Continental Sport Attack Tyres

Guest Writer

I shouldn't really call her "guest" as she's my girlfriend. But in one sense she's a guest to writing on my site. Here you go, an article written by Caz.

It’s Friday and I am just getting ready to leave work when a colleague comes and sticks a can of “emergency tyre weld” on my desk….. I’ve got a puncture….. I go out to check the bike and discover a great big nail in my rear tyre. great. The tyre is fairly worn and there’s probably about 1500 miles left on it before it is down to the wear bars. With the aid of a puncture repair kit (see future article) I get the bike to the bike shop and I bite the bullet and hand over my “flexible friend.” On goes a nice n new BT014, I’m £130 worse off but I’m enjoying riding on a new rear tyre.
Four weeks later and my recently acquired GSX-R600 needs its 4000 mile service, this time I actually make it as far as the bike shop, they push the bike up the ramp and the tyre looks decidedly flat, they try and put some more air in for me only to hear a loud hissing sound only to find air escaping from it… yet again…..a big nail in my rear tyre! Time for a rethink, Bridgstones aren’t the cheapest tyres to fit and after having to unexpectedly buy one 4 weeks earlier I’m feeling decidedly poor! Especially as pay day hasn’t come around yet! I have two options available to me; fit another BT014 or for an extra £30 I can have a pair of Continental Sport Attacks fitted. Now I know the Contis have been getting great reviews, but I do get on very well with the OEM fitment of BT014s. Having come up with the conclusion that my 014s seem to have a nail magnet attached to them I decided to try the sport attacks, and at £170 for the pair fitted I really can’t complain!

First Impressions - the look

All tyres look different, some tread patterns look like they mean business, others look less purposeful. I had someone describe the looks of these tyres to me as “marmite” you either love it or you hate it. I like to be different, I am one of the few people that are indifferent when it comes to marmite, I neither love it nor hate it. I feel the same about these tyres, I am not convinced that I like the tread pattern (hey I’m a girl), but I decided that this really wasn’t a reason to not buy these tyres….. So I did. However unconvinced I am about the tread pattern, there is one feature of these tyres that I do like; the name of the tyres “Continental Sport Attack” is written on the surface of the tyre – quite how long this is going to last I don’t know.

Are they any good?

I can’t see the tread pattern whilst I am riding, so any doubts I had about the looks of these tyres are soon forgotten. The first 100 miles consisted of fairly leisurely road riding with the main aim being to scrub off the residue left on the tyre. Even riding at this leisurely pace is enough to give you an indication of the tyres behaviour and my first impressions were that I like them. The bike turned nicely into corners and felt stable at higher speeds.

The Road Test

My first major trip on these tyres is off to my favourite piece of country road, the Nurburgring Nordschleife. This trip comprises motorway miles, normal road riding and enthusiastic road riding. So all in all, a mixed bag of miles and a good test of these tyres capability.

So how did they fair??
Motorway miles – the tyres really aren’t in their element here, but then again neither is the bike! To me, having a sports bike is about cornering, if you want to go for miles and miles without going round a corner then move to America and buy a cruiser! As with any sports bike tyre, large amounts of motorway mileage will cause the tyre to square off and start resembling a car tyre making cornering an interesting experience! These tyres are no different. Enough of my complaining about motorways, how do these tyres perform at speed when going in a straight line? Perfectly well! The bike was nice and stable and confidence inspiring. Unfortunately, our route to the Nurburgring doesn’t involve any stretches on those famous German Autobahns, so top speed stability wasn’t tested. However, the Continental Sport Attacks have been homologated for the GSX—R600 which means that they have been tested for performance at the bikes top speed down the Autobahn. If the powers that be in Germany say that the tyres are up to the job, then they must be pretty good.

OK, so enough of the boring motorway mileage. How did the bike behave on the ring? Brilliantly! There was plenty of grip in corners and the bike felt stable, predictable and the bike changed direction nice and easily. The tyres gave good feedback; I had plenty of confidence in both the bike and the tyres capabilities. Looking at the tyres after a couple of laps showed that they were wearing very nicely. There’s no blueing and the tyres aren’t overheating

Do they like it wet?
I’ve not done many miles in the wet on these tyres, As a general rule, I try to avoid riding in the wet. I hate having to wash the bike thanks to muddy roads and I really hate having to dodge all the diesel deposited on the roads by our friendly-school-run-SUVs. But anyhow, needs must and I rode the bike into the office in the pouring rain. This short run (~35 miles) was at a fairly steady pace, but the tyres gave me no problems at all. I had decent feedback and enough grip to make reasonable progress considering the conditions.

To Conclude....

I have now done in the region of 1500 miles on these tyres, and I have to say that I am very impressed with them. I am yet to get anywhere near the limit of them and they are wearing very nicely. The “Continental Sport Attack” writing on the tyre is still just about visible on the rear and still very visible on the front
In short, I’m glad I fitted the Continental Sport Attacks and at this price I will certainly be fitting another pair! They wear well and are more than adequate for enthusiastic road riding and everyday use

Update!

Caz was so impressed with the Continental Sport Attack so I (Jocke) decided to try a set on my BMW K1200R. I'm heading off to the Nurburgring during Easter weekend (2006). I should be able to share my impressions soon. Meanwhile, Caz's tyres still look as new.

/Jocke