February launch for five new Battlax tyres
No fewer than five new tyres will join the Bridgestone Battlax motorcycle tyre portfolio in February 2018. The new arrivals are the Battlax Sport Touring T31 sport touring tyre, Battlax Adventure A41 for the adventure category, Battlax Scooter SC2 and Battlax Scooter SC2 Rain scooter tyres and Battlax Racing R11 circuit racing tyre.
Battlax Sport Touring T31
The first of these is described as Bridgestone’s “flagship model for the sport touring category.” The Battlax Sport Touring T31 is the successor tyre to the Battlax Sport Touring T30 Evo, and Bridgestone says it maintains the stability and wear life performance of the previous tyre generation while offering improved wet performance and riding comfort. It adds that the T31 decreases braking distances on wet roads and delivers higher cornering grip to contribute safety trip in unpredictable weather.
The tread pattern on the T31 features increased groove ratios on the shoulder area to allow for better water displacement and improved wet performance. The groove ratio is reduced in the centre of the tread to contribute to increased block rigidity for shorter braking distance under wet conditions.
A new tread compound has been used, and the talk is of improved silica dispersion at a molecular level, giving the compound greater flexibility. Bridgestone explains that this flexibility allows the T31 to grip the road better when weight is applied while the improved dispersion also facilitates the rubber molecules’ movement, generating energy loss that further increases grip. Bridgestone also took steps to improve grip under low temperature conditions, allowing the tyres to achieve strong grip on wet surfaces.
The rear T31 tyre features Bridgestone’s ‘3LC’ (dual centre/shoulder tread compounds) and ‘CAP&BASE’ (a cap tread containing soft silica compound and a base tread containing a medium silica) constructions; both have been used to provide the tyre with increased rigidity in the tread shoulder, a configuration that optimises stability whilst cornering.
Bridgestone also utilised its proprietary ‘ULTIMAT EYE’ measurement technology to visualise tyre contact surface behaviour during actual riding conditions. Based on these measurements, it increased the adhesive area at the front of the contact patch (in comparison to the T30Evo) and reduced the slippage area at the rear of the contact patch. These changes contribute to improved wet cornering grip and increased dry handling response.
Battlax Adventure A41
Another new flagship model, this time for the adventure category. Bridgestone reports that the Battlax Adventure A41 offers enhanced wet performance and stability in comparison to its predecessor, the Battlax Adventure A40, while also maintaining the same level of wear life performance. When developing the A41, Bridgestone says it placed particular emphasis on shortening braking distance and improving cornering grip on wet surfaces.
As with the T31, the tread pattern on the A41 features increased groove ratios on the shoulder to allow for better water dispersion and improved wet performance, while the centre has a reduced groove ratio for shorter braking distance under wet conditions.
Bridgestone has sought to improve grip in low temperature conditions through compounding, and says the result is increased grip for the A41 on wet surfaces. In addition, the front tyre features 3LC technology while the rear tyre has both 3LC and CAP&BASE to provide sufficient grip levels on dry surfaces.
Again, Bridgestone’s ULTIMAT EYE technology came into play. Based on the measurements gained, Bridgestone reduced the slippage area in the rear of the tyre’s contact patch (in comparison to the A40) in order to improve wet cornering grip.
Battlax Scooter SC2 and Battlax Scooter SC2 Rain
Bridgestone presents the Battlax Scooter SC2 as a tyre that boast superior grip and high roll linearity on dry surfaces, while the Battlax Scooter SC2 Rain aims to offer exceptional traction and handling on wet surfaces.
Both front and rear SC2 tyres use the same tread pattern as the Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21. Bridgestone shares that the SC2 offers improved dry grip cornering performance; its compound contains “a higher level of grip improving substances for superb dry grip performance in all temperature ranges.”
The front and rear SC2 Rain fitments use the same pattern as the new Battlax Sport Touring T31. The groove ratio has been increased throughout the entire tyre to improve water drainage for higher wet performance, while the compound used in the SC2 Rain has an increased silica ratio to improve wet traction and handling. In addition, size 160/60R15 tyres employ 3LC to secure sufficient dry cornering grip.
Battlax Racing R11
Designed for circuit racing performance, the Bridgestone Battlax Racing R11 is said to combine superior performance with ease of use by “employing cutting-edge technologies forged during the course of the Bridgestone brand’s ongoing provision of motorcycle race tyres of unparalleled quality.” With a newly designed tread pattern, a newly developed belt construction and new rear compound, Bridgestone states that the R11 “delivers superb grip and an undeniable feeling of being grounded, providing a sense of security and comfort when racing on circuits.”
In developing the tread pattern for the R11, Bridgestone measured the direction of force input on the tyre by plotting the abrasion pattern that appears on racing tyres during circuit riding. The tread main grooves were arranged in the same direction as the direction of force input in order to maximise grip when cornering and high stability when cornering or changing speeds.
The newly developed V-MS・BELT (Variable pitch-Mono Spiral Belt) construction features the same circumferential-direction distribution of steel cords as the MS• BELT construction, but with a different tread position. This change, states Bridgestone, greatly improves the contact properties of the tyre and contributes to a more even distribution of contact pressure. The rear tyre employs the GP-Belt construction to further improve contact properties. In addition, Bridgestone’s ULTIMAT EYE technology was utilised to optimise the V-MS• BELT construction.