The letters from readers are never-ending: “I want a tire that will give me decent handling and grip, but not one that will be toast in 1000 miles.” Many have been using sport-touring tires in an effort to bridge the mileage/grip gap, but the compromises are many and the advantages few. It’s been said repeatedly that you can’t have it both ways.
Enter the ContiRoad Attack2 tire. SR contributor John Olsen got the chance to try out Continental’s latest sport-touring rubber at the company’s Contidrom Proving Grounds near Hannover, Germany (Late Braking, January 2011), and came away impressed with their overall performance. In fact, he was so impressed that he felt they created a new tire segment: “hypersport-touring”. Needless to say, we were anxious to try out a set on our own public pavement proving grounds here in the U.S.
Utilizing Continental’s CCT (Continuous Compound Technology) that obviates the need for multiple compounds, and its “Black Chili” compound that features proprietary resins that produce a better interlocking of the rubber molecules for the right type of stiffness that provides better grip while still offering good feedback to the rider, the ContiRoad Attack2 also sports Continental’s ASC (Active Silica Compound) technology for improved wet weather performance. Another new feature is what the company calls “Traction Skin”, which is said to considerably increase tire grip and safety during break-in.
After spooning a pair onto our Kawasaki Ninja 1000, we immediately set out to test the tire’s break-in qualities. Unlike most tires that require definite caution for the first few miles of riding, the ContiRoad Attack2 tires scrub in amazingly fast. Instead of squirming and sliding the first time you lean on them, the Contis basically felt planted, as if you’d already scrubbed them in — and this was on a fairly cool morning. While we obviously wouldn’t recommend charging full-bore into a corner right from the get-go, you can definitely approach the first set of corners with a lot less trepidation, and by the first mile of corners, the tires should be ready to go.
The ContiRoad Attack2 also differs from most sport-touring tires in handling and grip. We found their steering characteristics to be delightfully neutral, with enough quickness and precision to keep a fast set of corners fun without being twitchy if you get lazy or too much work to flick from one side to the other. Bump absorption at max lean was very good, and the Contis provide good feedback on what’s going on at the contact patch. Overall grip at all lean angles was very good; no, these are not ultra-sticky DOT race tires, but they definitely provide enough grip to satisfy most any street situation, and are quite benign when pushed to and beyond the limit. In fact, during our 2000 miles on the Kawasaki, we even got to test their wet weather performance, and can vouch for their excellent capabilities in that environment.
To top it all off, after 2000 miles of canyon and commuting abuse, the ContiRoad Attack2 tires barely look past the scrubbed-in stage. We’ve seen other tires look quite ragged by this point (some worn to the point of no tread showing), yet the Contis look like they could easily go another 2000-3000 miles. Who says you can’t have it both ways?
Retail: front: $155.00 (120/70ZR-17)
rear: $210.00 (190/50ZR-17)
Continental Tire North America Inc.
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