"Passion for Excellence" is Bridgestone's motto. If you happen to follow the Formula 1 Grand Prix, you can not have failed to notice that they were the sole supplier of tyres.
The company was founded in Japan in 1931. Passion for Excellence? Hmm. Perhaps they should add "attention to detail" - note the early history of the company on this screenshot taken from the Bridgestone UK site:
There are currently several types available for the ST1100.
Firstly, the Bridgestone Battlax BT-020. This was redesigned in 2003 and is purported to offer much higher levels of comfort, exceptional grip, and good levels of stability.
The Battlax BT-021. A replacement for the BT-020 series. Three years in development, it offers improved stability, sports tyre performance and increased wet weather performance.
Then there is the Battlax BT-023. Launched in February 2010, it is advertised as having consistent high-level performance for both touring and sport riding. It has a combination of good wear life and wet performance for touring, whereas for sport riding it offers grip and steering control.
Finally, the Exedra G548. This is a bias ply tyre, not a radial ply. Fitted to the ST1100 as an OEM tyre.
The Battlax BT-021 fits, but I wouldn't recommend it. Longevity is a problem - I have seen it reported that it lasted as little as 3,000 miles with uneven wear. Bridgestone refused to comment.
Then there is the Battlax BT-023. As mentioned above, it was launched in early 2010 to replace the BT-021.
The Battlax BT-45. A touring tyre, available in both H and V ratings. It is advertised as having all-round street performance, riding comfort, longevity, and wet performance.
Finally there is the Exedra G547. A bias ply tyre fitted to the ST1100 as OEM.
Bridgestone seem to cater more for racing tyres than touring, so don't expect too much mileage out of them.
I'll state quite bluntly I'm not a fan. When I first got my Yamaha Diversion XJ600S, it had Bridgestone tyres. They didn't last very long, so I tried Dunlop. Whilst researching this web page I came across an old spreadsheet relating to the Yamaha showing the service record (I'd given my logbook to the new owner when I sold the bike). The Bridgestone front (110/80 - 17) lasted - I'll admit - a fairly reasonable 19615 miles before the tread wore off. The rear, however, (130/70 - 18) lasted just 6000 miles.
The ST1100 also had Bridgestone tyres when I got it. The previous owner had kept the receipts which allowed me to accurately calculate the mileage covered (see table on the Avon page).
After just 3000 miles I suffered an irreparable puncture in the rear tyre. I must have ridden over some broken glass, as the tread was slashed right across. I've no idea why it was the rear tyre which suffered; the front was fine. I called the AA (Automobile Association - I thought I'd better clarify that!) who loaded the bike into a large van and dropped me at a motorcycle tyre dealership. From my previous experience with the Yamaha, I was adamant I didn't want Bridgestone tyres, and the only other make they had in stock were Avon.
(I'll admit this was not a true test of the Bridgestone longevity, but research since then on several internet forums has revealed that I was not the only rider dissatisfied with this brand - although I've read several recommendations for Bridgestone tyres along the lines of "excellent roadholding in wet and dry conditions. Lasted FOUR THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED MILES!!!")
Amazing. If my tyres lasted as long as that when I was commuting I'd have been fitting a new rear every 11 weeks. "Kerching", says the Bridgestone cash register.
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Neutral Comments (good and bad)
I don't know what tyres were on the bike when I got it but when they needed replacing I put a set of Dunlop D205s then a Sportmax on. I went Bridgestone …
BT023, expensive, good grip, but....
Fitted a pair of Bt023 at the start of the year after a disappointing experience with Avon Storm ST. These are quite expensive but I did get a good deal …
Rubbish tyre wear BT021
The BT021 front tyre on my ST1100 is worn to the legal limit after just 2,900 miles, I am in shock!! The previous BT020 did nearly 8,000 miles so nearly …
BT020 were good
Just had a Bridgestone BT021 fitted to the front, and I have an 023 on the back which has done 13,000 km and is now badly squared off. The 020s used to …
Low Mileage - cr*p.....
My experience of Bridgestone: so far I've managed to get 6,131 and 7,333 miles out of my front BT-021s - and the 7k miles was very worn. For the rear …
Bridgestone BT021 poor mileage
I fitted a Bridgestone BT021 front tyre to my ST1100. It lasted for just 8000km before the sides were worn bald - the right hand side more so. It gave …
Fitted 023's (not GT's) Spring 2014. Not rated yet
Tyres were fitted in April 2014 and the price at that time was comparable with other makes. Tyres fitted to ST1100W, UK bike. Both front and rear were …
Bridgestone T30 are very good tyres for our ST1100 Not rated yet
Hello, I have a kit of Bridgestone T30 (the BT-023 follower) on my ST1100 and I'm really happy with them. The front pressure tyre should be increased to …
AVOID Not rated yet
I HAVE JUST COMPLETED 2530 MILES BETWEEN MOT'S AND REQUIRE A NEW FRONT TO REPLACE THE BATTLAX BT021 ON MY ST1100. NOT IMPRESSED. THE REAR IS CURRENTLY …
Bridgestone Exedras and BT020 tyres Not rated yet
I have BT020's on my Fazer 600 and BT Exedra's on my ST100 and the only problem I have is the front tyre on the ST1100, wears around the edges but not …