Bridgestone BT-021 Sport Touring Tires – First Impression

With only 3400 miles on rear tire on the ZRX1200R, it was shot. It had a very thin flat spot in the center but plenty of tread on the sides. My riding is typically around town and to and from work, too much straight riding and not enough turns. When I bought the bike a year ago it was going to need a tire pretty soon, but pretty soon came very quickly, as the second day I had the bike I discovered a drywall screw in the rear tire. I replaced the tire, with the same type that was on the bike, a Metzeler Sportec M1, a sport bike tire.

The M1 is a very soft tire and gives great grip but poor mileage. So I started looking around for sport-touring type tire for a replacement. After looking at a number of tires and reading lots of websites and reviews, I decided that I wanted to try a dual compound tire. Further investigation led me to the Bridgestone BT-021. I gave Ken’s Motorcycle Tires a call, got two on order and this past Saturday they were mounted up.

Of course, since I had new tires on the bike, it rained all weekend.  It was Wednesday evening before I could try out the new tires.  I set the air pressure at 42 rear and 40 front and took them out for a ride. The first thing I noticed is they are a bit taller than the Metzelers. Maybe, because the M1s were worn out, but probably more than that, the seat is noticeably higher than it used to be.

On the road they give a much smoother ride than the M1s. Even with the higher air pressures of the Bridgestones they seem to absorb the small surface imperfection bumps that used to come through the seat. I also notice they have less nibble, tendency to follow ridges and pull to the side when going over ridges in the road. The M1s always pulled a lot when running over tar strips.

They seems to handle pretty well, they don’t turn in as quickly or aggressively as the M1s, but at the same time it the Bridgestones seem to provide a more stable line through a corner. I didn’t want to really lean the bike over this soon, the mold release compounds on the tires are really slippery. I will wait until I have a hundred miles or so on the before we do some real cornering.

Overall, I like the ride, and the handling is very stable, I think these are going to be some good tires for my riding style.

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