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Bridgestone BTO-20

User reviews of Bridgestone BTO-20
Rated (4.2 / 5) 4 star rating
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Bridgestone BT-020 on Kawasaki ZX-9R

August 05, 2009
I have run several sets of these tires on my 1999 ZX which sees 50/50 duty of freeway and curvy mountain roads. The BT-020 is a good compromise as a sport touring tire, meaning good mileage and acceptable grip for medium aggressive corning.

When new, the tire can be pushed really hard into the corners, yet the rear grip begins to fade around 3 to 4 thousand miles even though there are many miles left in both tires.

Typical rear tire life is 14,000 where as the front starts to scallop around 6,000 so I can easily run two fronts to one rear.

After the glory days of the first 3,000 or so miles, the rear grip is more prone to start slipping when pushed very hard, yet this slip is very predictable so long as you keep it smooth.

As the second front tire nears the 5,000 mile mark, the rear tire is best suited to freeway duty only, the corner carving days are gone.

I can bleed about 1,000 more miles out before I really cannot stand em' any longer....

Just about the time the wear bars near the tread surface, the front is so scalloped so as to affect handling and the grip has faded greatly which erodes rider confidence.

As for rain, I love em! I pass cars in the wet on winding mountain roads with full confidence, yet this sort of behavior is best left for experienced riders who are very smooth and never upset the suspension or put sudden demands on the grip.

Sure beats those old bias ply tires I rode on in my youth, they were slippery as all get out in the rain!!

Many great new tires have hit the market this year, so my plans are to sample the new Dunlop Qualifier II next, yet rumors are one can get a very good deal on the Avon VP Sport

Kawboy from The California Coast

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Overall: 5 star rating

Bridgestone BT-020 Sport Touring Tires

September 15, 2008
I ride a Kawasaki Ninja 650R, a 450 lbs. wet weight, sport bike with about 48.5 lb/ft torque and about 68 HP at the rear wheel. I've had the tires for 5,000 miles and they're basicall unworn.

For me the Battlax BT-020 are very good provided:
(1) They are properly inflated, and
(2) are properly warmed up, and less so,
(3) they are dry.

The tires provide sporting tire grip under ideal conditions and at their limits they start to slide predictably and benignly. It might be a little scary when they start to do that, but it beats being dumped on your rump.

They're actually very good in a warm summer rain, but if you're ever caught in a cold thunderstorm during a otherwise hot, afternoon, the tires will slide due to the combination of the (1) cold rain causing tire underinflation, and (2) effectively water-cooling the rubber traction surface, (3) reducing static friction and (4) hydroplaning risks, compounded by the larger contact patch of the now under-inflated tires.

If you live and work where the temperatures are consistent and the rains warm, this tire is very good and it wears like stone. I have no chicken strips on my rear tires and just about a half inch on the fronts, they're that good.

A hard run last week with a sports bike group on Meetup.com had some uneven wear (scalloping) developing on the front tires. It causes some minor chattering upon hard braking.

Andy from New Canaan, CT

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Overall: 4 star rating

Bridgestone BT-57

January 03, 2007
I got a cherry '99 ZRX1100 last year. The tires needed replacing, as they were the original skins. There was barely 1mm of tread left on the back, so replacement could NOT wait. Since this was my first high performance bike, I didn't know what tires use. Therefore, I followed the owner's manual recommendations; one of those recommended tires was the BT-57. I figured that this was best, until I had time to adequately research high performance tires, and I could make an intelligent decision next time I replace the skins. By the looks of things, that'll be soon...

What do I like about the BT-57? One, it can handle all the power my bike dishes out! It has K & N pods, a jet kit, and a Kerker pipe; she puts about 120 hp to the rear wheel, vs. the stock bike's 96 hp. The tires have not squared off at all. Two, the grip is excellent. My chicken strip is about 1/4" wide; I've never slid the bike, nor have I kicked out the rear end when giving her the gas coming out of a turn-even a sharp one. Three, the ride quality is good.

What don't I like about the tire? The big complaint is that it does NOT last long at all; I have 3,500 miles on my tires, and the rear will be ready for replacement in the next 1,000 miles or so, as there is about 1-2 mm left of the rear tread. The front is not much better. However, based on my research, this wear is typical for high performance sport tires. If you want grip, you're going to give up mileage; it's that simple.

The only other thing that I don't like is the lack of available sizes for this tire. That's a pity, because this tire is very good; I guess most riders are opting for the BT-014 now, as it's a newer design. Anyway, my manual says to use a 170/60R17 on the back. With the BT-57's limited size selection, I had to use a 180/55 rear instead. This is ok, because: 1) I have 5.5" rim, the minimum rim width required for a 180 tire; and 2) the bigger tire absorbs the extra hp.

If I don't give my ZRX a fair amount of throttle in the turns, the bike feels as if it'll fall in. I don't know if it's because the bike's heavy (it is, weighing in @ 550# wet, and I weigh 260#), or if it's the tire's design. I won't know until I replace the skins. Then, I'll be able to see if turn-in characteristics of my bike of changed.

In closing, the BT-57 is a good, solid tire. It offers good grip for my musclebike; the tires have never broken loose. They're not squared off; they've retained their profile well. However, the size selection of the BT-57 is limited now, as the BT-014 is replacing it on newer, litre class sportbikes. Also, the tire doesn't last long, though this seems to be typical of high performance rubber. It's the same, old story; if you want the grip, you're going to give up mileage-end of story. If these tires can fit your bike, I'd check 'em out...

Mark from Clinton, NJ

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Overall: 5 star rating

BTO - 20

July 26, 2006
I've used this tire on a yzf600r. Wear was exceptional which I was expecting for a sport tour tire. Warm up was very quick and there's plenty of tread depth for riding in rain. Grip isn't as good as the supersport tires. I slid the rear in a sharp right hander on the edge of the tire. To the tire's credit, it was managable and didn't break away too quickly. Once I found the limit I never had any issues. Good mileage, and good street performance.

Andrew from Lebanon, TN

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Overall: 3 star rating

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