Ja­panese gi­ant brings per­for­mance to cus­toms

Bridge­stone Bat­tle­cruise £280

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

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

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