Heading to Morocco to sample the latest adventure tyre proved the perfect destination to put them to the test.
Tested by: Paul
The Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 replaces the successful A40, as a tyre designed for adventure-style machines which spend a majority of their time on the road. The object of the update was to provide increased wet grip and handling performance especially in low temperatures along with enhancing straight and high-speed stability without sacrificing mileage.
Anything to do with adventure riding is always a compromise, with the tyres especially often a difficult choice to find something that will handle a bit of everything. Bridgestone describe the new A41 as a 90/10 tyre, with the main focus being on providing good road manners. But they still need to work off-road, with many big capacity adventure riders needing a tyre that can handle gravel roads at pace.
Three layer technology used on both the front and rear tyre in a cap and base configuration combined with an updated tread pattern has been used to provide extra grip in tricky conditions.
The first part of our Moroccan adventure was a series of long sweeping gravel roads. The surface was dry (as you’d expect in this area!), with the surface made of sharp and abrasive rocks and gravel. Riding a BMW R 1200 GS before swapping to the latest DCT Honda Africa Twin, the Bridgestones were more than up to the task of supplying drive on the loose surface, with the lowest traction control setting allowing the rear to spin while still giving forward momentum. Okay, without having a blocked tyre at the front, you aren’t going to be pushing the limits of grip at the front, but the big bikes could still be hustled through the sweeping corners at speed with a decent level of security.
The real advantage of having tyres specifically designed for adventure riding is their ability to handle the rough and abrasive surface without marking, cutting or wearing dramatically, and any of NZ’s gravel roads could be negotiated easily using these tyres. If the weather got wet and you’re planning on tackling mud or soft terrain, these aren’t the tyres for you. But if you’re looking for rubber that will give you the on-road performance of a dedicated road tyre while also handling a decent amount of gravel road use, then the new A41 makes a sensible choice.
But it’s on the road where the new A41 from Bridgestone really shines, with the tyres letting you make the most of the serious performance achievable from many of today’s latest ‘adventure’ bikes. With the Moroccan tarmac a mixture of excellent surfaces that quickly transformed into narrow goat tracks, the one constant was the fantastic corners, stunning scenery and lack of civilisation which allowed us to explore the limits of the bikes and the tyres. Turning traction control settings down to minimum or off if available and then getting heavy handed with the throttle only encouraged the rear A41 to slide when getting really carried away, but the front remained solid and secure even when getting close to dragging footpegs.
With no wet weather in Morocco, it was good that I’ve had a set of A41s on my V-Strom 1000 in NZ where we get a bit of precipitation more often. Unlike the knobbly tyres I had on the Suzuki before, the Bridgestone’s offer road bike levels of performance wet or dry, giving a much more secure feeling on the road. The bonus is they work when tackling gravel and, if the look of a tyre bothers you, they look the part on an adventure bike.
The Bridgestone A41 adventure tyres are already available in New Zealand. For fitment and purchasing, visit www.bits4bikes.co.nz
|1||90/90 V 21 M/C||(54V)||TL*|
|2||100/90 – 19 M/C||57V||TL*|
|3||110/80 R 19 M/C||59V||TL|
|4||120/70 ZR 17 M/C||(58W)||TL|
|5||120/70 R 19 M/C||60V||TL|
|6||120/70 ZR 19M/C||60W||TL|
|7||110/80 R 18 M/C||58H||TL|
|8||130/80 R 17 M/C||65H||TL*|
|9||140/80 R 17 M/C||69V||TL*|
|10||150/70 R 17 M/C||69V||TL*|
|11||150/70 ZR 18 M/C||70W||TL|
|12||160/60 ZR 17 M/C||(69W)||TL|
|13||170/60 R 17 M/C||72V||TL|
|14||170/60 ZR 17 M/C||72W||TL|
|15||180/55 ZR 17 M/C||(73W)||TL|
|16||190/55 ZR 17 M/C||(75W)||TL|