Pirelli Angel GTII tyre road test review: PEOPLE talk about having a guardian angel with them, and for bikers, there are times when having one as a pillion to fend off looming dangers would be very welcome.
The reality is, if they exist, they’re probably too busy to come biking with us, so I’ve fitted the next best thing, a rubberised version from Pirelli.
Choosing a new set of tyres for a bike is something that causes much debate on forums and among your pals, what to get, who should fit them, do you take the wheels off yourself… I’m sure you’ve heard it all before.
For me, particularly on a motorcycle, tyre choice couldn’t be more important – after all, what else is there keeping you away from hedges, walls and trees? So a good quality tyre is a prerequisite, but what sort of tyre do you choose? The answer depends largely on what type of bike you have, and the kind of riding you do.
If you’re a knee down merchant, you’ll want something super sticky, but for me, while I don’t hang about, i’m more interested in endurance, I like touring on my bike, so I want something that’s going to last more than a two or three thousand miles, is good in wet and dry conditions, can cope with being pushed quite hard, yet inspires confidence in all conditions.
I bought my Kawasaki Versys 1000 wearing a set of Michelin Road Pilot 4s, but they were quite worn and a puncture finished off the rear, so after a bit of research, I chose the latest Angel GT II from Pirelli as a suitable replacement.
The popular Italian brand’s Sport Touring tyre ups the game from the well regarded Angel GT. Pirelli says it designed the GT II with the aim of rewriting the rules on the sport touring segment thanks to key features like high mileage, sporty handling and grip combined with good behaviour in wet conditions.
The tyre features a new, and what I think is a distinctive tread pattern which Pirelli says is derived from World Superbike “intermediate” race tyres, which help to enhance wet riding performance.
My Versys already had a high quality, if worn tyre, but I am happy to admit that the Pirelli Angel GT IIs raised the game. The bike has never felt anything but secure in the couple of months I’ve been testing these tyres, and although with it being summertime, I’ve not done much wet riding (although have been caught in a couple of heavy showers) the tyres felt perfectly secure in very wet conditions, which inspires confidence in the bike beneath you.
Braking performance is also good, be it wet or dry, and there is more grip available than most riders will ever call upon.
The tyres now have a couple of thousand miles on them and still look and feel as good as new, with no sign of squaring off in the centre of the tread, particularly on the rear tyre. I have done a couple of 500-mile weekends, with all three boxes packed with luggage, and the bike always feel stable and well planted.
The Pirelli Angel GT II is available in 17 and 19in front and 17in rear sizes and will fit various machines.
Prices vary, but expect to pay £220-£250 per pair, plus fitting.
For more information, visit https://www.pirelli.com/tyres/en-gb/motorcycle/homepage and to read our Tyre Pressure Monitor review, click here