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ContiTrail Attack 3 tires

Posted By Mark Hearon #209373, Thursday, May 2, 2019

There’s no way I can completely describe the experience I’ve had testing the ContiTrail Attack 3 tire as I rode the most challenging, potentially dangerous and outright rewarding ride of my moto life thus far.

On the island of Crete, our test group dodged rockfall, Wile E. Coyote-style boulders, running water, standing water, silt and mud, and a few goats, while we endured virtually non-stop rainfall and fought high winds on narrow mountain switchbacks (many without guard rails). In short, the perfect environment to test a tire! Needless to say, the storms didn’t allow the Cretan roads to show at their best. I don’t want to spoil things before I get too far into it, but let’s just say I’m impressed.

Continental knows they scored big with their ContiRoad Attack 3 tire launched a couple of years ago. For me, it was such a compelling offering that after riding with a set for a few months and a subsequent review in the BMW Owners News, I’ve wanted nothing else on my R 1200 RS. It seems a lot of other folks felt similarly, and following their success, Continental naturally wanted to incorporate the best elements of their ContiRoad Attack 3 tire into successive generations of products.

The ContiTrail Attack 3 is a 90/10, road-biased tire with the heart and soul of the Road Attack 3. Positioned on the road side of their off-road/enduro line and aimed at the adventure rider whose ambitions lie squarely on tarmac, it’s the newest offering to be situated on the conservative side of the TKC 70 (and by extension the furthest thing from a TKC 80 imaginable).

Setting the ContiTrail Attack 3 apart from its predecessor, the new tire boasts two additional core technologies from Continental’s repertoire of awesomeness, “Performance Over Time” and “EasyHandling”—both of which I admittedly have difficulty qualifying as technological in nature. Rather than thinking of these as innovations, perhaps it may be slightly more accurate to describe them as key attributes.

Regardless, “Performance Over Time” is an attribute migrated from the ContiRoad Attack 3 that focuses on tire wear reduction. Through a combination of compounds, tire baking techniques and the general absence of siping on the center tread of the tire, overall wear is reduced, allowing for better mileage. Honestly, if you read the marketing material on the Continental website, they’ll tell you up front that this is a function of their “MultiGrip” technology. In my opinion, it’s just another way of saying your next Motourlaub (motorcycle vacation) can be as long as you want.

As for “EasyHandling,” this means the tire will continue to show its “Continental-ness” throughout the tire’s lifecycle. When I reviewed the ContiRoad Attack 3 tires some time back, I was struck by how progressive and linear the tire handled, especially while transitioning in and out of corners along twisty roads. This feeling of confidence is what allowed me to ride my R 1200 RS more like a sport bike and less like a touring bike.

Rounding out the technological suite of distinguishing factors of the ContiTrail Attack 3 tire are RainGrip, MultiGrip, ZeroDegree construction, and TractionSkin. For full details about these techno bits, hop on over to continental-tires.com/motorcycle and click the Technology tab.

So what about that inexplicable experience I mentioned? As promised, read on.

These tires were brand-new production models and not yet broken in. During the launch, I rode a brand new bike in a new environment full of the aforementioned hazards and obstacles, all of which usually offer a recipe for bad things to happen and enough acute pucker syndrome to produce a small fortune in diamonds. Not only did nothing bad happen, I was no richer at the end of the day—alas.

Wet roads couldn’t keep me from enjoying myself because Continental’s RainGrip technology kept me glued me to the pavement all day long. The new tire carcasses were no obstacle to riding normally from the get-go as TractionSkin made typical break-in procedures unnecessary. Changing road surfaces (even while at lean) couldn’t steal my school-boy grin because MultiGrip had my back through thick and thin.

Even when the tire gave something up to the muddy slop we occasionally had to ride, this road-focused tire gave me the impression it was meant for handling such conditions. Our test group motojournalists conquered hills on these tires with G 1250 GSs, Africa Twins, Multistradas, and even S 1000 XRs, bounding over things we probably shouldn’t have taken on without something short of a TKC 70.

Despite our German hosts insisting they requested the horrible weather to allow us to test the ContiTrail Attack 3s in less-than-ideal conditions, we all tacitly desired the sunny paradise these launch events aim to be. I think it’s fair to say nobody wants to see a product fail to impress because of factors that are out of everyone’s control. Still, at the end of the day, everyone was impressed with this tire.

After lunch on the last day of testing, a third of our group chose to return to our hotel due to the deteriorating conditions while the remainder decided to push on into the mountains for another photo opportunity in the snow. While I wanted to be a part of the second group, I was advised to return because my pace wouldn’t be on par with the others. I resisted at first, but ultimately relented. I had no desire to find myself in a foreign hospital.

Safe at the hotel, I was nevertheless dejected the riding day was over. Forget the weather, the road conditions, the damp nether regions and sopping wet helmet liner—I wanted more. And not only did I want more, I was confident the ContiTrail Attack 3 had it in the bag.

You can ride a bike considered among the best in the world. You can possess all the skills humanly possible, and you can have all the best tech to boot; however, if you can’t trust the connection between you and the ground, your adventure is dead on arrival.

Back at the hotel, our Continental hosts were delighted to hear I volunteered to ride again. While answering their questions about the ContiTrail Attack 3 tire, it became clear to me that this is where confidence can take you. This is what adventure consists of. This is what accomplishment feels like.

I’m excited and looking forward to mounting a set of ContiTrail Attack 3s on the new adventure bike sitting in my garage and remain hungry for more adventures.

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