Writing about bikes for 20 years. Published in dozens of titles on five continents. Mildly obsessed with discovering how things work.
Bridgestone has used the Intermot show in Cologne as a platform to launch no fewer than four new tyres that are coming in 2019 including redesigned sports, adventure, scrambler and enduro rubber.
Bridgestone’s new Hypersports S22 is a replacement for the previous S21, a tyre designed for superbikes that has an eye on the road instead of purely focussing on track use.
Compared to the S21, Bridgestone says the S22 increases cornering speed in the dry by an astounding 15%, improving laptimes by 1.2%, but in the wet it promises a 5% faster laptime – as measured on a BMW S1000RR around Autopolis in Japan, anyway.
It uses three separate compounds, with the hardest in the centre, a softer section as you start to lean and the very softest right on the edge of the tyre. Overall, it promises better grip in every situation compared to the S21, both wet and dry.
Bridgestone will be offering the S22 in a range of sizes, all for 17-inch rims, from January. The sole front option initially will be a 120/17 ZR17, allied to 160/60, 180/55, 190/50, 190/55 and 200/55 ZR17 rear options. A year later, in January 2020, the firm will bring a smaller 110/70 R 17 front and narrower 140/70 and 150/60 rears along with a 180/60 ZR17 size.
Adventure bikes are the hottest market out there at the moment so it’s no surprise to see companies racing to make a wide range of tyre options for them. Bridgestone’s new Adventurecross AX41 is a more off-road biased alternative to the on-road Battlax Adventure A41.
Compared to that tyre, the AX41 is more rigid and features more tread blocks. Unsurprisingly, the result is better off-road grip and traction, but it loses out in when it comes to on-road grip in both wet and dry conditions compared to the A41.
Initially there will be a range of fronts including 100/90-19, 110/80-19, 120/70-19 and 90/90-21, allied to rears ranging from 130/80-17 to 170/60-17, plus a 150/70-18 option. Those go on sale in January 2019. In 2020, the range will be expanded further to include a host of additional sizes.
Scrambers are another growing segment of the market and Bridgestone’s Adventurecross Scrambler AX41S is designed to cater to them.
Despite the similar name to the Adventurecross AX41, the AX41S has a completely different tread design, with a blocky look but far less off-road intent. It’s aimed at both scramblers and cafe racers, giving a retro look combined with a sports-touring rubber compound.
The first sizes go on sale in February 2019, with a range of fronts including 120/70 R17, 110/80 R18 and 120/70 R19. For the rear there are 160/60 R15, 160/60 R17, 170/60 R17 and 180/55 R17 options.
In January 2020, the range will grow to include 100/90-18, 100/90-19 and 130/80/18 fronts, plus 130/80-17 and 180/80-14 rears.
A full-on enduro tyre, the Battlecross E50 is aimed at competition use, although it is homologated to be used on the road if you so desire.
A new tread pattern, designed to increase the edge component of the blocks, is claimed to improve cornering and straight line traction.
Sizes available in January are 90/90-21 for the front and a choice of 120/90-18 or 140/80-18 for the rear.