Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41
 and Battlax Sport Touring T31

Jul 31, 2018 View Comments by

Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41

A typical motorcycle tire’s contact patch with the road is roughly the size of a credit card, so the way a tire performs in that narrow arena becomes perhaps the most critical aspect of a motorcycle’s overall performance. The demands on tires are not only to provide handling, feedback, and safety, they must also provide adequate wear. Bridgestone has stepped up to the task with their new Adventure A41 (on/off road) and the Sport Touring T31, which the company recently presented for trials on the dry dirt roads of Morocco.

The Adventure A41
The A41 employs Bridgestone’s triple-layer compound technology on the front and rear tires, which grants them good handling along with longer tread life. The new compound promotes increased grip in low temperatures and wet riding conditions, and the new tread pattern improves water drainage.

Designed for mid- to large-displacement adventure bikes, Bridgestone created the A41 as a 90/10 biased tire, translating to real-world adventure applications, with their focus on producing a tire that was first and foremost a street tire capable of handling some off-road riding.

That said, the A41 performs quite well in off-road situations (provided you aren’t trying to climb mountains or traverse sand washes). The tread pattern has large grooves for dissipation, which ends up making the A41 act like a knobby, providing decent traction on Morocco’s loose gravel roads. Sidewall construction, balanced between rigidity and flex, imparts positive feel and response in the dirt and on pavement. The result is a tire that’s quite responsive to rider input.

The A41 is more than competent on fire-road terrain, especially so on dry hard-packed surfaces, while also delivering a plush ride on high-speed washboard straights. The front tire tracks impressively in loose corners, imbuing confidence, with throttle application the key to not spinning up the rear.

As for the behavior on pavement? They have surprising grip (front and back) even at severe lean angles; and for long hauls, the A41 has a compliant nature, soaking up the road and delivering a comfortable, stable ride at speed. Perhaps its most impressive attribute is the tire’s ability to hold form and not get spongy under severe braking (in the dirt or on pavement). In cases of hard braking in dirt that had the front or rear wheel locking up, the A41 proved to recover traction very well. The A41 is available in seven front and nine rear sizes to accommodate a host of Adventure machines.

Battlax Sport Touring T31

Sport Touring T31
Bridgestone’s T31 has an advanced design tread pattern to dissipate water, which, given that it’s a touring tire, makes sense. Yet, surprisingly, the new pattern—with larger grooves to expel more water—actually provides a bigger contact patch. The rear T31 has the same multiple compound construction as the A41, with hard compounds at the base and center, and softer compounds on the shoulder. However, the front tire is manufactured with one somewhat sticky compound for maximum traction, with rubber flexibility that improves road bite and provides additional grip in wet and low temperature riding conditions. End result? You can push the T31 hard into corners with confidence.

The stiffness of the tire, essential for high-speed stability, still manages to provide enough flexibility to absorb uneven surfaces and small glitches, rendering a smooth ride. The T31 front has excellent response, translating the smallest of rider inputs directly to the road. Consistency of feel is the tire’s strongest asset.

The T31 also impressed in hard-braking drills. On pavement, grabbing enough brakes to put the ABS system into overload, the tires remained completely composed, without the slightest hint of wallowing or flexing under immense stress load.
The T31 Sport Touring tire is available in eight front- and nine rear-tire sizes in standard construction with an additional two front and three rear sizes in the reinforced GT version. Next up? Perhaps a trip to see how the T31 holds up under long-distance use.

Text: Jeff Buchanan

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