Tread carefully if you tattoo tyres

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By Motoring Staff

Clearly bored with scientific compounds and mundane tread patterns, Italian tyre maker Pirelli has moved on to the next step in rubber innovation by tattooing its tyres.

Last September, Pirelli commissioned tattoo artist Scott Campbell to engrave the tread of a Diablo Rosso II motorcycle tyre with an artwork called the Holy Trinity, which was displayed on a Ducati Diavel at the opening of a Pzero store in Milan.

Now the brand’s taken tyre tattooing a step further by adding colour, and displayed the new art form at its stand at a recent motorcycle exhibition in Italy.

Traditional tattoo techniques, with a high-speed skin-penetrating needle, wouldn’t work on black rubber, so the artist first engraves the tyre with a chisel then paints it with acrylic enamels.

The result is a true work of art, solely for display purposes and short-lived due to the properties of the components in the compound, but capable of evoking emotion and interest in anyone who sees it. -Star Motoring

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