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Scooters are just as deserving of quality tires as any other motorcycle, and Bridgestone agrees. Bridgestone recently announced not one, but three offerings for the discerning scooter rider in the US and Canadian markets: the Battlax SC, Battlax Scooter SC2, and Battlax Scooter SC2 Rain tires. All three tires have proven themselves in Europe and other markets, and now scooter riders in the US and Canada can see what all the hype is about.
Seeing as all three tires bear the Battlax name, this should be an immediate tipoff that all three have performance in mind – especially the Battlax SC2 and SC2 Rain, whose tread patterns are are inspired by the Battlax Hypersport S21 tire and Battlax Sport Touring T31 tire respectively – Two designs meant to stand up to the rigors of sportbike and sport-touring riding.
Designed to bring Bridgestone performance to smaller-displacement scooters, and even the Honda Grom, the Battlax SC scooter tires come in a wide array of sizes, for 10-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-, and 16-inch wheels. Designed for comfortable and agile handing around city roads, the Battlax SC tires incorporate much of the same tech seen on full-size motorcycle tires.
Many of the SC’s benefits come from its groove pattern. For example, the tire’s tread grooves are all set in the same direction as the scooter’s cornering forces. The result is maximized block rigidity, which gives the rider solid handling and excellent feel – an especially useful feature on city roads. Speaking of solid handling, the rib groove running the circumference of the front tire also reduces irregular wear and wobble. The angle of the grooves, too, are optimized to reduce noise. It’s a minor benefit, but increased tire hum can cause unnecessary fatigue. Lastly, the wide grooves help drain water quickly, improving wet grip. All sizes of the Battlax SC offered in the US and Canada are bias-ply tires.
Starting with the Battlax Scooter SC2 tire, we move towards larger scooters like the Suzuki Burgman 650, Yamaha T-Max, and BMW C650GT. The Battlax Scooter SC2 is a radial tire meant for sporty, linear handling. It thrives in dry conditions, though it isn’t afraid of some wet weather.
Compared to the SC2 Rain tire which we’ll discuss in a moment, the SC2 has fewer tread grooves. In fact, as mentioned earlier, the tread pattern of the SC2 was inspired by the Battlax Hypersport S21tire.
Bridgestone engineers have developed a new compound for the front tire to maximize dry grip in all temperature ranges, ensuring optimum handling the moment you hit the road. In the rear, Bridgestone’s 3LC, or 3 Layer Compound, has a longer mileage compound in the center for optimum life but softer compounds on the edges for maximum cornering grip in the dry.
The mono-spiral belt helps keep the weight of the tire down and helps it maintain better stability as it reduces the natural tendency for a tire to grow with increased heat and centrifugal force. Handling is further enhanced by the 3D profile at the tread groove’s end, increasing block rigidity on the tire’s shoulder for dry edge grip. The angle of the groove was carefully optimized to improve deformation and roll characteristics*. Again, for better handling.
As the name would suggest, the Battlax Scooter SC2 Rain thrives in wet conditions, though it’s also an excellent choice for the daily commuter or sport-touring scooterist. The biggest visual difference is the higher number of tread grooves compared to the standard SC2 – inspired by the Battlax T31 sport-touring tire – to evacuate as much water as possible. Like the SC2, the Rain version also sees a new compound in the rear, with a high Silica content to increase grip in wet conditions.
Similar to the Battlax SC2, the 3 Layer Compound is utilized again to compliment the tire’s dry grip (hence why this tire makes for a great sport-touring or commuter scooter tire). Once again, the MS, or mono-spiral belt is used for the rear tire for improved and predictable handling. When compared to the SC2, the SC2 rain really thrives in cooler temperatures, providing increased grip in those crucial low-temp situations.
Whichever choice you make, know that all three Battlax scooter tires provide predictable, dependable grip. However, this summary might help narrow things down further.
The Battlax SC is an easy choice really, as small- to medium-displacement scooters that use bias-ply tires could greatly benefit from the SC’s superior attributes. Odds are, the SC will be a marked improvement over the OEM rubber.
Choosing between the Battlax Scooter SC2 and Battlax Scooter SC2 Rain is where things get a little more complicated. Using the SC as a baseline, both the Scooter SC2 and Scooter SC2 Rain deliver grip and very similar handling characteristics. The differentiator, however, is that SC2 excels in dry conditions as it piggybacks on the great legacy and reputation of the Battlax Hypersport S21. Likewise, the SC2 Rain excels in many areas like the SC2, but its performance characteristics skew towards wet weather conditions. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the SC2 Rain is a one-trick pony – its performance characteristics under dry conditions are strong, which is why we continually say it’s the ideal tire for commuting and even touring.
No matter which tire you choose, rest assured that you’re benefitting from Bridgestone’s proven performance and experience in some of the most grueling forms of motorsports in the world on your scooter.
*Comparison based on BATTLAX Scooter SC2 vs. BATTLAX SC from internal testing. Results may vary depending on proper tire and vehicle maintenance, road conditions, and driving habits.