The Battlecross E50 is Bridgestone’s very latest enduro tyre, and it’s here to take on the key players in the competition market.
Borrowing a range of proven tech from their latest motocross range, the E50 is a big upgrade over the brand’s previous Gritty tyre which was a popular option with trail riders.
To see how they perform, Bridgestone gave several media outlets the chance to test old and new back-to-back at the Mick Extance Experience in Mid Wales.
After a day spent riding on identical KTM EXC-F 250 machines, Dirt Bike Rider’s Dan Grove shared his thoughts with readers in their July issue:
“On the day there were six very different sections set up to ride to see how the tyres performed on different surfaces. We rode a gravel/mud section with long ruts, a full on rocky/trials section, a gravelly motocross style track, an all grass loop, a slow and rooty section and finally a slightly longer lap consisting of all of the above. Early on the new tyres excelled was where the was no cushion or rut to turn with so if you were turning on a hard surface with a thin layer of gravel on, the E50 felt very planted front and rear whereas the outgoing tyre was unpredictable at both ends meaning it was more physical and inconsistent to negotiate some corners.
Using a castle block design (the inner section of the tyre blocks being slightly raised, like a block within a block), on rocky sections the front performed particularly well due to the tyre blocks flexing and then flexing a little more with the raised section. This inspired confidence and with rocky sections not really being my forte, the E50s got me through them much more confidently. The same can be said for ruts that were down to rock, you really could feel the rear hooking up and driving you forward and when compared to the old tyre it was very clear as to how much better the tyre performed on rocky surfaces.
For me the best part of the rear tyre was the instant connection of it to the throttle. What I mean by this is, in enduro there are many situations where you need to pop the front wheel over obstacles such as logs, rocks, holes, rain ruts and puddles and on the bike with the E50 equipped, a blip of the throttle would lift the front up and over it with ease.
With the older tyre (that I’ve actually used for this magazine in the past) I had to almost always use the clutch to get the required ‘pop’ to lift the front end up which over the course of a three hour (or longer race) isn’t really ideal or consistent.
In summary, Bridgestone have made huge strides with their enduro tyres and this has brought them up into the realms of the well known enduro brands after being left behind for a little while and after a day on them they weren’t really showing signs of wear so not only do they perform, they’re durable and they’re priced competitively too.”
The full range is now in stock in the UK, and you can find out more about the Battlecross E50 here.