Bridgestone Battlecross E50 Review | Back End | Features | Product Evaluations
The Battlecross E50 is relatively new to our market, having been released in Australia earlier this year, but Bridgestone says it has combined years of off-road technology development.
The tread pattern is new and incorporates the latest trends in motocross hoops. Both front and rear tyres are compliant with FIM regulations. The front comes in just one size, 90/90-21, while there are two for the back, a 120/90-18 and a 140/80-18.
Bridgestone’s new tread pattern uses “castle block” technology to ensure traction on varied surfaces, thanks to an additional edge. The “bunker” area in the knobs produces a bit of extra traction when the tyre is buried in the dirt.
FITTING On the morning I decided to fit the E50s it was only six degrees and I was more than impressed with how easy the tyres went on. Normally I’d expect to lose a bit of skin during a chilly morning’s tyre-change period, but not with these babies, both the front and rear went on very easily.
SEATING Some tyres make life hard for you getting the bead even and seated. Sometimes it takes multiple attempts with dangerous levels of air pressure and soapy spray. Luckily for me, this wasn’t the case here as both ends seated well with only 40psi.
FRONT-END TRACTION In any kind of soft or greasy terrain, the front grip was more than impressive and always gave me a positive feeling to keep pushing.
BUMP ABSORPTION Both front and rear tyres have relatively soft sidewalls that soak up snotty, rocky sections and square-edged bumps with ease. This is important to me, as it makes picking lines through technical terrain easier.
HARDPACK The only real weakness I experienced with the E50s was on serious hardpack. The front tyre rolled a little more than I would have preferred but, for a tyre that worked well in all other kinds of terrain, that is pretty good.
I clocked up over 30 hours with the E50s on the Sherco 500SEF Factory long-termer. The majority of that riding was on softer terrain, so they wore really well and while I ran the pressures in both ends relatively low (13psi) most of the time, I never got any punctures.
My biggest surprise with the E50s came when I went back to Alice Springs for my second stint of Finke coaching. I normally run a proper desert rear on the track to cope with the speeds and to track the straightest at speed. I was running tight on time so the Battlecross E50 stayed on, but I’m glad it did, because what I found was not expected at all!
The rear tracked straight as an arrow at speed, as well as giving really good drive. The Finke track can easily wear out a tyre in a day so I was impressed that I got three full runs before it wore down to the point that performance dropped off.
I’d easily recommended these tyres for off-road riding and highly recommend the rear E50 for desert riding or racing. Ben Grabham
GET IT HERE
FRONT 90/90-21 E50F $124.95
REAR 140/80-18 E50R $139.95
BLOWER 1300 300 191