Best Tire for Racing – Pirelli Diablo Rosso III
The Pirelli Diablo Rosso III is intended for sportbikes that require Supersport-level grip performance while offering substantial tread life benefits. This new tire builds upon the success created by its predecessor (Diablo Rosso II) by utilizing advanced construction technologies aimed at maintaining precise control under extreme conditions.
While they may not be as sticky as some of the newer offerings from Dunlop and Michelin, these tires are great all-rounders allowing excellent feedback without sacrificing outright grip.
Design and Features
The Diablo Rosso III has a large number of ribs on the shoulders, which are needed for excellent grip under dry conditions but could compromise water dispersion. Pirelli developed rain-channeling elements between the main grooves that allow water to be pushed to the sides to overcome this problem. This reduces contact area with the ground and minimizes the risk of aquaplaning.
The Diablo Rosso III features a 'Flash' racing tread pattern on the shoulders, formed via computer-controlled machining of the casing plies. The goal was to achieve a highly precise racing tread that reduces running noise by 20% compared to its predecessor while providing up to 10% less weight.
Thanks to their optimized shape and position, the new tire features full-depth zigzag sipes that help improve braking performance by effectively evacuating water in wet weather conditions. The profiled inner contour is designed to maximize running smoothness while reducing squirming when leaned over fully during extreme acceleration or deceleration at high lean angles.
The Diablo Rosso III'S high-performance silica compound has also been engineered to reduce the temperature accumulation that causes overheating of the tire itself and of the motorcycle, which can compromise grip in extreme conditions.
Thanks to the new profiled tread elements, the Diablo Rosso III also offers a wide contact patch. This allows for excellent stability and precise steering control during extreme acceleration.
Pirelli claims that rolling resistance has been reduced by 10% compared to Diablo Rosso II. In addition, vibrations from tire deformation due to bumps in the road have been reduced through a new construction technique that uses different materials for the casing plies and sidewalls. Nylon double cap plies reduce heat build-up and improve long-term durability while reducing weight.
The rear tire features the same tread pattern as its predecessor, which was optimized to provide high levels of grip when accelerating or decelerating at high lean angles.
Finally, the new tire also features a thicker tread cap to improve impact resistance and durability. The wider openings between the ribs allow for increased air circulation inside the tire, reducing heat build-up and improving running smoothness.
Performance and Handling
When we first mounted the Diablo Rosso III, we quickly noted that the tire had a very stiff sidewall and a much harder compound than its predecessor but expected it to be grippier. The pattern is designed for the Supersport class, where racers constantly accelerate or decelerate from extremely high lean angles.
However, what is very noticeable is the amount of grip this tire has when leaned over. The new compound allows for higher levels of traction than the Diablo Rosso II on both dry and wet roads. A quick lap around our test track confirmed that the new version has improved levels of grip in all conditions and is especially effective in the wet.
We were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked our first experience using these. We feel Rosso III offers an excellent balance between high-performance and comfortable riding.
Since they are constructed using an identical tread pattern as the Diablo Rosso IIs, these tires will also offer outstanding performance in dry conditions. They can be safely used for most riding styles due to their improved resistance to punctures and superior handling under extreme conditions.
The Diablo Rosso III proved extremely stable when leaned over on bumpy or uneven roads. Yet, it remained supple enough to provide comfortable riding on the highway. We did not feel any noticeable vibrations while braking or cornering hard.
The profile of the tread pattern is definitely on the sporty side. Still, it proved very effective in the wet and offered excellent stability during extreme acceleration or deceleration, perhaps due to the wider contact patch. It features a completely new compound that offers excellent levels of grip, whether leaned over on bumpy roads or being pushed to its limits during braking or cornering.
The tread pattern was designed to ensure constant contact with the road when cornering at extremely high lean angles and works in conjunction with Pirelli's new 'Rim Protector' to resist impacts from both front and rear wheels in case of a crash.
In truth, these tires are a lot different from their predecessors but also offer improved performance in all conditions. We felt they provided great wet weather grip as well as outstanding stability during hard braking on dry roads.
Sidewall stiffness has been improved compared to previous versions. Riders can now expect enhanced stability under acceleration, braking, and cornering. The increase in stiffness doesn't compromise ride comfort either since it remains very supple during normal riding conditions. We have not tested this claim on the track, but we found it true during our extensive street testing.
The new Diablo Rosso III provides excellent grip in all conditions and can be safely used under all riding styles by performing riders who demand the highest levels of control during cornering maneuvers, even at very high lean angles. It is also perfect for novice riders who need extra stability while accelerating or braking at extreme lean angles.
While we do not expect them to wear as long as conventional street tires, they should be more than suitable for all types of users. We'd also like to emphasize that actual life expectancy depends on various factors such as the rider's riding style, weight, lean angles, and cornering speeds.
Price and Size Availability
The Diablo Rosso III is available in 120/70ZR17 (front), and 180/60ZR17 (rear) sizes and has a suggested retail price of $136 to $167 depending on the tire size.
As always, Pirelli's sport tire range offers excellent performance at very competitive prices, making them one of the most popular choices among riders who prefer to have their tires last longer but require top-notch handling and grip during both wet and dry conditions.
Customer Opinions and Reviews
The Diablo Rosso III has received high praises from riders of all kinds who have tried it in the past, despite some complaints regarding its aggressive tread pattern. This tire has a 5/5 start rating on Revzilla.com and has received similar ratings in customer reviews on other popular motorbike websites.
Ducati Panigale users seemed extremely excited about this new tire, and we've heard only positive feedback from them.
Riders who have experience with Pirelli Diablo Rosso II have also been pleased with the new incarnation of this sport tire and say that they can ride harder for longer without worrying about their tires wearing out too fast.
The new Diablo Rosso III certainly lives up to its enormous expectations and provides riders with the stability they need when tackling high-speed corners at extreme lean angles. We've tested it ourselves extensively on both streets and track and found it to perform extremely well under all riding conditions despite its eccentric tread pattern.
Ducati Panigale riders looking for a high-performance sport tire that is not only good at gripping the road but also keeps their wallet full should definitely take a closer look at Pirelli's Diablo Rosso III tires.
Order your set of Diablo Rosso III tires today on Revzilla.
- Superior handling and stability in all conditions
- Very good price/performance ratio
- Excellent wet and dry traction
- Ideal for track days
- Dual Compound technology provides even wear for a longer lifespan
- Aggressive tread pattern might be difficult to fit on some specialized rims
- Wears quickly
Best Tire for Streets – Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22
Bridgestone's first version of Battlax Hypersport 'S21' was very popular with Panigale riders because it provided excellent levels of grip thanks to Bridgestone's leading-edge technology, as well as being an all-around tire suitable both for street and track use.
The Battlax Hypersport S22, on the other hand, is even better equipped to handle high cornering speeds without losing grip or stability.
Design and Features
This tire features an asymmetric tread pattern that is quite different from the previous S21 model yet still offers great handling capabilities, just like before. It also features a newly developed compound that enhances wear resistance while improving traction.
The front tire is built using Bridgestone's special "3LC" dual-compound technology with soft compounds on both shoulders for optimal grip and durability, as well as a hard compound in the middle to improve wear rate. The new Battlax Hypersport S22 is developed for Supersport bikes from 600 to 1000cc displacement, so it's a perfect fit for Panigale.
In fact, Bridgestone specifically targeted this tire at Ducati and Superbike World Championship (WSBK) riders, as well as those who ride the V2 and V4 models on open roads.
The Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 rear tire features a completely new profile with five different rubber compounds. Three of them are used in the central zone of the contact patch and two inside lateral edges, and they work like spines that stiffen up the tread blocks. This construction gives outstanding heat dissipation and maintains stability when tires get hot under braking or during fast cornering on the track.
In the side walls inside the tread blocks, two different compounds are used that are soft on both sides, similar to the previous S21. This change enhances stability and reduces wear.
The Battlax S22 also features tubeless construction and new bead shape and casing construction.
Performance and Handling
The original Battlax S21 was already known for its stability during fast cornering, grip, and all-round characteristics, but the new version offers even more, when it comes to braking stability. On a racetrack or on open roads, you can brake later into corners without worrying about losing control of your bike - especially when using ABS-equipped models.
In fact, this tire inspires great confidence in riders because there's plenty of grip available almost everywhere on the track. Thanks to good heat dissipation combined with higher stiffness in sidewalls, Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 offers excellent performance when tires get hot under braking or while riding at high speed through a series of demanding turns
The new tire has excellent grip levels on all types of surfaces, be it wet or dry. The braking distance was significantly shorter than the last time I tested this model (Battlax S21), so it's safe to say that these tires are an improvement in that area as well.
With reduced weight on the front end made possible by the lighter construction, there is noticeably less effort required to change direction on curvy roads at high speeds, which adds safety benefits on top of comfort benefits coming from improved handling.
This tire offers good traction even when extremely hot during racing sessions with no risk of losing control. The key reason for that is stiffer construction which helps the tire maintain the same profile under high load.
The new Battlax Hypersport S22, just like its predecessor, offers very good wet weather performance with predictable behavior under hard braking or while accelerating out of corners. It's also quite easy to control these tires when leaned over in a corner, thanks to minimal squirming and no excessive wear on the sides of tread blocks.
The Japanese manufacturers are always emphasizing their products' rolling resistance in order to provide better fuel economy than their competitors. Although this might not be an issue for many riders, a good level of grip combined with low fuel consumption is an advantage, especially when riding longer distances.
Tests show that the new Battlax Hypersport S22 rolls on average 8% better than its predecessors and also cuts about 10% of fuel while doing so while maintaining the same level of grip and comfort.
When we compare it to other tires in its category, we can see a huge difference. For example, Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 consumed more than 20% more fuel than this tire while providing similar performance in brake tests.
Although this is an excellent all-round sport touring tire with plenty of grip available, it's not as good at providing traction during acceleration on slippery surfaces as dedicated track day tires.
Price and Size Availability
Rear tires are available in most common sizes, while the front version is still a bit scarce with only 120/70ZR17 version available, which is a bit of a shame.
The new Battlax Hypersport S22 is a bit on the expensive side. Popular Ducati Panigale sizes start at $152 for the 120/70ZR17 front tire and $183 for the 180/60ZR17 rear tire.
Customer Opinions and Reviews
The Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 has a 4.5/5-star rating on Revzilla.com, where over 20 customer reviews are at the time of writing this article.
The tire is praised for its performance, comfort and stability while braking or accelerating. The only downside reported by 10% of customers was the high price.
One reviewer claims that these are some of the best motorcycle tires but are not good enough for track day use because of excessive wear after a few miles.
However, most of the customers were very happy with these tires and claimed that they were easily worth their price.
Battlax Hypersport S22 is another great sport tire made by Bridgestone that will work just fine for street use and most track days. The price tag may seem hefty, but it's still not as expensive as most premium sport tires.
When you ride this tire, you feel that Bridgestone engineers have managed to improve almost everything compared to the previous model, even if just marginal improvements. This shows how demanding they are when developing new products for their customers.
If you are a proud owner of Ducati Panigale, your bike deserves the best possible tire. Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 is an excellent choice, especially for street use.
Order your set of Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tires today on Revzilla.
- Outstanding level of grip
- Improved braking stability compared to the previous model
- Good fuel consumption
- Excellent handling during high-speed cornering
- Ideal for street use.
- Few front sizes available
- A tad expensive
- Not the best for track days.
Best Tire for Touring – Michelin Road 5
The Michelin Road 5 is arguably one of the best sport-touring tires available on the market today. Our testers were impressed with the grip, comfort levels, and minimal wear on the sidewalls.
The main reason why this tire is so popular among sport touring enthusiasts is its phenomenal wet weather performance. It has outstanding cornering stability, allowing you to go around corners at speeds most people would never associate with riding in the rain.
Design and Features
The Michelin Pilot Road 5 is a tire made for touring, so finding the traditional Michelin radial carcass is no surprise. The dual contact shape and the directional tread grooves of the Michelin Road 5 allow for excellent grip even in wet conditions.
The front tire features the 2CT dual-compound technology, which is also used on the Pilot Power 2CT. These tires feature a medium compound at the center of the tread for mileage and a softer rubber at each shoulder to improve handling.
The rear tire uses a 2CT+ technology with a harder main compound in the middle for mileage. Dual compound areas flank this to improve lean angle grip as well as wet/dry traction.
The Road 5 features an asymmetric tread pattern due to its sporty nature. It also has raised arrow-shaped blocks, and sipes cut into some of those blocks to help evacuate water quickly.
To reduce the amount of heat build-up during heavy braking, the sidewalls are made from nylon which is much more heat resistant than Kevlar used in most sport tires. This makes it possible for the sidewall to better protect the carcass against excessive heat build-up when you downshift at high speed while braking hard.
Michelin implemented its patented XST Evo siping design, used in almost all of their sportier tires. Basically,this ensures that the tire tread stays put even when spinning over bumps at high speeds, thus avoiding any unnecessary loss of traction. This also has the side-effect of eliminating any tire squirm during hard braking, giving you great feel and control over the front end of your bike.
Furthermore, the sipings also allow for excellent wet weather performance. This is especially noticeable when you are riding in heavy rain at high speed. When cornering in the wet, the slide resistance is very good for a sport-touring tire.
The sidewalls are pretty thick (thicker than Pilot Road 4), making them extremely resistant to penetration by road debris like nails, etc. But don't think they will be too stiff for cornering because Michelin uses its ACT+ Casing technology, which helps increase rigidity without sacrificing flexibility.
Concluding the list of features on this tire, we find a wide contact patch to give you a greater contact area with the asphalt. This has the added benefit of making the tire feel more stable at higher speeds without compromising handling.
All of our testers agreed that the Michelin Pilot Road 5 did not disappoint when it came to dry weather performance. The grip was excellent even in long sweeping turns, and this tire did a great job at shedding water from its tread surface.
Even though the sidewalls are made from nylon, they have no negative impact on handling, which is especially important if you spend hours riding at near maximum speeds.
The tire lasts about as long as the Pilot Road 4, which means you can expect around 8,000 miles before it will need to be replaced. Considering the heavy usage we put this tire through, the wear rate is pretty good.
On our test bike, we used it mainly for commuting; we also did some weekend sport riding with occasional track days during the course of one year. So far, there are no signs of any sidewall damage or excessive tread wear to report.
At the end of this test period, the overall grip in wet conditions proved to be outstanding. Even when riding very hard with extremely reduced tread depth, the tire kept providing great feedback and enough control over our bike.
Although traction in wet conditions was great overall, there were times when our testers would have liked an even better grip from those arrow-shaped tread blocks. However, this is just a minor flaw, and the tire still offers more than enough wet weather traction for most riders.
Turning and handling were very good in the dry, with plenty of feedback from the front end at all times. The front felt really well connected to whatever we were throwing it into, and there was never any reason to be concerned about overshooting corners at high speeds.
In fact, if you are looking for a sporty tire that offers excellent corner grip without sacrificing much in terms of stability, this might very well be your best choice.
We also found that this tire works great even in cold conditions, unlike most other summer tires out there, which don't work well once the mercury drops below 60 F. So if you live in an area where winters are harsh and nasty, take note of these findings.
The one downside we found was increased wear on the shoulders due to heavy lean angle use during aggressive cornering. This resulted in more than usual cupping at the carcass edges. But you can expect this kind of wear from any tire not specifically designed for cornering at extreme lean angles.
Price and Size Availability
This tire fits well on sport-touring bikes designed for wider tires. Sports bikes such as the Ducato Panigale V2 and V4 should fit this tire without any modification.
However, riders may want to opt for a slightly narrower size. This ensures a better contact area with the asphalt during heavy lean angle use, and it reduces sidewall wear by reducing centrifugal force on the tire's shoulders.
The Michelin Road 5 is available in many different sizes, making it easy for most riders to find the best fitment. Popular Panigale sizes such as 120/70ZR17 and 180/55ZR17 retail for $190 and $238, respectively.
The Michelin Road 5 is pretty pricey, but considering its excellent top performance, you will appreciate the value it offers.
If you are looking for the best sport-touring tire money can buy, this might be your very best choice.
Customer Opinions and Reviews
The Michelin Road 5 is one of the top-rated tires on Revzilla, with a customer satisfaction rating of 4.6/5-stars.
Most customers say they love the grip and handling offered by this tire. A few complaints about road noise were recorded, but these remarks were very rare compared to all online reviews.
One thing worth noting is that only a handful of former customers say this tire didn't last long on their bikes. We think it's safe to assume this was due to riders not maintaining proper air pressure in their tires, which is especially important for sport-touring tires like the Road 5.
The Michelin Road 5 is simply the most complete sport-touring tire money can buy with outstanding dry grip and very good wet weather traction. It's not cheap, but it will reward you with excellent performance on long rides as well as track days.
Riders looking to use their Panigale for heavier touring purposes could also benefit from the Road 5 due to its comfort and high mileage resistance.
So, if you are looking to use your Panigale as a sport-touring machine or want one of the best dry grip sports tires money can buy, then give the Michelin Road 5 a try.
Order your set of Michelin Road 5 tires today on Revzilla.
- Excellent performance both in dry and wet conditions
- Very good handling at high speeds
- Durable construction
- High mileage
- Plush ride quality
- Ideal for touring and street use
- A tad expensive
- Not designed for extremely aggressive cornering
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley