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The results are in, and the Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 is the winner! Don’t take our word for it. This comes straight from Motorrad magazine’s recent sports tire test comparing the S22 to the Continental Sport Attack 3, Dunlop Sportsmart MK3, Metzeler Sportec M7 RR, Michelin Power RS+, and the Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II.
In the test, Motorrad put the tires through a litany of tests in both wet and dry conditions at a dedicated test facility using a Yamaha YZF-R1 as the control motorcycle.
As the successor to the hugely popular S21 tire, the Battlax Hypersport S22 provides even better dry grip without sacrificing any of the wet performance from the S21. It achieves this in a number of ways. First, the new tread pattern on the S22 features an increased groove ratio on the tire’s shoulder offering better traction in both wet and dry conditions.
Second, the new compound with an optimized resin structure developed for the S22 allows it to provide increased levels of grip at lower temperatures. In addition, the center compound of the S22 rear tire is comprised of silica particles that are even smaller than those found on other tires. The benefit is more silica in the contact patch of the tire, enabling the S22 to better grip the road in wet conditions.
Lastly, using their proprietary Ultimat Eye™ technology – the same technology used to develop racing tires for the FIM Endurance World Championship – Bridgestone engineers were able to measure and visualize how the tires react under load. The data was then used to reduce the rear tire’s slippage area compared to the S21.
All of this sounds great in theory, but Motorrad put all of these claims to the test in real-life situations. Let’s take a closer look at the areas the S22 beat its competitors.
For the dry testing portion, Motorrad rated each tire in nine different categories:
1. Cold condition – Tests how well the tire behaves when cold, i.e., the moment you ride out of the garage.
2. Handling – Evaluates the force required to steer the bike and maintain a line in S-shaped bends.
3. Steering precision – Tests the steering precision in sections of varying speed with complex corner radii. This indicates whether the bike follows the desired line or if the rider has to correct the line.
4. Feedback – Assesses how quick and smooth the rider is able to feel the tires and bike react.
5. Corner Stability – Tests the wobble in S-shaped curves and on uneven surfaces (tested solo and with passenger).
6. Corner Stability Sport – Tests the wobble in S-shaped curves and on uneven surfaces, but with large lean angle when accelerating.
7. Grip during lean/acceleration – Evaluates the cornering grip and transfer of force in corners of different speeds.
8. Threshold behavior – Tests how manageable the tire is at its performance limit.
9. Righting torque – Assesses how the bike rights itself when braking in a lean position. The rider has to counteract this reaction by pushing on the inside end of the handlebars.
In total, the S22 won or tied for first in eight of the nine categories, easily cementing its place at the top. In fact, the S22 earned a total of 140 points out of a possible 150 in the dry/sport category. In particular, the Motorrad staff were impressed with the S22’s handling and steering precision, saying the Bridgestone tire was “most striking of all” with its “precision through the curves.”
Year after year, Motorrad is continually impressed with the ability of Bridgestone tires to provide the most stable tires in tire tests, and the S22 continues the tradition started by the S20 and the S21. With the Battlax Hypersport S22, Motorrad says those who enjoy sporty riding, whether on their own local roads or at a track day “...will love the razor-sharp precision that lets them corner the bike on the tightest lines.”
All of these accolades reinforce the improvements Bridgestone has made with the S22’s tread pattern, compound, and contact area. These changes to the tire translate through the bars as feedback that gives the Motorrad test riders confidence to push harder than they traditionally would.
Dry performance is one thing, but these improvements become more dramatic when the road gets wet. Each tire was tested in mostly the same categories as in the dry. However, Motorrad also subjected the tires to a braking deceleration test, measured its braking distance from 100 km/h, and recorded wet lap times around the test track.
The S22 tire won the handling and steering precision categories outright, which is a testament to the greater groove ratio and fine particle silica in the new compound giving the riders feedback to push.
It’s important not to overlook the fine particle silica in the S22, as it provides a tire’s elasticity and its ability to function in cold conditions. Because the silica particles are so fine, more particles make contact with the road through the tire’s contact patch resulting in three things every rider is sure to love; - better feel, improved grip, and more communication to the rider.
Bridgestone also impressed in braking distance from 100 km/h at 43.8 meters. This tied for the best stopping distance overall and bested the next competitor tire by a sizeable 3.2 meters!
Motorrad has been big fans of the S21’s wet weather performance, lauding its “predictable threshold behavior.” This was something Bridgestone engineers had to be mindful of when designing the new S22, and thankfully it didn’t disappoint with Motorrad claiming the new tire “picks up where its predecessor left off.” The new tire still earned a joint second place in the wet standings with the oft-mentioned accolade “impressive” being thrown about yet again in the magazine’s ratings.
With a resounding performance in the dry weather testing coupled with a strong showing under wet conditions, it should come as no surprise that the Bridgestone Battlax Hypersport S22 tire won Motorrad’s sport tire test with an overall score of 230 out of a possible 250. The S22’s markedly improved performance in cool, dry conditions impressed Motorrad’s testers.
This should be no surprise, of course, as this was exactly the environment Bridgestone focused on when designing the S22. What was more surprising was the S22’s wet performance compared to other, newly improved competitor’s tires. This serves as a testament to how well the previous S21’s wet weather performance was designed from the beginning.
At the end of the day, even Motorrad exclaims the leading four tires in this test are admirable performers for all-weather riding. But above all, the “perfectly tuned S22 from Bridgestone...represents a major improvement on the previous S21 and S20 models.”
Click here to read the English translation of Motorrad’s article (originally in German)