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View Full Version : Bridgestone BT020's vs Avon Azarro AV45/46-ST's


birdwh
05-31-2005, 01:05 AM
Recently tried out a set of new Avon Azarro AV45/46-ST's on my Trophy during the recent TWT Ozarks rally. I tested both front and back to the edges at speed on various asphalt surfaces from moderately rough to very smooth. The maiden voyage consisted of 2100 (odo) miles in the Eureka Springs area and roads to/from.

The Azarro's feature a progressive and faster turn-in than the BT020's I have used for the past 30k+. Unlike the BT020's the Azarros feature quite different geometry between the front and rear tires. The front is very curved beyond a hemicylinder shape while the back is very flattened out with higher sidewalls. At very slow speeds I felt the strange sensation that the bike was 'crabbing' sideways. At normal speeds this effect isn't apparent. In comparison the BT020's have a neutral feel with constant and predictable rate of turn in as you lean...no wonder they are the stock choice of so many manufacturers. Halfway through day 1 I was pretty comfortable with the faster progressive turn-in.

Dry grip seems indistinguishable from the BT020's which really surprised me. I threw the bike around, braked hard a few times, accelerated hard out of corners and made peg contact with the ground more than a few times with no slips, skips, hops or other strangeness. However on a very wet asphalt road while trying to pass I noticed the rear wheel slipping repeatedly when I tried to accelerate resulting in me stuck behind a semi for a good while. This is something I have not experienced with the BT020's. So far the Azarro wet traction does not appear to be as good as the BT020's (which are fantastic in the wet), but the jury is still out on that pending further wet weather riding. One side bonus is that due to a flatter geometry the rear looks larger than the 170 it actually is...more like a 180! Looks like they will probably last a bit longer than BT020's, hard to say yet for sure. If they last longer than the BT020's with this level of dry grip I'll be a return customer (Actually I'll probably try some Conti's next).

Squeaky
05-31-2005, 03:41 AM
So far the Azarro wet traction does not appear to be as good as the BT020's (which are fantastic in the wet), but the jury is still out on that pending further wet weather riding.

Go take a ride for pie. Should give you some wet weather riding! :rofl

Doc
05-31-2005, 05:24 AM
I dunno Squeaks, last pie run was 98 in the shade, and the only water to be found was running down the inside of my helmet.

Gilk51
05-31-2005, 09:02 AM
I dunno Squeaks, last pie run was 98 in the shade, and the only water to be found was running down the inside of my helmet.

That was only because the date was switched to the third weekend AND buddy was not in attendance! :-P

Someone else mentioned that it rained on the 4th weekend again (5 months in a row). :-(

Squeaky
05-31-2005, 11:29 AM
That was only because the date was switched to the third weekend AND buddy was not in attendance! :-P

Someone else mentioned that it rained on the 4th weekend again (5 months in a row). :-(

Yes, it absolutely poured on almost the entire state of Texas this past weekend. Coincidence? I think not!

scratch
05-31-2005, 12:59 PM
...At very slow speeds I felt the strange sensation that the bike was 'crabbing' sideways. At normal speeds this effect isn't apparent. In comparison the BT020's have a neutral feel with constant and predictable rate of turn in as you lean...no wonder they are the stock choice of so many manufacturers.

...on a very wet asphalt road while trying to pass I noticed the rear wheel slipping repeatedly when I tried to accelerate resulting in me stuck behind a semi for a good while. This is something I have not experienced with the BT020's. So far the Azarro wet traction does not appear to be as good as the BT020's (which are fantastic in the wet), but the jury is still out on that pending further wet weather riding.

So despite these handling characteristics, you still prefer the Avons over the BT020? I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about them after a couple thousand more miles to see if your opinion holds. I'd like to give the Avons a try based on the good things other Sprint owners have said about them, but based on what you've reported might think twice before mounting them on a Trophy.

Sometimes, different bikes will behave differently with the same tire. I recently replaced a Michelin Pilot Road front tire with a BT020 and was delighted with the improvement in steering feel and sense of sure-footedness they seem to provide for my Sprint. For some reason, the Michelin never did feel quite right on my bike, particularly at low speeds, yet the same tire handled just fine on Scott's old VFR. Just guessing, but it could be that small differences in rake, trail, weight bias or other factors may affect how a tire performs more than we might imagine. Figuring out which tires work well for a particular bike seems to be as much a matter of trial and error as anything else. :shrug:

Tourmeister
05-31-2005, 01:26 PM
For some reason, the Michelin never did feel quite right on my bike, particularly at low speeds, yet the same tire handled just fine on Scott's old VFR.

:tab Actually, I only liked the Pilot Road on the rear of the VFR. The front gave a vague feeling and I did not trust them. I always preferred using a full sport tire on the front with a sport/touring tire on the rear. My favorite combo was the M1 Sporttec on the front and the Pilot Road on the rear. The BT-020 rear barely lasted 3500 miles before it was down to the chords!! The Pilot Roads would go about 5000 miles. I could get anywhere from 5-8K miles on the front depending on the kind of riding I had been doing. Never tried any of the Avons.

Adios,

scratch
05-31-2005, 05:15 PM
For some reason, the Michelin never did feel quite right on my bike, particularly at low speeds, yet the same tire handled just fine on Scott's old VFR.

:tab Actually, I only liked the Pilot Road on the rear of the VFR...


Well heck, now you tell me! :scratch

The Pilot Road front wasn't a bad tire per se, I just didn't like how it resisted turning at low speeds, then when it did it felt like it wanted to fall over. At 30 mph or faster it felt O.K. My only other significant complaint concerned the mileage - it was down to the wear bars after only 6k or so. Never had a sport-touring tire that wore out that fast before.

Tx Rider
05-31-2005, 11:05 PM
I think I prefer the BT 020 front as well, I mounted a set of roads front and rear on my fizzy and I notice the difference in turn in as well. The 020 was easier and felt better and lasted for 5k, it would have gone farther but the wear was very uneven and cupped on the sides so I decided to try the pilot road up front.

As for rear the OEM 020 was gone in less than 3k, the diablo wore out just as fast, and even this pilot road may not last 5k. :( I was told the OEM 020's were different than the aftermarket ones and have shallower tread, I still don't know for sure if that is correct though. After a bit over 2k on the pilot road it appears more than half gone.

The pilot road rear broke loose a few times this weekend, once when pulling out to pass on the paint stripe and a couple times throttling out of corners, something the 020 would do as well but the diablo never did. It was quite controllable though. It definately doesn't do tar snakes as well as the diablo did.

I think I'll have to learn to ignore that sweet throttle squirt out of corners and extended high speeds on the shipseal or I'll forever be replacing tires after any good trip.

I might give a sportech front a try after the pilot road front wears out, but I'm probably going to get about 7-8k from it if it doesn't start cupping out too bad.

P-Ratt
06-01-2005, 01:32 AM
I used an AV46ST on the rear of my ZX9 and feel compelled to tell others about it. It was one of the finest handling rears I have had. Even out of sport vs. ST tire comparisons. I was using a 190 series, and I don't know about differences in profile between sizes. But it handled from edge to edge without complaint or threat of slip. Wet handling was superior to any tire I have tried to this point.

I have used Bridgestone, Pirelli (the Diablos get my vote for all out traction in the dry and 2nd in the wet), Dunlop, Metzeler, and others that I can't think of right now.

I'll be going back to the 46ST as soon as I can burn through this crappy Z6 I have now. The Z6 sounds good on paper, but it really isn't. Poor handling and very poor wet characteristics.

PS - I don't think the AV45/46 are called Azaro. Wasn't that the name of an earlier sport tire?

Cadaver
06-01-2005, 01:08 PM
I am also disappointed by the rear Pilot Road on my beemer. The front is ok, I haven't had any lo speed issues (I think I like the quick turn in). The rear breaks loose accelerating out of corners. :shock: My R850 isn't extemely powerful, so I can imagine it would be a real handful on higher hp bikes. Don't think I'll buy these again, but with an 18" rear wheel, I had a bit of a hard time finding ST tires to fit, much less full sport tires.

Does anyone know if I could swap out R1100S 17" wheels for my stock 3 spokes? It would give me a lot more tire choices.

And finally, I recently purchased a low mount remus exhaust, does anyone know where I can get a hanger/bracket to mount the muffler?



Steve

birdwh
06-01-2005, 01:12 PM
My tires say 'Azaro' on the sidewall (one z!). AV45-ST and AV46-ST.

I should mention I ran the front at 34.5 and rear at 41. Thats 1.5 low for the front.

If the Avons last significantly longer (+25%) than the BT-020's then I would get more Avons. Otherwise the BT020's are marginally better (and familiar).

hcope1
06-02-2005, 04:40 PM
I thought that the BT-014s took the place of the BT-020???????

birdwh
06-02-2005, 06:12 PM
Buzz: The BT014's are sport tires. BT020 is in the sport touring category.

Doc
06-02-2005, 09:55 PM
I'm now into the first 100 miles on my new (front and rear) Z6 Metzler Roadtecs, the duel compound "sports touring tyre" that combines the Lazertec touring centre compound with the Sportec super grippy compound on the shoulders.

I love them already.

Of course my entusiasm at such an early stage is unfounded, but they are following the write-ups I read before purchase precisely. That they quicken the steering on long wheelbase bikes (my Triumph 900SS is 58 inches axle to axle) and so far this is more than obvious, even though I have only just scrubbed the release compound off the surface.

The road report that clinced the decision for me ran these tyres on a Guzzi LeMans, a Beemer 1150.S and a Triumph Trophy, oh and a Yamaha FJ1300, all long wheelbase "sports tourers" and the basic jist was that the steering sharpened up, flip flops (side to side changes) were faster and lighter (read "easier" with less muscle involved) and while maintaining the totally planted sense of security that long whellbase bikes impart, some extra nimbleness was also imparted but with the addition of some kind of "cushiness" or softer compliance over bumps, making for a softer more comfortable ride.

Well I'm going to sound like a salesman for the Metzler Tyre Company but this wide and often conflicting range of attributes (including really good grip) seems to be delivered with these tyres so far.

Now, all I have to do is see if they get the advertised (claimed) 5 -> 8k miles (rear) and 8 -> 10k miles (fronts) with that duel compound design.

I'll keep you posted.

Rob_S
06-02-2005, 11:29 PM
I thought that the BT-014s took the place of the BT-020???????


The BT-014s took the place of the BT-010s.

rob

hcope1
06-03-2005, 10:54 AM
Thanks Will I liked the BT-020s on my VFR and will go back to them if I don't like the Diablos I just put on.
My FJR came with Z4s (the predecessor to the Z6'). They were horrible. Both front and rear were gone at 3400 miles. That was 2 up riding. I hear the new Z-6s are a big improvement.

VFRinAustin
06-04-2005, 11:05 AM
Will,

Thanks for the write up. I have no personal experience with Avons (other than 18 ft rubber boats :-D ) so its good to hear som input about them. I loved the BT-010/020 combination I used to run on my SVS but, when the VFR came with OEM 020s, I didnt like them at all. Made the handling feel heavy and too much work. Not like the Metz Roadtecs I have on them now. I really love these.

hcope1
06-08-2005, 11:12 AM
Will

I put the new Avons on my FJR over the weekend; and it turned my Dump Truck back into a Porsche. The Z-4 that came on it were really bad. Both front and back wore out in less than 3500 miles. No wonder they changed to the Z-6. :dude:

birdwh
06-08-2005, 08:50 PM
Good to hear that Buzz. You are running the AV45/46 combo I assume?

hcope1
06-09-2005, 11:03 AM
Same Combo.
Was rhat your 1200 in the Alps pics?

birdwh
06-10-2005, 03:46 PM
Nope that is a Honda Varadero (almost identical to US Vstrom 1000).

<----------------

Cruzintexas
06-12-2005, 04:53 PM
My Roads have never slipped ( wet or dry) but I am not happy with the scalloping under hard 2 up riding. Rita nd I were dragging the foot pegs on both sides in Arkansas. I just installed another set of roads I had in the garage already for Colorado. My 020's were toast after 2500 miles the fronts whould last 7or 8 K but they cup on all bikes. I know several people that have tried the Z6's and like them OK. Nobody seems to rave about them. I guess I will try the Avons next if Will or Buzz get decent mileage.
Steve

hcope1
06-13-2005, 09:17 AM
My wife and I are going on a three day trip to the Blue Ridge Parkway this weekend. It's something about "the beautiful blooming Rhodondrons". I'm not sure what they are; but she says they are on the side of the road. I'm not sure why she isn't looking at the "beautiful curves". Anyway, I'll give a report on the Avons when we get back. :scratch

birdwh
06-13-2005, 04:46 PM
I envy your geographic location. It's just a hop, skip and not even a jump over there.

The section between Mt Mitchell and 226A might still be closed, if you go that far. Park ranger said it would take a while to fix when I was there. The detour south is lengthy.

Have fun!

hcope1
06-13-2005, 05:18 PM
Will
Thanks for the heads-up. We're going to Craggy Gardens which is about 10 miles south of the Mt Mitchell road; but we usually go up and go south on #80 after we've checked out the flora & fauna. I'll plan other means of getting to lunch in Black mountain. :evil: