Burning Rubber: Best Sportbike Tires

The job of a sportbike tire is a tough one. Considering the performance – and variety – of today’s modern sporting machines, an ideal tire needs to be able to warm up quickly, offer good grip in both wet and dry conditions, transfer feedback to the rider, and provide good handling capabilities. Thankfully, all the major tire companies work tirelessly to improve their tires to meet these demands. Of course, longevity is a concern as well, but compared to a sport-touring tire a sportbike tire won’t quite measure up with all the other duties it has to perform.

Here, we’ve gathered seven different tires that are great at handling it all. We’ve focused on street-based tires, since that’s where the majority of sportbike riders spend their time, although all of the tires here are more than capable of handling the occasional trackday or two. If you’re the serious trackday/racing type, we’ll have a separate guide for you coming soon.

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The Pirelli Diablo Shows How Racing Improves The Breed

Pirelli recently introduced the Diablo Rosso IV, the fourth generation of the popular tire intended for spirited road riders who also may find themselves attending the odd trackday here or there. By now, sport riders all over the world are likely familiar with the name Diablo – and they are certainly familiar with the name Pirelli – but that all had to start somewhere.

The genesis of the Diablo family dates back to 2002 when Pirelli introduced the first Diablo. Since the beginning, the Diablo’s purpose has always been to provide maximum performance for sport riders on the road while being strong enough to handle the racetrack. The original Diablo succeeded in this mission, but it also produced an unintentional byproduct: fans fell in love with the aggressive tread pattern and how it enhanced the appearance of their motorcycle. The following year, in 2003, the Diablo Corsa was born with dual-compound technology to cater to sport riders who wanted something just a little more track-focused while still giving great grip on the roads.

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Pirelli Motorcycle Tires: Everything You Need To Know

Founded in 1872 by Giovanni Battista Pirelli, the company we now know for its expansive range of tires got its humble beginnings in a different industry: telecomms. Back then several new technologies and industries were emerging, including energy and telecommunications. Throughout Europe, kilometers upon kilometers of power cables and phone lines were being put into the ground and into the ocean. All of them needed protection. Enter Pirelli and his expertise in another emerging field: rubber. Pirelli founded a limited partnership, “G.B. Pirelli & C.”, in Milan to produce elastic rubber items – primarily sheathing to protect all these wires buried in the ground. According to Pirelli’s corporate history website, by 1873, only a year after its foundation, Pirelli already had a plant in Milan. Production of carriage bands (they weren’t exactly tires) started in 1885, and by 1894 the first velocipede tire was born.

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MO Tested: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II Tire Review

It was rough duty but somebody had to do it: Hang out at Laguna Seca’s World Superbike/MotoAmerica race all weekend so as to be there early Monday to ride around on Pirelli’s new supersporty street tire, the Diablo Rosso Corsa II. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this, since Pirelli has been the official tire of the WSBK since 2004 and will continue to be through at least 2020.


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