FITTED TO THE DUCATI SUPERSPORT S
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?