Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bridgestone TW301 and TW302

Towards the end of last year I had a look around for some new tyres, but something with a bit more offroad ability.  After the stock Trailwings gave up the good fight, I decided to put some more road biased dual sport tyres on the bike, as I mostly do road kilometres, commuting to work five days a week.  Melbourne also throws a fair amount of rain at me and I thought this might be a bit wiser.  I bought Michelin Siracs at the time and they gave me great service.  I clocked up around 10000km on them.  The only negative thing I have to say about them is that they absolutely suck on wet, unsealed roads, but then again, you should expect that.  So, I'd definitely get them again when I need road biased tyres.

As summer approached I thought I'd get something with a bit more offroad biase.  I went onto all the forums I usually trawl and had a look around what people's opinions are about tyres with a 50/50 on/offroad purpose.  I heard stories about the Bridgestone Trailwings being known as Death Wings, but did find some good reports here and there.  The main problem with selecting a set for the DR is that the tyre sizes are aimed at the larger bikes.  I was really keen on the Metzeler Karoo, but they apparently don't do them in a 120/90 17.  I'm not sure whether they do the Continental TKC80's in the DR's size, but I didn't even look as I know they're way out of my price range.

So, in the end I took a look at the Trailwings and thought that they can't be that bad as Bridgestone wouldn't have kept on selling them if they were.  I settled on the TW301 (front) and TW302 (rear) and at $90 for the front and $110 for the rear, they were way cheaper than the alternatives.  I figured that, even if they didn't last that long, they'd still be worth it.  Quick pic of them just after I had them put on the bike.

I like the tread pattern and they actually look good too.  I was really worried about how these would handle wet sealed roads though.  I'm not too experienced with knobblies in the wet and I didn't look forward to commuting with them in the rain.  I'm happy to report that they're really not bad tyres at all.  Wet or dry.  This summer's been unusually wet in Melbourne and I've had plenty of opportunities to put them through their paces from light to torrential rain.  I also had them on during our trip to Dargo recently and the picture above was a day out to Lerderderg State Park.  On and off road they perform very well. I've not had a narrow escape once.  Even in the twisties they do a great job and I can comfortably keep up with Brien on his KTM, running Pirelli Scorpions MT90/AT, well that's talking rubber, not the bike performance.

Here are the tyres after more than 10000km.

These are definately not Death Wings.  Great tyres and I'll buy them again.  Good fit for the DR.

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