Pirelli's Angel GT tyres offer class leading mileage but how does it compare in other regards? Here's our review. Test: Kris Hodgson
As an everyday rider who does not own a car I’ll never settle for tyres that are just good in the dry. When you ride rain, hail or shine it’s the really poor conditions that determine your tyre preferences and I’ve been lucky enough to test some exceptional sports touring tyres recently. The latest test tyres to join that line up are the Pirelli Angel GTs.
The Pirelli Angel GTs are boasted as the ideal long distance, all weather performer, and this was a tyre I had looked forward to testing for quite a while, ever since I first heard about them back in 2013, with plenty of good feedback doing the rounds.
To be honest I normally seem to be relatively light on my tyres from loss of tread perspective, the most common reason for needing new tyres being punctures or cornering wear.
With the Angel GTs you’re looking at a set of long wearing dual-blend compound tyres designed for two-up and touring capabilities, especially in the wet. Now despite riding a Daytona 675R, it’s fairly frequent I’ll have a pillion on the bike (see no car above), with the long wear hinting at a harder compound.
Pirelli are claiming 30 per cent better wear than the ST, with a larger contact patch thanks to a new Rayon carcass. This is all old news by now as the GT was launched back in 2013, but the rear tyre uses a dual blend compound with Cap&Base technology for grip in the upper layer and stability in the lower. The front uses a single blend using a 100 per cent silica formula for wet grip.
Commuting up to 400km a week with sections of freeway and twisties gives a bit of variety, plus personal use runs from crawling through suburban traffic to weekend twisties, again in pretty much any weather.
Once scrubbed in it was time for some fun. Initial impressions are that the Angel GTs are a very round profile, which offers a more linear feeling as the bike falls onto its side into a corner or turn. It’s ideal for a sports touring or touring option as predictability is key, especially for all weather riding, or with a pillion on board.
In the dry the Angel GTs are exceptional, the level of grip is intense and the bike hooks in like nothing else, especially through the twisties. It’s a lot less aggressive handling with that round profile, but the grip and profile combine to offer a real feeling of confidence, and changing lines mid-corner is as easy as thinking as a result.
Two up the GTs maintain that composure in the dry, offering great grip and confidence. Running the same pressures (as recommended by Triumph) as my last tyres the ride feels a little rougher, although there’s not much in it.
In the wet there’s good solid grip without quite the same level of intimacy as some of the sportier tyres I’ve tested recently, with some road snakes providing quite an uncomfortable experience. I put it down to the harder compound used to help mileage, and it’s not the ‘Oh shit’ feeling I’ve experienced with some tyres, but it’s disconcerting nonetheless, especially when you’ve got a pillion on the back who feels it and reacts.
It’s a bit unusual as some road snakes the Angel GTs handle with ease, while others have this uncomfortable feeling.
The tyres do warm up quickly however, with performance on offer quickly and easily, ensuring you’re not tip-toeing around in the cold or the wet.
Wear-wise after 3000km it’s honestly hard to see any wear at all, with the Angel GTs looking promising for plenty of future trips. With some longer trips on the books in the future I’ll see how they handle some proper sports touring situations, with extended distances in a single day.
Overall the Angel GTs so far are a great all rounder. Dry performance is unquestionable, with amazing grip and feedback. The profile are ideal in the wet and dry, offering predictable and controllable handling. Wet weather grip is definitely strong, but seems to be balanced against a greater focus on wear properties.
This isn’t a bad thing either, as you’re always trading off wear for grip to an extent and if you can’t afford to be forking out in the region of $500 every few months, the Angel GTs become an exceptional option, even among the sports touring tyre options.
These images are from straight after fitment (hence those big chicken strips), and we’ll be doing a long distance update in the following months as more mileage is done.
Link International is the exclusive importer and distributor of Pirelli tyres in Australia, with the Pirelli Angel GT’s available in the following sizes. Check with your local stockist for individual pricing.
Pirelli Angel GT Sizes
- 120/60 ZR 17 M/C (55W) TL
- 120/70 ZR 17 M/C (58W) TL
- 110/80 ZR 18 M/C (58W) TL
- 120/70 ZR 18 M/C (59W) TL
- 150/70 ZR 17 M/C (69W) TL
- 160/60 ZR 17 M/C (69W) TL
- 170/60 ZR 17 M/C (72W) TL
- 180/55 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL
- 180/55 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL (A)
- 190/50 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL
- 190/50 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL (A)
- 190/55 ZR 17 M/C (75W) TL
- 190/55 ZR 17 M/C (75W) TL (A)
- 190/55 ZR 17 M/C (75W) TL (D)
- 160/60 ZR 18 M/C (70W) TL