Tested: Continental SportAttack 3 Hypersport Tires

Even Better When it’s Wetter

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©Motorcyclist

Once almost unknown in the sportbike tire arena, German tire giant Continental is now a major player with its SportAttack, a tire so capable it's OEM spec on BMW's king-kong S1000RR. We recently traveled to the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, where we had the opportunity to test the latest SportAttack 3 on variety of superbikes on both the road and the track. We left duly impressed.

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Continental SportAttack 3©Motorcyclist

Conti’s goal for the third-generation SportAttack was to improve wet grip without compromising the dry grip that was the SportAttack 2’s signature trait. Testing showed—counterintuitively—that a harder compound actually yielded better wet grip when paired with a softer carcass, so the tire was redesigned accordingly. At the same time the carcass was enlarged slightly to increase the footprint, further improving grip and also stability especially under braking. The end result, Conti claims, is nearly a 20-percent improvement in wet grip and a slight improvement in mileage, with no change in dry grip or outright handling. (Dry conditions at this test prevented us from assessing wet performance.)

The SportAttack 3 looks big on the bike— an effect enhanced by deep, prominent rain grooves—and it feels taller too; both the Yamaha R1 and Aprilia RSV4 seemed to turn quicker on Continentals than on the Pirelli Supercorsas we rode during our recent Class of 2015 superbike test. Front-tire feedback—another signature SportAttack trait—remains fine-grained as ever, enhanced by a now-more-communicative zero-degree steel belt, while outright grip remains excellent, even under the S1000RR's 185-hp onslaught. Conti's MultiGrip technology uses a special curing process to make the compound gradually softer toward the edges so there are no hard transitions—or potential slip points—as with conventional multi-compound tires.

Available in all common sportbike sizes, the SportAttack 3 will be at your favorite tire retailer beginning in January of next year.