Bridgestone Battlecruise H50 £286
Bridgestone may be, in their own words, ‘the world’s largest manufacturer of tyres’ with some of the greatest sports and sportstouring bike rubber available anywhere, but if you like your motorcycling American-style, it’s quite possible you’ve never noticed. And that’s because, until the tyre giant’s 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 that, and has been launched to appeal specifically to riders of American V-twins. Two waves of fitments will be available. This first is on sale now, and 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 – although it’s also suitable for some Harley big twins, 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 – namely classleading 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 the firm owning the historic US Firestone brand, the Japanese Bridgestone name was chosen for the H50s.
What are they like?
They work. Steering, ride and grip are better than most cruiser tyres, and thanks to less rigid sidewalls they give a more plush ride too, so they should be a no-brainer for any spirited Scout or Sportster rider. We are less convinced about big twin owners, but if they’d been badged Firestone and came with a white wall option, who knows...
Front 130/90 16 73H, 130/90 16 67H, 100/90 19 and 80/90 21. Rear 130/90 16, 140/90 16, 150/80 16 and 160/70 17.
They work a treat but if you want white walls you’re out of luck