The four different types of motorcycle tire styles perform differently on different surfaces. The best style depends on your riding style and the bike. Cruiser or touring wheels have a high mileage, which is why they’re made from hard rubber compounds. They’re not the best for high speeds, however, and are rather poor when riding on a road or path with numerous corners.
The tire is referred to as a 100% silica compound with varying levels of grip featured throughout the profile of the tire. The point here is that the corners or edges of the tire are much softer and grippier than the middle which is exactly what you want. When you’re knee down in those twisties and country roads, these tires are going to come through for you.
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Of course, it doesn’t take a hundred-fifty horses to get into trouble. A well setup 70 hp bike like an SV650 can corner just as fast as a literbike, but the nature of the Gixxer liter bike often begs riders to unleash all the available horses. However, if what you have is a liter bike, don’t shy away from a track day. Just be extra aware of the temptation you can feel when piloting a hyper-superbike and keep the throttle in check.
Consider yourselves informed! Tires are updated every three years or so but the tires reviewed here currently represent the pinnacle of motoring. If you can’t afford the more expensive tires on test, go for one of the budget options. Whatever you do, stay away from lesser known manufacturers who really don’t have anything to offer. Continental, Michelin, Metzeler, Dunlop and even Yokohama should be at the top of your list.
The new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires, which are manufactured in Germany, will have a “TD” tire sticker on the sideway to differentiate itself from other tires—presumably, TD stands for Track Day. So far, Pirelli is tight-lipped about what is new about the TD compound and what specific advantages is will offer. However, former AMA Superbike and AMA Formula Xtreme racer Jake Zemke has been working on the Supercorsa TD.
The Roadtec 01 is what Metzeler describe as their Sports Touring Tyre and we wouldn’t disagree. The name of the game here is fast and dependable performance. A Ducati Multistrada 1200 has 160 bhp on tap and we know how they’re ridden – their owners want a tire that can keep up when the throttle is pulled back and maximum power is applied as well as when the rain comes. This tyre excels at both.
Some people think that they need a dedicated track bike to do a track day. But, this simply isn’t true as long as you have a motorcycle that has a reasonable amount of cornering clearance. This includes most standard, sport, sport touring, adventure, and even touring machines. Cruiser motorcycles are probably the only machines that are not really appropriate for fast cornering and spirited riding.
“I’m so excited for the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa compound for track days,” Zemke said. “I started on this project with Pirelli last year to help bring a further DOT tire to the market that is stable, safe and with extremely high grip levels for the track. It offers amazing grip and stability in a DOT-legal package.” Pirelli isn’t shy about the street legality of the Supercorsa TD and fully expects riders to put the tire on public roads, as well as racetracks. “We’re proud to offer this Diablo Supercorsa special compound for track day use,” Pirelli Tire North America Moto Road Race Manager Oscar Solis tells us, “as it’s designed to keep up with the performance and technology of today’s sport bikes. The solution is incredibly versatile, giving riders the ability to cover both street and racetrack in a DOT-legal package. It provides riders the opportunity to competitively log laps at their local track day and hop on the street to ride a scenic canyon route back home.”
Those of us who ride big touring bikes such as the Ducati Multistrada and the BMW R1200GS are usually only interested in two things; comfort and performance. You see, big bikes like these are designed to munch mile after mile comfortably and quickly. They are styled as adventure bikes but most of us will never take them onto any surfaces more challenging than a patch of wet grass or gravel – it is for this reason that you’ll see most fitted with a road biased touring tire.