MC Tested: Continental Sport Attack 3 Motorcycle Tires

A new addition to the hypersport tire category.

We test the new Continental Sport Attack 3 tires.

Grip Limit Feedback

For those who corner hard, Conti developed the compound and carcass to create Grip Limit Feedback, a tire behavior that’s designed to communicate imminent traction loss during extreme cornering. Most tire manufacturers design their tires to do this, they just don’t give it a name!©Motorcyclist

Hypersport street tires must balance the durability and predictability needed for road use with the voracious demands of the occasional racetrack outing. This is no easy task, but Continental thinks it’s got it right with the new Sport Attack 3 tires.

And I agree. After spending a day dragging knees on two test tracks at the Continental Proving Grounds in Texas, I came away impressed with the competence of the new-generation Sport Attacks. We sampled the Sport Attack 3s on several 600 and 1000cc sportbikes from three different manufacturers and in every case the tires managed to handle everything we could throw at them.

New Continental Sport Attack 3 tires for track and street.
After more than three years of development, Conti gives us the Sport Attack 3, a higher-performance tire for riders that want to ride the track and the street on the same set of rubber.©Motorcyclist

Our test day did not include a street ride, but the short jaunt on the access roads leading to the test area showed that the tires transmit the right amount of feedback but without being harsh over bumps. Straight-line stability is solid, cornering behavior is predictable and demeanor is confidence inspiring; all important traits of a good street tire.

On the racetrack the tires warmed up quickly. Knee pucks were dragging after only a lap and a half. I kept wicking up the pace, expecting to reach the limits of grip but it was not to be. The tires simply stuck even when pushed to near (amateur) race pace. I was able to accelerate hard, trailbrake deep and reach boot-dragging lean angles with no drama. No, they don’t have the telepathic feel or meteoric levels of grip of dedicated race rubber, but the tires performed admirably considering they are designed primarily for street dwellers.

We test the new Continental Sport Attack 3 tires.
Pricing has yet to be announced, but Continental says that the Sport Attack 3 will be priced below the competition.©Motorcyclist

I did detect a bit of numbness coming from the front tire at full lean, but nothing that stopped me from getting on with business. The front tire cannot be faulted for stability however, remaining composed under hard straight-line braking and even when trail braking over bumps.

Corner transitions are not ultra-snappy, but I had no trouble flicking each bike through the track’s tight chicanes. Once at full lean, the tires held the preferred line and responded easily to mid-corner corrections. Certain bikes (but not all) had a tendency to stand up just a little when the front brake is applied mid-corner, but it wasn’t problematic and may well have been due to suspension setup.

We were treated to a dry, sunny day so wet testing was not to be. However, Conti claims a 20 percent increase in wet-weather grip. This is due to the new big-block pattern that features variably-angled lateral grooves that significantly improve drainage. Changes in silica further enhance wet surface traction and contribute to fast warm up.

Continental Sport Attack 3 tires construction

Multi-Grip Technology

Like the Sport Attack 2s, the SA3s are multi-compound, with harder rubber towards the center and softer rubber on the shoulders. Unlike most tires, which have distinct bands of different rubber compounds, the Sport Attack 3s have one blend of rubber that’s cured at different temperatures to achieve the desired rubber hardness. This method of using a single compound delivers better mileage, consistent grip and good feel when transitioning across tread gradients, says Conti.©Motorcyclist

Five racetrack sessions aren’t enough to measure real-world mileage, but Conti promises that street mileage will improve markedly over the outgoing Road Attack 2. On the racetrack these tires held up quite well with the rear tires showed little significant wear, although the front tires suffered some tearing from extreme cornering loads. I would expect the user to get several track days out of a set with plenty of life left to destroy favorite twisty roads over several weekends.

Standard sizing is available. Pricing has yet to be announced, but Continental says that the Sport Attack 3 will be priced below the competition. Check out the soon-to-be launched Continental website at ContiMotoUSA.com for more details.

CONTINENTAL SPORT ATTACK 3 TIRES

PRICE: NA
CONTACT: continental-tires.com

MC GRADE: A-

VERDICT: A higher-performance tire, great for riders that want to ride the track and the street on the same set of rubber.