After we attended the Bridgestone Hypersport S22 world launch in Spain, we fitted a set to Taka's MT-09 for some local Aussie road and track testing... Review: Taka Nagata

When they were released, we sent Pommie to Spain to test the S22 Bridgestone Hypersport at the famous Jerez Circuit. After the launch a set landed on Taka’s door for road and track testing Down Under. Taka did 2000km on road, plus a track day…

Taka's MT-09 was the perfect bike to test the S22 hoops on, as Taka does a good mix of track days and weekend rides on the middleweight Yamaha.

Taka’s MT-09 was the perfect bike to test the S22 hoops on, as Taka does a good mix of track days and weekend rides on the middleweight Yamaha. Wet or dry, they are a great all-rounder sports tyre.

I fitted the Bridgestone S22 tyres by hand to my MT-09 rims, a 120-70/17 front and 180/55-17 rear. They were easy to fit, and I balanced them on my static balancer, with minimal weights needed, which means they are good quality. I had previously ridden on the S20, which I didn’t like much at all to be honest, with vague feeling and unpredictable wet weather grip after they started to wear.

Taka’s MT-09 came out standard with the S20 tyre, which fell short of his expectations. The S20 are not known for their level of feel or wet weather confidence. The S22 are a huge step forward.

My first ride on the S22 tyres was at a track day at Broadford Raceway. It was a fine day and around 23ºC. I headed out and took it easy for a few laps to bed the new tyres in and get heat into them. They scrubbed in easily and I immediately felt an improvement over the S20 tyres, the bike was rolling more smoothly, turning more sharply and already I could sense more feeling.

I tried hard to stay calm on my first few laps but of course, as usual, my adrenaline got the better of me and I had a huge slide coming off the second corner up the hill! Luckily it was soft and controllable and I did not crash. I didn’t panic, as the tyre did give me warning, I just didn’t listen! The big thing I could feel on the track was the extra feel and drive from the rear tyre and linear, neutral handling of the front, as well as very good feel and feedback and lots of grip on track.



Edge grip from the S22 is better than the S20 tyres and feel is much better. I particularly like the security of the front-end grip that S22 gives, while the S20s could often feel like they were vague and also slide/tuck at times, particularly in cooler conditions. It was my second time at Broadford and my lap times on the S22s averaged 1:07s on my standard MT-09 (aside from Akrapovic exhaust system)



I did 2000km of various road riding on the S22 tyres after my track day at Broadford. The results on the road are the same as the track, improved feeling and grip from both front and rear tyre, neutral steering with good stability and feedback, a smooth rolling feel and plenty of grip in wet weather and cool temperatures. There was no drop off in performance during my testing and the S22 tyres are good for at least 4000km of sporty riding before the rear may need replacing. I rate the S22s very highly.

Taka did 2000km road testing on the S22 after the track day testing. He was super impressed by the Hypersports.


Bridgestone Hypersport S22 TECH TALK
The S22 is a replacement for the S21, although Bridgestone will keep making the S21 for at least a while, because the S22 isn’t available in all the current S21 sizes. Bridgestone claim improvements over the S21 of 15 per cent faster speeds when cornering in dry conditions and a 1.2 per cent overall faster lap times in the dry conditions.

When riding in the wet, Bridgestone claim the new tyres can improve your lap time by five per cent, this is made possible by redesigning the tread pattern to a 3D edge shape to improve water drainage as well as an increase to the shoulder area of the tyre to improve grip – all of which have been achieved while not affecting the wear life of either the front or rear tyres.

The carcass of the tyre has also been enhanced with state of the art MS-Belt construction and high tensile penetration cord technology; this gives the tyres a light feel to the handling, improving change of direction, along with increased stability at high speed.

2019-Bridgestone-Battlax-Hypersport-S22-Bike-Review

An optimised compound now offers fine particle silica for improved adhesion, with more silica surface on the road

To enable the increase in the tyres performance, Bridgestone have incorporated a varied compound structure in the tyres, the rear tyre has three compounds (or five says Bridgestone – but they’re counting both sides of the tyre.  Two compounds on each side and one in the centre.)

Anyway, the centre has a harder compound to improve wear while doing freeway style riding, then when leaning over it goes into a softer area of the tyre, then to an even softer edge compound to optimise the grip while cornering on full lean.

A new tread pattern on the Battlax Hypersport improves wet performance

A new tread pattern on the Battlax Hypersport improves sporty wet performance, with a greater land-sea ratio on the shoulders

The front has two different compounds, which again is harder in the middle and softer on the sides where most needed in cornering. This original compound mixture uses an optimised resin compound in the traction area of the tyre, while the centre compound incorporates a 25 per cent increase in fine silica molecules to increase contact with the road surface.

With 200hp sportsbikes on offer as conditions dried the S22s had the opportunity to shine in ideal conditions

Tony Wilding testing the S22 tyres at Jerez Circuit, Spain, during the world launch in 2020, just before COVID-19 hit.

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 sizes

  • 110/70HR17 S22
  • 120/70ZR17 S22
  • 140/70HR17 S22
  • 150/60HR17 S22
  • 160/60ZR17 S22
  • 180/55ZR17 S22
  • 180/60ZR17 S22
  • 190/50ZR17 S22
  • 190/55ZR17 S22
  • 200/55ZR17 S22
The Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 are available in a range of sizes, with some S21 sizes being retained

The Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 are available in a range of sizes, with some S21 sizes being retained

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 sizes

  • 130/70ZR16 S21
  • 110/70ZR17 S21
  • 120/60ZR17 S21
  • 150/60ZR17 S21

Harley

 

Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21 Gallery

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