Jeremy McWilliams: Bridgestone S20 onboard lap

Take a lap around Portmiao on the 2012 BMW S1000RR with ex-GP legend McWilliams

Posted: 20 March 2012
by Visordown News

FORMER GP rider Jeremy McWilliams was at the launch of Bridgestone's new premium sports tyre, the Battlax S20.

The S20 has been designed by Bridgestone for sports riders, who ride in all conditions but also want a tyre suited to trackdays. The S20 has a larger contact patch than the BT-016 Pro and Bridgestone claims it features fast warm-up characteristics without sacrificing mileage performance.

We can't tell you about the mileage yet, but if you want to check out the tyre's grip, who better to take you for a lap around Portimao than former GP rider, Jeremy McWilliams? Here he's riding a stock BMW S1000RR with the traction control switched off, fitted with the new S20 tyre running track pressures.

You can read Visordown's Bridgestone Battlax S20 tyre review here.

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I want to warn people NOT to purchase the Bridgestone S20 tires. They are terrible. I ended up crashing my brand new BMW S1000RR b/c of these tires. They are not at all confidence inspiring, feels vague, extremely slow to warm up, doesn't give adequate feed back before they slide and are totally unpredictable. I would not recommend these tires for a bike over 250cc and wouldn't try to drag knee with these tires, especially if you're an aggressive street rider or ride canyons don't take chances with your life by trusting these tires. They are absolutely terrible. I was running 32f/34r cold tire pressures and after good 15 minutes of riding, I stopped my bike to feel the tires and they still felt cold with atmospheric temp around 75F. When I had my Metzler K3 racetek tires, I could literally pull out of my garage, ride one block to an intersection and drag my knee making a left turn. Bridgestone S20s felt unplanted whether you're upright or leaned over. I would not recommend these tires to anyone. Pirelli supercorsa diablo SP, Metzler K3, or Dunlop Q2's are much much better than these POS Bridgestone tires.
Now I have damage of over $4000 on my brand new bike b/c of these stupid tires. And yes, I broke them in slowly, leaning gradually riding easy for about 300 miles. While making a right turn, leaned to about 1/2" from the edge of the tire, it just decide to slide out as if I were riding on ice. The sh1t just kept sliding until I lost control of the bike. I didn't grab the front brake, I didn't chop the throttle or pinned it. Just held it steady and gradually leaned to make the turn and it just gave out on me unpredictably.
Bridgestone S20 sucks a$$ and I swear I will never buy another tire from bridgestone again. Becareful out there people and please do not buy these tires. Get Dunlop Q2s or pirelli's if you want amazing grip. And F' that ET looking ugly a$$ Rossi doing fake commercials for the bridgestone S20. Don't believe the hype.

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 05:35

The tyres weren't controlling the throttle or the lean of your bike though, you were. You didn't crash the bike because of the tyres, you crashed because you pushed beyond the tyre's limit at whatever temperature it was at. If you're not happy with the tyres and the way they feel you change them; if you ignore your instincts and carry on pushing you'll end up down the road as you found out....

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 06:39

I have Bridgestone S20 tires on my Bandit GSF1250SA and have to say I am realy enjoying these tyres even in the crappy weather we are having lately in the UK. I have done approximatly 1000miles on these since changing them over from Pirell Angel ST's. You might be saying the Bandit is a totaly different bike to the BMW S1000RR but in my experience not all tyres suit all bikes and riding styles. I think it is unfortunate that the tyre did not impress Jamie at all and sorry that it has resulted in $4000 worth of damage for him. But I would recomend the Bridgestone S20.

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 06:49

So. You've got a brand new S1000RR. Brand new means that you've not ridden it before, of course. So you've got no comparison against other tyres, even if your last bike was a 2011 S1000RR.

That means you've taken a bike with which you are by necessity unfamiliar on tyres with which you are equally unfamiliar and assumed that the bike/tyre combination will behave exactly as your previous bike/tyre combo has.

While I feel your pain, I'd also have to respectfully suggest, sir, that you are an idiot. You have already established that they don't warm up as fast as other tyres. And you're running them at lower pressures than the manual says, presumably because of all your track experience. You do know that you drop tyre pressures on the circuit because pressures get raised a lot when the tyre is really hot, right? Regardless, you're outside the parameters recommended by BMW or Bridgestone so you don't have a leg to stand on. You also seem to be ignoring other variables like, oh I don't know, the road surface. You know that people spill stuff on roads and that we can't ever rely on a corner being as grippy as it was yesterday...

Glad you're OK but you're going to have to chalk this one up to experience I'm afraid, and perhaps take reponsibility for your mistakes...

Posted: 08/06/2012 at 13:58

I have to agree with YellowGixxer Jamie... I've rode on these tires on the street very aggressively @36F 42R On a K6 Gixxer1000 and I must admit the tires work superb. I have 980miles on the ODO so I can't tell you about the mileage yet or the quality of the tires as they go down in age... But initially They are amazing.

Posted: 27/06/2012 at 02:25

I was offered a set for my Hornet 900 very cheap.Hardly the target machine I guess but they were great.Loads of grip and felt very safe.Downside was the rear was totally worn out in 3000 miles.with the front not far behind.To be fair that's probabaly not bad for Sports tyres and I wasn't expecting much else,just fancied trying some seriously good rubber and the deal was too good to turn down.I had no warming up issues either,if they lasted a bit longer I'd have stuck with them but full price they're not cheap and I'd be getting through 3 or 4 sets a year.

Posted: 17/09/2013 at 14:28

i ran last month on the portimao track, 1.53's 3 sec faster then mcwilliams does. troy corser was there also with metzeler k2 on his stock hp4, running 1.51's guys, it s a nice lap but nothing special with sporty tyre.

also shutting down traction control for the normal rider is stupid, i can run faster laps with the knowledge that my traction control helps out, the system is there to help you.

I m running with an HP kit on the s1000rr and troy corser rode my bike and said that the traction control is working good! so all the posting movies of guys running without the traction control says nothing to me.

about the tyre, the s20 can handle more than 1.56's laps, maybe get a faster driver then the old GP drifting guy on the 500cc :-))

Posted: 30/11/2013 at 11:16

Totally agree with Yellowgixxer. Have run these tires on my old 07 Fireblade for aggressive canyon riding as well as several track sessions and never ever had a problem! 

Sad to see how someone blames perfectly good tires just not to admit his own lack of skills and rider errors, childish indeed!

True, they might not warm up as quickly as some other tires out there, but one lap on track at controlled speed or about 3 miles on the twisties are plenty enough to get them to good operating temperature. Once there the grip is very very good for a tire that was designed for road use mainly and for which the possibility of track use is an added bonus.  The feedback from both front and back is excellent and when pushed hard they reach the limit gradually and predictably. They do require slightly more effort to lean the bike in than say, R10's, Supercorsa's or even Q2, but feel very stable once there.

Might be worth adding that (i guess due to their design) they seem to like a slightly higher operating pressure than most other sport tires, or at least compared to others I have tried myself. On the plus, I personally have experienced higher mileage with these tires than with most of their direct competitors and a distinct improvement in wet conditions. 

Unless you're planning to only ride on track, these tires offer a perfect package that will have you covered on both the road as well as the occasional track run. don't' believe the frustrated report of a clearly immature rider.

Posted: 13/04/2014 at 16:53

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