We chucked the Bridgestone Battlecross E50 FIM DOT Spec hoops on our WR250R long-termer, check out how they handled plenty of on and off-road kilometres over three months!
After running our WR250R in on Bridgestone Trailwings, we upgraded it to the FIM Dot spec proper road legal enduro tyre, the Bridgestone Battlecross E50. This transformed the WR off-road, and really improved the ability of the bike, with tarmac a compromise.
The Bridgestone Battlecross E50s have a surprising amount of grip on tarmac for what they are. The road riding is a breeze. You wouldn’t want to waste them too much on the road though, but I found if I rode smoothly I could minimise wear and save them for the off road. Obviously as soon as you push through turns you are two-wheel drifting and you can’t brake hard on the front but they are not road tyres, so the fact they cope with commuting and getting to the dirt is admirable.
On the soft dirt these hardcore enduro tyres are absolutely fantastic. Plenty of traction in the mud and sandy fire trails as well as on the faster open dirt tracks. A plush sidewall and great feel. I could grab the front and step on the rear brakes without the stress of losing it. One of the most versatile enduro tyres I’ve had the opportunity to ride on.
On harder, dusted roads the E50 tyres performed similar to on the tarmac, where the front was a little tucky if leaned too far off centre. Hard upright braking is fine, though, and with the low power of the WR250R, the E50 hooked up fine at full throttle off turns. On the high speed dirt roads, flat in the top few gears, there is some crab walking but it is all predictable.
We ran between 13psi and 15psi depending on terrain and we got surprisingly decent mileage out of the tyres. In fact, we had countless weekend trail rides on the E50s, plus at least 1000km of road commuting, before we took them off and even then, there was plenty left in the front and the rear centre was only 50 per cent worn!
With the extra traction, the suspension of the WR250R started to feel lacking when the bike was pushed closer to the limitations of the enduro spec tyres, so serious trail riders may want to upgrade suspension to get the best out of the E50s. For me, I was just happy to have that extra confidence in the mud, sand, soft trails and having the traction up and down the slippery single trail stuff, as well as more confidence on the softer, sandier fire trails.
For those who spend a little more time on the tarmac either commuting or just transporting to the dirt, more solid blocks and sidewalls are better suited. This is us, so is the reason we next test the Bridgestone Adventurecross AX41, which should give us the high speed dirt road and tarmac stability and grip we need, while still meeting our level of trail riding, which is hobby not competition.
The Battlecross E50 is the outcome of years of off-road technology development by Bridgestone and is road homologated and can be used in all Enduro competitions. It incorporates Battlecross Motocross technology transferred and further optimised for real enduro usage.
The Battlecross E50 has shown improvements in all performance areas and on all types of surfaces in comparison to its predecessor. The new pattern design has dramatically increased the edge component of the blocks, offering +60 per ccent in the front and +120 per cent on the rear, improving both cornering and traction grip.
The change from a harder tread rubber integrated with the sidewall rubber to an optimised dual compound, and optimisation of the shape and profile at the bottom part of the sidewall by redesigning the rim guard area works to increase the mounting ease on the side of the track and improve rim fitting.
Castle block technology offers a flexible tyre response on changing surfaces thanks to an additional edge effect, while the bunker area produces a small amount of extra traction power when the tyre is fully buried in the surface.
Bridgestone Battlecross E50 tyre sizes:
- Front: 90/90 – 21 54P MST – $124.95 RRP
- Rear: 120/90 – 18 65P MST – $139.95
- 140/80 – 18 70P MST – $139.95
The Verdict | Tyre Test: Bridgestone Battlecross E50