Once I got the stock Trailwing tires off of my V-Strom (after less than 6,000 miles) back in 2007, I switched to Metzeler Tourances and loved them. I’ve had three sets on my bike and got between 8,500-10,000 miles per pair with outstanding grip on dry pavement and reasonable performance on gravel/dirt (although I didn’t exactly put them through their paces off-road). They are a great tire and I highly recommend them, but they are expensive.

For my latest set I switched to Bridgestone Battle Wings (BW502 rear, BW501 front). I’ve put 5,000 miles on them so far, a few hundred on gravel (including a flat tire in Frenchglen, Oregon) and quite a lot on wet pavement, and feel they equal the Metzeler’s in performance but at a lower cost. I fixed my own flat using one of those mushroom plugs and it’s held air ever since.

The Metzeler’s seemed to flatten in the center fairly quickly while the Bridgestone’s are maintaining their rounded shape. I’m not riding at extreme lean angles, and in fact have probably put more straight-ahead miles on this set than any of the Metzelers.

The Battle Wings have excellent grip on wet pavement, and although I don’t push my tires to their performance limit they provide a grip that inspires confidence.

I expect to get a full 10,000 miles out of this set of Battle Wings and have felt they are a great value — very good performance and capability at a very reasonable cost. Just like my V-Strom.