The Pirelli Angel GT?s are a poor choice for the GT or GTL and here?s why?.
In late July, I took a weekend trip to New Hampshire. I had replaced the OEM Metzler Z8?s in late 2012 and was unable to get replacements as there were production issues. I had gotten over 5,000 miles from the original tires and while they were not completely worn out, I wanted to be on the safe side with new tires so I opted for the Pirelli Angel GT?s for my 2012 K1600GT.
At first, they were great. Very sticky, good in the rain and excellent in twisties. The Angels had less than 3,000 miles when I left for New Hampshire and not in my wildest dreams did I think that the Angels would become a serious and dangerous problem during the trip. The tire pressure was 42/42 and the tread looked fine when I left. The ride to New Hampshire was long and we climbed Mt Washington on Saturday and then rode to Maine and back to New Hampshire. The two day total was about 500 miles.
Much to my sad surprise, I realized on Sunday morning that I was riding on the rear tire steel belts and probably had been for several hundred miles. All nearby motorcycle shop were closed for Sunday and Monday so the trip back to CT, with a good friend following closely, was very slow and without the onboard tire pressure gauge, I would have stopped every few miles to make sure that the tire was still inflated. The steel belts held and I rode straight to the dealer where I left the GT for a new set of Z8?s. Obviously, I had to change the front tire as well so this was an expensive lesson.
The story doesn?t end here?..
On Monday, July 29th, I called Pirelli in Rome, GA to explain what had happened and at first, they seemed interested. They even arranged for the rear tire to be shipped to Georgia for a tech inspection. Everything went downhill from that point. During repeated calls to Pirelli?s consumer hot line, I was always told that the tire was being evaluated and that my dealer would receive notification of the results of Pirelli?s evaluation. Neither the dealer or I was ever notified so I called Pirelli several more times and, after a month of waiting, was finally told that the tire was just worn out??. Yup, I already knew that and this tire was on a bike that had never had a pillion rider, had been carefully ridden by a motorcyclist with over 50 years of riding experience and had died in less than 3,000 miles.
If you have seen the advertising for the Pirelli Angel GT?s, you have no doubt seen that they are touted as being a high mileage tire. There?s even a test done by Germany?s Motorrad Magazine (no relationship to BMW) and the Angels come out on top. Well guess what?.. the tests were conducted using Suzuki Bandits which weigh about 200 pounds less that the GT and it?s likely that the test riders were lightweights as well.
Bottom line?.. The Pirelli Angel GT?s may be great for much lighter motorcycles and if you are looking for a good but short mileage tires for the GT?s, they might work for you.
Given my experience with both the tires and the terrible Pirelli corporate response, that?s it for me with any Pirelli tires, car or motorcycle. The irony here is that Pirelli owns Metzler??? Will the Pilot Road?s be my next tire?
I have been a marketing executive for my entire career and have never seen a company bungle customer service as badly as Pirelli.