Hot on the heels of Bridgestone's release of the new BT-016 street tire comes the BT-003, a replacement for the BT-002 DOT race tire we have used with success in the past. The new tire is claimed to offer improved handling, better grip and significantly reduced front-wheel chatter. The front BT-003 in type 2 and 3 (hard and medium) compounds has a cross-belt construction similar to the BT-002 front, but an additional medium-soft compound (type 4) has a mono-spiral belt construction for bumpy or low-grip tracks. Likewise, the 180/55 and 190/55 rear tires are offered in three compounds, with the 180 type 4 rear having a more flexible construction as well as a softer tread. The 190 rear in type 4 compound has a similar profile to the BT-002 190/55 rear, while types 2 and 3 have a more rounded profile.
We used type 4 fronts and type 3 rears for our day at Buttonwillow, and the new tires performed well in tricky conditions on both the CBR1000RR and 1098R, providing excellent grip and good wear over the course of the day. The front tire provided light and linear steering characteristics very similar to the BT-016 street tire, wiith excellent feedback at all lean angles. The rear tires held up well, lasting most of the day before traction faded only slightly and in a predictable manner. The BT-003 is offered in three sizes (120/70 front, 180/55 and 190/55 rears) and three compounds. For more information see your local race-tire distributor or log onto www.motorcycle-karttires.com.