Continental’s Product Manager for motorcycle tires Raphael Michels says he mostly never bothered to warm the Conti RoadAttack 3 rubber on his Husqvarna 450 supermoto racer, and still managed to get right down to dragging peg in the first corner anyway. Of the brand-new Conti RoadAttack 4 just introduced yesterday, he says you really can’t even tell the difference between hot and cold anymore.
Continental isn’t the first tire most people think of when it’s time for new ones, but maybe they should be higher on the list since, as Michel also points out, Conti rubber comes as standard equipment on lots of new motorcycles, including KTM’s 390 and 890 Dukes, and its TKC 70 and 80 on KTM’s big adventure bikes. In fact, fully 69% of its bike tires go to OEM fitments. Now with 150 years of experience under its belt, the Hanover, Germany-based Continental employs 236,000 employees working on all sorts of projects, of which motorcycle tires are but a small part. One of every three cars in Europe, says Conti, is delivered with its tires.
2005 saw the first RoadAttack tire: By 2017 it had evolved into the RoadAttack 3, which won Motorrad magazine’s best sport-touring tire test that year. Not content to sit on four-year old laurels, actually five since the new tire won’t be here until 2022, Continental has been hard at work on the new, and of course improved, RoadAttack 4.This one they’re calling a Hyper-touring tire, and claiming it encroaches into territory formerly owned by all-out sport rubber. Designed to deal with bikes approaching 200 horsepower, the new tire was also built to complement those bikes’ electronic aids. But to make sure you’re testing tires and not electronics, says Engineer Michels, you must disconnect all of them. In addition, Conti claims the new tire will act as an instant bolt-on upgrade to older bikes.
For starters, a new tread pattern doesn’t begin until 10 degrees of lean, which gives more straight up-and-down mileage. From 10 to 40 degrees, redesigned grooves give better wet grip than before and quicker warm-up. Past 40 degrees of lean, you’re back to just rubber for maximum grip and feedback.
The first use in the RoadAttack of a new full-silica rubber compound is also responsible for the increased grip, with no loss in mileage according to Conti. And unlike many rival tires, the same compound is used across the whole tread. That’s possible because of Conti’s temperature-controlled curing process, and that continuous transition is said to be a big contributor to the tire’s excellent handling and feel.
We’ve also got a new thing called GripLimit Feedback, which Conti says just does what the name implies – gives more feedback to the rider as the tires approach their traction limit. “Our special carcass construction and unique tread compound work together to provide excellent feedback and `feel’ as the tire approaches it’s traction limit. The result is a better feeling of the different grip levels of the road, which significantly increases the level of safety and confidence at high lean angles.” You have to like that.
We got to ride Conti’s Sport Attack 3 tire when it was new in 2016 at the company’s US test facility in Texas, and were highly impressed. Here’s hoping one lucky contestant will get to go back there to ride the new RoadAttack 4 (and shoot skeet, fly helicopters, and spin out in Mustangs). Continental says it’s already tested the new tire on over 430 bikes, including the KTM Super Duke 1290 GT, Kawasaki Z900, BMW S1000R and XR.
Continental Press Release:
Hanover/Korbach, 18th November 2021.
The new ContiRoadAttack 4 combines two worlds: An all-new tire design that easily tops its competitors on the traditional sport-touring metrics: mileage, comfort, stability and wet grip. But which also offers new levels of pure sporting ability, essential for the latest high-performance sport-touring motorcycles.
The performance is so good, that we are calling it a “Hyper-Touring tire”. The history of the Conti RoadAttack family is both, traditional and successful: With the Conti RoadAttack from 2005, Continental introduced the ZeroDegree technology, while the Conti RoadAttack 2 went on in 2010 with the TractionSkin and MultiGrip technology. The Conti RoadAttack 2 EVO also impressed from 2013 onwards with RainGrip, and the multiple test winner Conti RoadAttack 3 from 2017 expanded the product features with the EasyHandling technology.
The new Conti RoadAttack 4 adds the GripLimitFeedback technology for early feedback in high lean angles. The slick area in the upper tread shoulder allows maximum grip and high precision. An all-new compound and updated tread pattern gives a massive boost to wet weather performance, with superb grip in all conditions and even better dry grip that rivals pure sport tires.
This modern high-tech tire is developed for modern and powerful sports tourers, while enhancing the performance of retro touring bikes.
The following dimensions will be available from January 2022 onwards: front: 120/70 ZR 17 M/C, rear: 160/60 ZR 17 M/C, 180/55 ZR 17 M/C, 190/50 ZR 17 M/C, 190/55 ZR 17 M/C. Press release More details and the complete motorcycle and scooter tire range for 2022 can be found on our homepage: www.conti-moto.com.
Conti RoadAttack 4 – The Hyper-Touring Tire – Summary:
- Easy, intuitive handling characteristics to complement the newest machines, while upgrading the performance of older bikes
- All-new compound and updated tread pattern gives a massive boost to wet weather performance, with superb grip in all conditions and even better dry grip that rivals pure sport tires.
- New ‘slick’ area on the upper tread shoulder, for class-topping cornering grip at high lean angles
- Revised front tire construction gives more feedback and improved agility, with reduced tendency to ‘stand up’ during hard cornering
- TractionSkin technology means tires are ready to use with a short break-in period – so no nasty surprises when riding away from the tire fitter