Pirelli's Diablo Rosso IIIs promise even better performance over the IIs, particularly in the wet, here's first impressions on a MV Agusta Brutale 910R. Review: David Hodgson

After running two sets Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIs and then a set of CORSAs, I thought it would be good to return to the Rosso III tyres as my riding did not warrant the CORSAs, with the Rosso IIIs promising stronger performance in the wet. 

Most of my riding is done on day trips out from Sydney into the country side, with an occasional weekend away thrown in, or longer single day trips out onto the western side of the Great Divide. With the CORSAs, the rear tyre shape did not suit either the MV Agusta 910R Brutale or my riding style, and the front tyre took a long time to come to operating temperature in low temperatures in winter.

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test - MV Agusta Brutale 910R

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test – MV Agusta Brutale 910R

The Rosso III front tyre looks identical to the CORSA’s with regard to shape and tread pattern, while the rear tyre is a much rounder profile, without the pronounced ‘bell’ shape of the Rosso II CORSA’s. The rear tyre features a harder compound in the centre for longevity, with a softer compound on the sides for cornering grip. The technical minutiae I’ll leave to you to check out, because as far as I’m concerned the proof is in the on-road performance. You can find technical details here.

By performance, I don’t mean anything other than their feedback to the rider and what I describe as ‘feel’.  Once carefully scrubbed in it was obvious that the 910R was really suited to the Rosso III’s.

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test

The front tyre seems to warm up to operating temperature much quicker, meaning a bend 3kms from home can be approached normally, without worrying if the tyre was cold, and prone to slipping – and we are talking speeds as low as 60km/h here in a residential area.

With the same shape as the CORSA, there didn’t seem any other difference at the front end.  However the rear end was a different matter. The new shape provides (for me) a much more progressive transition onto the tyres shoulder which suits both the bike and me and feels good!

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test - MV Agusta Brutale 910R

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test – MV Agusta Brutale 910R

With 1300km on the tyres out on the highways and back roads, and a total of 1600kms all up, I am more than happy with the change back to a ‘lower’ specification set of tyres. The bikes steers nicely just as before, but it is in cornering that the new rear shape comes into play, providing a really smooth transition onto the side of the tyre across the compound change from the tyre’s crown to the side and then back up again.

This is more pronounced on higher speed arcing bends such as are found on the Bells Line of Road or the lower sections of the Oxley, where the new shape really provides me with more confidence as the bike makes the transition onto the side of the tyre. When over on the side of the tyre, the III’s are close to identical to the CORSAs in ‘feel’, providing good feedback, and allowing fine adjustments to be made. They also brake rather well when banked over as I found when confronted with a rider on the wrong side of the road coming into a hairpin.

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test - MV Agusta Brutale 910R

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test – MV Agusta Brutale 910R

I have not really found any difference in grip offered by the III’s as against the CORSAs over the same roads at the same speeds.  Both front and rear tyres show identical chicken strips as the CORSAs, so there is no difference in the lean angle of the bike, just a much nicer ‘feel’ during transition. Performance under braking is as good as the previous tyres, with no noticeable differences. There is no front tyre squirm under hard braking.

What I do notice is that the III’s do not show anywhere near as much surface abrasion and wear as the CORSAs, so they are obviously a harder compound. However, with the same excellent grip, hopefully offering a longer life on the bike before needing replacement.

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test - MV Agusta Brutale 910R

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test – MV Agusta Brutale 910R

In short, I find the Rosso IIIs to offer very good performance with a nice, constant ‘feel’ to them. A weekend away with the club should put another 1000 plus km on the set and provide further feedback on their performance.

Availability and sizes of Pirelli Diablo Rosso III

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III is available accross the international sales network in the following sizes:

Front:
110/70 ZR 17 M/C 54W TL
120/60 ZR 17 M/C 55W TL
120/70 ZR 17 M/C 58W TL

Rear:
150/60 ZR 17 M/C 66W TL
160/60 ZR 17 M/C 69W TL
180/55 ZR 17 M/C 73W TL
180/60 ZR 17 M/C 75W TL
190/50 ZR 17 M/C 73W TL
190/55 ZR 17 M/C 75W TL
200/55 ZR 17 M/C 78W TL

Link International is the exclusive Australian importer and distributor of Pirelli tyres. Check with your local Pirelli stockist for pricing information.

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test

Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tyre test

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