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Thread: Battlax BT021 Tires Not So Bad

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    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    Battlax BT021 Tires Not So Bad

    I've seen a lot of negative post about the Battlax BT021 ST tires on this forum and some others. However I have seen negative post about almost any tire except the newer ones that haven't been out all that long. I was almost ready to pull my BT021's at 1300 miles due to all the negative responses about "Tar Snakes" and tread life.

    From talking to many local riders it seems that all tires react terribly to tar snakes. Maybe some seem better based on ambient temp, the size (depth and width) of the tar snake itself.

    Now tar snakes aside I had a really great experience with the BT021's at a Track Day on Monday. I was riding my 2012 R1200RT which had 1450 miles on it at the start of the day. I dropped my air pressure down to 29/30 to soften them up a little and build more heat for the track. The air temp was 48 degrees when we started the day and the track was cold. After about 1 lap the tires warmed up nicely and the bike handled very well through a series of tight and sweeping turns. There was 1 nice long straightaway but the rest of the track was twisty. They was even an interesting off camber left that was cool to ride through. I used the tires right up to the outside edge of the tire and they hooked up very well. The only time it got a little loose was on the second lap of the day when I got over on the side and onto tire surface that has never touched asphalt. After that I always had a positive feel.

    This is not a thread jocking the BT021's but to let people know if you have them don't over react like I did thinking their junk tires even when new so you don't waste money buying something else because of what you read on a forum. Remember I was one of those people wanting to get them off. Now I trust my tires and my Rt even more. If you ever get a chance to do a track day I highly recommend it. It is not a race. It is a nice training and good time to learn new riding skills on a safe environment without cars, trees and telephone poles.

    I have been riding for over 20 years and learned so much by doing the Track Day. I realized that there was a lot oeft of my RT that I wasn't even using.
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    Last edited by RAINEY; 09-26-2012 at 11:26 AM. Reason: edit
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

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    Great in the twisties, but. . .

    . . .no good for mileage.

    '94 R1100RS, very light rider (140#), light loads, no 2-up, careful inflation. UNDER 3,500 mi on rear tire, and center tread all the way down past wear-bars. Front still OK.

    Never again. I guess YRMV.

    Walking Eagle

  3. #3
    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking Eagle View Post
    . . .no good for mileage.

    '94 R1100RS, very light rider (140#), light loads, no 2-up, careful inflation. UNDER 3,500 mi on rear tire, and center tread all the way down past wear-bars. Front still OK.

    Never again. I guess YRMV.

    Walking Eagle
    What PSI were you running in the front/rear? Seems that 40/42 is the number for linger life. I'm running that now and waiting to see what I get.

    Best regards,
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

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    Norm Norms 427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAINEY View Post
    If you ever get a chance to do a track day I highly recommend it.
    That's on my To Do List. I've done several track days on 4 wheels but never on 2. It's always seemed to me that a m/cycle is lacking the necessary number of tires when it comes to a little (unscheduled) drifting in the corners.

    My OEM Battlax tires came off at 8400 miles due to tire guts starting to peek through the tread at both front and rear but overall I was happy with them. I want longer mileage so now have Michelin PR3s mounted and hope they last a couple of thousand miles longer based on forum comments.

    Norm
    Now: '12 R1200RT Midnight Blue Metallic / '11 Ural Patrol 2WD ridden to Alaska / '09 KLR 650 / '05 HD Heritage Softail / '08 Harley Sportster 1200C / '85 Yamaha VMax bought new. I wasn't ready to say goodbye: www.shaunlunt.typepad.com

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    Inflation

    Rainey --

    Sorry, should have included this info in my post. As many know, the RS is very sensitive to inflation pressures. "Depending" on load -- I run 32-36 front and 36-40 rear -- usually the LOW end of the range, as I seldom ride 2-up, loaded.

    Given that the center-tread is/was the wear point, I doubt that increasing the pressure would help with wear pattern in this case.

    These very different mileage experiences with Battlax tires make me wonder about their QC, eh?

    I've been hearing good things about those Michelins - including from P. Glaves, a guy that knows a thing or two about tire wear!

    Walking Eagle

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    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking Eagle View Post
    Rainey --

    Sorry, should have included this info in my post. As many know, the RS is very sensitive to inflation pressures. "Depending" on load -- I run 32-36 front and 36-40 rear -- usually the LOW end of the range, as I seldom ride 2-up, loaded.

    Given that the center-tread is/was the wear point, I doubt that increasing the pressure would help with wear pattern in this case.

    These very different mileage experiences with Battlax tires make me wonder about their QC, eh?

    I've been hearing good things about those Michelins - including from P. Glaves, a guy that knows a thing or two about tire wear!

    Walking Eagle
    I wonder about QC myself. It amazes me that there's so many different responses out there. Some people get 10,000 miles some get 3,000. The dealer did say to get the maximum mileage to run 40/42. I' will probably run them at 38/40 though. I would rather get less mileage out of the tires and have a little better performance in the twisties when I find them.

    I'm looking forward to trying the PR3's
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

  7. #7
    2011 R1200RT ka5ysy's Avatar
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    FWIW, my RT came with the BT021's as OEM. I put most all of the initial 2500 miles on the bike (dealer demo) then bought it. Solo, the bike did OK in the twisties, but a couple of times I could feel the rear step out a bit and they never felt very secure and planted to me. The real moment of decision came with the SO on board leaning right in a tight turn and had the rear step out again on a pretty good surface. Sucked up a bit of seat cover on that event!

    I immediately went to Cycle Gear and ordered the PR3's for bike because I had been using them on the R1200R and loved them on that bike.

    The RT with the PR3 tires sticks like glue in turns, wet, dry, or whatever. Tar snakes are not as big a problem either, depending on temperature. I have about 6000 miles on them now and they are showing no apparent wear at all.
    Doug, 2011 R1200RT Polar Metallic
    MSF #127350 NAUI #36288

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    Registered User Firenailer's Avatar
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    Again it's always interesting hearing all of our different opinions and experiences on the same subject. I've been riding bikes for 45 of my 54 years usually riding 6 - 8000 miles annually, and while I'm no expert, I am familiar with how my motorcycles react to road conditions and tar snakes.

    I've taken a few track days and rider courses over the years as well, and try to always improve my riding education and performance.

    All that being said, these are the most slippery tires I've ever had. Oddly enough, I'm not having any real wear issues with them, so maybe Q.C. or different factories are producing very different tires? I'm glad you like them, but I'm swapping mine for PR3's at the 6000 mile service next week. It's just not worth the risk to me.
    Ride Safe,
    Bob
    '12 R1200RT

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    When I purchased my oilhead last year the PO had just put on the Battlax on the rear. I had a low opinion of them and considered changing them. During the next 7k miles, my opinion changed towards them. They were good on wet and dry roads. Probably could have gotten another 1-2k out of them. I now have a much better opinion of them.

    I changed them for PR3 rear tire. I now have 8k on the PR3 with a another 4k left. Very happy with them. Good on wet or dry pavement. Last a long time. Good value.

    I have a PR2 on the front and they were bald before 10k. One of the worst tires I have ever owned. Very unhappy with the PR2 front tire. Very little tread on the tire when new. No problems with bearings or brakes. May try a PR3 on the front, or switch to another brand.

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    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    Went for a nice 330 mile ride from Grand Rapids Mi to Traverse City and back yesterday. It amazing how the performance of the tires changes after getting the outside edges scrubbed in nicely at the track. You can actually feel the tackiness on the outsides which has significantly helped the feel through twistys on the street. The bike just feels so much more connected to the road even in cooler weather. Maybe we take for granted that our tires are broken in from new after only 50-100 miles but I think it depends on how you ride to scrub off the form release agent and to scuff them up. I've seen a very experienced rider dump a brand new bike in the dealer parking lot due to the slippery new tires. I know this has gotten a little off topic but figured it's worth putting out there.
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 23217 View Post
    I have a PR2 on the front and they were bald before 10k. One of the worst tires I have ever owned. Very unhappy with the PR2 front tire. Very little tread on the tire when new. No problems with bearings or brakes. May try a PR3 on the front, or switch to another brand.
    how about that front shock?
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
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    I have a 94r11rs and have put over 10k on 2 sets of 21's. Rain, canyons, desert heat and a sleet storm near Flagstaff. I'd run them again.

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    Registered User 58058D's Avatar
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    RE 23217' comments, again we all have different experiences and expectations...I am on my 3rd set of PR2cts on my K1300S. I love them, way better for me than the Conti Attacks that came on the bike....but 10,000 mi? I am way more than happy to get 8,000 miles from any tire given how I ride and the roads I ride. Now that nearly all of my 200 mile route to Sacramento has been repaved with a less abrasive mix, I may get more mileage, but then again, I am riding faster and braking harder, so, maybe not.....
    Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS >135,000 miles my primary bike again,
    Gone: '09 K1300S sold @ 22k mi, '93 K1100RS traded @ 78k mi, '85 K100RS sold @ 44k mi
    '06 Kaw 650R track bike sold
    http://www.seagullbb.com/

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    The front shock is fine. The previous front tire lasted 18k. I travel on highway most of my way to work with very few stops or braking. I don't travel fast or brake hard. Pretty easy on tires.

    Over the years, my front tire would be replaced every other rear tire. Then about 15 years ago tire manufactures started putting less tire tread on front tires. Then I would start to get 1.5 front tires compared to 1 rear tire. I was deeply disappointed on the PR2 lack of tread when it was new. The fact that it lasted less then a rear tire is annoying. When the tire was almost new, I almost got a ticket for a bald front tire. The tire wore at the same rate during the entire life of the tire.

    Maybe it was just a bad batch of front tires? I just don't know. This summer, I traveled a lot on worn hot concrete, and the front tire was very sticky to the concrete. Maybe that contributed to it wearing faster.
    Last edited by 23217; 09-30-2012 at 03:54 PM.

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