Bridgestone Battlax AT41 review: Are these new tyres too off-roady for Neevesy?

Bridgestone Battlax Adventure Trail AT41
Bridgestone Battlax Adventure Trail AT41

With their deep, chunky tread blocks Bridgestone’s new AT41 motorcycle tyres have been designed to give your adventure bike a rugged look and a modicum of off-road performance. They suggest around an 80/20, on/off-road split.

Compared to a smoother dual-purpose, or sports touring tyre the AT41 has less rubber in contact with the tarmac and more tread movement, but they still perform superbly with enough grip for knee and peg down shenanigans. That’s impressive from a tyre that would be just as happy ripping up a gravel fire road as scratching along a mountain pass.

Price: From £115 front and £128 rear

I decided to fit them to my 2022 Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer long-termer, not because I ever want to go off the beaten track (and I never have), but more to learn more about adventure rubber, after a lifetime of riding on pure road and track tyres.

Bridgestone Battlax AT41 front tyre

The Bridgestones significantly change the way the Triumph feels compared to the standard, more road focussed Mezteler Tourance Next dual-purpose tyres. Outright dry and wet grip is similarly reassuring, but the AT41’s ride quality is so much firmer (especially noticeable two-up) I’ve had to soften the Triumph’s electronic suspension damping to compensate.

Like with most knobblies, there’s more road noise, too and they emit a high-pitched whine at motorway speeds. They also hurt fuel economy to the tune of 3-4mpg and reduce the big Tiger’s tank range by around 20 miles.

Stability is affected slightly with a light, but unobtrusive shimmy through the bars between 40-45mph and it’s easy to feel the rubber’s off-road genes on the way into corners.

Bridgestone Battlax Adventure Tour AT41

The Bridgestone front isn’t as sure-footed as the Metzeler and the steering now responds better to short, sharp inputs, rather than smoother arcs when the Tiger tends to understeer. They take longer to warm-up and while they grip well in the rain the front struggles to dig in on sub-4-degree wet tarmac.

As far as wear goes, the rear started to square off after around 3000 miles and now, 1500 miles later, it’s almost ready to be replaced. The front tyre shoulders are showing signs of wear, too. I managed over 7000 miles on the Metzelers rear before it was time to replace them and the front still looked like new. 

None of these behaviours are a criticism of the tyre, more the type of tyre I decided to fit. It exemplifies why choosing the right rubber for the way you ride is so important and that’s true buying anything from adventure to sports and racing tyres. For rubber like this to perform well both on and off road there will always be a compromise in either direction.

Bridgestone Battlax AT41 tyres tested by Michael Neeves

So, if you own an adventure bike and never plan to leave the tarmac, go for a more road-focussed tyre for maximum grip, stability, comfort and confidence. And if I was going to choose a Bridgestone, their superb T32 sports touring tyre, available in sizes to fit the Tiger, would be at the top of my list.

Bridgestone Battlax Adventure Trail AT41 spec and detail

  • Price: From around £275/set, fitted
  • Available: Now
  • Where we tested them: UK, France, Italy, Sicily. Used solo and 2666 miles with pillion.
  • When we tested them: October 2022 – February 2023
  • Miles used: 4500
  • Bike: Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer
  • Size: Front: 120/70 x 19. Rear: 150/60 x 17. Available in most popular 17in/18in rear, 19in/21in front adventure bike sizes

See what Neevesy thought of the Triumph Tiger 1200 GT Explorer in this video:

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