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Archive for October, 2018


My new Panigale V4, part 8 – Tires (and 2 more track days) 0

Posted on October 09, 2018 by acruhl


(There are slicks under those tire warmers!)
First read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 (trackday!) and Part 6 , Part 7 (another trackday!).

During a week span I had 3 different sets of tires on the Panigale V4: The original Pirelli Supercorsa SP V3, Pirelli Supercorsa slicks (SC2 front, SC1 rear), and some Pirelli Rosso Corsa street/track day tires.

So bad news first: My experience with the original Supercorsa V3 is not good. Riding up the local mountain road caused the rear tire to shed rubber at an alarming rate. On my first track day the rear started spinning significantly after about 30 minutes of riding. For a $330 rear tire (street price, or so), it’s not a good value at all. I’m not buying another one of those. The front is not so bad. Only a few minor squirms at the track.

I was offered a set of slicks for my next track day at Inde, and I jumped at the chance. Pirelli makes a slick that’s the exact same size as the street tire (200/60 – 17), so no tire calibration is needed. I chose SC2 front, SC1 rear and I think this was correct for me. I also needed a set of tire warmers so I bought MotoD dual temp ones from On Any Moto. They are very nice.

Slicks are so nice for the track. They give you lots of grip and confidence. I still wasn’t riding to my potential on them but I was going a lot faster than I was on the original Supercorsa V3 tires. Basically, because I had drive grip exiting corners! And I felt a little more confidence in the front so I’m sure I was entering corners quicker, especially the fast one at the end of the long straight. After a day of riding, they looked good and ready for another day.

Unfortunately I can’t ride the slicks on the street, so On Any Moto gave me a deal on some Pirelli Rosso Corsas (same tire that comes OEM on the 959). The rear doesn’t come in the right size (200/55), so I would have to engage the tire calibration function. (Note: The newer Rosso Corsa II does come in 200/60!) The tires feel great on the street as far as grip, no complaints at all. The rear does feel lower and it feels as if the rear is rotating around the front a little bit as I lean into corners. This is what happens when you get a shorter rear tire though.

An opportunity to ride on the Musselman’s go kart track presented itself, so I decided to go and try out the Rosso Corsas. They are marketed as track day tires, so I was hoping they would work pretty good.

The track surface was a bit slippery, so I think it would be unfair to judge the tires based on this. However, I was getting a lot of slips and rear tire spinning, and I think track tires would have slipped less. But still, it was the surface more than the tires. Probably it needs a good power wash and some grinding in places. But who am I to complain? It’s a go kart track and those guys probably love a few slips here and there. I sure would. The pace was never going to be that quick with a 200 horsepower bike on a go kart track anyway. Hypermotard riders would be having a lot more fun!

Even with a few slips I would encourage anyone to go over there on a motorcycle track day and give it a try. It’s a lot of fun. Take it easy and you can have an entire day of fun on a tank of gas and the $60 entry fee!

No matter what tires I get, I’m pretty sure they are going to have a hard time containing a 200 horsepower 1100cc superbike. The slicks are doing a pretty good job at the track, as they should, but you can’t ride them on the street nor would they last very long. When I’m finished with the Rosso Corsas, I’m hoping there are other choices in 200/60 to check out. If not, I’ll be looking forward to the Rosso Corsa II.



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