The 2021 MOTORRAD test launched earlier than usual this year. Good news right? The test focuses on six sports tyre pairings from premium brands Continental, Dunlop, Metzeler, Michelin, Pirelli and Bridgestone of course. MOTORRAD evaluated all six sports tyres on highways, on a racetrack, and in the rain, with equal weighting of one third each. So overall, the everyday part of this test predominates by two thirds to one.
Excited? With a potential maximum of 600 points, our Bridgestone Battlax S22 received the best score of the test. A stunning overall score of 556 points makes it the winner of the 2021 MOTORRAD Tyre Test. Let’s dive in the results of our magnificent Battlax S22!
More about the MOTORRAD test
At the end of 2020 and with plenty of social distancing, MOTORRAD was able to stake out their tyre test course at the Goodyear-Dunlop site in Mireval (France). Besides the permanently irrigated wet test track, a highlight was the old “Carland” GP track, a perfectly curved roller coaster for the highway and racetrack tests. The MOTORRAD tyre evaluation focused on the following criteria:
- Handling: The steering force required to lean the bike and maintain a line in S-shaped bends.
- Handling on the limit*: This refers to how manageable the tyre is at its limit. Tests on wet and dry track.
- Steering precision*: Steering precision in sections of varying speed with complex corner radii. This indicates whether the bike follows the desired line dictated by the steering forces or if the rider has to correct.
- Cornering stability: Tests wobble in (S-shaped) curves and on uneven surfaces. This is tested in different ways (solo/with pillion) and with a large lean when accelerating.
- Directional stability: This is tested at high speed. Does the bike stay on course or is the ride spoiled by wobbling?
- Grip/acceleration*: Refers to the cornering grip and transfer of force in corners of different speeds (wet/dry).
- Grip/lean angle*: The cornering grip at maximum lean (wet/dry). This kind of balancing act is only possible in test conditions.
- Righting moment: This term refers to how the bike rights itself when braking in a lean position. The rider has to counteract this reaction by pushing on the inside end of the steering.
- Inflation pressure**: Highway/wet conditions (front/rear): 2.5/2.9 bar; racing track as specified above
*The sections marked with an asterisk are applicable to motorbikes with a similar geometry to the Yamaha YZF-R1; **The individually stated and correspondingly lowered inflation pressure recommendations of the tyre manufacturers refer exclusively to use on the racetrack.
The bike in the MOTORRAD test: Yamaha YZF-R1
While the 17-inch tyre dimensions 120/70 (front) and 180/55 (rear) are common amongst existing bikes, current superbikes now run on wide 190/55 tyres at the rear, and in some cases even 200/55. In line with original equipment requirements, tyre developers are increasingly tuning new models to these big dimensions. MOTORRAD deliberately chose a typical supersports bike, the current R1, so that the results of this comparison are as universal as possible.
The results: Bridgestone Battlax S22 once again Test Winner
Round one: Highway
Once brought up to temperature, our Battlax S22 takes corners very smoothly and with crystal- clear feedback for its grip reserves. It behaves in a pleasantly neutral way and moves into a lean angle like a natural. With good handling and plenty of absorbance, it continues to deliver top feedback even at brisk speeds.
Round two: Racetrack
Driven with inflation pressure recommendation front/rear 2.2/2.0 bar: Exemplary steering precision, solid grip, unshakeable stability and very good handling are the advantages during a fast turn around the track. Thanks to its phenomenal feedback, the rider can lean particularly hard into the bend and it boasts the best lap times in the test.
Round three: Wet Performance
The Battlax S22’s broad limit range means that skids announce themselves early – making it very easy to gauge in the rain. Front and rear tyres are very well balanced in terms of grip level. Excellent braking ability!