Japanese giant brings performance to customs
Bridgestone Battlecruise £280
Bridgestone may be, in their own words, Ôthe worldõs largest manufacturer of tyresõ with some of the greatest sports and sports-touring bike rubber available anywhere, but if you like your motorcycling dirty or American-style, itõs quite possible youõve never noticed.
And thatõs because, until the tyre giantõs re-entry into motocross and enduro combined with the creation of this, their first dedicated cruiser tyre, the Japanese firm had been missing out on a fair chunk of business.
The all-new Battlecruise H50 aims to change a fair bit of that. Following recommencing production of knobblies, the H50 has been launched to appeal specifically to riders of American V-twins.
Two waves of fitments will be available. This first goes on sale in January, has cross-ply construction, comes in eight different sizes front and rear and is aimed at smaller, lighter models such as the Indian Scout (whose OE Kenda tyres have been widely criticised) and Harley Sportster Ð although itõs also suitable for some Harley Ôbig Twinsõ such as the Softail Slim.
A second wave, including some radials, is scheduled for January 2018 and comes in 14 larger sizes (right up to a 240-section rear) designed for heavier tourers.
What connects them all is a focus on typical Bridgestone sporting attributes mostly unheard of in the cruiser category Ð namely class-leading performance, excellent grip and, as a surprise bonus, tyre life claimed to be up to 90% better than conventional rivals, most of which was borne out by our Florida test ride.
On the downside, no whitewalls will be offered (apparently they compromise performance); prices will probably be undercut by some rivals and, despite owning the historic US Ôfirestoneõ brand, the Japanese Bridgestone name was chosen.
Four front (130/90 16 73H, 130/90 16 67H, 100/90 19 and 80/90 21) and four rear (130/90 16, 140/90 16, 150/80 16 and 160/ 70 17) sizes will initially be available, with RRPS ranging from £93 to £135 for fronts, £163 to £176 for rears. www.bridgestone.co.uk
PHIL SAYS… Phil West, Guest Tester ‘ They work. Steering, ride and grip are better than most cruiser tyres so they should be a no-brainer for any spirited Scout or Sportster. I’m less convinced about big twin owners, but if they’d been badged Firestone and came with a white wall option, who knows…
Great grip but no white walls from the new Bridgestones
Bridgestone want a chunk of the cruiser market