(Top) Price-wise Pirelli gets the award for “least affordable” costing in excess of 2.5 times more than the budget-oriented Shinko Apex. (Bottom) At the Streets, where speeds are significantly lower, the gap was reduced to just 0.8 second faster than the Q3 and 1.5 second in front of the Michelin.
Sport riders that want to get the most performance out of their motorcycle will appreciate Pirelli’s Diablo Supercorsa SP V2. Positioned at the top of Pirelli’s extensive catalog, the two-year-old V2 benefits from dual-compound technology born from the Italian firm’s extensive racing experience.
Price-wise Pirelli gets the award for “least affordable” costing in excess of 2.5 times more than the budget-oriented Shinko Apex. Even compared to big box brands like Michelin, Bridgestone and Dunlop, the SP still trades at a 25-45% premium.
But if outright performance is what you’re after the Pirelli certainly delivers. The front hoop wasn’t the lightest – it was close at just over a half a pound more than the Xtreme 3 by Avon. The rear tire, however, was easily the lightest and the only 190-section hoop to break into the 13-pound mark. In fact it was 10.4 ounces lighter than the svelte Dunlop Q3.
Right from the get-go the SP feels athletic and accurate, teasing the rider to lean farther into turns. It delivers an astounding level of road-feel, which breeds confidence between man and machine and lets the rider flirt more closely with the performance potential of the bike. Steering was lively, yet not so much that it sacrificed stability – the SP feels more planted than even the Dunlop and Bridgestone through the main track’s 150-mph Turn 8.
Although they felt good and sticky right away, looking at the data shows that it took the SPs the fourth-longest time to arrive at operating temperature on Day 1 (206.8 seconds). Although thermal conditions on the track weren’t at their peak, they were only cooler by 4.5 degrees at the start of the run. The next day the Pirellis were subjected to the coolest track conditions and again ranked fourth with an 187.7-second warm-up.
In spite of its relatively lengthy warm-up times, the SPs decimated the competition around the main track, finishing well ahead of both Continental and Dunlop (1.8 and 2.7 seconds, respectively). At the Streets, where speeds are significantly lower, the gap was reduced to just 0.8 second faster than the Q3 and 1.5 second in front of the Michelin.
We’re not going lie: it would be hard to pony up $677 for a pair of SPs. However, if money is no object, and your sole aim is to haul ass while experiencing the greatest handling experience from your ride, then this Italian tire is the answer, and our pick for best sport motorcycle tire.
If money is no object and your sole aim is to haul ass while experiencing the greatest handling experience from your ride, then this Italian tire is the answer.
This is the tire. The first thing I noticed is how tall the rear tire was. It really modifies the dynamic of the motorcycle. It puts more weight on the front and helps its steering response. What more can you ask for? Immediate warm-up time, incredible Velcro-like grip through all parts of the turn with loads of that precious feel that makes you want to push the bike harder. My favorite tire of the bunch and the one that I’d mount on my bike for performance riding.
The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP V2 is available at Motorcycle Superstore.
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