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New Bridgestone BT-023 impresses

MCN’s Adam Child recently travelled to Scotland to test the new Bridgestone sports-touring tyre. Here are his test notes…

Name: Bridgestone BT-023

Designed for: Sport touring on everything from Deauvilles to GSX-R1000s. There’s even a BT-023GT for heavier touring machines like BMW’s R1200RT.

What’s its USP? Bridgestones sportiest touring tyre yet, replacing the BT-021, and estimated (by Bridgestone) to last around 8-10% longer than it, too.

Front is a single-compound, rear is triple-compound.

Riding impressions: The weather in northern Scotland was almost perfect for British tyre testing – cold with the odd shower thrown in for good measure.

I immediately opted for Honda’s Fireblade to test the new rubber to the limit from the off.

Within a quick mile the rear tyre was already up to temperature, you could feel it offering a high level of grip exiting roundabouts hard on the gas.

Each time I tried to slide the rear it would grip and send the front skywards. Front grip also seemed excellent considering the single figure temperatures.

Later in the day we rode through some heavy rain, and the side-grip from the new BT023 really impressed. The front felt planted even at very high speeds through damp conditions

 These are some of the best road legal tyres I’ve tried in the wet, giving loads of confidence and feedback.

Later in the day I jumped on Kawasaki’s ZZR1400 to really put the rear tyre under some strain. The tyre would obviously spin from cold but again within a mile of so, even in single figure temperatures it refused to slide.

I could only get the rear to step out on stupid handfuls of throttle with a whiff of clutch.

Again the front gave plenty of feel and the ride seemed very smooth from the GT compound tyre.

The BT-023 comes highly recommended for summer and all-year use, especially on bikes like Suzuki’s new GSX1250F or Honda’s new VFR1200F.

Sizes: 110/70 x 17, 120/60 x 17, 120/70 x 17, 120/70 x 18, 110/80 x 18 front; 150/70 x 17, 160/60 x 17, 160/70 x 17, 170/60 x 17, 180/55 x 17, 190/50 x 17, 160/60 x 18 rear.

Rivals: Michelin Pilot Road 2, Pirelli Angel ST, Dunlop Roadsmart, Avon Storm ST Ultra, Metzeler Roadtec Z6 Interact.

Cost: £220-£240 a pair.

Verdict: Grippy in the wet, showing true sporting ability and long-life potential.

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