Has the trackday touring tyre arrived?
05 April 2014 09:00
The Battlax BT-014 was the first ‘GP-derived’ Bridgestone, its technology handed down to road bikes from the Bridgestone development team run by Erv Kanemoto in 2001 and 2002. It was hot and sticky ‘hypersport’ rubber deemed good enough in 2004 to win the MCN Tyre of the Year award.
The Bridgestone T30, meanwhile, is a current sports touring tyre. It is designed to stay in profile for at least 8000 miles and has no racetrack pretensions.
Fitted to two identical Suzuki GSX-R600s on stock suspension settings we ran the tyres around the varied and testing turns of the Anglesey Coastal Circuit. After 30 miles we put MCN senior road tester Michael Neeves on board for five timed laps on each tyre.
Incredibly, if inevitably, Michael’s fastest lap was on the touring tyre. His times were consistently quicker on the T30 (and quick enough to run in the lower midfield of the Hottrax MotoGrande 600 race run at Anglesey last summer).
“The T30 touring tyre has instant warm up and a nicer turn in,” said Michael. “In fact, relatively speaking, the old BT-014 sports tyre doesn’t turn in on the brakes at all well.”
In 2004 the Bridgestone BT-014 was good enough to be chosen as a factory fitment on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K4. Today, Michael’s worried about its comparative lack of grip. “The T30 has more edge grip at high lean angles,” he says. “The only area the BT-014 can match the touring tyre is in its drive out of corners. Anyone who used the T30 on a trackday would actually have far more confidence than with the BT-014. Amazing.”
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