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Pirelli Diablo Corsa III Review

Friday, April 13, 2007
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.
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.
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.

The Pirelli Diablo Corsa III is available at Motorcycle Superstore
Front MSRP: $161.95 
Rear MSRP:$207.95-$256.95 
Check out more Pirelli Tires and Motorcycle Tires at the Motorcycle Superstore.

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m.j.wall -bike restoration  November 8, 2010 12:38 PM
I just got an '03 GSX R600 with wore out Dunlops. I have a nice used Pirelli Diablo Corsa III 190 55 17 I'd like to use on the back...Question is, Can I use a Pirelli on the ft. like Supercorsa PRO SC2, or Dragon, or Supercorsa. or should the ft. be matched with a Corsa 3 too? thanks
Armo --Only 1 track day out of a rear tyre  May 24, 2010 12:33 AM
Throw them out after 1 track day or ride like a nanna because you WILL lose edge grip after 1 day on the track.
Ben -pretty impressed  February 9, 2010 09:57 PM
I'm very impressed at the levels of grip from this tyre. Ive only had the rear slide around twice. Once in heavy downpour with too much throttle and once gassing too hard out of the corner when they were cold. the grip is fantastic and the wear is pretty good considering. 146hp vtwin with lots of scratching and wheelies, some 2 up scratching and plenty of stop start commuting. at the moment they are 5554kms old and looks like they will maybe last another 1000kms max. 6.5k out of sticky tyres giving it allot isnt too bad. the weather has been real hot too btw
Hussain Qaedi -i need tow tier  October 23, 2009 02:07 PM
Dan in Milwaukee -Corsa III's  May 19, 2009 03:03 PM
I street ride my ducati on these through downtown and they are fantastic. Ive used in the past dunlops,Continentals and the pirelli's are a big differance specially in the rain.
Daniel -Corsa 3  May 15, 2009 09:51 AM
I am not happy with the performance of this tire.. sure the tire warms up nice.. but i got way less than 3k on the tire, and chords are showing in the middle.. big time.. and i do some aggressive riding.. but just mainly highway.. no wheelies.. still learning.. but when i would try, the rear would spin.. got a dunlop qualifier on now.. and after about 100 miles.. i allready feel a difference in grip, when trying wheelies.. the bike comes up alot easier now.. actually feel more comfortable..
Evan Roberson -great tire  March 23, 2009 05:20 AM
This tire is a very great tire easy in the turns where you want the grip