Laguna Seca and Moto GP are fast approaching. Bikeland's annual Pilgrimage to the track has generated some memorable moments... from worm~hole's lowside on the outskirts of Eureka to Dino's freshly cooked Elk steaks atop Fox Hill... nothing says "Summer" to the membership of this site like camping at Laguna Seca Raceway.
One of the most memorable moments was courtesy of our very own, Jonathan ( AKA "freek" ), who ran his D207s right down to the steel.
Determined to never let something like that happen again, freek and other members of this site have searched high and low for the ultimate Sport Touring tire... exploring the fine balance tire engineers walk... the trade of between tire life and performance.
For 2005's journey, Bikeland is pleased to announce Pirelli's participation and support in this event. Pirelli is generously providing 2 pairs of their newest high-mileage Sport tire, the Diablo Strada. In addition to this, for comparison's sake, we are also running a set of Pirelli Diablo's. Along the 4000 mile journey we will ride some of the best motorcycle roads in the world... certainly a test for any tire and bike...
Our friends at Pirelli had this to say about the new Diable Strada...
According to its design mission, the new Diablo Strada EMS ("Extended Mileage Sport") combines the better of two worlds. It offers both a high level of grip for sport riding, and extended mileage beyond that of the typical sportbike tire. But Pirelli is reluctant to use the term "sport touring" to describe the Strada. Research showed that riders' perception of a typical sport-touring tire was one that didn't do either job really well. The new tire, on the other hand, was specifically developed for those sport-touring bikes - Sorry - like the Yamaha FJR 1300, Honda VFR, Kawasaki ZRX, Ducati ST3 and ST4 that are eons away from similar bikes of just a few years ago: serious backroad pavement scratchers that happen to have a more upright seating position and hard saddlebags. "These riders want a tire that can do all the things their bikes can do: handle like a sportbike and yet be capable of clicking off a number of state borders in a comfortable day," said a Pirelli spokesman. "That is the rider for the Diablo Strada."
At first glance, the Diablo Strada's profile is closer to that of race tires than sport-touring tires, which traditionally have had flatter profiles. The new profile allows deep lean angles and puts a larger contact patch on the sidewall for improved side grip, something its target bikes are more than capable of exploiting. Like both the Diablo and hyper-sport Diablo Corsa siblings, the Strada reaches operating temperature very quickly, even in the wet, even on colder days.
The tire's HGHM compound is specifically formulated for high wet/dry grip, plus higher mileage than standard sport radials. The mileage is further aided by the rear tire's 12mm- wide strip in the center part of the rear tread pattern. Pirelli's "aggressive" street and track testing during the Diablo's development showed that acceleration and braking forces exerted in a straight line are most frequently responsible for tire wear, as the forces transmitted by the road surface in starting and stopping stress the tire's tread to the point of premature wear. The 12 mm strip offers offering higher mileage without diminishing outright tire performance.
But doesn't solid rubber at the peak of the tire's crown invite aquaplaning in the wet? Not in the Strada. The front and rear patterns were designed to work so perfectly together that tests showed the Diablo Strada's front tread actually "squeegees" water out of the way so well the rear tire rides through a cleared path.
Again like its Diablo and Diablo Corsa siblings, the Diablo Strada employs Pirelli's patented 0° steel-belted radial construction front and rear, ensuring a more stable contact patch at all lean angles and minimum tire deformation even when carrying a full load and a passenger.
It is available in three front sizes - 110/80ZR-18, 120/70ZR-17, 120/60ZR-17; and five rears - 150/70ZR-17, 160/60ZR-17, 170/60ZR-17, and 180/55ZR-17. A 190/50ZR-17 rear is expected in June. (MSRP ranges from $140.95 to $145.95 for the fronts, and $173.95 to $185.95 for the rears.
For more information, see your nearest Pirelli dealer, log onto us.pirellimoto.com, or contact Pirelli directly at: PIRELLI TIRES NORTH AMERICA, MOTORCYCLE TIRE DIVISION, 100 Pirelli Drive, Rome, GA, 30161. Phone: (706) 368-5826; Fax: (706) 368-5832.
We look forward to an exciting journey, and a taste of what 2005's tire technology can offer our membership!
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