Bridgestone Battlax BT-023 Motorcycle Tires review
The Bridgestone tire brand has a worldwide following, and anyone interested in motorsports will know that as they are the sole tire supplier to both the FIM MotoGP World Championship and the FIA Formula One series. With all that work on making tires to handle the extreme stresses of the most powerful engines being run at their extreme upper limits, Bridgestone knows how to make durable tires which perform above expectation. The new Bridgestone Battlax BT-023 is a result of that experience combined with a desire to manufacture a tire which the large sport touring community will easily choose to use on their long distance travels.
With the Battlax BT-023, Bridgestone started with their Silica Rich Ex and Silica Rich (rear) compound, obviously rich in silica, and managed to bind it with their RC Polymer – a rather tough to accomplish feat. The silica is for superior wet weather grip, and the latter is proprietary polymer blend created with nanotechnology which helps control the tire’s temperature and provides longer tread life. The rear tire pulls its design from the company’s racing models and incorporates a two compound, or 3 Layer Compound (3LC) as it is in three sections, construction with the center tread being harder than the tread along each of the tire’s shoulders. That harder material will cope with the heavier forces of acceleration and give long-life to the BT-023, whereas the softer material is there for excellent traction when leaned over. The High Tensile Super Penetrated Cord (HTSPC) is a unique feature of the Bridgestone BT-023; HTSPC is a construction of steel filaments insulated by rubber for improved heat resistance which maintains the superior structural benefits of steel.
The tread pattern used on the Battlax BT-023 is of course designed for improved handling, traction and a long tire wear life. Bridgestone cut a V-shaped pattern into the carcass for improved feel under braking, and a T-shaped pattern toward the edges is designed to keep the tire predictable and consistent. In the center of the rear is a smooth contact area that not only grips, but also keeps things stable and quiet. Bridgestone uses a Mono-Spiral Belt (MS-Belt) to eliminate overlapping belts, seams and joints; with a single strand of cord wrapped around the circumference of the carcass, the tire is extremely lightweight for its capabilities (it is very interesting to watch the BT-023 being created, do so if you can).
For heavier sport touring rides, there is a GT model which changes the front to a cross belt design to handle the stronger forces involved – high performance and heavy weight are common attributes on the bikes of the truly adventurous riders. Either of the BT-023 models carries the promise from Bridgestone of a long and reliable life on your bike’s rims. Just to prove that point, the older iterations of this design are still offered by some OEMs as standard equipment.
Only getting a short time with this new tire was not helped by having to do so in the rain. However, the Bridgestone Battlax BT-023 is a very good wet weather tire. The feedback is excellent – similar to having extra nerve impulses coming through the bars and into your hands. That connection is informative without being violent as the BT-023 is well-designed for absorbing heavy shocks to its surface. Overall, the Battlax BT-023 registers as an exceptional tire for spirited sport touring duty, and it will add confidence to your time on the road. Bridgestone’s new rubber technology is what you buy when you want to go into the mountains or just riding around the country, the BT-023 can do both very well.