Tyres are an essential component for any vehicle, two- or four-wheeled, and manufacturers spend immense amounts of money to get them right. A case in point is Bridgestone, having launched two new tyres for somewhat similar motorcycle segments – the Bridgestone Battlax A41 adventure and the Battlax T31 sports-touring tyres.

Improvements in tyre performance is a matter of percentages, sometimes vanishingly small, but the gains can sometimes be felt by riding the tyre. So, full disclosure, Bridgestone wanted us to feel the difference for ourselves and flew the author out to Ouarzazate, Morocco for two days of riding its new adventure and sports-touring tyres in the high desert.

In the case of Bridgestone’s adventure tyre, the A41, it supersedes the previous generation A40, and will be the only dual-purpose tyre offered for the bigger adventure machines. During the technical presentation, Bridgestone took pains to point out the A41 is a “90/10” tyre, which means its intended purpose is for 90% road and 10% off-road riding.

Now, with tyres being very much a compromise in many areas – you cannot have long tyre life with racetrack levels of grip, for example – Bridgestone has improved the A41 in handling and wear performance. This was achieved with Bridgestone’s proprietary triple-layer compound in the carcass.

In real-world terms this translates to better wear performance, improved grip in low temperatures and in the wet, with an increased contact patch, some 5% larger than before. But, what is the Bridgestone A41 tyre like to ride?

We were given the chance to ride various adventure bikes shod with the A41, amongst which were the 2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XCX and the 2018 Honda CRF1000L with DCT gearbox. What we found is the A41, under some very severe riding conditions, gripped well, and provided a lot of feedback, especially on the hardpan desert trails we rode.

Riding across the gravel and rocks, the A41 was stable with a lot of feedback, and on the road, the rounded profile made for some very, shall we say, exciting cornering, with grip at the edge being fairly good on the wind-swept roads. Riding as we did in 50 km/h cross winds, with the front wheel being snatched out from under us fairly quickly, the tyre reacted quickly enough to help us recover the front-end.

Coming to the Bridgestone T31, this sports-touring tyre replaces the T30, which goes down one rank in the catalogue. Again, as per the A41, the T31 tyre was fitted to a variety of motorcycles, ranging in size from 650 cc all the way up to a 1,200 cc twin.

We got the chance the chance to ride the T31 on, amongst others, the Yamaha FJR1300, Honda VFR800 and Suzuki GSX-S1000 and found it to be a capable tyre. The T31 has a contact patch 7% larger than the T30 and greater void area on the edge to aid water clearance.

While we did not ride the T31 in the wet, we did do a lot of high-spirited riding in and around the mountains of central Morocco. At very high speed, the T31 was rock solid, and we liked it best on the GSX-S1000, the weight of the bike keeping the tyre planted on the sandy road surface.

At no point did the T31 feel nervous, but we did note a certain lack of “feel” when rolling the tyre over, especially in the front. It should be noted that we tried treating the T31 as a race/sports tyre, which it is not.

What it is is a general all-rounder tyre, meant to munch the miles at a quick pace, and is designed for comfort at highway speeds on, well, the highway. But, when called upon for high-speed cornering, the T31 will deliver the grip asked for, while not being as communicative at the edge as Bridgestone’s faster tyres like the S21 and R10.

For the Bridgestone A41 adventure tyre, it comes in seven front and nine rear tyre sizes, with various speed ratings. Pricing for the A41 starts at RM541 for a 21-inch front up to RM911 for a 190/55 17-inch rear.

Meanwhile, the Bridgestone T31 sports-touring tyre comes in most popular sizes for various types of fitment, with eight front tyre sizes and nine rear tyre sizes in standard construction, while the reinforced GT version has two front and three rear sizes available for heavy sports-tourers like the Yamaha FJR1300 and the BMW Motorrad R1200 RS.

Pricing for the T31 starts from RM501 for a 110/70 17-incher to RM921 for a GT-rated rear tyre. As an example, a Bridgestone T31 in 120/70ZR17 costs RM531, while the 180/55ZR17 rear is priced at RM801.

Both the 2018 Bridgestone Battlax A41 adventure and the Battlax T31 sports-touring tyres are available from authorised dealers in Malaysia with immediate effect.