Pirelli's new Night Dragon.
Pirelli Tire is a brand of passion and a product of performance. With a long history of victories on two and four wheels, Pirelli Tire is a leader in tire technology and proprietary patents. Pirelli's passion for performance has reached the V-Twin market with the radical Night Dragon, a tire conceived for the boulevards, yet designed with elements from lessons learned in the World Superbike Championships.
HB: What's your newest tire offering(s) for the H-D/custom V-Twin market? What type rider is this tire directed toward?
The Pirelli Night Dragon is designed for the performance oriented Harley-Davidson rider who demands better grip, handling, and looks. Night Dragons fit the majority of the classic cruiser/touring market with a focus on Harley-Davidson bikes. The Night Dragonrider is a person looking for performance first.
HB: Tell us about tread design. What's new? Benefits?
The tread pattern has been designed with a land/sea (solid rubber to grooves) ratio similar to Pirelli's sport touring tread patterns but with a new sharp-edged style. This new tread pattern features a compact design to provide unbeatable grip and stability at every lean angle in the dry.
Pirelli offers the Night Dragon in radial and bias-ply. The front tread pattern is different between radial and conventional structures depending on the bike. This is due to the radial structure being required for motorcycles with more performance; meanwhile the bias-ply tires provide comfort favored by touring bikes. The bias-ply tires have more pitches than radials and the footprint shape is longer, thus the number of tread edges working on the same surface is higher for the bias-ply. In this case, the distribution of the forces from each cut has less influence on the overall tire performance.
The rear tread pattern is also different between radial and bias-ply structures because the bike's requirements are different. Radial tread design has less pitches than the bias-ply to guarantee a more slick-like appearance as well as a wider contact patch: the radial footprint is larger characterized by fewer cuts to guarantee more rubber on the road and to allow exploiting the performance of your bike, whereas bias-ply tires have more pitches laying on a longer footprint to give a uniform movement of the tread belt, ensuring a quick and uniform warm up of the tire.
HB: What about your tire compounds and/or tire structure? Anything new? Benefits?
Pirelli Night Dragon represents the new state of the art for the high-performance V-Twin market. By utilizing specific compounds, featuring new blends of polymers and the perfect ratio of silica, the Night Dragon provides both exciting grip on acceleration and improved grip in wet conditions. It has outstanding grip at all lean angles with special compounds offering incredible straight line acceleration and traction. The new structural designs provide great stability and comfort.
HB: Do you offer replacement tires for H-D Touring models? If so, what's the estimated mileage of these tires?
The Night Dragon fits many of the H-D Touring models up through 2008, but it is designed first and foremost as a high-performance tire to maximize getting the power to the ground while featuring normal mileage wear. It's not a high mileage touring tire. If you ride your touring bike in a sporting manner, this one's for you!
For more information, visit http://www.us.pirellimoto.com
WW Owner Gary, with his trusty brown doby Gracie, guarding a fresh shipment of tires.
Tire Tips and Info From Wheel Works
Everyone has their go-to guy for tires. Ours is a SoCal favorite, Wheel Works (WW) in old town Garden Grove, California. WW is a family-owned and operated business that has served the motorcycling public since 1976 with tires, wheels, and hubs from all major brands as well as offering mounting, balancing, re-lacing and truing. Since they are right in our back yard we decided to stop in for a cup o' joe and with WW owner, Gary, and get his insight on what they've learned about tires over the years. http://www.wheel-works.com, (714)-530-6681
"Many people think their new tires have a coating on them and that's why they are slippery at first. They are slippery because you are actually not into the meat of the tire yet, you are actually on the edges of the tread. Once you get some miles on the tire(s) then you'll actually get into the tread and have better traction.
"One of the worst things you can put inside a tire is fix-a-flat or liquid balancer. Liquid balancer does not balance the tire. we have not been able to balance a tire with liquid balancer in it. The fix-a-flats and liquid balancers can actually void the warranty on your tires because both have agents in them that can eat away at the rubber and metal wheels. Fix-a-flat may get you off he side of the road, but WW doesn't recommend long-term use.
"Tires have a manufacturers date on them and they lose their quality just from sitting on a shelf. Most manufacturers have a tire life of five years from the day it was made to the day it should be discarded whether it was used or not. If you purchase a tire and it's already three years old, you only have two years left on the tire.
"A good thing to do is have your tires checked and balanced. You should check your cold tire pressure every time your ride with a quality gauge. The average you can expect to see out of a tire 8,000-10,000 miles, you should have your tires balanced in between there. On the average, riders will usually go through two rear tires before needing a front tire.
"Sometimes people complain of slow leaks. What we sometimes find is that the O-ring inside the valve cap has turned sideways or is not in the right position and therefore presses on the Shrader valve when you tighten the cap."
The Writing on the Wall (sidewall that is)
Speed Ratings (Sustained Speed)
Tire Size Markings
Tire sizes may be indicated in inches, metric measurements, or by letters. The chart shows approximate comparison of the different size indications.
|Inch ||2.75 ||3.25 ||3.50 ||3.75 ||4.25 ||5.00 ||5.50 ||6.00 |
|Metric ||80 ||90 ||100 ||110 ||120 ||130 ||140 ||150 |
|Alpha ||MH ||MJ ||MM ||MN ||MR ||MT ||MU ||MV |
WWW=Wide White Wall
RWL=Raised White Wall
SWS=Single White Stripe
Be sure to heed the max load capacity on your tires. Especially bagger owners when you load up for a long road trip with the wife.
Be sure to heed the max load capacity on your tires. Especially bagger owners when you loa
The last four digits of the tire's DOT code identifies the week and year the tire was manufactured. This tire was manufactured the 44th week of 2007.
The last four digits of the tire's DOT code identifies the week and year the tire was manu
This tells you the sidewall and tread construction of the tire.