Since the 1970s the history of high performance motorcycle sport tyres produced by Pirelli has been marked by evocative names such as Mandrake, Phantom, and Gordon, all inspired by the world of comics, and there were also Demon and Dragon instead derived from the fantasy world. In 2002 this tradition continued with another bestseller, Diablo, through which Pirelli has since reinvented the world of road tyres with a completely new project. From that moment, Diablo has become a real brand, enriched year after year with technological innovations and the experience gained by Pirelli in the FIM Superbike World Championship where it has been the sole supplier since 2004.
In 10 years, the Diablo range has evolved from product to product and through the iterations ofsport motorcycles’ power and handling capabilities by continuously offering products satisfying theneeds of the pure on-road environment, the extreme limits reached in professional racing, andeverything else in between. Significant numbers are linked to these 10 years of success of theDiablo range: more than 5 million tyres sold, raced on by more than 60,000 pilots, including bothprofessionals and amateurs, and more than 800 compound solutions to date made available byPirelli to riders competing in World Superbike.
The stages of Diablo’s success
The birth of the myth
Diablo was born in 2002 as a tyre intended for road use and the original concept and successfulparent to the entire Diablo range, quickly becoming the benchmark among sport motorcyclists dueto its considerably higher performance and distinctive tread pattern compared to other sports tyresat the time. Later in 2003, a “meaner” version of Diablo was produced, the Diablo Corsa, a dualcompound sport tyre for demanding riders who sought tyres whose performances extended both onthe road and the track.
From the WSBK to the road
In 2004, Pirelli became the sole supplier of tyres to the Superbike World Championship and this wasthe key ingredient for developing and launching, in 2005, the new Diablo Superbike tyre designedfor professional use only on the track. In 2007 it was the year of the first generation DiabloSupercorsa SC which in 2008 was followed by the race replica version, Diablo Supercorsa SP, foruse by the most demanding street motorcyclists. With the Diablo Supercorsa, Pirelli for the first timemade available to motorcyclists all the successful know-how and technology used in the WorldSuperbike and World Supersport Championships, giving rise to what became a slogan for success:“We sell what we race, we race what we sell.”
The Rosso Generation
In 2008, the original Diablo was replaced by the Diablo Rosso which was then joined two years laterby its alter ego Diablo Rosso Corsa for mixed road / track riding. In 2011, the Diablo Rosso wasupgraded to the Diablo Rosso II, an ideal evolution of this key product inheriting all the popularsporty characteristics while strengthening values in terms of versatility, performance in wet and evenwear. The range of high quality radial tyres of the Rosso Generation uses modern technologiesderived from Pirelli’s experience in the WSBK Championship such as EPT (Enhanced PatchTechnology), responsible for increasing overall grip in dry conditions by optimizing the tyres’footprint on the ground down at all lean angles, along with distinctly aggressive tread groovedesigns and other identifying elements of strong visual impact on the shoulder edges and sidewallswith even the ability to personalise the tyre with exclusive labels custom-designed by end user.
Diablo Supercorsa: the myth continues
The Diablo range celebrates it’s 10 year history and success with the world premiere of the new Diablo Supercorsa at the 2011 EICMA show in both the special compound “SC” and the racereplica “SP” versions, the latter aimed at all riders using who use their motorcycles with a sportriding style on the road and who like to have fun on the track.
The future is around the corner
Pirelli has its eye always towards the future: in 2013 the Italian maker will be ready to adapt to amajor change in the regulations of WSBK: starting from beginning of the 2013 Superbike WorldChampionship, Pirelli will replace the current Diablo Superbike 16.5″ slick tyres, the referencemeasurement to date, with slick tyres in 17″ sizes. This choice will allow Pirelli to continue to remaintrue to its philosophy of bringing the solutions developed in sport competition directly to theeveryday motorcycle racer, making an even closer link between Pirelli’s development work in aWorld Championship racing environment and the road-worthy products who adopt thesetechnologies at continuously faster pace.
The 17″ slick tyre is the optimal response for those looking for top performance trackday riding or for both amateur and professional racing compared to that of 16.5″, which requires a second set of wheels and a more complex bike tuning. The 17″ version offers a more common setup for easy handling and consistent performance, a 10% larger contact area due to its higher profile and a carcass able to offer more lateral support, features that will be of strong benefit to motorcyclists throughout the world and continue to feed the myth of Diablo.
More information on the Diablo range of sport motorcycle tyres is available on the Pirelli website www.pirelli.com. Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pirelli and follow us on Twitter:@Pirelli_Media.