I recently fitted a set of Bridgestone Battlax BT-016 PRO Hypersport tyres to my daily ride, a CBR500R. The BT-16 are a tyre that has been around forever and is considered a budget tyre but they have proved so popular over the years that Bridgestone have kept them in production now with the PRO version… Here is how they stack up on road and track.
Jeff and I fitted the new BT-016s to my daily ride – a CBR500R, by hand. It was just easier with the COVID-19 restrictions. Jeff used tyre levers and static balanced the wheels the old way. Through a flood of blood, sweat and swears we had the new rubber on the wheels and back onto the bike within a half-hour. He’s still got it. Was he a mechanic back in the day or something?
My tyres came as a POWER PACK, which are sets that are cheaper in price than individual tyres. I got the 120/70-17 and 160/60-17 POWER PACK, which retails for $375.00 RRP. Amazing value…
While not my first set of new tyres in my riding career, I could hardly say I was a professional at scrubbing in fresh sets of hoops.
Previous pairs had been scrubbed in at SMSP within a matter of a few laps, all race rubber either slicks or treaded on my RMZ supermotard or a Moriwaki CBR we had years ago. So scrubbing in new tyres on public roads is still new to me, even though I have been riding on tarmac since I was 14 up at The Farm and on SMSP.
I probably took it a lot easier than needed but better to be safe than sorry I suppose. The weather for my first couple of rides on the tyres wasn’t overly helpful, the rain didn’t hold off, however, found a surprising level of comfort in the tyres even in the wet. Being used to the old tyres, I expected a little slip and twitch every so often, however, there were none of the sorts with the fresh BT-016s.
The Bridgestone BT-016 PROs were a huge step up from the previous tyres on the CBR. The old, flat-spotted original tyres were starting to give out. The new BT-016s meant I could confidently lean the bike without any fears. These new tyres really brought my CBR500R back to life. The bike felt agile, sporty and ready to lean into anything I threw at it again. They improved the handling a lot, which increased my confidence and that alone left me impressed with the tyres. But there was more to come.
While not the fastest LAMS machine, the little CBR manages to reach close to 180km/h, so the ZR (240km/h) rating of the BT-016 PRO obviously means it is well equipped for this speed and capable of much more. At top speed the bike felt stable and comfortable, even during hard braking on the front tyre at the end of the straight. The tyres left me wishing the little CBR would pull a little harder! I decided to run the recommended tyre pressure (34psi) front and rear. This seemed to be perfect for both commuting and on the track. I personally wouldn’t change this.
Being a heavier rider on the smaller bike, I’m usually pretty hard on the front brakes, especially on the track. The front tyre left me feeling very comfortable especially when leaning into turns. I don’t have a wealth of knowledge on front tyre capabilities but the BT-016 PRO allowed me to push as hard as I could into the longer turns without stressing about front-end grip and with plenty of feel and feedback. It was clear that the tyres could cope with more than I had to offer them.
Mid-corner grip was very similar, each lap I’d progressively brake a little later, lean in a little further and get on the gas a little earlier. I didn’t feel any twitches or slides, I just felt comfortable with the tyre and comfortable pushing progressively harder.
The rear tyre was much the same, it gave me the confidence to get on the gas harder each lap and each corner without any twitches or slides. The rear profile again brought the bike to life, it just felt so agile, like it wanted to lean into each corner effortlessly. This was a real surprise in comparison to the old tyres that were on the bike, as they required some serious effort to get the bike over onto its side. The tyre profile didn’t just help on the track, riding in and out of commuter traffic was much easier too.
The Bridgestone BT-016 PRO admittedly seemed like the perfect choice for my style and type of riding. Primarily, I ride on the road in all weather conditions, daily. While I still like to get it on the track whenever and wherever possible. Bridgestone designed the tyres for my needs perfectly. A solid performing tyre in the wet while maintaining performance across the life of the tyre, all the while not losing any of the dry condition performance.
Having ridden on these tyres now for about three-months now, they seem to be wearing very well. No noticeable flat spots either end and they’re still feeling as grippy and agile as when we first put them on. It will be interesting to see how they hold up after another couple of track days, but for now they’re wearing fantastic. A great value tyre I am super impressed with.
Bridgestone Battlax BT-016 PRO Hypersport
Bridgestone have upped their game since the last release of the Hypersport BT-016. The PRO version snags a little more from both the street and sport touring sides to make for an excellent tyre on and off the track at a budget price point. Bridgestone produce two front sizes and five rear sizes, all with the same tread pattern as the previous Hypersports, while the POWER PACK comes in the following sizes and prices:
160/60-17 – $375.00 RRP
180/55-17 – $380.00 RRP
190/50 – $390.00 RRP
190/55 – $395.00 RRP
With the evolution of the BT-016 PRO, Bridgestone have employed MotoGP technology into what they consider three primary areas:
- Grip evolution – enhanced by the 3LC dual compound.
- Stability evolution – enhanced by the RC polymer and Silica Rich EX technology.
- Life evolution – enhanced with the Nano Pro-Tech compound.
Bridgestone have optimised the contact area of the tyre and the compound performance. Using a new 3LC dual rubber compound plus the Silica Rich EX technology and the MS-Belt to optimise grip and life all while limiting the performance decrease across the life of the tyre.
These GP tech additions have made significant improvements over the previous BT-016 Hypersport in straight line stability, cornering and front/rear movement. The most significant differences in the new PRO is seen in the wet, with all areas of tyre performance improved greatly. With these huge improvements in wet performance, they’ve still managed to maintain all that dry grip and feel we’re used to with the original Hypersports. A win win situation…
For more info on the Bridgestone Battlax BT-016 PRO Hypersport, as your local shop or visit here.
The Verdict | Tyre Test: Bridgestone Battlaxe BT-016 PRO Hypersports
An overall everyday sports/road tyre that is OK for the odd track day. Priced at the cheaper end of the scale but with fantastic performance the BT-016 PRO are a popular tyre. Here is our Bridgestone Battlax BT-016 PRO Hypersports review…