As hot as Hell, Pirelli’s tagline for the brand new for 2021, Diablo Rosso 4 tyre. I haven’t been to Hell, but I’ve been to Greece, and that was pretty hot, so it must be similar.
It’s an interesting tagline that fits the naming of Pirelli’s motorcycle products, The Angel and Diablo ranges. As you can guess, the Diablo range focuses on the sportier side, and the Angel range focuses on the touring range. The Scorpion (off road stabby stingy devils) range looks after bikes with off-road capability.
New for 2021 is the Diablo Rosso 4, aimed more at supersport riders. The Diablo Rosso 4, funnily enough, supersedes the Diablo Rosso 3, so should be better. The Rosso 3’s will still be produced and available, at a reduced price. The new Rosso 4 will sit below the Corsa 2 tyre. Effectively 3rd on the dry grip list, but the top of the list for wet grip, perfect for riders who ride in all weathers.
Aprilia has picked the Diablo Rosso 4 as the OE standard for the new Aprilia RS660 and Tuono 660. I’m 100% sure the OE fitment will rise as new 2022 models are released, particularly at Ducati. The current Supersport S has Rosso 3 fitment, this may get upgraded to Rosso 4.
Is the Diablo 4 better than the diablo 3?
Despite the hot as Hell part, Pirelli describes the Diablo 4 as a supersport tyre for road use. The new 4 promises better braking grip, better grip at higher lean angle and better traction under acceleration. A revised construction gives a better response through the handlebars, giving smoother feedback to the rider, in both wet and dry conditions.
These developments come through Pirelli’s racing pedigree, through supply to the World Superbike championship and the British Superbike championship. Supplying hundreds of tyres to the best riders, on the best machinery, to hammer them around tracks gives great feedback and development, which eventually trickles down to us road riders.
Trademark Diablo Tread pattern
The trademark ‘Flash’ shape tread pattern, which features in the Diablo range, is one of these features. The pattern drains more water as speed increases, perfect for bad conditions. More tech trickles down using their WSBK derived 3-strand LYOCELL wires on 190+ sizes and stiffer RAYON chords in front and rear sizes below 190. This gives a more stable footprint no matter the lean angle or the amount of power going through it. This lower ply cord count allows more rubber in the tyre, giving a noticeably reduced noise over rubbish road surfaces. Full silica front and rear compounds give solid chemical grip to the road in any condition.
The Diablo 4 also features a revised shape over the mid-shoulder area of the carcass, giving more contact patch area, therefore enhancing grip. Coupled with a revised front profile with a reduced curve on the shoulders, which widens the front patch on full lean for enhanced control. This all gets complicated; tyres used to be just black and round!
Diablo Ross 4: Custom specification on size
Further complications come from the different Diablo Rosso 4 available, depending on the tyre size selected. Many higher displacement motorcycles in the hypersport and hyper naked class push 200+ horsepower, requiring a different tyre to a 600cc supersport or a naked roadster, typically with half the power. Changing the characteristics and structure slightly depending on size to help tailor the perfect tyre to the bike.
Surely this should be common sense. You don’t see a 190 or 200 size rear tyre or an MT07 or an R6; these will normally be a 180. Conversely, you won’t see a 180 tyre on a 1000cc bike as they benefit from a 190 or a 200. This seems like quite the masterstroke from Pirelli.
World Superbike development helps the Diablo Rosso 4
As just mentioned, Pirelli has used different construction methods for sized tyres. The front tyres have increased stiffness using Rayon cords, using a larger section and a twisted strand. Increasing rider feeling on the front end is never a bad thing.
For rear tyres up to 190/55, the Diablo Rosso 4 uses a Rayon 2 wire strand, making it 30% stiffer than the Diablo Rosso 3. But what does this mean? This will make more grip and a more even wear pattern compared to the Diablo Rosso 3.
Sizes larger than 190/55 have made the racing style structure using the World superbike tyres available for the road. Using a three-wire Lyocell structure allowing a deformation ratio much lower than a regular street tyre. This ensures maximum grip during full-throttle acceleration regardless of lean!
Are full silica tyres better?
Cap and base layouts ensure fast warmup times and even temperature distribution, coupled with a dual compound front tyre, with dual-compound rears for small cc bikes, with a triple compound rear for the higher displacement hypersport and hyper naked bikes.
Higher content silica areas in the centre generate more heat and grip in colder conditions, whilst softer areas on the edges (over 35 degrees of lean) give better feeling and grip when at lean. Rear compounds up to 190/50 similarly feature dual compounds allowing fast warm-up, great grip levels in wet and dry and smoothness. 190/55 upwards gains a tri-compound with a five-zone layout. This helps riders benefit from the extraordinary performance of modern machinery.
Diablo Rosso 4 keeps Pirelli’s FLASH tread pattern
The iconic tread design on the Diablo range featuring the Flash shape, in the centre, stays. This shape provides excellent water drainage from the inside to the outside of the contact patch. Slick shoulders put the groves where it’s needed, in the centre of the tyre, allowing more contact patch at lean.
Overall the Diablo Rosso 4 boasts improvements across the board vs the Diablo Rosso 3, particularly in the life, wet grip and handling/feel.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso 4 review
I’ve replaced the outgoing Metzler M9RR on the R1 with Pirelli’s latest sports road tyre. Going against the conventional thinking that every sportsbike on the road must have Supercorsa’s or a similar track day tyre. I ride in all weathers and having had Supercorsa’s on previously, they are great in the dry but less so in the dry. I have personally found that a fast road tyre is just as grippy in the dry, but soooooooo much better in the wet and cold.
I’ve so far racked up about 750 miles since fitting, and initial impressions are great. I’ve firmly been running them at standard R1 pressures to keep everything consistent. The first thought was how the revised profile shape improves the turn in feeling. Turn-in response is sharp and precise, allowing pinpoint precision.
Diablo 4 wet grip
Grip in all conditions is great, dry weather gives a superb surefooted feeling at both ends, and this stays even in the wet with huge amounts of standing water. Powering on over white lines in the wet gives a flicker of traction control light on the dash as usual, but there is no noticeable wheel slip. I think it’s just the TC system being overprotective and sensitive.
Wear looks great across the whole tyre; with a warm few weeks, the Diablo Rosso 4’s are wearing nicely across the carcass.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso 4 Price
The prices for Diablo Rosso 4 fronts are RRp of £125 in 120/70 fitment, and rears range from £150 in 160/60 to £170 for a 190 or 200/55, but as always, there are deals see it’s best to shop around!
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