Bridgestone BT-002 review

Bridgestone launches its new Racing Street tyres - road-legal rubber aimed predominantly at track day riders in search of serious grip

Posted: 15 October 2006
by Jon Urry

They say: "Combines race-winning performance with rider friendly characteristics" Bridgestone
We say: "The last race I won was with an egg and spoon" Jon Urry

Choosing a tyre is all about being honest. There isn't any point in riding around on track-orientated tyres if all you do is potter to and from the local dealer. They won't get up to their working temperature and you'll be better off with a road-biased tyre designed to work at lower temperatures.

So who is Bridgestone's BT-002 Racing Street aimed at? Not your road rider, as the BT-002 is a track-oriented tyre that's road legal. Think of it as the tyre to get you to a track day, allow you to ride around at a fast pace then ride home again. The tread cut to rubber percentage is 4% to 96%, in other words this tyre is 96% slick, the road legal minimum.

Unlike some tyre manufacturers, Bridgestone has opted not to use a dual compound construction - the company claims that more powerful bikes can slide when exiting corners as the compound changes from soft to hard as the bike sits upright, so a single compound construction gives more consistent grip.

Which the new BT-002 certainly seemed to do. Following Jeremy McWilliams on track, who was on hand to show us the way around, I pushed the R6 I was on as fast as I was comfortable doing and didn't manage to provoke any slides. In fact the only thing to let go was my bottle, after about five laps.

Under hard braking the front was very secure and the rear only started to slide with the help of the R6's
slipper clutch and a lack of weight on it due to braking. Hardly anything to do with the tyres.

On a 1000cc bike they impressed further. No slides and enough grip to scrape bits safely on some very oddly cambered corners. Braking hard for a chicane the bike remained stable, and jumping the kerb failed to upset the handling - all that points to a very stable tyre.

The test bikes stayed on the same rubber for all 12 of the 20-minute sessions and, although the 1000cc bikes' rears showed wear, there was life left in them, and certainly enough for a few more track days.
For fast track riding and very occasional road use the Racing Streets are certainly worth trying.

BT-002 Racing Streets are available in 120/70-17 fronts and 180/55-17, 190/50-17 and, later in the year, 190/55-17 rears. Price around £200 a pair, from tyre shops.



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