those sub-par conditions at Streets of Willow forced us to take a couple of breaks to let the track dry from the interspersing damp conditions. Even with the long breaks the DCIIIs still managed to warm up in a jiffy and provided excellent feedback as we attempted to hone in the setup on our four test bikes. The new Corsas also offered up their benefits to a wide array of rider skill level.
“I found the Corsa III offers the type of traction and levels of feedback a rider of any skill level can appreciate,” explained Shizztyt. “For a Nancy-boy asphalt scratcher like me, they are a hot ticket. They get up to temperature quickly, offer plenty of grip, and don’t seem to adversely effect handling or we would have heard about it from the OEM technicians taking care of bike set-up for us.”
Although the Corsa IIIs were developed with the track in mind, they are versatile enough to handle a various array of street conditions. The Corsa III’s durable structure incorporates new materials, as well as Pirelli’s patented zero-degree steel-belted radial design and the MIRS production process. A single compound is utilized on the DCIII front, with two compounds adorning the rear in three different zones: the center zone (which uses the same compound as its Corsa predecessor) and softer shoulders on each side (which sport a new compound).
Tire structure also contributes to the Corsa’s rider-friendly handling characteristics as the physical shape of the tires is less aggressive than some racing-oriented designs.
Forged on the racetracks of Europe, the Pirelli Diablo Corsa III is both a versatile and thrifty option for streetriders who take their 600 out to the track a couple times a season.
“Full race-compound tires often have radius curves that can alter the steering feel of a bike,” explained MCUSA editor and Supersport Shootout evaluator Kevin Duke, “but these Diablos prove to be remarkably benign, keeping the bike’s original feel to the rider.”
The DCIIIs keep their easy-handling moniker swapping track for street, but beyond versatility, one of the greatest ticks in the purchase column for these tires are their affordability and value. You get a lot of use out of a pair, with Duke commenting that “the Diablos used during our Supersport Shootout trackday appeared fresh enough that doing a second day on them wouldn’t be asking too much.” The Corsas are a relative steal in price compared to stickier trackday alternatives, including even Pirelli’s racier step up – the Supercorsa Pro, which adorn the 600s in the World Supersport Championship.
“I’d estimate that Supercorsas contribute somewhere around 10-15% extra stick but cost at least 50% more,” surmised Duke after the test. In fact, the $369.90-$418.90 MSRP (price varies depending on size of tire) for a pair of Corsa IIIs, $161.95 front $207.95-$256.95 rear, are 68% less expensive than the $623.90-$647.9 MSRP for the Supercorsas. Unless you’re a serious racer the Corsa IIIs are the definite way to go, and shelling out 4 c-notes ($260-$286 if you buy them on sale at our sister site Motorcycle Superstore) for a couple trackdays is a lot of bang for your buck.
We give the Diablo Corsa IIIs a lusty thumbs up. Their versatility as a street and track tire is only matched by their value as a budget-friendly option to thrash on your trusty sportbike machinery.