Born for the street, Bridgestone latest Battlax Hypersports S22 took over the flagship tyre from S21 in the Bridgestone high-performance street tyre in the line-up. Although Bridegstone repeatedly highlight that this would be a street purpose tyre, recent global media test at Circuito De Jerez proved that the new Battlax S22 sticks on the track, fitted on world’s fastest production superbike one can buy.
The development of the S22 was driven by a determination to add excellent wet performance to the outstanding dry grip for which the Battlax Hypersport was already renowned. There was also increased focus on contact feel and cornering, allowing riders to experience the full extent of their bike’s performance on the road.
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‘We developed the S22 in line with the needs and requirements of hypersport users,’ explains Nico Thuy, Head of Motorcycle Europe at Bridgestone EMEA. ‘With such light handling and increased feedback, especially when cornering, hypersport riders will have maximum confidence in pushing themselves to the next level.’
Does this mean S21 will be obsolete?
S22 took over the flagship of Bridgestone high-performance tyre and S21 continues to be in production. We find it a little weird as if the market can provide S22, why would I go for S21? But that is what they say.
Recipe for the ultimate grip
Bridgestone incorporated a varied compound structure in the tyre, with a harder centre, softer traction areas and even softer edge compounds to optimise the balance between grip and cornering. This original compound mixture uses an optimised resin compound in the traction area of the tyre, while the centre compound incorporates a 25% increase in fine silica molecules to increase contact with the road surface.
Despite the enormous improvements in performance, there has been no compromise to the wear life of either the front or rear tyres.
Positive impact on pattern
The compound mix used in the tyre was designed to work in tandem with the tyre pattern. The two aspects were fine-tuned to each other, particularly around the edges of the contact area, to generate more grip and reduce slippage. The incredible 5% improvement in wet conditions was made possible by pattern enhancements that have increased water drainage and deliver heightened limit control, as well as an increase in the sea-to-land ratio on the shoulder area of the tyre.
The groove angle and alignment were optimised to ensure the working forces of the tyre delivered ultimate performance in corners and on straights in both wet and dry conditions. Further adjustments to the pattern have positively impacted the lightness of handling and feedback on the tyre.
Bridgestone incorporated their state-of-the-art MS-Belt construction and High Tensile Penetration Cord technology to ensure riders would experience a lightness in the handling and feel confident in the stability of the tyre at high speeds. This was cross-referenced against the 3D edge shape on the groove design of the front tyre – vital for optimal rigidity in the tyre. The result is a tyre that has been optimised for ultimate performance in every area.
Everyday use tyre and track capable
If you are a casual Sunday rider and using the same bike to and from from home to office, the S22 would be an ideal tyre as it provides the grip you need especially when your tyre surface is cold and the road is wet. According to Bridgestone, there is no room for compromise when it comes to the tire wear life. I am very sure that on the road, the tire will not experience such torture like what I have seen in Jerez, hardly anyone will push the tyre to it’s limit especially on the road.
Many often told us that a street tyre does not belong to track; yes and no. If you are a casual rider, the S22 able to take on the challenge and the wear is very even. There is no need for tyre warmer as it warms up a lot quicker unlike track tyre. Unless you are seeking to hit a record time in Sepang Circuit, then S22 may not be the right tyre. Else, it is good enough for a casual rider even on track.
What are the available sizes
The new Battlax Hypersport S22 tyres will be available in a wide ranges of sizes as of January 2019 with additional sizes to be released in January 2020.