Saturday, December 12, 2009

Metzeler Z6 vs Pirelli Diablo Supersport

I'm a Metzeler Z6 kind guy. They give good mileage, have good traction, handle well, and recover from slides very predictably. A great, balanced tire.
However, Cycle Gear was selling Pirelli Diablo SuperSports for $199 for BOTH. A rear Z6 alone costs me that much, so I couldn't pass it up. Since Pirelli makes both tires, why not?!

NOTE: I am comparing worn Z6 behaviour to new SuperSport behaviour.

I've put about 1000-1200 miles on the Pirellis since mounting them.

The Supersport is more predictable when tracking in dry corners than the Z6. Also, the bike leans over a bit more predictably. I'm expecting to see about 3500 miles out of the rear, vs about 5000 miles from the Z6. I'd say confidence is higher in the SuperSport. To be expected, it's a sport tire vs a sport-touring tire.

In the wet, however, we see different behaviour. Note that I lived in Portland, Oregon for nearly 10 years and I'm a year-round rider. I rode in the wet a lot in Portland (months and months and months out of the year).

The SuperSports aren't as at-home in the wet as the Z6.

On the way home in the rain 2 nights ago, I broke the rear loose while accelerating from a stoplight. And I mean loose - the revs spun right up at about 40mph in 2nd at part throttle. Granted, something could have been on the roadway exacerbating it.

However, on the way home yesterday evening, I managed to break the rear end loose again, this time in an uphill sweeper at about 60mph. The bike demonstrated a wobble as it came back/broke loose/came back/broke loose again/came back, as I reined it in and under control. Not the smoothest return I've experienced, especially in the wet.

However, it's the first time I've slid on this bike, and it just broke through 21K miles today, so I can't say whether it's the tire or the bike. But, it does add a strong mark in favor of the Z6 in the wet, given that I've had three on the rear and plenty of wet-weather riding with 'em and have not slid before.

The Z6 is the clear winner in the wet.

So, I'll ride more gingerly in the wet on the SuperSports, since saving $140 is a poor substitute for throwing your bike down the road, but at $199 for the pair, I say buy a couple sets!

I'll post mileage on them when I wear them out.


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