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Pirelli Angel GT goes adventure

KTM 1050 Adventure
KTM 1050 Adventure

Pirelli has jumped on the bandwagon of the growing high-powered adventure market with the release of adventure sizes for their sport touring Angel GT tyres.

The Pirelli Angel GT is a good fit for these heavy adventure bikes with their tough Bi-Compound.

However, until now the tyres were only available with a 17-inch front tyre which was fine for bikes such as the BMW S 1000 XR and Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo which come shod with the Angel GT.

But now Pirelli has added a 19-inch front tyre to cater for bikes such as the air/oil-cooled BMW R 1200 GS, Yamaha Super Tenere, KTM 1050 Adventure and Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom. These are not off-road tyres, but suitable for rough byways and maintained dirt roads.

Motorcycle sales: my BMW R 1200 GS Rallye
BMW R 1200 GS

The new sizes are 110/80 R 19 59V TL front ($209) and 150/70 R 17 69V rear ($249).

This Italian-developed tyre is made in Germany and eminently suitable for Australian conditions where the tyranny of distance demands high speeds, comfort, longevity and safety in ever-changing weather and road conditions.

While the tyre tread pattern may look very similar to the popular Angel ST it replaces, there have been some subtle, but effective changes.

There are now more continuous grooves with better flow to the edges to drain water, a continuous central ribbon for better braking on the front and more mileage on the rear, and reduced groove depth on the side for more shoulder grip when leaning and more stiffness on the tyre edge.

This has changed the land/sea ratio from 15.6% in the front and 16.1% in the rear on the ST to 14.1% and 13.6% which effectively means more rubber on the road.

Pirelli Angel GT
Pirelli Angel GT


Pirelli has also lowered the curvature profile on the rear to increase lean angle by 5%.

To improve longevity, the techs looked at where the tyre generates slip and therefore heat which wears out the tread.

They found that there was more heat generated as the tyre leaves the ground, so they shortened and broadened the contact patch.

Being 6% shorter, there is less heat generated and therefore less wear, but also being 14% wider it increases the contact patch by 8%.

At full lean, the contact patch is a different, but still shorter, wider and bigger, therefore cooler. This means there is less stress on the tyre compound, better high-speed stability and longer wear.

KTM 1050 Adventure
KTM 1050 Adventure

The tyre also varies less in its footprint dimensions between straight and leaning which provides better and more consistent feeling to the rider.

Using tech derived from more than three years as the control tyre for the World Superbike Championships, Pirelli developed a stronger carcass and derived a new mix of compounds in the tyre.

On the front, it’s 100% silica for high wet grip, but on the back the shoulders are 100% silica while the centre is reduced to 70% silica to improve mileage.

The Pirelli boffins also claim they have developed a range of new hybrid polymers, reactive resins and nano materials the highly secret formulas for which have patents pending.

Pirelli is claiming all this new technology leads to a 30% increase in mileage over the ST and better wet performance while retaining the grip, comfort, handling and stability levels of the previous tyre.

I trialled a set of Angel GTs over more than 500km of country roads on a Suzuki 1200 Bandit and they still looked fresh when I finally rolled back into my garage.

These tyres are now not only suitable for sport tourers and naked bikes, but also adventure bikes.

They can be used for everyday use, long-distance touring over rough roads, weekend spirited rides on twisty roads and even short blasts around your favourite circuit.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure
KTM 1290 Super Adventure

While the Angel GT won’t fit the new water-cooled BMW R 1200 GS or the KTM 1290 Super Adventure, the upcoming Scorpion Trail 2 tyre range will include new sizes for these bikes.

In Australia, Pirelli motorcycle tyres are imported by Link International with their HQ in south-east Queensland.

Angel GT available sizes:


  • 120/60 ZR 17 M/C (55W) TL
  • 120/70 ZR 17 M/C (58W) TL
  • 110/80 ZR 18 M/C (58W) TL
  • 120/70 ZR 18 M/C (59W) TL
  • 110/80 R 19 M/C (59V) TL


  • 150/70 R 17 M/C (69V) TL
  • 150/70 ZR 17 M/C (69W) TL
  • 160/60 ZR 17 M/C (69W) TL
  • 170/60 ZR 17 M/C (72W) TL
  • 180/55 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL
  • 180/55 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL (A)
  • 190/50 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL
  • 190/50 ZR 17 M/C (73W) TL (A)
  • 190/55 ZR 17 M/C (75W) TL
  • 190/55 ZR 17 M/C (75W) TL (A)
  • 190/55 ZR 17 M/C (75W) TL (D)
  • 160/60 ZR 18 M/C (70W) TL

(A) Two layer structure for better stability

(D) OEM equipment on the new Ducati Multistrada 1200 S Granturismo