CycleOnline.com.au reviews the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V4 tyres.
A true concentration of technology with an extremely-capable and proven pedigree, the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V4 tyre boasts the highest embodiment of the brand’s sporting DNA. CycleOnline tested both the SC and SP variations during Pirelli’s recent media launch at the iconic Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.
A more extensive technical rundown can be found in Detailed, but to summarise, the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V4 offers three SC compounds – SC1, SC2 and SC3 – designed for track-use and an SP version which is engineered to use on the road, and the racetrack. V4 stands for the fourth generation of the tyre, which is an entirely new product in terms of the tread pattern, compounds, structure and profile.
The reputation of the Phillip Island needs no introduction, with its layout one of the quickest in the world in terms of average speed and a great amount of the lap is spent on the edge of the tyre in fast turns. That said, there is a variety of undulation around the circuit which provides an exciting challenge, with hard braking areas and relatively quick change of direction also featuring in the 4.450km layout.
We rode at Phillip Island on the Monday following the 2023 Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) round at the venue, with the day mostly overcast, ambient temperatures low 20s and a slight wind. Despite the rain at times throughout the weekend prior, the track was quite grippy and ‘rubbered in’. As for the bikes on offer, we were provided with a range of 2023 BMW S 1000 RRs in immaculate condition, a great platform to put these new tyres to the test.
The SC compounds are intended to be used with tyre warmers, and accordingly, those fitted to the bike ridden in the first session were heated to 80 degrees upon pit exit. Having raced extensively on previous generations of the tyre, I was really excited to see how the V4 stacked up, and my first sensations were immediately positive.
One thing synonymous with Pirelli Supercorsa SC compounds, particularly the SC1 and SC2, is how seamless the scrub-in period is – the tyre is pretty much at its best straight out of the pitlane. Riding with the SC1 compound front and rear in the first session, it was clear the seamless scrub is maintained with the Diablo Supercorsa V4 and after putting the power down out of turn two I had immediate confidence that the tyres were ready.
Upon completing the first lap my thoughts were ‘these tyres feel like slicks’, with the stiffer construction of the V4 compared to its predecessor quickly noticeable. It wasn’t long before I found a point with the rear tyre where I physically could not get it to slip past the electronic aids that were turned up on a higher setting for the first session.
As for the front, the SC1 generally provides the greatest amount of feedback to the rider, and despite the stiffer construction in the V4, I was able to progressively push the tyre to where it would tell me where it was in terms of breaking traction – a good characteristic for a rider who counts on front end confidence to find pace.
One thing that stood out to me in terms of front-end feedback from the Supercorsa SC variations was the amount of feel they provided while trail braking and as the suspension travel gradually rose up from the bottom of the stroke. My riding style tends to gravitate towards trailing the front brake quite deep into a turn, and in most cases on a stock street bike platform, I have to limit how much I do so. That said, I was very impressed with the edge grip of the SC1 front tyre under load onboard the stock BMW S 1000 RR and as each lap passed I could push harder with confidence knowing I would get feedback from the front-end before it would let go.
I was having that much fun on the new Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V4 tyres throughout the 20-minute first session that it went by relatively quickly, and for the second outing, I made sure I knew how to turn the electronics down to get a true understanding of how the rear reacted under load. Plenty of feedback was provided when it did slide, which was a really enjoyable ride as the progressiveness of the tyre-breaking traction made it relatively easy to control the bike in the rear from mid-turn to corner exit. Notably, the tyre wear was relatively clean on the SC1 compound, both front and rear after two sessions despite the relatively abrasive track surface.
In the third session, I used the Diablo Supercorsa SP tyres, starting out at a cold temperature following the lunch break. I spent a couple of laps heating up the rubber, using the great feel that the SP variation also provides from the rear to get an indication of when it was ready to push. With Phillip Island being such a high-speed track plus the new structure and compounds of the Supercorsa V4 SP encouraging a quick heat-up time, the tyres were probably ready to go after a lap and a half, but I gave it two just to be safe.
This V4 SP really highlights its racetrack cornering capability the more you lean, with an SC3 compound used on the shoulders to compliment the dual compound featured in its construction. In addition to its impressive edge grip for a street-legal tyre, it was reassuringly stable at high speeds as we reached well in excess of 250kph on the day. While understandably its outright performance and grip are not as high as the completely track-focussed SC compound, for a street-legal tyre it hits the spot in terms of a product that provides a thrill on the track, wears well and can be enjoyed on the streets also.
Phillip Island delivered a world-class testing ground for the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V4 tyres, with both the SC and SP variations continuing to elevate the standard in the Supersport segment in terms of performance, feedback and useability for their intended purpose. Whether you are a professional racer, track day junkie or an enthusiast who wants the highest-performing tyre for your next road ride, the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa V4 offerings are sure to deliver.
Pirelli Motorcycle tyres are distributed in Australia by Link International. For more information on the complete product range, visit www.linkint.com.au.