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Bridgestone BT-016 on R1200ST - Long Term REPORT


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I originally wrote up my initial impressions on the BT-016's here: Bridgestone Battleaxe BT-016 on R1200ST - REVIEW


First some particulars:

Quoted from the original review:

When deciding on a replacement tire for my PR2's, I was primarily interested in a more 'sport' than 'touring' tire. I considered the Pilot Powers, which I have had on a Suzuki SV1000S, and I have ridden on friends R1, GSXR600 and FZ-6. But I liked the concept of this tire, and hope that the life of the tire will be livable.


I am an moderately skilled rider who tends to ride a bit conservatively, although I like to accelerate hard and can lean the bike over well enough to occasionally touch down a toe if I have good sight-lines. I have had the bike for two years now, and I have put nearly 20,000 miles on it. I have been riding intensively now for the past 6+ years (after a 14 year break) with over 80,000 miles on my bikes in everything from lane-splitting socal commuting to tight, aggressive mountain riding.


Tire Pressures:

Front - 35psi

Rear - 37psi


w/ 40lbs of bags

Front - 36psi

Rear - 40psi


Initial Impressions:

Quick tires, low noise, lots of grip, great price, stable on highway


0-1000 miles

* Riding Conditions: dusty SoCal winter desert roads (OrtegaHW, Warner Springs, Temecula), coastal cruises

* Initial impressions largely hold as I get used to the quicker turn-in (compared to PR2's)

* Rare tire slippage due to crappy winter roads (sand in the corners)


1000-3500 miles

* Riding Conditions: double duty commuting plus dusty desert roads but the mountains are opening up now (ACH, Arrowhead, Lake Silverwood, Idylwild)

* Gradual initial loss in profile does not affect turn-in or transitional grip

* Panic stop nearly throws me through the windscreen (PR2 would have triggered ABS)

* Confidence inspires new agressive riding, begin planning NorCal trip


3500-5000 miles

* Riding Conditions: No more commuting, 1500mile road trip about half miles on SSlab, half on some of the best motorcycle roads I have ever ridden (CA128, CA20, CA101, Anderson Valley, Mendocino, Ft Brag)

* slower turn-in due to shouldered profile

* braking grip still solid

* transitional grip beginning to fade (esp under heavy throttle)

* side grip outstanding = ...

* ... confidence HIGH -> I'm making my best runs through the mountains that I ever have on this bike!



* Riding Conditions: June Gloom (some wet) plus weekly twisties (Big Bear, ACH opens - YAY!)

* Wet road = ice skating

* Wear bar comes up FAST

* Profile compromised, transitional grip fading fast

* Corner grip still outstanding, I'm dragging boots on ACH with no squirming


5500 miles

* Tires are DUST, rear at wear bar, front at 1mm or less



I had some reservations about such an obvious sport tire on a heavier sport-TOURING bike. I was mainly concerned about tire pressures (I kept them about a lb lower than on the PR2's), accelerated wear, and quick shouldering. I needn't have worried. These tires, on a heavier bike, oulasted the Pilot Powers on a lighter bike with no noticeable difference in traction. While the very agressive profile makes it nearly impossible to wear them to the edges (when touching down there is still 5mm of unused tread on the rear) one never has to fear about running out of high-performance rubber. Even when shouldered off, the side grip was still phenomenal. These tires have let me take another step in mastering the ST, granting confidence, quick turn-in, and predictable cornering response. Line changes were always sans-drama and braking response was superb. Unabashedly sporty, the BT-016s do wear quickly. But while the ultra-quick response moderated with miles, transitional grip really didn't start to fade until the end of the tire's life. What really set this tire apart from the competition, though, was the price. For only $235 + shipping per set (American Moto Tire) you get a high-performance, multi-compound sport tire capable of seamlessly handling commuting, agressive cornering and panic braking all while exhibiting flawless freeway stability.



1. Outstanding grip

2. Very quick response

3. Stable on uneven pavement joints and rain grooves

4. Flawless line-changes

5. No noticeable road noise

6. Slow profile degradation (compared to Pilot Powers)

7. Excellent value



1. Relatively shorter life (compared to PR2s)

2. Crummy wet weather performance

3. Front tire a bit harsh, wears quickly


Sport Grade: A

Touring Grade: B-




PS: Might be a longer wait for a new tire review as I have orderd another pair of these!!!


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i too have the pr2's and looking at swapping to b016's. i have an r12rt, though.


questions for you: would you say the overall handling of the b016 when going to deep-ish lean angles is neutral (w/o sudden drops)? my pr2's are still newish and do display some of this sudden drop behavior.


thanks for your help.



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...would you say the overall handling of the b016 when going to deep-ish lean angles is neutral (w/o sudden drops)? my pr2's are still newish and do display some of this sudden drop behavior.




The profile of the tires is very different. The PR2's have kind of a flatish oval profile in the rear whereas the BT-016 rear has a very round center with long, flat sides. The result is that the BT-016s initiate turns *very* quickly, but once you are deep into the lean they do not "fall" at all, rather, they continue to lead you deeper into the lean/turn in a very predictable manner. In fact, I believe that this aspect of the tire is what makes them feel smooth in transition even when they are worn in the middle and the profile is not what it once was.


In short, even up to the wear bar, the tires never displayed the "sudden drop" that most tires seem to especially when worn. You just flat out can not run out of rubber on these tires. When you see them next to a PR2 you will understand what I am trying to say. From a confidence perspective, the two tires are night and day.


The PR2 is a solid tire that deliveres good all around performance and long tread life without developing a flat spot too quickly. The BT-016 is a true sport tire with acceptable life that turns *very* quickly and drops into ever more severe lean angles with no drama, even when worn. In fact, throughout the life of the tire the only way I could tell that they were wearing is that the turn in was not quite so quick and (rarely) if I was seriously on the throttle at only 1/4 lean I could feel the slightly lesser traction when I was on the "shoulder"


If you are looking for a high performance tire for generally dry pavement and are willing to accept a shorter life (5500 miles compared to 7500+ from the PR2's on my bike) I cannot imagine you would be disappointed with this tire. The BT-016 is an excellent value for what is really a very high performance sport tire with very good handling characteristics throughout the tire's life. The only riders I would not recommend this tire to are those that will spend nearly all their time straight up on the freeway with a subtantial percentage of that on wet pavement.


BTW, I am notoriously picky when it comes to tires... maybe, "never happy" is a better way of putting it. But for the fir5st time in four bikes and 80,000 miles I am going to stick with these for another go-around. I *much* prefer changing my tires every 5000+ miles if I can get this level of performance at these price points from them.


Hope this helps!



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thanks, you've answered my question. i too live in so cal and am not really concerned w/ wet performance and do not spend a majority of my time going straight. i prefer handling over wear capability any day.


thanks for you help!



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I think you will be happy with the BT-016's then... The wear is acceptable for such a sport oriented tire, and they heat up quite quickly. The price is hard to beat and Michelin is clearly going to have to step up their game considering the price they charge.



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