Sport-touring tire shootout for Scotty.
Bridgestone Battleaxe BT-021
I didn't want to write a review on these tires until I really felt I had something to compare them to, now I do... here's the review.
The BT-021 is a Dual Compound Luxury touring tire... Laugh all you want at the "luxury" part of it, but that is the bulk of this review. The tire is priced on par with the current Power 2CT and also features dual compound structure. It is true, after a couple hundred miles you can see the difference in the compound and the harder compound turns a shade of grey, this annoys some, but didn't bother me.
The profile of this tire is rounder than the pilot powers I had on previously, thus made turn in slower, but more controlled, when riding 2-up this was a blessing. They had phenomenal grip right up to the edge and I can honestly say I never had a moment where I felt the tire ever held me back. While I'm no speed demon, I lean the bike RIGHT over in the tight stuff and the tire held its own. Overall, the plugs, the 15,000+ km I put on them was enough for me, but I bet they had another 2,000k of life. Granted, this is on a 1000cc Ducati ridden mostly 2-up so they did their job. How they lasted that long I'll never know.
Overall, great tire.
4.5 out of 5
Michelin Pilot Road 2CT
This tire I put on more recently and have about 3,400 km and can compare this directly to the BT021. For grip I haven't been let down (I'm still here aren't I? ) and I will admit, when riding solo these do rule, they turn in quicker, I can have the bike leaned over with much less effort, but this is all due to profile. I haven't tested them in the wet, just luck of the draw, but I'd imagine their great.
I do have a problem however, on the freeway AND the twisties I noticed these were WAY more work than the BT. The V-profile made for quicker turn in, but when muscling the bike around corners 2-up it was a lot of work, I took these tires through Mt. St. Helens with my gf on the back and it was nearly a nightmare, The BT021 was so much smoother as the U profile makes for smoother turn in and a much easier ride. Even in the super tight stuff when you want to be able to flick the bike back and forth, these tires were harder to manage as they would put me too deep into the corner when I just wanted to cruise through.
The other qualm I have about the Pilot Road 2CT is the ride. Compared to the BT021 (and nothing else) their loud, annoyingly so. In fact, I thought something was wrong with my bike riding on the freeway. The tires give great feedback, but are not comfortable on the highway. The BT021's were much better and produced much less vibration.
For wear the Pilot Roads are doing great, no real signs of squaring off and I have about 3400km on them, so that is their only real shining feature so far, but given the fact the Bridgestones did 15000 plus, I don't see the advantage here.
So far, I haven't crashed so the roads are doing their job. They give great confidence in the corners, but I just haven't been able to see them excel against the BT021 in any real way.
3.5 out of 5
NOTE: Suspension is set the same as last year, there could be other variables like balancing, my abilities, road conditions etc. But in my opinion, this is how the tires feel and it is a purely subjective opinion.