Bridgestone’s Battlax motorcycle tires have gained recognition in the streetbike segment for its versatile performance on a variety of new and used motorcycles. The Battlax-series launched in ‘83 and is positioned as the ultimate “hypersport” streetbike tire from the Japanese rubber giant. The words “battle” and “axe” were morphed to signify the tire’s honed performance edge. For 2024 it has something fresh in the form of its Battlax S23. It supersedes the Battlax S22 (introduced in 2019) and the now discontinued Battlax S21 (introduced in 2016).
Editor’s note: Please review the Bridgestone Debuts Battlax S23 Sportbike Tires for 2024 article and Top 5 Features of Bridgestone’s Battlax S23 Motorcycle Tires article and videos for supplementary insight on this product.
Positioned below a racing tire (Battlax R11, and the pure-bred track tire Battlax RS-11) but ahead of sport-touring rubber, the Battlax S23 continues to employ a multicompound design front (three compound zones) and rear (five compound zones). The zones are easy to spot during fast-paced trackday rides when the tires get hot enough to define the sections.
Specifically the front edge/shoulder and rear edge benefit from a “optimized resin” with added carbon black (fine black powder) which boosts grip at high lean angles. Although not vastly different from the S22, the S23 is more gummy with ample grip, even on a liter-class bike, so long as you are smooth with throttle application, especially at higher lean angles.
One of the standout features of Bridgestones are neutral handling manners. This complements the chassis on most motorcycles and proves more versatile than other major tire manufacturers’ product offering in this segment. The ‘Stones provide a level of stability and responsiveness that instills confidence without having to worry about having the optimum chassis setup to fit the tire (i.e., characteristics of both Dunlop and Pirelli motorcycle tires).
Bridgestone motorcycle tires generally perform more optimally with higher psi versus the aforementioned brands, and during our track test at the Kyalami racing circuit in South Africa our bikes were set at 36 psi front and rear.
The tread pattern offers slightly more rigidity versus its predecessor. This helps mitigate tread squirm during trackdays on torquey liter-class sportbikes. Furthermore, the tires are nice and quiet so the rider can hear the sound of their bike instead and focus on the road ahead without distraction.
The Battlax S23 also is designed to perform in the rain. Bridgestone’s advanced compounds enhance wet grip. While we didn’t get to try them out in rain, Bridgestone’s innovative “pulse grove” technology promotes a venturi effect which helps evacuate more water from the tread versus the Battlax S22.
Durability is a crucial factor for any motorcycle tire, and the Battlax S23 delivered after a full-day at the racetrack on liter-class machines. We can’t wait to see how these tires perform on the street.
The Battlax S23 motorcycle tire is a testament to Bridgestone’s commitment to excellence in both performance, safety, and durability. The tire’s remarkable handling, wet-weather capabilities, durability, and overall comfort make it a top choice for riders seeking a high-performance tire that excels in various riding conditions. While these tires’ MSRP certainly can’t be deemed cheap, the enhanced riding experience justifies the cost. When it comes time to replace your worn-out rubber, the Bridgestone Battlax S23 is a worthy tire option for sport riders who ride in any and all road conditions.
Front Size: 120/70-17 ($249.49)
Rear Sizes: 160/60-17 ($291.19); 180/55-17 ($302.19); 190/50-17 ($340.67); 190/55-17 ($349.39); 200/55-17 ($385.69)
Helmet: Shoei X-Fifteen
Suit: Dainese Misano
Gloves: Dainese Full Metal 6
Boots: Dainese Axial Pro