Review: Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 140/70-17 & 110/70-17
After running stock size tires for the last 3 years, I decided to go up a size on my rear tire. I wanted to test out a little more girth. I ordered a BT-45 to replace my worn out Continental Conti-Go (130/70/17). Compared to the Conti's, on paper they are very close in size, however up close is a different story. I took pictures and compared the BT-45 to an old Conti that had already been mounted and slightly compressed.
I got the BT-45's at Motorcycle Superstore for $100.99 (rear) and free shipping. Last year I paid $86 and some change for the Conti-Go, this year the same tire was as low as $99 and as high as $169 with shipping. I have so far put over 4k miles and 13 months on the Conti-Go's. They now look more like Conti-gone. Hopefully I can get a little more mileage out of the BT-45's.
I also went up a size in the front. Instead of a 110/70/17, I'm now sporting a 120/70/17. Compared to the Conti-Go's, there is a difference in diameter, but not too much in the width. This size cost $93 compared to $110 for the stock 110/70-17 size.
A friend of mine was more than gracious enough to help me get these tires mounted. He schooled me on how to use the Cycle Hill Stand built by No-Mar and the No-Mar static tire balancer. He's got 5 bikes so his equipment gets a workout. His garage is a regular cycle shop and air conditioned too!
Here are the specs for the front tires;
Continental Conti-Go 110/70/17
Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 120/70/17
Width - 4.80
Circum. - 74.73
Specs for the rear tires;
Continental Conti-Go 130/70/17
Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 140/70/17
Width - 5.57
Circum. - 77.58
The rear tire gave us a little fight but we managed to get it on. Poor Bill couldn't figure out why it was so tight until I told him it was a bias ply tire, which has a much stiffer sidewall than a radial. The front was a lot easier and both balanced out real well. Both tires look good with little evidence of pinching on the rim.
While we were mounting the tires it was raining and was raining right up till the time we finished, so my first test on these new tires was going to be 8 miles back home on rain slick roads. Because the tires were brand spanking new I didn't push them, but they were very, very stable and never felt like they would slide out. Honestly I really could tell the road was wet except for the fact that I could see it. About 2 miles out from the house it was drizzling, but again the tire felt solid for turning on wet surfaces.
On a dry warm surface you can definitely feel the stickiness of these tires. Much better than the Conti's. Good with acceleration out of the corners, tracks well while leaned over. No sketchiness when transitioning from side to side. As far as the Ninja's "flickability" goes, on these tires the bike feels a slight bit heavier, so that it's not as quick to go over, but a slight adjustment of the riding style fixes that quickly. The bike actually feels like it has the handling of a bigger bike. With a little more width (both front and back) the bike leans over a tiny bit more. The Conti's, even when they were newly mounted had a slight handlebar wobble around 45 mph. The BT-45's are well balanced and exhibit no such wobble. The small change in front wheel diameter did make a small change in the speedo reading. Before the speedo read approx 5 mph faster, now it is an avg. of 4 mph faster than actual speed.
So far the tire performs well, but I'll be able to tell more after the Ninja 250 Rally in August, when I can really put some time and distance on them.