The Pirellis have been fitted to our longterm Suzuki GSX-S750 for a few months now, with the stylish rubber handling road duties admirably, especially with the changeable conditions we experienced at the end of Spring. With the original Angel GT pretty much unchanged since its release six years ago and regarded as one of the best sporty touring tyres on the market, the new GTs had a lot to live up to.
So what have Pirelli made better? Well, they’ve got new rubber, with a dual compound on the front and the rear featuring a high silica content, so they’re good in the wet. The new tread pattern gives the touring tyres a sporty look, and they’re all-new underneath, with the carcass featuring a variable cord-end count derived from their Supersport racing.
The beauty of having a set of tyres designed for the road is that they tend to work immediately rather than needing to get the rubber up to temperature as is the case with sports tyres. Yes, we all think that supersport tyres should give us more grip, and in the correct circumstances like on a race track then they certainly will. But if you’re riding on the road, then a set of road-biased tyres are not only going to get up to heat quicker, but chances are they’ll also last longer.
The new Angel GTIIs have somehow managed to come up with a combination that works in both environments, with the profile and construction making them feel quick to steer and very sporty on the road rather than the typical sluggish feel of touring tyres from yesteryear. They get up to heat quickly too, with the first corner you arrive at no longer a bum-clenching experience wondering whether the tyres are warm. With the GTIIs, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got turn one of Hampton Downs at the end of the drive, with the tyres offering decent levels of grip and confidence almost instantaneously.
With a Pro Rider training day at Hampton Downs featuring plenty of stopping for tuition and comments, the Pirellis were the perfect partner as I didn’t need to worry whether they were cold or hot – they simply got on with the job. And when everyone went in for lunch, and I somehow managed to stay out for a few photos, an hour of laps at a decent pace barely registered any wear. In years gone by you could smoke a set of touring tyres on the track within half a dozen laps.
For a bike like the GSX-S750, the Pirellis are a great choice, offering a combination of longevity for when we chuck on the soft luggage and go touring and serious grip for when we head to the hills and go scratching. And they’ve shown they can even handle a day on the track.
Plus, with the new, more racy tread pattern, you can now fit a set of touring tyres to your sporty-ish machine without them ruining the appearance. The new Pirelli GTIIs seem to be a win, win.
Tester: Paul/Kerry Distributed by: Level Ltd Price: Varies Check It: www.pirelli.com