Fast Bikes - - TEST -

In many ways the S21s fit­ted to the Duke had the eas­i­est time of all the tyres. A Hy­per­sport tyre de­signed ex­actly for the use we put it to – fast road rid­ing and the oc­ca­sional track day, the rub­ber was tested less sim­ply be­cause of the qual­ity of the Su­per­Sport S’s Öh­lins sus­pen­sion, with its more mod­est power out­put and smooth de­liv­ery also re­duc­ing the strain.

“Good sus­pen­sion can re­ally en­hance a tyre’s per­for­mance,” says Gary, “It’s ex­actly why su­per­stock rac­ers im­prove their sus­pen­sion. Do­ing that al­lows them to get much more from a set of tyres. It’s all part of the grip equa­tion. Con­versely, if you fit­ted these tyres to the Z1000SX, you wouldn’t ap­pre­ci­ate their ad­van­tage as its crude sus­pen­sion would negate it.”

From the off the S21s worked well on the Duke at Oul­ton. Grip was as good as I needed, and their sharper pro­files helped the bike turn through the chi­canes very nicely. In the sec­ond ses­sion though, I felt feed­back was lack­ing slightly. Test­ing the other two bikes meant the track was a lot warmer by the time I gave them an­other go and the dif­fer­ence was ob­vi­ous. With more heat the feel im­proved a hell of a lot, and com­bined with the Du­cati’s ex­cel­lent chas­sis I’d wager it was pos­si­ble to do the best laps on this rub­ber – even if the V-Twin was over 60 horses down on power to the KTM.

More sur­pris­ing was how well they fared along the wet roads of Le­ices­ter­shire the fol­low­ing day. I can’t say they were as limpet-like as the T30EVOs, but I felt very se­cure giv­ing it some in front of the cam­era. Gary said Bridge­stone has been specif­i­cally try­ing to im­prove the wet weather per­for­mance of the S21s, thanks to tech­ni­cal ad­vances help­ing them to ex­tend the mileage of the rub­ber to ac­cept­able lev­els. Bear­ing this achieve­ment in mind the tyre firm can con­cen­trate on other as­pects of the tyre’s per­for­mance to broaden its over­all ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The S21 loves its own re­flec­tion...

New shoes, sir?


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