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Bridgestone BT-016's

Discussion in 'Riding Gear and Bike Accessories/Parts' started by [FLUX], Nov 10, 2008.

  1. Okay, a mini-review from me after putting about 1000kms on these tyres in the last 2 days. In summary, excellent hypersport road tyres but not completely without their niggles.

    First up, there are apparently two versions of these. There are some OEM compounds fitted to various new release bikes as stock, and these are NOT the same tyres as the aftermarket BT016's. By all reports the OEM BT016's are pretty average tyres without the 5-zone compound rear, and apparently have not impressed many people. The aftermarket tyres are the real deal though.

    First up. Price. I paid $595 to have my set fitted, which to me is an utterly obscene amount of money for a set of tyres. Especially so when our friends in the USA are paying $320 (Aussie) equivalent to have a set fitted. Bridgestone apparently put their prices up in the last two weeks, and I was one of the first customers to get slugged with the new pricing. A set of BT016's could be had for around $500 a month ago.

    Straight line stability is excellent. Stability under heavy braking is also equally good. They feel like they have a sidewall of medium stiffness (stiffer than Michelins, less stiff than Pirelli's) and do a correspondingly good job of dealing with bumps when braking. Their profile is fairly round and initial tip-in for corners is easy and yet a touch slow. The bike doesn't drop on its side as quickly as with some other tyres, and direction change requires a good push and some planning to give the bike time to flip from one side to the other. Overall though, very neutral with their steering, with no noticable tendency to want to be somewhere else than the current lean angle you're on. I did sense a bit of resistance at very high lean angles to bring them to that point, but once there they were happy. I guess that just ties into their rounded profile and stability thereof. Happy to be where you put them, just take a bit of effort and time to get them there.

    Bump deflection behavior was very good. Mid-corner bump handling didn't threaten anything untoward. Could likely remove the steering damper and not ever get into trouble.

    Niggles: Turning in under trail braking has a tendency to push the front wider than with the Rosso's. This was something that I fought with constantly to the point that I had to alter my cornering style into more of the classic brake-release-turn sequence (rather than my more usual brake-turn-release sequence). With the Rosso's I could brake deep into a corner with confidence and trust that the bike would go exactly where I wanted. With the BT016's I found that I had to make my corner entry more shallow to give some room for the bike to drift wider a bit under brakes. It wasn't ideal and in the end I just did my best to avoid the practise entirely.

    Traction-wise I had no complaints at all. I was riding on unfamiliar roads though so I wasn't pushing as hard as I can do, but still, pretty hard, and noticed not one single unwanted movement out of the tyres (aside from the aforementioned trail-braking behavior).

    Visually, while sitting down at lunch and looking at the rear tyre, the different compound bands were quite plainly visible as slightly different coloured banding across the face of the tyre. After 120kms of some pretty hard riding on one of the best roads in Victoria, the rear tyre was visibly starting to shred a bit on the medium compound bands, almost like I'd been at a track day. Somewhat odd for me as I was running 37psi in the rear, so shredding shouldn't have been an issue on the road.

    I'll have to see how long these tyres last me, but unless they can last me 6000kms, they won't have justified themselves price-performance-distance wise against the Pirelli Diablo Rosso's. I get the feeling that the BT016's would make a slighter better track-day tyre in the same way that the Rosso's make for being slightly better road tyres.

    Overall though, really excellent tyres in terms of road handling, stability, traction, warm-up and warm performance. The two clinchers for me though, and mind you this is a personal preference thing, is trail-braking behavior and price-point. I could live with the trail-braking behavior and possibly learn to be more aggressive with the tyres to make them behave as I like, or it may be a tyre pressure issue. At their current price, I'm basically prepared to make a stand and say that I refuse to continue to buys sets of tyres at ~$600 when they are being sold at near half that in other countries, and the competitions tyres are just as good (if not better) for 25% less in our own country.

  2. Many thanks Flux. You're saving me a fortune by selflessly doing the testing for us! :)
  3. Cheers.

    Thinking on it more, between the Rosso's and the BT016's, which you'll prefer depends on your style.

    I think the BT016's would be better suited for your Keith Code adherent types. Break-release-turn and carrying lots of corner speed for a long time, accelerating constantly on the tyre edge.

    The Rosso's suit a more aggressive style. Brake late and deep, pitch it in hard before you've finished braking, turn the bike quickly, stand it up a fraction and fire it out.

    On some of my more familiar roads I did find it easier to carry a fraction higher cornering speed, and with less effort, using the BT016's than the Rosso's, but the Rosso's really respond well to agressive and strong rider inputs. If you pansy about with the Rosso's, they're less happy, but for rapid direction change with strong rider input, they are very rewarding, especially in squirrely tight stuff. The BT016's are the opposite, seeming more refined and don't want to be flustered with aggressive inputs. Work with them, and you'll flow beautifully. Work against their nature and they do seem to protest about it.

    It's almost like you can pick what the riding style of the development test riders was when the factory's were developing the tyres, and the tyres have been taken down different paths respectively.
  4. Going to provide an update.

    I took the 016's to one of my favorite roads, which I'd hadn't been on since I had them fitted. My opinion about them has changed. Absolutely freaking love them, BUT, only when I know what the road is going to do.

    I still prefer the Rosso's on tight gnarly roads, and unknown roads, where you're changing direction constantly, dealing with decreasing radius corners that you can't see around that you're trail-braking deep into. The Rosso's rule in that scenario.

    When on a road that you know intimately, where you can plot your entry speed and entry line well ahead of time, the 016's make the Rosso's seem like hard work. Had a mate (trying to) follow me. He said he was gobsmacked at the lean angles and corner speeds I was running with. Last time I had that sort of confidence in my tyres was with race spec tyres at the racetrack.

    So, consider this an addendum. My original comments still hold, but until now I had no idea how good the 016's were on roads that you know well. I'm now truly torn. Do I fit 016's for the roads that I know well, or do I fit Rosso's for the roads I ride that I don't?
  5. I would say go with the Rosso's as you never know when a new road will turn up :wink: ..

    These seem to be a popular tyre at the moment.. with many loyal Michelin (powers) or Dunlop (qualifiers) swapping brands to try them out..

    Thanks for your review
  6. Mate of mine just fitted a new rear BT-016 on his CBR600RR, absolutely loves it.
    I had a look a the Diablo Rosso's for my Hornet. How much km's did they give you? Although I commute, I do a fair bit of spirited riding on the weekends as well and with Auckland being as wet as it is...

    Looking at Metzeler as well (M3 & Z6) - what's your opinion on any particular Metzeler?
  7. Interesting that you reckon they take more of a push to steer than the pirellis. I feel like the bridgestones steer feather-light and pirellis take more muscle. But since I'm using pre-rooted race hoops there could be lots of other intervening factors. I still reckon you should get some 002s up ya, they're like riding on bubblegum!
  8. yes.. also interested to know how many km's you got out of the Rosso's
  9. a bump for FLUX..

    how many km's did you get out of the Rossos and how many out of the 016's ???

  10. Hey Stew...
    I now have the BT-016's on the rear in the 190/55 with the Rosso on the front...
    The bike is howling!..(contrary to my nanna TIN the other day).
    Pitch over is far easier and the front hangs on nicely with the same progressive slippage if I push too hard, and well, the rear...I cannot seem to lose grip (just like the CorsaIII I was running.

    I've not been one to mix 'n match tyres, and will go to the Bridgy fron when the rosso is worn out, but in the meantime, I am relatively impressed with the grip combo, and wrapped with the bikes willingness to get quickly onto it's edges..

    I'm not overly experienced with all types of tyres, but it might be another option to toss around in a dull moment. :)

  11. I just got back from a track day at Phillip Island where I ran BT016's. I've gotta say that I had complete faith in these tyres (unlike the OEM BT015s that I had on before) with no twitching under acceleration and they held their line under heavy braking.

    Below are some pics of the tyres after approx 50 laps and the 100km ride home - you can see the distinct bands of the tri-compound in the rear. The front didn't fair quite so well and got pretty chewed up but there's still a good few kms left on there yet :grin:



  12. Madaz Performance has brand new BT016 take off's for $399. 180's only I think?

  13. Paging Dr FLUX...

    Any further updates performance or km wise?
  14. what does everone think of the bt-014's that these are supposedly replacing (phasing out)

    i have a new one waiting to go on the front this weekend