PIRELLI DIABLO SUPERCORSA TIRES
In order to accurately compare our testbikes' handling and performance, it was imperative that they all be on the same tires. For that we turned to Pirelli and its Diablo Rosso Supercorsa SC V2s (Special Compound Version 2) DOT-approved race rubber—the same buns that are winning championships all over the globe.
All four of our testbikes came from their respective factories shod with the Italian firm's goods and took to the race rubber amicably, displaying quicker turn-in and improved feel and stability at full lean. Pirelli is constantly refining its products and made some major changes last year, including an updated carcass, new tread compounds, and a new, repositioned "single element" tread design that increases the slick area on the shoulder (by 24 percent, says Pirelli) for better traction at appendage-dragging lean angles.
Of the many sizes and compounds available, we went with a standard 120/70 soft-compound front and medium versions of the latest 180/60ZR-17 rears on all but the RSV4, which took a medium-compound, 200mm-wide tire. CT Racing's Chris McGuire was on hand to bust beads and monitor tire pressures, ensuring we got the best performance from the tires. Indeed, the tires offered all the grip we could use and lasted all day, even on the 163-hp Aprilia.
Supercorsa race tires are only available through race distributors for $175–$188 for fronts, $186–$256 for rears. The Western US is supported by CT Racing (ctracetires.com), while the eastern states and Canada are supplied by Orion Motorsports (orionmotorsports.ca). —Ari Henning