Out with old and in with the new. That saying seems tailor-made to talk of motorcycle tires. In this instance the tire we're talking about is the venerable Pirelli Diablo. A favorite of sportbikes owners, trackday riders and even the jaded motorcycle media, the Diablo earned its reputation quickly as a good handling, even-wearing, sticky set of buns that could appease just about all except for the most demanding track rider or racer.
Enter the Diablo's replacement, the Diablo Rosso. Pirelli makes a good case retiring the Diablo. It's not just about the life cycle of a product coming to end in order to wake up the sleepy masses; the Rosso was created in light of the growing demands of today's powerful motorcycles. Let's face it. One hundred horsepower and 80 ft-lbs or more of torque is scrapping the bottom of the barrel these days. Kick it up several notches into the sportbike arena where 150 ponies at the wheel is almost prosaic, slipper clutches abound, ultra-stout chassis relay every grain of sand in the road, and it's easy to see that tire technology must stay ahead of the curve in the performance game.
“Rosso is in the biker who wants an astonishing tire,” reads Pirelli’s press materials, “one that allows him to really exploit the potential of his bike, and allowing them to feel that all while they are making the most of life itself.” The impassioned Italians want to translate their lust for life into their tire, and in doing so are appealing to the riders who sees themselves as a biker as part of their lifestyle. You know who you are. You ride to the market if even for one thing, you commute, you ride on weekends, you ride to the corner Starbuck's, to the video store. From what I was able to distill from all the hype, the Rosso is a tire fashion statement as much as anything.
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