Pirelli Scorpion Enduro Tyre Review | Testing Some New Italian Enduro Rubber

Price: $124.99 AUD Available From: FE Sports Weight: 1,003g (Scorpion M) - 1,038g (Scorpion R)

It was way back in 2020 when we last tested a set of the Pirelli Scorpion tyres. Despite the Italian brand being a new player in the mountain bike world, we came away thoroughly impressed with the Scorpion’s quality construction, predictable grip and long-term durability.

Since then the Pirelli range has exploded with more tread patterns, casing options and new rubber formulations, which has created a somewhat bamboozling array of options.

pirelli scorpion enduro m r tyres tires
It’s been ages since we last tested a set of Pirelli tyres, and since then the range has exploded with a bamboozling array of options.

Thankfully the lineup is relatively easy to decipher, with Pirelli separating the options into riding disciplines; XC, Trail, Enduro, E-MTB and Downhill. Each category features a unique casing and rubber formulation that’s designed to suit the intended application.

After selecting the appropriate category, you simply choose the tread pattern based on your riding conditions. There’s a Scorpion M for mixed conditions, a Scorpion S for soft conditions, and a Scorpion H for hardpack. There’s even a rear-specific Scorpion R.

To get up to speed with some of the newer options in the range, we recently got our hands on a set of the Pirelli Scorpion Enduro tyres to see how they perform on the trail.

pirelli scorpion enduro m r tyres tires
We went with a set of the Pirelli Scorpion Enduro tyres, with the ‘M’ tread up front, and the ‘R’ tread for the rear.
pirelli scorpion enduro m r tyres tires
Ben fitted the Pirelli Scorpion Enduro tyres to his personal Kavenz VHP 16.

Pirelli Scorpion Enduro M

As the label implies, the Pirelli Scorpion Enduro M slots into the ‘Enduro’ range. The ‘M’ refers to its intermediate tread profile, which is claimed to offer versatile all-condition performance.

This tyre is available in a 29in diameter in both 2.4in and 2.6in widths, and in a 27.5×2.6in size. You can get it in two different casing options. There’s the standard ProWall casing, and then the HardWall casing that adds apex reinforcement to provide greater pinch-flat resistance and stability at lower pressures. The HardWall casing is said to add 100g of extra mass per tyre.

To suit Ben’s Kavenz VHP 16, we went for the 29×2.4in size and the HardWall casing in the Pirelli Scorpion Enduro M. We were pleasantly surprised to find it came in lighter than claimed at just 1,003g.

SmartGRIP Gravity

As with all Pirelli mountain bike tyres, the Scorpion Enduro M features a single rubber compound. This differs to the likes of Maxxis and Schwalbe, which use two or three compounds per tyre, often in a layered configuration. Pirelli claims the single compound offers greater consistency throughout the life of the tyre, with less deterioration in grip and feel as the tread wears down.

pirelli scorpion enduro m r tyres tires
We didn’t know what to expect from the Pirelli Scorpion Enduro M, but it’s provided an exceptional amount of grip that rivals the Assegai it replaced.

Compared to the XC and Trail tyres, the Scorpion Enduro M incorporates the SmartGRIP Gravity compound. This rubber is significantly softer, which is all about increasing traction and damping. Pirelli claims it still offers good durability and tear resistance.

So far we’ve been really impressed with the level of traction available up front with the Scorpion Enduro M, which is not dissimilar to the Maxxis Assegai 3C MaxxGrip tyre that it replaced. For those who are chasing more traction again, Pirelli has just released an Enduro Race version, which features an even softer rubber compound. Those will be available in Australia soon, and we’ll be trying those out to see how they compare to the regular version we have here.

pirelli scorpion enduro m r tyres tires
On the back we’ve got the faster-rolling Pirelli Scorpion Enduro R tyre.

Pirelli Scorpion Enduro R

To match our Pirelli Scorpion Enduro M tyre on the front, we went with the rear-specific Enduro R out back.

You can get the Scorpion Enduro R in 2.4in and 2.6in widths, and in both 27.5in and 29in diameters. It features the same SmartGRIP Gravity rubber compound, and it’s available with ProWall or HardWall casing options.

Again we went for the HardWall version, which is a no-brainer for a rear tyre on a big travel bike. Our 29×2.4in test tyre came in at 1,038g, which is a very competitive weight for a tyre that’s designed for enduro racing and aggressive trail riding.

pirelli scorpion enduro m r tyres tires
The centre tread blocks are packed closely together, forming a wide band that offers a surprising amount of bite for both climbing and braking.

The tread pattern is clearly different to the Scorpion Enduro M. The centre tread blocks are stacked more tightly together, and they feature a much shallower in profile. The result is a significant improvement in rolling resistance, while the staggered array and generous transition blocks helps to give it a very consistent feel when leaning over into a corner.

There’s still excellent climbing and braking traction, providing you’re on hardpack or intermediate surfaces. If conditions are really loose however, we’d recommend running the Enduro M tyre front and rear. And if you regularly ride in the wet, then you may want to consider the Scorpion S for maximum grip.

For most Aussie mountain bikers however, the Scorpion M and Scorpion R combo is an excellent choice, and one that we’ve been pleasantly surprised with so far.

pirelli scorpion enduro m r tyres tires
While we’ve been impressed with the Pirelli Scorpion Enduro tyres, we’ll be trying out the new Enduro Race version in the near future, which is said to offer even more grip.

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