KIWI RIDER 05 2018 VOL.1 - Page 30

handling that allows it to change line mid-corner without a fuss, but still stable at high speed. TAKE AWAY which the compounds change – there’s just huge amounts of grip, especially at the slick edge of the tyre (which has wear indicator dots to help track-dayers gauge tyre wear). The story is the same with the rear tyre. The three compounds blend well together, after 6-7 laps the carbon black edge compound was working well, with just a light abraded surface. I was expecting a feeling of transition between the shoulder and the road/wet-oriented 100% silica compound but there was nothing, just a feeling of one compound and no zones. Next up, I tried Ducati’s new Panigale V4S. This was the first time I’d ridden it, and it’s a stunning bike. I hesitate to say it but it’s one of the best bikes I’ve ridden on track. It has the ease of use of the BMW S1000RR and Yamaha YZF-R1, but with a guttural growl, stunning suspension, brakes and chassis. On the Diablo Rosso Corsa II it’s quick steering but stable at all speeds up to almost 280km/h through the downhill right hander into turn 1. There’s awesome stability under both acceleration and heavy braking. Mid-corner, accelerating hard had the rear starting to slide but the Ducati Traction Control doesn’t let there be any fuss at all, just a small level of controlled slip. And after all this abuse? Again, I was expecting the silica compound to be fried, but it stood up to some serious abuse. The story was the same on Yamaha’s R1, nimble 30 KIWI RIDER If you’re a road rider who wants top dry grip with great wet performance and don’t want to change tyres to go on the track, this is a tyre with a broad capability that covers rain and dry track days. I don’t think you can really ask for much more than that. It’s all a long cry from the tyres of the 80s and 90s which either offered top grip or great mileage. I remember wearing out a rear Pirelli Dragon Corsa within 1600km on my Yamaha FZR600R back in 1994. The tyres we get to play on today have the benefits of both track and road tyres of the 90s but without the compromises of either. A friend messaged saying the Rosso Corsas were his favourite sticky tyres, which took him to the Alps and back from the UK every year. He asked if the new version would do that while sticking like shit to a blanket. If Pirelli’s claim of 15% more mileage is accurate, which we can only take their word on at the moment, then I think the days of having to compromise are over – it looks like you can have your cake, and eat it.