If you’ve got an older sportbike with 16-inch rims, your tire choices nowadays are rather limited. Yet the right tire can make all the difference in your bike’s handling and safety — in fact, your tires are one of the most important parts of your motorcycle. For that reason, if I’m going to splurge, tires are one place I do it.
Not that these high-quality hoops from Bridgestone are expensive. In fact, they can be found online for about $80-$90 for the front and about $100 for the rear. But they offer proven performance from one of the top tire manufacturers in the world.
My 1985 Honda Nighthawk 700S project bike had a decent set of tires on it when I got it, but they were date-stamped 2016 and I wasn’t terribly happy with their performance when I was sport riding in the canyons. So I ordered up a set of Bridgestone Battlax BT-45s.
Bridgestone describes these bias-ply tires as being designed for mid-sized sport-touring bikes and older sportbikes, so they offer a good balance of tread longevity, grip in a wide range of conditions and sticky sport riding capability. Once scrubbed in, I found them to be very quiet, with a nice rounded profile that offered a neutral feel and easy turn-in, and grip for days. They complement my Nighthawk’s raked-out geometry nicely, giving it a sporting feel that the original designers in the ’80s probably wished they could achieve with the tires of that era.
Bridgestone offers the BT-45s in a wide range of sizes from 16 to 21 inches in the front, and 16 to 18 inches in the rear, to fit just about any small-to-midsize sport tourer or older sportbike like mine.
The best part is, Bridgestone is not forgetting those of us with older bikes. In the works for release soon is an updated Battlax BT-46 tire, and we can’t wait to try it out next!
For more information, see your dealer or visit bridgestonemotorcycletires.com.
Great reminder. I used these on my Kawasaki 2006 EX-250 (Ninja) because these also had 16 in wheels. They were a huge improvement over the factory rubber. I sold the bike in 2010 but would go back to these tires if I picked up a vintage bike needing street tires in an odd size.
I put a set on my RG500 Suzuki, very good tyres; and one of the few available in the 16 inch front. Highly recommended.
this is what i have on my GS750ES 1986 , true that there is not much choice in the 16” tire size. luky they still make them