Pirelli Corsa III's: Road Test on the Dragon - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 2006, 6:47 pm Thread Starter
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Pirelli Corsa III's: Road Test on the Dragon

This is kinda long but I though Iíd share with my buddies here..... Most of it will be in an upcoming newsletter.. Hopefully edited down a bit..

I consider myself a competent rider..not an expert (contrary to what the monsters from the Id tell me in my dreams), but competent. Perhaps a 7 or 7.5 on a 1-10 scale. I like to go fast and I don't care how many miles I get out of a tire as long as it sticks to the pavement at any lean angle. I feel fortunate if I get 2500 miles out of a street tire.

My K1200S came with Michelin Pilot Powers and while the Pilots are very predictable, warm up quick enough, and track well over most surfaces.. they simply don't have enough "stick" for the curvaceous roads around here. I was sliding the front and/or rear on almost every "decent" curve even when riding like an old codger... and when riding HARD.. Geezz.. I had ZERO confidence in them. With the Powers I couldn't ride more than 7/10th's of the mighty K1200Sís potential without feeling like I'd soon end up low-siding into a ditch.

I managed 4300 miles out of the front before I removed both front and rear with at least 2K left on the rear.. As I've been a big fan of the Pirelli Corsa series over the last few years and even used their Corsa Pro series tires at the track with "ass-kicking" success, it was the perfect opportunity to try the all new Pirelli Diablo Corsa III's. These tires are produced with two or three different rubber compounds. Soft on the sides where you need grip, transitioning to a little harder rubber, and then an even harder compound for straight up riding and decent milage, I think. In theory.. the best of both worlds.

Pirelli advertises the Corsa III as a "hypersport" street tire capable of track day extremes and my own testing seems to back that assertion up. On November 24th I installed the Corsa III's on my K1200S and although overcast with a 30% chance of rain, I headed to Deals Gap for some serious corner carving on the Tail of the Dragon. For my Dragon testing, I settled on 40psi up front and 35 in the rear and ran the 311 curves in 1st and 2nd gear..

This would be the maiden voyage of my new "S" on the Dragon and honestly, I was not too optimistic as to how it would fare on the tight curves especially against lighter bikes with shorter wheelbases. I remember all to well how my old K1200RS would absorb all my energy in a single pass leaving me nauseous and ready to sell Buicks.... and the RS has a SHORTER wheelbase.

However.. the K1200S was a pleasant surprise. Due to the 100lb lighter weight, godlike low-end power, quick turn-in afforded by the Hossack steering, and yes.. the tires, I was able to keep up with every sport bike which wondered into my cross-hairs. Most I could pass.. a few I couldn't due to the S's Peterbuilt wheelbase and slow flick-ability, but no matter what I threw at them, the Pirelliís stuck like glue. They never once broke loose even at extreme lean angles. The tires are completely neutral at all times and instill confidence even when ridden to the outer edge of the tire surface. I felt like I could have easily put a knee down if I had wanted. After my runs, the rubber on the tires hadn't balled up like it would have on a "dedicated" race tire which would lead me to believe that they might actually last a pretty good while. Icing on the proverbial cake.

Bottom line.. The Corsa III's are possibly the best street tires I've ever tried and I wouldn't for a second hesitate putting them on a track bike for a weekend thrashing. They are THAT good. If I can manage 2500 miles out of them.. I'll be stickin' (no pun intended) with them...

I should add.. I was completely surprised at how well the ďSĒ did on the demanding Dragon. This bike truly is amazing...

Photos courtesy of www.Killboy.com







Jerry D. Finley ("Danger" is my middle name)
"I speed, therefore I am. "

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 6th, 2006, 10:48 pm
 
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Great report. A friend of mine and myself, him on a S and me on my R, hit the dragon with some friends on liter bikes and they were surprised when we kept up with them. They were even more suprised when we past them. :p
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 2:18 am
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Congrats on your report. Not that I had doubts before, since I've always been a huge Pirelli fan, but it's nice to know that when the Bridgestones will be exhausted I'll have made the right decision putting on Corsas.

Only one question: does your bike have ESA? Rear tire photo suggests a *minimal* lack of compression damping. If you have aftermarket shocks, it may be worth trying closing up a click or two. Yes, I AM anal about suspensions...

CYA, Ed

Edoardo Licciardello

To drive is human
to ride divine
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 7:49 am
 
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Hey Pirate, I am wondering when you are going to man-up and start leaning that bike over? Those are some awfully big chicken strips...

Brian
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 10:57 am Thread Starter
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Ed.. Yes.. I have the ESA and hate it... I didn't have a choice when I got the bike other than waiting 6 MONTHS for a non-ESA bike.. The system is too generic for my tastes..

They come from the factory set up for the typical American... (read: over 180lbs) and I'm waaay under that so the Sport setting is brutally harsh at anything except 10/10ths and I don't ride that hard (these days) unless I'm on the track...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FastEddie
Congrats on your report. Not that I had doubts before, since I've always been a huge Pirelli fan, but it's nice to know that when the Bridgestones will be exhausted I'll have made the right decision putting on Corsas.

Only one question: does your bike have ESA? Rear tire photo suggests a *minimal* lack of compression damping. If you have aftermarket shocks, it may be worth trying closing up a click or two. Yes, I AM anal about suspensions...

CYA, Ed

Jerry D. Finley ("Danger" is my middle name)
"I speed, therefore I am. "

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 7:12 pm
 
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Pirate,

What type of bag set up do you have on your bike?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 8:01 pm Thread Starter
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It's a new bag by GIVI.. I was testing them as well as the Pirelli's.. Have a full review of them in my current newsletter at http://piratesk12site.net/newsletter.htm

I LOVE these bags...!

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Originally Posted by 143LRSD
Pirate,

What type of bag set up do you have on your bike?

Jerry D. Finley ("Danger" is my middle name)
"I speed, therefore I am. "

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2006, 10:40 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate
It's a new bag by GIVI.. I was testing them as well as the Pirelli's.. Have a full review of them in my current newsletter at http://piratesk12site.net/newsletter.htm

I LOVE these bags...!
Thanks.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Dec 8th, 2006, 5:53 am
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Pirlli's

Pirate,
I agree, I'm no pro but I like to have fun. I'm a bit heavier but can still throw a bike around. I put the Corsa III on just before I came down to the Dragon in Sept. The entire way down from Pa. we took all two lane roads in West Virginia and Virginia and I was completely confident in them. Actually they have more stick than I have Balls. I put about 2000 miles on them and they are holding up pretty well. I feel the same about mileage, if I can get 2500 - 3000 I'm happy. By the way I put them on an 04 GT. The GT is a bit heavier and I was leary of them not having enough side wall strength but that never seemed an issue. Good report, you summed it up pretty well. I have a set of Avons sitting in the garage waiting for the Corsas to go. We'll see how they compare come spring. The Avons are the Vipers, great looking hope they work as good as they look.

Thanks
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