Why introduce a new street tire to the motorcycle press on a race track? It’s a fair question with a relatively simple answer. Sporting rubber – even that designed for the street – has evolved so much in the past decade that exploring their limits can only be safely approached in a closed course environment. The designers clearly felt this way about the Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tire when they flew journos from around the world to the legendary Circuito de Jerez in Spain to see what this new rubber was capable of doing. That was their story at least, and we’re down with it.
Whereas the Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S21, introduced in 2016, was a revolutionary step forward in technology, claiming roughly a 36% increase in traction over the previous generation, the S22 is an evolutionary update that seeks to increase all of the characteristics that made the S21 a great sport tire without losing anything, While I can’t attest to two of the claims – increased wet weather grip and unchanged tire longevity – I can say that the S22 is a much improved tire for those who want a street tire that can handle the rigors of everyday life, weekends on winding mountain roads, and the pressures of a track day.
New tread shape combines with new compounds and new grooving to deliver better grip in all conditions without sacrificing longevity, says Bridgestone.
Wet weather performance
While Mother Nature deemed that it would be sunny and dry on my day at Jerez, a hefty amount of Bridgestone’s efforts regarding the S22 were directed towards wet weather performance. The primary change in the S22 is an increase in the sea/land ratio of the tire tread, meaning larger voids (grooves) in the tread to channel away more water. The groove position …read more