<img width="220" height="220" class="floatleft" src="www.motorcycle.in.th/images/articles/Being_a_Sports_Tyre_isnt_Easy_2009_1.jpg" alt="" />Being a sport tyre isn't easy. Unlike touring or commuting tyres, the sports tyre has to put up with an incredibly wide range of users with an equally wide range of expectations from those seeking durability on the road to those after outright grip on their favorite racetrack.
Ending Michelin's dominance of MotoGP last year was without question a big ask for for the company but a world away in the road sector, the competition is equally stiff. Pirelli have just launched the fantastic new Diablo Rosso, while old adversaries Michelin have the Pilot Power 2CT selling in vast quantities thanks to that Holy Grail of respectable durability matched with high performance.
Tyre technology has moved on in giant strides over the last few years. While dual compounds are nothing new, Bridgestone are the first to use the patented '5 layer compound' on the rear tyre and '3 layer compound' on the front. What this actually means is that the rear tyre has has three compounds: a harder compound in the middle for durability, a softer compound on the sides and an even stickier on right on the shoulders of the tyre at big lean angles.
On the warm racetrack, the tyres soon got up to temperature, relaying superb feedback from front and rear.
The front hung on in there throughout the test too, and as someone that's become used to only ever riding on track on pure race tyres, I have to say that I was blown away by the font end performance. With a quick enough turn in without any stability issues, the feel on corner entry was ultra confidence inspiring for such a road biased tyre.
On the road, the tyres worked well. The tyres where tested on two completely different bikes, yet the tyres seemed well suited to both, providing plenty of grip on the often-questionable road surfaces.
Of course it's difficult to say which tyre is the best of the bunch without doing a back-to-back test using similar bikes, on the same day in the same conditions. What I can say, having spent two days riding on the BT-016, is that if you want a tyre that can do pretty much anything that's asked of it on road or track then this latest offering from Bridgestone is a must try and certainly far better than the original equipment tyre of the same name fitted to the Yamaha YZF-R6 or Kawasaki ZX-6R.