New Year – new rubber!

Author: Phil West Posted: 13 Jan 2016

It’s all change in motorcycle tyres for 2016. Not only is MotoGP switching from Bridgestone to Michelin, in addition, Pirelli, Dunlop and Metzeler are heading up the leading brands who are all launching new street tyres as well. 

New for 2016: Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIIItalian maker Pirelli has just launched its new, flagship sports tyre, the Diablo Rosso III; Britain’s own Dunlop has come up with an updated version of its leading sports-touring hoop, the RoadSmart III; while German marque Metzeler has just come out with its latest touring tyre, the Roadtec 01.


Pirelli says the new Diablo Rosso III is ‘the direct successor of Diablo Rosso II but raises the bar of sport riding even higher. It extends the qualities of its predecessor, strengthening its features in terms of handling and grip, with long lasting performance.’

In other words, the firm has sought to widen the appeal and practicality of the tyre by both improving its grip over a wider variety of conditions and increasing its durability. As such, the new Rosso III is aimed not just at sportsbike riders but also at those of supernaked and sports-tourers. It retains the familiar Diablo Rosso lightning flash treads design but the tyre’s compounds and structure have both been updated.

The Rosso III goes on sale this month and comes in three front fitments ( 110/70 ZR 17, 120/60 ZR 17 and 120/70 ZR 17) and a full seven different rear sizes (150/60, 160/60, 180/55, 180/60, 190/50, 190/55 and 200/55, all ZR 17s).

New for 2016: Dunlop Roadsmart IIIDUNLOP

Dunlop’s new Roadsmart III is the result of what the firm calls ‘the most intensive and rigorous test programme in Dunlop Europe’s history’ with over 200 compound and construction options evaluated over a 31-month test period. It also features a distinctive tread pattern using what Dunlop call ‘Interconnecting Groove Tread’ (or iGT), another first for the brand.

“Roadsmart III looks different and IS different,” said Dunlop Europe’s Andy Marfleet.

“The iGT technology is designed to give enhanced wet performance, (while) the innovative tread design also provides improved durability and even wear throughout the life of the tyre.”

The RoadSmart III goes on sale this month in 18 sizes and specifications, covering large capacity GT bikes to the latest generation mid-size twins.


Metzeler’s Roadtec 01 also employs an all-new and distinctive tread pattern in a bid to improve grip across a range of conditionsMetzeler Roadtec 01, new for 2016 and also to extend tyre life.

Designed for larger touring and sport-touring bikes the new Metzeler hoop also comes in a ‘Heavy Weight Motorcycle’ variant which provides a stiffer, stronger construction appropriate for heavier, fully-lade machines.

Like the new Dunlop offering it is already on sale and comes a 120/70 ZR 17 front fitment (plus a HWM variant) and 160/60, 180/55 and 190/55 rear 17-inch fitments, the latter two also available in HWM form.

The three newcomers come in addition a number of other new tyres for 2016 that have already been launched. These include Continental’s new sports tyre, the ContiSportAttack 3, while rapidly expanding Taiwanese manufacturer Maxxis launched it’s impressive all-new sports-touring tyre, the Supermaxx ST, in the autumn.

Do you have plans to invest in any new rubber this year?  or !