Sticky Icky


Fast Bikes - - GROUP TEST -

A con­trol tyre is es­sen­tial for com­par­a­tive testing equal­ity, which is why we worked with long-term SBOTY part­ners, Bridge­stone and dressed all eight bikes in R10 rub­ber for a Grippy McGrip fest. The R10 is Bridge­stone’s top-shelf track­day and rac­ing tyre, and proved to be a hefty up­grade in grip for all SBOTY con­tenders. The R6 used a 180-sec­tion rear and, with no 200-sec­tion avail­able, a 190 rear was fit­ted to the big boys with­out hin­drance to elec­tron­ics or han­dling – the only re­cal­i­bra­tion needed was theAprilia’s com­plex APRC tech, which re­quires rid­ing along at 25mph at con­stant throt­tle. All tyres were the slightly harder Type 2 to al­low two days of un­in­ter­rupted spank­ing.

While the R10s are road-le­gal, they’re best suited to cir­cuit use and will never dis­ap­point: as much grip as you’ll ever need from the get-go and won­der­fully pro­gres­sive drop-off that’s un­ri­valled in mo­tor­cy­cling. There’s also a far racier pro­file over OE fit­ment, which se­ri­ously sharp­ened steer­ing for some. With no warm­ers, the R10 took a few laps to ob­tain heat and con­fi­dence when new. Once scrubbed in, ev­ery­thing was dandy and we re­lied on the Al­garve heat to al­low knee­down an­tics within half a lap.

Pres­sures are vi­tal on track and with Gary from Bridge­stone on hand with his wanger, the fronts were set at 31psi and rears at 27psi hot. Ev­ery bike did at least 100 laps with­out rub­ber is­sues, the Panigale mus­ter­ing well over 120 – although the rear looked like a slick, lap times were within a se­cond or two of its brand-new state. Wow...

There were no sus­pen­sion ad­just­ments needed. Ev­ery bike just rev­elled in ex­tra grip, more cor­ner speed and trail brak­ing. The only mod­i­fi­ca­tion car­ried out to the SBOTY fleet was the re­moval of the hero blobs, par­tic­u­larly the Fireblade’s shank-like weapons...

All hands to the pumps! After fit­ting many tyres, PT got busy!

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