Avon Roadriders vs. Pirelli Sport Demons

On a Custom 2008 Triumph Bonneville

September 24, 2013

I recently noticed that my rear tire, a 130/80V-17 Avon AM26 Roadrider had worn down in the center and needed to be replaced. See my previous post on my first install of this tire. I had heard good things about the Pirelli Sport Demon, so I ordered one through Amazon from Chaparral Motorsports.

On a recent September Saturday morning I went through the labor intensive process of removing the rear wheel, removing the old tire from the rim, cleaning everything, installing a new inner tube and the Pirelli Sport Demon.

When I got the wheel and tire on the balancing stand, I couldn’t believe how much weight it took to get it static balanced! A whole 5 ounces! When I remounted the wheel and took it for a spin, I noticed a distinct “bump” which I interpreted as an out of round, defective tire.

I contacted Chaparral through Amazon about this problem and they immediately offered to send me another tire, no questions asked. I debated this option, and then told them I preferred to go back to an Avon. They refunded the money for the Pirelli, and I purchased the Avon from them through Amazon.

After the new tire arrived, this past Saturday I went through the entire process again, mounting and balancing the new Avon. The balancing required less than half as much weight as the Pirelli. The test ride and every ride since has been smooth as silk!

I’m personally sticking with Avon’s! I am also very impressed with the customer service at Amazon and Chaparral… thank you Melody!

July 4, 2020

After riding the 2008 Bonneville for at least one year, and watching the Pirelli Demon rear tire develop a flat center spot, and the front Demon wear to almost no tread, I decided it was past time to get new tires. I wanted to go back to a traditional English brand like Avon’s and after a little research discovered that the Roadriders I have used previously were no longer available and that they had been replaced by a newer Mark II sport touring version.

Avon claims that the key benefits of the Avon Roadrider MKII include:

  • Better grip in wet and dry conditions
  • Reduced wear
  • Shorter braking distances

Wet testing indicates a sizeable improvement in stopping distance compared to the Avon Roadrider.

I installed a 130/90-17 on the rear and a 100/90-19 on the front. We shall see how they perform!