Avon has generally been a tire for the cruisers of the motorcycle world, and in the super sport market? Well, there’s been a bit of skepticism in the local ride community. Avon’s ignored the raised eyebrows and has encouraged everyone to try their latest wares, and there are a few good reasons to. The first? The Avon Viper Sports.
The Avon Viper Sports boast an Enhanced Aqua Flow (EAF) tread pattern, a technology laden silica formulation for excellent heat up times, and Advanced Variable Belt Density System (A-VBD) which increases the wear time for the center of the tire while keeping the sides of the tire soft when at extreme lean. The real question is how that alphabet soup measures up on the road.
My local mechanic had plenty to say about Avon Viper Sport’s as he installed them. None of it good! Then again these are a new offering, and have to be judged on their own merit.
As the old the tires were coming off I took this opportunity to compare the Viper’s against a set of Michelin Pilot Powers. The first obvious difference was the shape; the Viper’s were much rounder versus the Pilot Powers. This could prove interesting in the corners! Resulting in a smoother transition and fall in. Next, I noticed how different the tread pattern is. The Viper’s had much deeper and curved cuts. At the very least the Avon will be a good rain tire.
Despite what the mechanic said the tires were on my bike and ready to go. On the road I immediately felt the rounder shape of the tires versus my old set. The bike was much easier transitioning from side to side. Some of that will change as the tire’s profile changes once they heats up and the centrifugal force molds it to the Honda F4I’s rims. However, I cannot wait to get out there on some excellent esse corners.
Luckily I was about to embark on a road trip, through the western United States – Destination Grand Canyon. An excellent test of the Vipers and an opportunity to expand my motorcycle tire vocabulary. By the Northern Cascade Mountains in Washington the tires were scrubbed in and I had my first opportunity to ride them as Avon intended.
Through the long sweeping turns I held with a Pirelli Diablos shod VFR, feeling no hesitation at what these tires could do. They felt absolutely solid in the turns and gave me plenty of feedback, as I was getting closer to the edges worrying away the “chicken strips”. Next, the Cascades served up some wet and sandy corners.
Easing off on the lean angle the Vipers still felt firmly planted on the road. The deep curved grooves were not only looking great but kept the water and sand causing angst. By the end of a long day, 750km-plus, first day on the Viper’s I felt right at home with them.
Southwards bound we stabbed into Utah and Arizona, treated to hotter temperatures and excellent roads. Throughout the ride I find myself dancing to the edges of the Vipers, with unwavering confidence. These tires are truly made for super sports.
Next time you are on a long distance ride or out for a quick rip through the local roads, be sure to take a look at tires of the various sport bikes out there. You may notice that Avon is making serious inroads into the sport and supersport market. Once more Pirelli, Michelin, Bridgestone, and Dunlop must make room. Avon is here to stay.
For more information: www.avonmotorcycle.com