Developed in World Superbike and released last year, Pirelli’s Diablo Supercorsa is the round, tacky successor to their original Dragon Supercorsa Pro racing tire.
When you’re carving through a 120 mph corner, knee glued to the blur of asphalt below, tires are the only thing keeping you from imminent disaster. That’s why when you’re blasting around the racetrack on that shiny new sportbike, you’re going to need all the grip you can get in the form of some sticky race tires.
Being the lone tire supplier and having your own private proving grounds for not one, not two, but four independent roadracing series (MotoST in the U.S., Canada Superbike Championship, British Superbike Championship and World Superbike) gives you an advantage in tire development. That’s why we chose to conduct the first part of our Supersport Shootout VI on Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires.
Released last year, the Diablo Supercorsa (DSC) is the round, tacky successor to Pirelli‘s original Dragon Supercorsa Pro racing tire. You can thank our World Superbike heroes, who since 2004 have developed the current level of trickle-down tire technology, for giving consumers access to the same levels of performance as the racing elite.
Key improvements engineers focused on when creating the Diablo Supercorsa were cornering performance from entry thru exit, stability in holding a line, feel and durability. All, of course, without compromising Pirelli’s signature attribute – ease of bike-to-tire setup.
To do this, engineers significantly modified the tire’s shape. The shoulder areas on either side were curved, thereby making the tires external profile more triangular. This gives the tire a progressively larger contact patch as it is leaned over in a corner. When compared side-by-side to the previous generation, the DSC is significantly more triangulated which facilitates its superb maximum lean angle.
Higher lean angles afforded by the tire’s new shape means that it’s going to need an elevated level of grip. Pirelli solved this by using new chemicals and polymers with an increased level of thermal stability. This equates to quicker warm-up times and improved, longer lasting outright grip.
Although multi-compound race tires seem to be the latest rage, Pirelli choose to utilize one uniform compound throughout the tire’s construction. Still, Pirelli’s worldwide racing experience has allowed them to develop the widest range of individual tire compounds. A total of four options are available from both front and rear. The versatile range gives the Pirelli rider 16 unique tire combinations suitable for almost any track.
Stability has always been a strong point of Pirelli tires thanks to its zero-degree steel-belt design in which steel threads run parallel to the tire’s rotation, helping to prevent tire growth. Engineers further improved stability by utilizing crossing carcass plies within the front tire. This not only enhances the tires overall footprint but also makes it less susceptible to moving around, especially under hard braking.
In a perfect racing world, tread sipes are an engineer’s worst enemy. That’s why engineers used as few tread sipes as possible while maintaining DOT legality for use on public roads. The end result is a cool-looking tread pattern that works in conjunction with the revised profile and rubber compounds reducing tread squirm and improving the tire’s ability to hold a steady line.
Being that all the bikes were on tire warmers, we didn’t get a chance to test the tires ability to warm-up from ambient temperature. However, after pulling the warmers off, we were able to start pushing the tires almost immediately.
We were also impressed with the feel of the tires, especially the front. With so much feedback available through the handlebars, it felt really comfortable trail-braking into corners. Although the front tire isn’t the firmest feeling, it was ultra-stable and had fantastic grip allowing us to achieve some pretty crazy footpeg-dragging lean angles.
The rear tire didn’t give us the same copious amount of feedback as the front, but it always stayed glued to the pavement below like gum on the bottom of your shoe.
Stability and easy-of-use was another strong point of the Pirelli design. The DSC tires increased the apex strafing prowess of the bikes in the test, all without making the chassis anymore nervous. This was especially noticeable on the Ducati 848 due to its lack of a steering damper.
“What I really like about the Pirelli’s is that they’re really neutral feeling and complement each bike really well,” commented our Editorial Director Ken Hutchison. “The bikes are all super flickable yet they aren’t at all twitchy.”
Apart from an hour lunch break, each bike was flogged virtually nonstop from 9:00 a.m. until the checkered flag came out at 4:00 p.m. At the end of the day we observed that all the front tires held together well. Despite rubber ball accumulation on either side, the fronts appeared to be in good shape as traction levels were consistent and never fell off.
Similar to the front tire, some of the rears looked smooth and ready for more action while others showed unusual wear. This confirms the forgiving nature of the tire, as it actually can work as a band-aid masking less-than-optimum rear shock settings. We consider it to be a valuable feature – especially if you miss the mark on ideal suspension settings.
At the end of the day we were pleased with the added performance afforded by the Diablo Supercorsa tires. Not only did they work well on each bike, they did so with minimal suspension fiddling. They gave us the feedback, stability and grip needed to dissect the subtle nuances of each machine. The only downside we can find in the Diablo Supercorsas is the price. That’s why Pirelli makes a more affordable option for the track riding enthusiast that doesn’t necessarily have the cash to spend on the premium race tire (see below).
Product: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa Race Tires
Sizes: Front: 110/70R17, 120/70R17 – Rear: 150/60R17, 160/60R17, 180/55R17, 190/55R17
Four available compounds: SC0 (Qualifying), SC1 (Super Soft), SC2 (Soft), SC3 (Medium)
MSRP: $386 (120/70 Front, 180/55 Rear) – $397 (120/70 Front, 190/55 Rear) – Available Now!
Motorcycle Superstore: Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires
Tigershark Racing (West Coast)
The Racers Supply Co.(Midwest)
Innovative Motorcycle Research (Northeast)
Salem, New Jersey
Trackside Racers Supply (Southeast)
Canton, North Carolina
Pirelli Diablo Corsa III
The Pirelli Diablo Corsa III’s are another versatile option in the Diablo tire family for the rider who doesn’t necessarily need the outright performance of a racing tire. We used the Corsa III during our second day of testing and during last year’s Supersport Shootout.
After riding the second part of our test on the Corsa III’s we were amazed at the amount of performance available from the mid-priced tire. We purposely did not use tire warmers and were surprised at just how fast the tires heat up. Despite their slightly more mellow profile, the Corsa IIIs still retained the bike’s flickability yet remain very neutral feeling. Although they don’t have the same levels of outright grip, they are definitely close and for the less aggressive, smoother rider it can be difficult to notice much of a difference.
We would recommend the Diablo Corsa III to any riding enthusiast who intends on using their bike both on the street and the track and doesn’t wish to swap out different sets of tires for each application.
Product: Pirelli Diablo Corsa III
Sizes: Front: 120/65R17, 120/70R17 – Rear: 180/55R17, 190/55R17
Buy It Now: Pirelli Diablo Corsa III