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