Long term Road Test - Diablo Rosso III - Yamaha MT07 - by Australian Motorcyclist Magazine
1064 views • 22/09/2016
Testing tyres is all fine and dandy on a racetrack, but the majority of riders will never get out there to push their pride and joy to the limit. It's out in the real world where the performance of a specific type of tyre will decide whether someone will want to fit them to their wheels.
That's why I asked the distributor, Link International, for a set after the Asia-Pacific launch of the new Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre, so I could ride on them in day-to-day life and really work out what they're like. We used our testbed bike, Yamaha's MT-07. I've become very familiar with it, having lived with it for the past eighteen months or so. It takes a 120/70/ZR17 front and 180/55/ZR17 rear.
Running in the Diablo Rosso Ills took about 10km, or maybe less. The first thing I noticed was how much better the front felt. There was no vagueness or uncertainty about what the tyre was doing. An additional bonus was that the Diablo Rosso Ill’s made the softly sprung MT-07 feel as if the suspension has been beefed up a bit. This no doubt is to do with the carcass construction being firm for greater feedback and allowing the tyre to have a larger contact patch on the bitumen.
Turn was already quick thanks to a short wheelbase, but the Diablo Rosso Ills have made it slightly faster, yet very predictable - perfect, and then there is the amount of grip. Basically you can push the Diablo Rosso III much faster from cold than you could many other tyres. And then there is the lean angle: wow is all I can say. The profile of the Diablo Rosso Ills allows the MT-07 to lean much further than any previous tyre we’ve fitted to it. I removed the ‘hero pegs’ many moons ago, now I need to somehow move the pegs up, because it is easy to scrap them now, too!
One area I was keen to explore was wet weather performance and luckily (I guess) Sydney had some crappy rainy days, which was perfect for testing out the Diablo Rosso Ills in adverse conditions. The amount of rain also meant that a number of the roads to and from the AMM office were chopped up with loose gravel and potholes. Grip was the main bonus I felt riding on the Diablo Rosso III. It never felt as if the front or rear would slide away from me through turns, or spin up the rear wheel in deeper water. When it came time to ride through the loose gravel and chopped up bits of road, the front continued to grip and give me plenty of feedback so I knew what was going on. Again, this is no doubt due to the wide contact patch the tyres give you.
Now it came time to have some fun on a sunny day along a familiar road which has plenty of fun turns. This particular road has quite a few smooth 55km/h corners, but also some 35 and 45km/h corners that have been chopped up by trucks. Where I previously would be backing off trying to glide the MT-07 over the rough pieces of bitumen, the Diablo Rosso Ills allowed me to get some lean angle going and hold a constant throttle - amazing! I was a little shocked to be quite honest. I nearly had to turn around to see if it was a fluke or not, but the Diablo Rosso Ills continued to be stable through other chopped corners so I started to believe! I s aw the ‘Pirelli light’!
The Diablo Rosso III, despite being a sports tyre, also seems to be wearing quite well. I’ve now done just under 2000km and they look brand new, so I’m guessing upwards of 10,000km from the set, but bear in mind the MT-07 is a fairly lightweight bike. On a heavier machine and depending on the rider, I’d say 7-10,000km would be about the mark - pretty good for a sports tyre!
If you like grip and love cornering, grab a set of the new Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyres and make the sides of your mouth sore from the size of the smile you’ll have on your dial. Talk to your local Pirelli tyre dealer, or see Link International - www.linkint.com.au
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