Pirelli have been making versions of the Scorpion tyre for a couple of years now, but these are the first foray into the enduro market, and they do seem to have done a pretty good job.
The Scorpion Enduro S is aimed at aggressive riding in loose and soft conditions as either a front or rear tyre, with the Enduro R a rear specific version for mixed terrain.
Both tyres have a single compound that Pirelli call SmartGRIP, which they say provides a chemical grip in wet conditions whilst being tear resistant and providing consistent performance as the tyre wears down. The sidewalls use Pirelli’s Hardwall casing that uses multiple reinforcement and a thick rubber insert over the bead to prevent punctures.
Weight is competitive for a hard-hitting enduro tyre too, with the S weighing in at 1050g and the R at 1010g, which is slightly lighter as a pair than the Michelin Wild Enduro tyres I have been using recently. The S is actually a tad heavier than a Michelin Front whilst the R is slightly lighter.
I mounted an S on the front, paired with the R and rode them in a variety of conditions from super blown out dust and loose gravel, to wet roots and loamy hero dirt, although I never had the opportunity to try them in any really wet mud. I would say the S mounted on the front is pretty good all round tyre, but not quite as aggressive as something like a Michelin Wild Enduro or Maxxis Assegai, which are the two benchmark tyres in my eyes at the moment, although they did roll better. In the dry loose conditions, it did not quite have the bite I was after, but then it was the first loose dusty conditions I had ridden post the wet winter, so perhaps that had something to do with it.
On the same trails a couple of weeks later on what I would say was perfect hero dirt, they were pretty impressive though, digging in well and allowing me to push hard once I got a feel for them. On wet roots they were also surprisingly grippy considering the slightly hard feel to the compound, so perhaps the chemical properties of the SmartGRIP coming into play there. Once I get an opportunity, I look forward to trying S mounted as a pair front and rear in some wet and muddy conditions.
The R on the rear was a similar story, with plenty of grip in the same conditions, but with a slightly less aggressive centre tread pattern it did break away a bit sooner than the front, which is no bad thing, and most importantly it was predictable. The same tighter centre tread pattern made for a fairly fast rolling tyre too.
In terms of reliability, I had no issues with punctures or torn knobs, and they seated tubeless pretty easily using a track pump, with a nice ping as they snapped into place on the rim. Once the sealant had worked its way around the tyre they held air pressure well too, with just a small top up over a two week period.
What do we think?
For UK summer riding and in mixed conditions the Pirelli Scorpion is a decent tyre that blends lower rolling resistance with more bite than you might expect.
Could do better:
Tread could be a bit more aggressive
You can check out Pirelli’s new Scorpion range on their website here.