Review by Ken Freund
[This Continental Sport Attack Motorcycle Tires Review was originally published in the July 2006 issue of Rider magazine]
The Sport Attack motorcycle tires replace the long-running Conti Force Max and doubles the Continental’s Attack product line, which until now consisted of the Road Attack sport/mileage radial released in 2004. With the new Sport Attack tire, Continental is now entering the competitive hypersport-radial market with a tire mainly intended for high-performance machines such as the 600-1,000cc sportbikes, as well as naked musclebikes. Sport Attack was first released in Europe and will be available in the United States in the first half of 2006.
Continental’s main goal during development was rideability, defined as how a tire reacts in different situations and makes a bike more user-friendly.
Sport Attack has a zero-degree steel belt spooled onto a rayon base construction. The single rayon layer, when combined with the rayon fabric base, reportedly stabilizes the contact patch while improving handling steadiness and feedback. Continental’s technicians also developed a new rubber compound called Black Chili that is said to be the softest in the sport-radial segment. It’s designed to require very little warm-up time to reach optimal grip, and despite being so soft, Conti says it also offers long tread life.
We had an opportunity to ride several different sporting machines, including a Triumph Sprint ST, Ducati ST4s, Suzuki GSX-R600, Honda CBR600RR and a Yamaha R1 fitted with the new Sport Attacks in Spain recently, on both the street and racetrack. The tread pattern looks a bit gimmicky, with C logos and the words Conti Attack molded into the tires, but they work quite well.
Sport Attacks have a number of endearing qualities that can help keep riders out of trouble. They deliver good feedback with a gradual loss of grip at their limit, rather than a sharp and sudden snap like some tires produce. At the outer edge of traction the Attacks begin a controllable slide, but you can feel when it’s starting to happen and react accordingly. They also feel stable at high speeds; vibration and steering headshake was never encountered on any of the bikes.
Sport Attacks are also intended for riders who will take in occasional track days, and they work well in that role. Conti reports that Sport Attacks can achieve a 50.8-degree lean angle in dry conditions. We could crank them over and feel secure even while dragging a knee through corners. When ridden hard on the racetrack, the powerful 1,000cc sportbikes, in particular, tended to spin up the rear tire exiting tight corners, and grip seemed to go away somewhat when they got hot, but otherwise the Sport Attacks worked well on the track. On the street, these traits were not noticeable.
In their intended role as street tires, Sport Attacks seem to offer a good balance of grip, wear and cost. We found them to provide quick warm-up with solid grip early on in the ride and a steady feel of traction, combined with an easy, progressive transition into corners and good traction under braking.
Sport Attacks are available in two front sizes and five rear sizes for recent 17-inch sportbike models. Suggested retail prices range from $125 for a front to $170 for a 190-width rear tire. Conti also makes a special rear Sport Attack C designed for BMW fitment in 180 and 190 widths. Sport Attack “C” has an additional carcass ply designed in conjunction with BMW for specific BMW models.
For more information visit Continental’s Web site at www.conti-moto.com or call (614) 855-6960