Recently we invited several riders to participate in testing our new range of Bridgestone tyres in exchange for submitting detailed feedback.
Paul Lewis, one of our Bridgestone T31 Test Riders headed down to the Burt while testing the tyres. Here are his thoughts.
Day One - Wellington to Franz Josef
Initial thoughts first 300kms. Very light with no feel and wandered having to keep inputting steering to stay on chosen course. After 300kms started to get some connection to the road. At 400kms I encountered rain, initially from upright not much feedback. Then as I started to tip into a bend, HELLO!!! First stage of tip in unsure but then comes an amazing amount of feedback and lots of grip.
565.3kms so far, these are looking good for confidence inspired wet cornering.
Day Two - Franz Josef to Invercargill
Beautiful twisty dry roads into Wanaka and out of Queenstown, tyres gave great feedback staying on a chosen line with arrow like precision. Arrived at Invercargill and have Dave Moss set up the suspension as only he can do. His feedback was both my front and rear rebound compression were too fast causing the water channels on the tyres to start to radius and feather. He adjusted and I found the twistiest road I could. 120kms later with the bike now tracking better than ever the tyres have cleaned up to previous pristine condition.
Return Trip - Invercargill to Timaru
Rained all day with some surface flooding, great confidence in cornering. Only time I had a warning was on worn out corners with only tar left as the road surface.
Timaru to Hamner Springs
Warm dry day top temp 27 degrees. Tyres were great all day shrugging of the loose chip on resurfaced road sections. 2225kms travelled so far and even though a lot of the time the bike has travelled upright not a hint of a flat spot has appeared which is amazing! Previous experience riding a GSXR750SRAD on these same roads with continental tyres and the rear was shredded in 3 days.
Hanmer Springs to Picton
Rather than doubling back on myself to join state highway one I decided to take the inland road to Kaikoura designated highway 70.
A beautiful road twisting between the mountains giving the tyres a workout with tight twisting decreasing radius off camber turns with the odd bit of gravel thrown in, by now I have full confidence in these tyres and they did not disappoint. After 15kms the stop go roadworks started with the rebuild of the road in full swing having been damaged by the Kaikoura earthquake. I join state highway one and realise that my time to the ferry departure is going to be tight with the 50kms of road works need to restore this road to her former glory.
The ride into Blenheim then on to Picton was the usual fast open sweepers that made me smile with the grip on hand these tyres give one fully warmed through, impressive considering I’m fully loaded with three panniers containing everything needed for 7 days camping right down to a cooker and frying pan. I arrive at Picton in perfect time ready for my crossing home to Wellington.
With a total trip distance of 2546 Kms the tyres are showing minimal wear which is very impressive given the coarse chip nature of our South Island roads