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Tyres: Pirelli Supercorsa Pro SC1/2 (mini review)

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by [FLUX], Nov 2, 2006.

  1. After a bit of a miscommunication at my last tyre change where I wanted the regular homologated road-going Pirelli Supercorsa Pro tyres fitted to my bike (ala. the same type of tyres that the Triumph Daytona 675 gets fitted with as stock), instead the tyre guys fitted me the Special Compound (SC#) variety.

    Brief nomenclature lesson: The SC version of Supercorsa Pro tyres are the same tyres that are used in Superstock/Supersport racing in various championships. They have 4 varieties:

    SC0 - Qualifying Tyre
    SC1 - Soft
    SC2 - Medium-Soft
    SC3 - Medium

    The tyre guys fitted me an SC1 front, and an SC2 rear. In short, they are about the stickiest possible road-legal rubber available. They are also not what I really wanted to have fitted to the bike, even for the somewhat aggressive road riding that I do, but since they're now on the bike I'll attempt to provide some feedback on what I think of them.

    So, after having covered maybe 500kms on these tyres on the road a few things are clear:

    1) They warm up fairly quickly. Even just rolling around at town speeds for 2 minutes and the tyres are already starting to achieve a decent working temperature. After 5 minutes and they're warm enough to allow for stupid lean angles. I would imagine that like most tyres they'd need around 10 minutes to reach full working temperature, but I'm not at a race-track to make that call. In short, they warm up faster than I do. I wouldn't throw them into the nearest roundabout at full lean on a cool/cold morning, but by the third roundabout the footpegs are the limit.

    2) Stable in a straight line, slight resistance to initial turn in. These characteristics would be due to the profile. In a straight line under full power with the R1 which doesn't have a steering damper fitted at the moment (broken mounting bracket) and the front tyre is near unflappable. I mean most tyres are stable in a straight line, but these are stable even when there's next to no weight on the front tyres at all, while the rear is biting into the bitumen and has to deal with regular road bumps trying to unsettle the bike, but the bike just tracks true. This stability comes at the slight cost of requiring a positive push to get the bike to tip in quickly, but the moment the bike is off the vertical the tyres change character and become super-responsive, which leads us to the next observation

    3) Super nimble once you're off the vertical. I lost count of the number of times I nearly ran off the inside of corners yesterday. The bike would just fall onto its side once you tipped it off vertical, begging you to go faster to justify the rapid turn-in rate. Re-correcting was a snap. In fact, altering one's line at any point during the corner was so easy that it's like thought control. Don't quite like the line you're taking through the corner? No problems. In fact, they were crazily nimble. Through one corner I was just messing around and found I could easily make maybe 10 different steering adjustments through some corner while at lean angles on a regular road going tyre would leave you fairly committed to a singular arc and maybe one or two minor adjustments. You can drag your knee and still be making spirograph patterns with your line through a corner.

    4) Grip? ...and you thought a baby's palm was sticky? I've never experienced anything like it, and it is somewhat hard to describe. I mean, it's not like a standard road going tyre slides or anything, but you can just tell that these SC tyres are holding onto the road like they've got claws. I think the best way to describe it is in the absence of movement over bumps, ripples, harsh bitumen, even when mid-corner at high lean. It's not something you notice with regular road tyres if you're used to it, but road tyres will slip slightly off the crests of bumps and ripples, and move about in a small way. This movement really isn't any big deal at all, it's natural. The difference is with the SC tyres they don't do that at all. They almost seem to consume the bump and if there's even one pebble left to hang onto, they'll hang onto it rather than moving around to find somewhere else to grip. I think that this is also why I kept running off the inside of corners. Where less sticky road rubber shears and slips as it turns as part of the regular way in which tyre rubber works on a bike when leaned over, the SC rubber is still shearing and slipping, but it holds the cornering line more strongly. To use the over-worn analogy, it really is like you're on a set of roller-coaster rails pushing you around a corner, rather than on something rubbery that's pushing you around. I'm struggling to find a good analogy to describe the feeling here, but even when not at full lean, you can just feel and know that the tyres are holding onto the road so much better.

    5) Comfort. Somewhat surprisingly to me, these tyres are very comfortable. It really feels like my suspension is set to a softer, more road-friendly level, but the suspension adjusters haven't been touched. I can still have the firm sporting suspension settings that are great for aggressive riding and handling, and yet enjoy a more plush ride. This came as a great surprise to me, given that these really are race-track tyres. They really make for exceptionally comfortable real-world road riding tyres as well.

    Look, I'm not going to pretend that I can make full use of these tyres on the road. I don't believe in riding at 10/10ths on the road and using all available traction all the time. That sort of behavior belongs at a race-track. I still have some ~5mm wide "chicken strips" at the rear tyre's edges, which gives as an indication of the tyre profile's steepness at the ~47° peak lean that I achieve in my road riding. With Michelin Pilot Powers, that lean angle is enough to take the rear tyre right to the edge, so clearly the Supercorsa tyres are made to provide a full contact patch on the road even at extreme lean angles, whereas more road-oriented tyres will reach the edge with less lean.

    These tyres belong at a race-track where a quick rider can indulge in the >55° lean angles that these tyres would be more than happy to provide, and do so in complete confidence.

    Do I recommend these tyres? They are a sheer luxury. If you can make full use of these tyres on the road, you really need to be riding at a race-track instead. They are total overkill for road riding. On the other hand, IMO, they are the single best dry weather road-riding tyre I've ever enjoyed putting onto the bike. If I could afford to always put these tyres on my bike when road riding, I would. Given how soft they are though I wouldn't expect to get much more than 2000-2500kms out of the tyres for road riding. That makes them an expensive proposition. Still, while they last, you'll be having a total ball on these tyres.

    I really need to try these tyres at a race-track to fully appreciate them.
  2. I've got a supercorsa on the back at the moment and you know what I'm finding interesting Stew? How long the tread has lasted me.

    I bought it off a racer who'd thrashed the sides to bits over a few track days - and I've had it for the last 4000km or so and there's still enough tread left to take it on the Musketeers ride this weekend. My last Pilot Power rear was destroyed after 5000km and although I'm not half the rider you are, I'm heavy on the throttle and pull loads of wheelies.

    I know what you mean about the way they seem to make for a softer ride, and yeah they grab like nobody's business. I've been super impressed. thanks for the review.
  3. Thanks for the longevity feedback Loz. I guess only time will tell how long they'll last for me. If they last me 4000kms as they have for you, then that'd make them worthwhile to keep on fitting them. Of the sticky road rubber I've put on before (Michelin Pilot Power, Pirelli Diablo Corsa, Metzeler M1, Metzeler M3), all seem to wear out by around the 3500-4000kms mark.

    If they're lasting me 4000kms, I will most definitely be fitting these tyres again.
  4. Great review Cathar, very entertaining!

    I'd be interest to know if you get to 4,000km :)
  5. Hey hey

    I ran the SuperCorsa GP tyres (aust Supersport series tyres) and hated them.

    Vague feedback
    Less grippy
    Took forever to warm up

    So, people, the exercise is simple. Cathar is on an R1 and I am on a GSX1400. Different tyres behave differently from rider to rider and bike to bike.

    By the way Cathar, great report.
  6. By the way, I finally gave up on the tyres when I had consistent front and rear wheel slides when street riding..... :eek: :shock: :grin:

    Apart from that, I agree with loz, they do tend to last.

    Currently, I run Dunlop 208GP tyres: 120/60 front and 1 :grin: 180/60 rear

    Going to Michelin Pilot Race tyres next - can get them very very cheap
  7. Anyone know how these would compare to the Pirelli Dragons?
  8. Hi SirSkuffy,

    I am confused. You mention you had SuperCorsa GP tyres.

    The list of Australian Supersport homologated tyres is here: Click me.

    The Supercorsa Pro SC1 (front) and SC2 (rear) tyres are the tyres approved for racing in Australia, which are the tyres that I have fitted.

    I took the liberty of researching Pirelli websites around the world and I can find no mention of the GP tyres. Unless, of course, you mean the "standard" road-going Supercorsa Pro tyres, being those fitted to the Daytona 675? The don't have a "GP" attachment to the name though, but that's the only Supercorsa Pro tyre that Pirelli makes that is not of the "SC" name series.

    Am really wondering now which tyre type you had fitted, as that may explain the differences?

    Consistent front and rear wheel slides with tyres this sticky sounds to me like maybe suspension issues? I've had 208GP tyres on the R1, and they took far longer to warm up than these Supercorsa Pro.

    In the cold I noticed that the Pirelli Diablo Corsa's took a long time to warm up. Pirelli have a new compound as of a few months back though. I'm wondering if the tyres you had were basically the old Corsa compound (that I had issues with in the cold) in a Supercorsa tread pattern.
  9. According to the Pirelli wesbite, the "full name" of the tyres that I have fitted are:


    So I guess that they're the one and the same tyre.

    That is, unless, you're referring to the Dragon MTR 01 / MTR 02 tyres, in which case, they're totally different tyres.
  10. Hmmm, following up on this, there's also an older version of the Supercorsa SC's, known as the Pirelli Dragon Evo Supercorsa, just in case you were referring to those.
  11. I'm running the dragon evo ones, I think.
  12. Cathar, cost for the set was.........?
  13. Cost me $480, fitted, for the pair.
  14. Great review Stew, sounds like great tyres. I had the original corsa's on the Blade and whilst they seemed good, they were prone to power slides and never gave me front end confidence. The Pilot Powers gave that back to me, I'd be interested in the Super Corsa's.
  15. Hey Cathar,

    The SC's are known as the GP tyres in the paddocks. The common reference pertains to the previous supplied tyres for the Australian Series which were the Dunlops.

    In any case, the SC/GP tyres are the ones I was referring to. It was certainly not a suspension setting as the settings have been consistent between tyre brands. Also, suspension setting would not impact on a bike sliding both front and rear at the same time. The suspension settings ill impat the stability of a bike... The bike was not unstable.

    With regards to tyre warm up, the racing communitty agrees, the Pirelli's take longer to heat up.
  16. I've been running the Diablo Corsa's lately and like them alot. Does anyone know if the Diablo Corsa III are out yet? Supposed to be the same, but dual compound on the rear so better mileage!
  17. Thanks.

    Not meaning to be argumentative, just debating the issue since it does interest me.

    Before I got the R1's rear suspension fixed, the rear would spin up and slide easily when pushing hard. The bike was never unstable. With my old VTR, the front tyre would push occasionally, and once again, it was never an unstable bike.

    Quite possible for suspension settings to affect traction without necessarily making a bike unstable. Also, different tyre makes can require some suspension adjustments to get the best out of them.

    Yeah, I just like some actual numbers, other than "takes forever".

    I guess I'm just struggling to come to terms with your description of the same tyres that in the year of 2006 have been used to break pretty much every single lap record in the USA racing calendar which treaded tyres are required to be used, and then equate that to being happier with significantly less grippier tyres in the 208GP's, unless of course you're not talking about regular road-going 208GP's...
  18. Hmmm, well now i am not sure. I was pretty sure they were Dragons. I saw them at the bike expo from the guys who do the Super bike school. The rear tyre alone was $390 not fitted....

    It was like a semi R spec tyre, just only road legal due to some minor tread cut into it, was told it would be not be very good in the wet. Hey i dont ride in the wet, and how wet can i get going from my home to the cafe around the corner anyway...
  19. On the receipt I have here for the fitment, the rear tyre is $360 unfitted, so $390 for the SBS guys sounds about right since those guys charge a bit more. I just got a good end-deal for the fitment of the pair, that brought the overall cost back to $480.
  20. Hey Cathar.

    OK, prior to answering your questions - for the record I am not a noob, I have raced for a number of years and know a little about tyres, suspension and frame geometry.

    My case in point is referenced to a GSX1400 - you know the bike. Heavy and not designed to be thrown around on a track or the twisties. But, if the suspension and the tyre choice is set appropriately, it can be quite the weapon.

    Warm up - Tyre testing in a number of international magazines have shown the abilities of certain tyres to reach a perceived optimum temperature of operation - for the average punter. I will not refer to thse specifically as I will need to dig them up. In any case, I have found - personal experience - a good 20 minutes of riding before they were at a temp that warranted "abusive" treatment. The Dunlops, about 5 minutes..... Now, for the record, this includes the left and right weaving (where the pegs are almost touching) for a few minutes also. So, there are your "timing" numbers.

    Suspension - I have been playing with the suspension on the bike for some time and found a happy medium for the bike - not perfect, but the best I personally can get it without having some professionals look into it for me. So, in short, pretty happy. Once I have had the happy medium I have tried a number of tyres varying from;
    Manufacturer - Pirelli, Bridgstone, Mich's, Shinkos, Dunlops
    Profile and compound
    Tyre height (180/55 versus 180/60 for instance)
    Tyre width - I can have a 180 or a 190 on the bike
    In all cases, I have always opted for the stickiest rubber I can get on the front and medium to full sticky on the rear. The tyres that have upet my happy medium the most are the Pirelli's in question - well, the Shinko's were the worst :grin: but, they are great in the wet - the Shinko's. I also appreciate there there are some suspension changes (including ride height and bar settings) that need to be varies between tyres, but these changes are minimal in the overall scheme of things.

    In comparing the Dunlop to the Pirelli.... The dunlops remain pretty planted compared to the Pirelli's - when tyres are warmed up. The sliding I was referring to was not a single end.... I can manage a single end and even agree that if a ingle end slides consistently then it is either tyre pressure, rebound or even compression in some cases. But, when both tyres slide it means that the geometry is good, the suspension is fine, but the tyres are not quite upto the task. I can play with tyre pressure and that may make a difference... So, if we reduce the tyre pressure to increase contact patch and subsequently grip (1 or 2lbs) what this does is place further pressure on the suspension, compresses it further and then when it decides to let go, it wont just slide, it is more than likely to hurt you......

    Wow, I hate these long winded essay type answers...... :grin:

    Cathar - you know your stuff and would like to have a beer and discuss whilst drunk and bench racing.... :grin: