Bridgestone R10 DOT Racing Tire
In order to keep our contestants on an even playing field at the Streets of Willow, we spooned on a set of Bridgestone’s new R10 DOT race tire to each bike. Replacing the three-year-old BT-003, the R10 utilizes technology gained from the company’s now-extensive MotoGP experience.
The R10’s tread grooves have varying angles of cut (instead of just a straight vertical groove, the outer portions of the tread siping have flatter cuts of varying angle and width). As expected, the R10’s land/sea ratio is obviously even more biased toward a slick than the BT-003. The R10s use one less belt in their tread construction (omitting the rayon ply in front, and the aramid ply in the rear), along with new profiles and compounds that allow more flexibility in varying weather conditions. In fact, instead of the previous three compounds, now only two compounds (Type 3 medium and Type 2 hard) are offered.
We found the R10s to warm up quickly on a 70-degree Fahrenheit day (we didn’t use tire warmers), with superb edge grip that is definitely superior to the old BT-003. Steering habits were cat-quick, yet with a neutral feel that—combined with the outstanding feedback from both front and rear—encouraged pushing the limits both into and out of corners. Stability under braking was excellent, and they had a nice, squirmy feel when starting to break loose under power, and slides were very predictable. Overall wear rates were moderate at the Streets, with the tires looking fairly worn at the end of the day; but overall durability was very good, with traction only falling off towards the end of the day.
At press time, the current lineup is comprised of a 120/70ZR-17 in Type 3 (medium) compound, and two rear sizes (180/55ZR-17 and 190/55ZR-17) in both Type 3 (medium, which we used) and Type 2 (hard) compounds. Bridgestone reps feel confident these will handle nearly all conditions without a problem.
The Bridgestone Battlax Racing R10 will only be available through select race tire vendors, and in North America only. Log onto www.bridgestonemotorcycletires.com for more info.