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Tyres - Bridgestone BT-16

Discussion in 'Tyres' started by raven, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. For the past year or more, I have run the Pirelli CorsaIII's - good all-round tyres, and ceretainly I never had any probs with the rears.

    But the front tyre to my mind lacked a bit of feel - something that is critcal for me to be confident enough to push the bike hard through corners.

    I then switched to a Pirelli Rosso up front with the CorsaIII down the back...did'nt notice alot of difference really...front grip was good enough, but again, I was'nt too sure about it when pushed...

    Neverthelss...both fronts, when they did start to slip at the extremes in cornering were forgiving and gave plenty of warning, and never just "let go", but rather, just went away gently. So it was controllable.

    Enter the Bridgestone BT-016...

    I went for a 190/55 on the rear as I wanted something that might give me sharper steering...
    In a nutshell...for my bike (07 Blade) and my style of riding (whatever that is), I have found the front tyre to be similar to the others in that when pushed, the loss of traction is gradual and forgiving, yet I am able to ride with more commitment before I reach that limit...AND (hooray)....I've descovered that "feel", that I've lacked and have been chasing for ages. wehoo!

    As for the rear...I have to work very hard to get it to break lose, and when it does, it's progressive with lots of feel - easy to ride through, and a cool feeling at 160 or so..:)

    On a track day recently, I got quite bit more aggressive than I would have normally expected, and was able to fully explore my abilities, with the tyres hanging on with whatever I threw at them, apart from a bit of a front slide through Lukey heights at pretty decent speed. (btw - I'm no racer, but these are'nt track tyres either)
    All around PI, I was able to EXCEED my own riding limits, and KnoW that I had tyres that would get me there with reserve...I did NOT feel that with the Pirelli's.

    As I commute on the bike, most of the time (70k)...I was also interested to see if they showed any signs of "flattening off" in the centres...After approx 4K, there is no sign of it...so the harder compund centre-line really does work at reducing wear, while the sides are grippy enough for some decently hard riding.

    To summerize...I can only reflect on my own personal experience with the BT-016's, and I have to say that they are better than the pirelli's overall. Grippier at extremes, lasting well and holding their shape...
    More importantly....they have restored my confidence in grip when I'm riding with a bit of aggression because of the improved "feel" they provide.
    Price...about what you'd expect for a quality tyre - but I don't care, because "front grip is life".

    I'd recommend them. :)

  2. Nice review.

    Any comments on how they compare to pilot powers? Not sure if i should stay same or try something else?
  3. How's the warm-up time for the BT-016s? And while your at it, any info on wet weather performance and in cold weather? (yeah, not asking for a lot, I know.)
  4. Nice review Raven.

    I had the BT016 OEM* tyres on the 08 gixxer. Personally I couldn't wait to get rid of them and put pirelli's on to the bike. I'm a firm believer in that tyres will suit one persons style of riding and their bike but may not work for another person with the same bike. Only way to know for sure is to try them yourself. Very few big name sports tyres would be considered "bad" they all have their own charateristics and performance will vary from bike to bike, rider to rider.

    I did a track day on Monday (at the Island) using a Corsa III up front and a Super Corsa II on the rear and absolutely loved the feel that the pirelli's gave me, but then I've only used pirellis for about 5 years now and personally would not want to change now.

    I've never used Michelin tyres so can't comment on how they compare.

    * I have heard that the BT016 OEM's are different to the BT016 normal tyres. Still trying to get to the bottom of this.
  5. Sorry mate...only used the pilot roads which I thought were mediocre (On a different bike)
    People seem to either love or hate the powers...I dunno about them, sorry.

  6. A bit better but no worse than the pirelli's...but then...I'm careful not to get too excited until I've done a bit so I know the tyres are with me.

    Not had mcuh wet weather to ride in, but at PI the first session was wet, and both the pirellis and the Bridgies I was all over the place...hahahaha.
    Riding around town, I have had any probs on the few wet days I've enjoyed. I do find it harder to spin up the rears on taking off from lights though....so I imagine they are just a smighe better than the pirellis...and I loved those till these came along. :)

    Cold weather has'nt hit yet mate. :)

  7. What I've noticed on a few different bikes is that the Pirelli front profile tends to give you a certain lean angle, and anything beyond that is a matter of muscle and your willingness to push that front tyre. You can actually feel yourself twisting the tyre on the road to get it over any further.

    Bridgestones seem to be much lighter steering, from vertical and at any lean angle. Neutral and happy to be steered even from good lean angles. I wouldn't say they give me better feel, I'd say they tend to get right out of the way and I don't have to think much about them.

    I think it's got something to do with their higher, sharper profile. Extra sidewall stiffness would make sense there too, but I have no idea. I just dig 'em.

    John, get yourself on some 002s sometime to take the next step - monster grip, the same quick steering, and they're so soft they make your suspension feel better. w00t!
  8. I did a fair bit of reading on tyres lately mate. The BT016 is a great tyre from what I understand. Multi-Layer Compound ( 3L front, 5L rear ), and most suited to the sporty rider, whilst giving better mileage than the BT014.
    I opted for the BT021s, which seem more suited to my style.

    Enjoy !
  9. My thoughts of BT-016's from PI on Monday

    Had a track day at Phillip Island on Monday, with the BT016's fitted. Now, I'm not the fastest guy in the field, but I managed to run mid-pack in the fastest track-day group (not too bad I thought since I'm still recovering from pneumonia, was feeling dizzy, and had a head with focus as sharp as a marshmallow). Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses! :LOL: :LOL:

    In terms of warm-up, I was dragging the knee by Honda corner on my out-lap, and without tyre warmers, and cranking it decently by the second lap.

    My observation coming out of hard acceleration corners on the edge was that I could definitely feel the transition points between the different compounds on the rear tyre. I'd gas it up firm just coming off full lean and wind it on, and as the bike picked up from about 2/3rds lean it'd start to oscillate and spin up. The rear would then step out, appear to get back to the softer compound, hook up, push the bike upright, get back to the harder compound, spin up and step out again, and do this 3 or 4 times before it settled down and started to drive hard.

    Where on the road I could lean to race-track lean angles with confidence just rolling through gently, at the track when I tried to push on through corners the tyres started to feel a bit mushy on the edge and just didn't give me the precise feedback that I was looking for. With Pirelli Supercorsa's or even the Dunlop RR's, it feels like the more you push them on the edge, the better they feel and respond. The BT016's just felt to me like they love getting around at 90% pace, but if you try to pick it up from there they start to act up. At 90% and below, they're wonderful tyres and I'd heartily recommend them.

    The tyres were balling up something shocking. Never really seen anything like it on tyres on my bikes as I reckon I'm pretty smooth with my throttle control and pick up. Had large balls of rubber hanging of the tyres everywhere, which probably confirms my on-bike feeling of the mushiness on the edge, where the rubber was probably just peeling rather than biting in firm.

    Of course I could just be full of shit and don't have a single clue. :tantrum:
  10. That would sound about right I think Stew..
    You can run harder than me, so I probably did'nt get into that last bit of the envelope that you were at, which fits with our general overall impression of the tyres, but differs a bit at our respective full pace levels.

    Of course...I can accept the short-comings you descovered near the limits, because I need something that can handle a bit of commuting work as well...

    Interesting about the balling of the rubber on the edges...I definitely had that to, but with the Pirelli CorsaIII, is was'nt like that...the rubber was just jaggedly "scuffed"...hung on alright...but it did'nt look like the tyre liked what I was doing to it at all..

    Was good to hear what you thought of the BT-016's Stew...interesting stuff - thanks mate. :)

  11. A bit of topic, but Stew are you talking about the Qualifier RR's?, I'm thinking about trying a pair on the duke. What were your thoughts on them? bearing in mind some of us ride a tad slower than warp 9 :)
  12. I dunno what Stew reckons but I think qualifiers are rubbish. They won't let you brake on an angle between turns, the whole bike is forced upright under the brakes - and grip was nothing special. I've had 2 sets on 2 different bikes, and I've ridden about 4 other bikes with them on, and I don't like 'em at all.
  13. A very good road/track cross-over tyre for those who want to go up to Warp 9, but shy of Warp 10 (use proper race spec track rubber for that, such as BT003's, Power Race, Metzeler Racetec's, Supercorsa SP's, etc, or slicks). My only gripe with the Dunlops is that they don't seem to last that long. They seem to wear well to about 50%, but then get through the last 50% in one-tenth the time. Steep profile for quick turn-in and transition with a massive contact profile on the edge.
  14. Diffr'nt strokes eh? They're an angular profile and the grip is there, but right on the edge, as in at >50 degree leans. Ride them around at lesser lean angles and you're smack in the middle of their unoptimised patch, being neither here nor there with them.

    I think you like the BT-016's 'cos they're more optimised for the middle ground. I like the BT-016's too, to a point. Just didn't give me the confidence when powering on the edge that I'd like, but just rolling on the edge they're fine.

    I guess it all just depends on which part of the tyre you generally use.
  15. Thanks for the feedback guys :)

    I knew what Loz was gonna say though before he said it :LOL: , dunlop fan from way back!

    I might give them a whirl and form my own opinion...after all we all ride different bikes and have different sytles of riding so the only way I will truly know is if I pony up for a set

    Cheers guys

  16. Quite true. What invokes approbation from one person is an anathema for someone else. Michelin Pilot Powers? Many swear by them, but I swear at them. I fairly consistently wear out my front tyres at about the same rate as, or even slightly before, my rear tyres, and across multiple brands too. Clearly my riding style is markedly different to someone who wears two fronts to one rear.

    They're not going to suck for you if you generally like Dunlops.
  17. Since I tended to draw comparisons between the two tyre types, and we touched on the subject of track wear, I thought I should repost these two pics from another thread, together, so the difference can be seen, with reference to my comments above...

    First the CorsaIII, and the "scuffing" I refered to...and please feel free to explain anything about it...why, how, good, bad etc.


    And now the BT-016, with some of the rubber "balling" that I think Stew is referring to?
    I do agree that the BT-016 after 3 to 4 of 'my' hardish laps, did begin to feel a little like licorice<spelling>...maybe they were overheating...dunno...again...I'm not an expert on tyre wear and what looks like what, so any input on how, why, good, bad helps. :)
    My original post was how they "feel" on my own bike.
  18. Yeah, I rarely drag a peg these days, I don't get to massive lean angles. So the steering and general confidence aspects are the most important to me. But there's not a lot of folks on here who ride as quick as you do!
  19. Wow John, that Corsa looks absolutely munted! It's as if a layer of the top has peeled off. The Bridgestone wear looks normal to me. But I would say that. ;)
  20. John, the rubber balling on my BT-016's was WAY worse. We're talking balls 3x to 4x as large, and maybe 1 ball every 4cm, both sides, both front and rear. I picked off 4 balls and rolled them together, and someone joked that you could use it as an earplug I had that much rubber. I went and had a look at the bike just before, but on my last session of the day the wind had picked up with sea-spray blowing in, and so I'd slowed down and the balling only looks twice as bad now as in your pic. I was running 32psi front and rear. Keep in mind too that my bike has maybe 30hp less at the rear wheel, and is moderately lighter, and with the triple firing order is generally a bit easier on tyres than an I4.

    The pic of your Corsa III is more like what I'm used to my tyres looking like at track days, but all over. What you're seeing there is the softer compound band ripping up nicely (IMO), with the harder middle band resisting any real abrasion, which in turn makes the softer edge look way worse than it is (in comparison).