This is a review of the new Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR. It is based on my personal experience and opinion. I was riding one set on my KTM 1190 Adv. to the end and have fitted a second set.
Period of usage: July/August 2017
Mileage used: approx. 6000 kms
Dimensions used: 120×70/19 Front, 170×60/17 Rear
Riding conditions: 70% solo with luggage, 30% solo
Price: approx. CHF 250 (only tyres without fitting)
What Pirelli says:
- Conceived for the latest generation of adventure, dual purpose and street enduro bikes, also capable of handling long trips and excursions, including off road sections.
- For those riders that are seeking versatility, balanced on and off road performance and a knobbly tyre with an aggressive look that does not sacrifice grip, safety on wet roads, mileage, stability and comfort
- A compound high in silica content that provides excellent grip in any conditions of use and high mileage.
- Excellent traction off road thanks to the new tread pattern.
- Performance on the road that boasts handling, stability and grip in both dry and wet conditions.
My findings are:
- Balanced on and off road performance: OK
I would consider this tyre as 60% on and 40% off road. The drawback is the soft casing in combination with the soft rubber which can lead to a tyre damage on fast, rocky tracks.
- Onroad performance: Very close to a street tyre
Due to the shape which resembles more a street tyre than an offroad tyre cornering is extremely easy. The tyre is very direct and agile and holds its line precisely. Cornering speed is outstanding. Safety on wet roads is excellent, I had a feeling like on dry roads. Feels very safe in heavy rain. Comfort is also excellent, the tyre produces very low noise.
- Grip in any conditions: Affirmative
As mentioned before, outstanding grip on tarmac as well as on gravel roads. Front feels very stable on gravel roads.
- Excellent traction off road: YES
Not much wheel spin in steep terrain, even if loose gravel.
- Handling of long trips, durability, including off-road: Average
I was using the tyre during an alpine trip and a 6 day rally, in total about 6000kms. During rally it was mainly used on narrow alpine mountain roads with hairpin corners using a high level of acceleration and braking. 20% of the mileage was on highways with average speeds of 140 km/h and top speeds of 200 km/h. Offroad usage was approx. 10-15% in total. At the end the rear tyre was at the minimal allowed tread depth. The front tyre was still good for another 3-6000 kms.
The only negative point was a puncture on the rear on a rocky gravel road towards the end of life. It could be fixed with a gummy worm. My buddy was using the same tyre on the same bike model and had a complete breakage of the casing. It seems as if the tyre is not well suited for fast and rocky tracks.
This is an excellent tyre as long it is not used on fast, rocky tracks. It will hold at least 6000kms which is not to bad given the performance it delivers. Most of the time I pushed this first set to it’s limits. Overall it get’s my thumb up, as it holds the promises made by Pirelli. Maybe not for world travelers but for those riders that emphasise on street performance and still want to be able to do some gravel. And watch your speed on fast, rocky tracks!
9 thoughts on “Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR”
Hi! Great article! I also read the one on the michelin anakee adventure (also very helpful)!.
I was wondering if you could give an advice on which tire would be better suited or would perform better in my situation.
I used to have a honda ATAS, with metzeler karoo street, which I really liked. Now I have a 1250 gs, with stock tires (bridgestone battlax a41), which I don’t like, because they are meant for asphalt only, regardless the 90/10 marketing.
I would like an 80/20 tire that performs very good on highway and mountain roads. In all honesty it’s very rare for me to do off-road. I want a tire that can handle very well on damaged pavement and gravel, on dry and wet conditions.
I am lingering better anakee adventure and scorpion rally str
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Thank you for your nice comments, will try to answer your question but take it with a grain of salt as it is just an opinion.
Very interestingly I also changed my adventure bike recently, from the KTM 1190 to a standard AT 2020, with DCT. The reason being that I want to do more offroad and gravel stuff in the future, quite the opposite of what you are looking for 😉
My AT has a Karoo Street mounted and I will change it with a Mitas E07+, a 60/40 tire. BTW, the Karoo Street left a very good impression, except that it is a bit noisy.
Looking at your Adventure Bike, the mighty 1250GS, staying on the street most of the time, but still maintaining the possiblity for gravel and dirt roads, I would consider one of the following tires:
Mitas Terra Force-R
Rather inexpensive tire, road biased, excellent performance in dry, wet and cold conditions, stiff carcass which is well suited for gravel roads and light offroading. It is not the most agile tire, when turning in, it needs a somewhat firmer hand.
Conti Trail Attack 3
One of the best road travel enduro tires in the market. Extremely agile and precise, very short warm-up phase, better mileage and rain performance than Attack 2, performs ok‘ish in gravel and dirt roads but has clear weaknesses off road.
Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR
possibly the tire that masters the biggest balancing act between on- and off-road, as described in my blog article. It is not the cheapest option, but it will perform very well in the riding profile you described.
Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.
Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out much. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.
Thanks for the real-world review. I just ordered an STR for the front of my R1200GS, having used Tourance exclusively (except for one TKC70 that I took off the front in terror) in search of better handling in gravel. I have been haunted by Pirelli’s press hinting that the tire is made for giving your street bike a rugged look. Your report puts me at ease. Maybe they should also offer a “Dakar” variation with a tougher casing, as do Mitas et al. TKC70 works well in back, and will pair with STR until replaced with STR.
thanks for your feedback. Meanwhile I had the opportunity to put some more miles on the STR and love it!. Not so much for it‘s capabilities on gravel but for the way it performs on mountain roads. As the limit range is very wide and therefore very predictable. It will let you know the loss of grip very early, making it easy to manage slight drifts even on a heavy adventure bike. This STR is one of my all time favourites!!!
Same opinion as you.
Very capable tire but stay away form sharp rocks.
Two punctures on a almost new rear tire.
Tried K60 and Anakee Wild but wil stick with Rally STR (even after two punctures).
Thank you for your comment, it is good to see that you made similar experiences and even drew the same conclusion regarding using it in the future. Before trying out this tyre I was using the Conti Trail Attack II, with a lifetime of approx. 10k Km’s. But if pushed to much they will not be fun to ride on the last third of their life span. The Pirelli’s in contrast were fun until the end.