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Tires, Tire Mounting & Demounting Do you have a favorite set of tires? Tell us about them here.

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Old May 24th, 2012   #1
Chris
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Default Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

Hi all,

Thought you might find the following info helpful.

Prior to a recent trip 3,000-mile round-trip from New England to the Dragon in TN, I installed a set of 023 GTs on my STeed. There was not much info available about the GT version of these tires, so I took a chance and tried them out. Here is what I found...

HANDLING
The 023 GTs were great on the highway. They are quiet, responsive and provided a well-planted feel. I tried to ride both blue highways and interstates, and particularly enjoyed the well-planted feeling the tires provided on high-speed sweepers encountered on the blue highways.

IN THE WET
I had three days of rain on the way down to TN and the tires got a good workout in the wet. Coming off Avon Storms I was used to great wet weather performance. The 023s did not disappoint. Even in the wettest conditions they felt predictable and secure. I was able to cruise at 75 (indicated) with confidence in the rain and never felt the tires were squirrelly or close to losing adhesion.

IN THE DRY
Once I got to the Dragon the wx cleared and I had three blue-bird days. These great and dry condx gave me a chance to work the tires hard on dry pavement at steep lean angles. With pegs and center-stand dragging, the 023 GTs stuck like glue and never exhibited side-slip. In fact, my chicken strips on the 023s are narrower than those I had on the Avons, which surprised me. The 023 GTs were more than capable of handling the side loads of the ST at max lean angles. Repeated passes on the 11-mile Dragon route did not seems to adversely effect the tires. If anything, they got better as they warmed up. So good in fact I got a BIG speeding ticket at mile-marker 11 as I chased (and pushed) some Super-Moto guys. What fun!!

WEAR
Overall, I put about 3k miles on the tires and they show no appreciable wear. The rear might be exhibiting a bit of squaring off, but it is so minor it's really hard to discern. I was carrying about 70 lbs of gear with me on the trip, and I weigh 200, so the tires were not near their load max. I got 10k miles on the Avon Storm rear and expect the same from the 023GT.

CONCLUSIONS
I bought the 023 GTs with some reluctance. I was concerned the stiffer sidewall in the GT might adversely effect handling when riding solo. However, since wifey frequently rides pillion, I wanted a safe and secure platform under us both. And reading about the shredding of Avon Storm Ultras reported on this board, I knew another set of Avons was out of the question.

The 023 is one of the FEW tires load-rated for the ST and listed as a valid OEM replacement. For some reason, I find that comforting.

All in all, I recommend the 023GTs as replacement rubber. The jury is still out on overall mileage, but based on what I've seen so far, these tires are a fine choice for our high-performance bikes.

Chris
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Old May 24th, 2012   #2
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

Nice write up Chris. Thanks for sharing! When it comes time for new sneakers for my STeed, I'm gonna look really hard at the GT's. These are getting good reviews from the ST community. Please report back regularly as they wear down, and again when your done with them.
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Old May 24th, 2012   #3
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

Thanks for a well written and detailed review. After wasting my money and my time with the Bridgestone BT-021 I vowed to never put anything made by Bridgestone on anything I own ever again. Still, these tires are getting very good reviews, several have said they are as good as or better than the Michelin PR2s.
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Old June 4th, 2012   #4
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

Nice to hear this about the BT023 GT Touring, as I am about to replace the rear on my 2010 ST, from a BT 023(f) to this new BT 023(r). I have had 8k of good riding from the (f). And being I travel anywhere between 300 to 600miles a weekend ( some times more) I would like to see how the miles pan out.
I too , sometime push the bike like a " sport bike" even with my passanger. Nice to know this new Bt will hold, dry or wet.

Thanks for the imfo.
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Old June 4th, 2012   #5
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redfish View Post
Thanks for a well written and detailed review. After wasting my money and my time with the Bridgestone BT-021 I vowed to never put anything made by Bridgestone on anything I own ever again. Still, these tires are getting very good reviews, several have said they are as good as or better than the Michelin PR2s.
I also had a terrible experience with the BT-021's. In previous posts I had asked about front wheel vibration. Among other "fixes", I had the front wheel bearing repacked, and in the end it turned out to be the Bridgestones BT-021's. They caused such a vibration in my hand after 20 miles into my 40 mile commute that my hand would fall asleep and would be extremely painful. I went through several sets of Bridgestone's, blaming everything else but the tires. Even replacing them with other BT-021's just tomake sure.

I eventually switched to the Storm II's, after two sets of BT-021's, and have felt no vibration since and have had great wear on the tires. I was concerned about the delamination but I have not seen any evidence, with weekly tire inspection, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen still. I never got more than 4000 miles out of my BT-021's and Storm II's I expect to get 8000 miles or more. I honestly think I might be able to get near 10,000 miles.

My ST for has been used as a daily commuter in the SF Bay and my commute is 75 miles round trip. I must admit, ashamedly, that I have had four wheeled transportation since about October of 2011, I turned 40 and couldn't do another rainy winter on the bike, too many close calls.

I had a terrible, painful, experience with the BT-021's I hope the newer Bridgestones have a better life than what I dealt with. Hell, my had hurts just thinking about the vibration from those tires.
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Old June 5th, 2012   #6
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

This is the second set of BT's on my ST.
All my other bikes ( including my superbike for 600cc class)
were Dunlops & Metz.
I have had good success with the BT's so for.
( having the new rear BT installed today )
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Old June 5th, 2012   #7
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

My ST1300 and Dad's FJR 1300 both got 3000 miles out of the front BT021. The rear was not a bad tire but was not exceptional. We switched to Michelin PR2s and love them. On the FJR forum they are, like us, not agreeing on which tire is best. The front runners are the Michelin PR2, Michelin PR3, and the Bridgestone BT023. I would guess that any of these would be a good tire to run, there are others that would also be good. I understand that they revised the BT021 after so many complaints. I am glad they responded to the criticism in a positive manner.
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Old June 6th, 2012   #8
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

Why only 3,000 miles?
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Old June 6th, 2012   #9
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Default Re: Review - Bridgestone Battlax 023-GT Tires

Am I the only one that likes the OEM Bridgestone 020F? I have had about ten sets of them on my '03 with no problems at all. The rear usually lasts about 5,500 miles to the wear bars No commuting for this old fart, just back road fun. And the are cheap. By mistake the first set were the non"F" model and they are junk on the ST

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Old June 7th, 2012   #10
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Default

I'm also running the 020F. Only because I got them for free. Not a bad tire, but in the same token, not an exceptional tire either. Gonna look real hard at the 023GT next time around.

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