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Adam tests Battlax S20 - Bridgestone Battlax S20 Launch at Portimao by Adam Rous

It’s March, the sun is beating down on us and…we’re still in the UK? As we board the plane out of Gatwick to take us to Portugal you’d think it was June, all down to a gratefully received bout of high pressure over Blighty. Thankfully the weather is equally good when we arrive at our destination for the launch of Bridgestone’s eagerly awaited new Hypersport tyre –the Battlax S20.

I think it’s fair to say that the predecessor to this tyre, the Battlax BT016 never really captured the public’s attention quite like the BT010 & BT014 did years before that, so Bridgestone saw fit to readdress that by showcasing the all new tyre at the recently built Portimao circuit in Portugal.

We’ve been given two days to see what this tyre is capable of on track and road and we start with the race track aboard a selection of the best 600 – 1000cc bikes. Bridgestone are aiming this tyre at the fast road/track day addict but they’ve also not forgotten how crucial a tyre’s performance is in the wet so they’ve addressed that too.

Although, thankfully we didn’t need the rain gear on this launch. Test reports prove that it is a cracker in the wet and Motorrad test centre in Germany rated it top draw in both wet & dry. Praise indeed.

I can’t put into words how privileged I felt to ride on the back with Grand Prix legend Ron Haslam, even though people kept saying to me how brave and mental I must be, it was the experience of a life time, when I went out with Ron at Silverstone..

Getting on track for the first lap, it was still very wet as it had been raining all morning, but we were glad to see the sun starting to appear. The first lap Ron was obviously just warming up and getting a bit of heat into the tyres, unknown to me I didn’t think he’d go much faster than he did in the first two laps as the track was still very wet, but I was very much proven wrong as Ron didn’t hesitate hitting a speed of 150 mph as we went into the 3rd and 4th lap. Ron obviously felt very comfortable with the level of grip he was getting from the S20 tyres to be going at that speed then braking into an angle with the extra weight of me on the back. I was sincerely impressed, not only with Ron but with the performance of the tyres and the way in which the tyres handled the cornering so well. Ron wouldn’t normally offer a pillion ride in the wet but he obviously has a lot of faith in the S20 to not only do the job its supposed to do but to excel in areas not expected of it, this is after all, a hypersport tyre..

The wet conditions really showed off just what the S20 could do, especially with me hanging on the back, it really showed just how much the tyre could clear water and grip to the tarmac at every angle. I heard nothing but positive feedback all day about the S20 from other riders and customers who had gone out and ridden that day.

Although riding in the wet isn’t the most pleasurable experience, it proved the reputation of the tyre very well, getting nothing but glowing feedback for this all round fabulous tyre !

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