Pirelli Diablo Rosso III – FIRST IMPRESSIONS Latest sport-touring tire promises high grip and good mileage.
The sport-touring tire has perhaps one of the most difficult jobs in motorcycling. Just think about the implied meanings of those two contrasting words: sport, in tire talk, means grippy, soft and, gooey, while touring promises high mileage. While testing MV Agusta’s latest Brutale 800, I had the opportunity to sample Pirelli’s brand-new Diablo Rosso III, which is the first production model to be equipped with this tire.
Riding the Brutale at the Pirelli Tires Test Track proved to be very informative. Conditions may have looked quite unfavorable for serious riding, but proved meaningful as it represented real-world conditions. With rain falling for two days prior to my test, the sun finally poked through, while a light breeze partially dried the track, but temperatures remained chilly in the high 40s.
The Rosso III was conceived as a touring tire capable of returning decent mileage, while offering good grip in a wide variety of conditions. In order to exceed the previous Diablo Rosso II’s capabilities, Pirelli R&D started from scratch. It developed a new compound, mixing the latest generation of elastomers and charging them with silica, which is an additive that enhances grip on wet, cold surfaces.
The use of silica is not a novelty, the trick is in the new process Pirelli developed to more precisely disperse it in the rubber, in an effort to obtain a more uniform compound. To get the best from the new compound, and related tread, new carcass and belt structures were developed by analyzing computerized finite element data with the goal of improving tire performance in every area: sharpness of feedback and steering response, agility, stability, grip, and mileage.
Pirelli strongly underlines that its latest touring tire would excel in cold and wet conditions. This proved accurate while testing the Brutale 800. The combination of a competent chassis and the Rosso III’s grip provided a lot of confidence on a track with far from optimal conditions. Throughout the day, I was able to progressively probe more serious lean angles.
My first impressions were very positive, as I was able to approach the bike’s limits of lean angle, with solid grip, good steering accuracy, and the Rosso III showed me characteristics that a dry and warm track never could have revealed.
Look for a more complete review in the coming months, when we get a chance to sample the tire at Motorland Aragon in Spain.