New Pirelli Angel GT gets luxurious launch aboard aircraft carrier
Pirelli’s new Angel GT tire was born to meet the mileage and wet gripping demands of the sport touring rider. So what better place to showcase the GT’s dual compound makeup than on the flight deck of the Italian Navy aircraft carrier Cavour?
The asphalt material on a ship of that kind is known to be some of the most abrasive available. It helps the jets grab onto the surface upon landing. Upon acceleration, it ensures the aircraft maintains a stable line. The Pirelli crew spent a day putting the tire through wet gripping applications, then moved onto the famous Nardo Technical Center ring for mileage testing.
Pirelli officials were quick to announce that the new Angel GT has been certified as No. 1 for mileage in the sport touring segment by Germany’s Motorrad Test Center.
The testing in Spain from Nov. 27-Dec. 14 included the Michelin Pilot Road 3, Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmart II, Bridgestone Battlax BT 023, Continental RoadAttack2 and Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact M/O.
The Angel GT features innovations in tread, profile structure and compound combination concepts. Max Biaggi, newly retired from World Superbike competition, will promote the Angel GT.
“Compared to the Angel ST, Angel GT increases mileage by 30 percent, reduces the braking distance by about 1 meter (at a speed of 75 kph),” said Chris Wall, director of marketing and key accounts for Pirelli North America. “It also improves grip and handling in the wet, and, even more importantly, manages to maintain these characteristics at a high level over time.”
The tread was designed to provide reduced and more regular wear and improved water drainage on both front and rear.
Wall notes that the arrangement and direction of the grooves were studied in order to optimize water drainage. They allow a 10 percent reduction on the front and 16 percent reduction on the rear of the void/fill, which translates into a larger surface of compound in contact with the ground and therefore better grip and better wear.
“From a purely aesthetic point of view, the design is also neater and clearer,” Wall said. “Unlike the Angel ST, the new Angel GT tread does not change its design with use, a testament to the fact that its performance remains essentially unaltered for the entire lifecycle of the tire.”
The Pirelli Research and Development center designed the tire with variable radius curvature, increasing the central radius by about
35 percent in order to create a less rounded central section. It’s now 6 percent shorter and 15 percent wider compared to the Angel ST.
“A shorter contact area means less overheating, less sliding and therefore less wear of the compound itself,” Wall said. “At the same time, a 15 percent increase in width means being able to distribute wear over a larger portion of tread with an advantage for both final performance and more regular wear.”
By combining the technical solution with a specifically designed compound, Pirelli engineers were able to increase the mileage of the Angel GT by about 30 percent compared to the Angel ST, Wall said.
A new rayon carcass has 32 percent more linear density with 60 percent higher rigidity compared to the Angel ST, allowing for an agile and direct ride, high push and grip in turns and excellent damping capacity on bumpy asphalt, Wall said.
The Angel GT marks the main product launch for Pirelli motorcycle tires in 2013. The front Angel GT F120/70R17, 60R17, 760R18 and 110/80R18 have MSRPs of $191-$198. The rear Angel GT 150/70R17 160/60R17, 170/60R17, 160/60R18, 180/55R17, GT-A 180/55R17, GT-A 190/50R17, GT 190/55R17, GT-A 190/55ZR17 and GT-D 190/55ZR17 range from $210-$289 at retail.