Motorcycle Owners Club

Honda CG125 but also some universal motorcycle information

Pirelli City Demon Motorcycle Tyre Review

The Pirelli City Demon tyres (tire) were fitted as standard (at the factory)
to my Honda CG125 motorcycle when I bought it brand new (front disc model) in 2005.
2.75 - 18 Front, 90 / 90 - 18 Rear.

I have covered around 50,000 miles with tyres around those sizes on several different bikes between 100 and 250cc,
over many years (I passed my motorcycle test a long time ago).

So I have experience in how such narrow tyres should perform (narrow tyres are normally found on most 50 to 250cc bikes).

I did manage to wear the Pirelli City Demon tyres out after around 8000 miles
(mileage will vary depending on riding style and weight).

My review below might make you think the tyres or bike were faulty or setup wrong,
I can confirm the bike and tyres were not faulty or setup wrong because,
I used the bike on a different make of tyre without any problems,
I tried an identical 2nd hand bike with Pirelli City Demon tyres on,
I also checked the tyre pressures and wheel alignment.

Several years after my review below, someone with a Yamaha YBR125 (same tyres sizes) confirmed my findings.
And he had been through several sets of the tyres purchased over many years.
So that rules out any ideas that the tyres were faulty.

The tyres are not as bad as many of the unbranded (or Chinese brands) of cheap tyres.
But I do not recommend them for anyone to use.

The Good

Never made me drop the bike, but that could have been due to me being so afraid of them and so riding slowly.
In the wet they still gripped (but I always ride very carefully on soaking wet roads).
They still grip well enough on painted white lines.

The Bad

As mentioned above the tyres and bike were not faulty or setup incorrectly.

Cornering (going round a bend) was terrible

I swear the front and rear tyres did not want to go round a bend together.
For example, a bend where the average to slow car driver takes at 40mph,
the rear tyre would make the rear of the bike including the riders seat wobble sideways (left and right)
several times throughout the corner (very un nerving).
The front tyre had to be forced to go round the bend at that speed,
requiring a lot of leaning and wrestling the handlebars to force it round the corner.
The best way to describe the problem is by watching motorcycle racing,
when they push the tyres to far in a bend you see the back tyre wobble all over the place.
If I took the bend at 30 mph there was no problem,
but car drivers behind would get very frustrated and get very close to the bike.

Braking

For example, you're in the middle of a city and approach a set of traffic lights at 30 mph, they start to turn red at the worst time.
So you have to stop quickly, not severely (if you had you could legally go through the red light in the UK).
The front tyre feels like it turns to jelly and squiggles left and right and makes the steering almost impossible to control
(you can keep it going straight ahead).

Cornering (part 2)

When you go round a bend slow enough not to get the rear tyre wobbling (like in part 1 above),
you would still have the other major problem with the front tyre.
You get locked in to the line you have set the bike to go round the bend.
If you need to alter the line when your part way though the bend it is extremely hard,
and it's often impossible to be accurate enough (tyre overreacts or does not react enough).
This makes for a really bad and dangerous riding experience
if you find the bend tightens up more than you were expecting or find something in the road.
A learner will suffer a lot from this problem, but even an experienced rider will suffer.

Rolling Resistance and Feel of the Road surface

The rolling resistance is bad.
The tyre also absorb lots of the feel of the road surface in a bad way,
it's like having thick jelly, absorbs energy but also wobbles slightly.

Conclusion

After riding these tyres for around 8000 miles I can thoroughly recommend you do not buy them (they are not even very cheap).

Compared to all the other makes and models of tyres I have used over all the years,
the tyres are well below average but not the worst.

< Tyres