In this week’s edition of Motorcycle News, the team have released their definitive 2016 tyre guide – with some high praise for the latest tyres in the Continental range!
If you want to read it in full, then you can pick up your free guide in the 25th May issue, but here’s a quick rundown of what they’ve been saying:
“Continental claim their tyres barely need any scrubbing in and that the improvements to this tyre are all about increasing the levels of performance in the wet. And if the evidence of the first 40 miles on a brand new set in the rain were to be taken alone, Continental have hit the back of the net on both counts. Within a mile of MCN headquarters, I could confidently splosh along the wet roads despite the tyres being new, which would normally fry my head. Taking the back roads rather than my normal wet weather route along the A1, in order to test the Contis, I found them to be very reassuring in both handling and grip. Riding at a similar pace to my dry commute, I had no moments and felt constantly confident that the Evos had my back.”
“MCN tested the tyres on and off-road in Wales, coming away highly impressed with their versatility.
Normally, tyres trying to be that jack-of-all trades are compromised on the road. Pushed harder, dual-purpose rubber starts to move around on it’s tread blocks, restricting further speed. This is not the case with the Contis. Sampling them on a range of adventure machines, we found the TKC’s on-road performance outstanding. They certinaly don’t limit your pace. On KTM’s capable 150bhp 1190 Adventure, carving quickly through Welsh backroads and main routes felt safe and secure. Able to test the TKC’s harder thanks to the 1190’s electronic safety net of advanced ABS and traction control, we experienced solid feel and superb grip at all speeds. Their profile gives consistent and predictable steering. When it rained during the test, the tread pattern cleared water well enough to maintain excellent adhesion. The same remained true aboard a BMW R1200GS, Yamaha XTZ1200 Super Tenere and Triumph 1200 Explorer. If you hadn’t noticed the rugged tread pattern, you’d think you were on top quality sports-touring rubber. Off-road, the Contis are also surprisingly able, gripping well on gravel and rocky surfaces, providing good feedback and sliding predictably. They are not designed to cope with deeper mud.”
“The TrailAttack 2 was specifically designed to cope with the high loads of large, and increasingly powerful, adventure bikes and they’re one of three standard fitment options on BMW’s R1200GS. The big development for Conti is the use of a zero-degree belt, preventing ‘tyre-growth’ under heavy load, which can lead to stability issues at speed.
The TrailAttack 2 is effectively a dual-compound tyre, but there is no clear delineation between the compounds (Conti call this Continuous Compound Technology), which means that while the central band is treated to a harder compound to improve mileages and reduce squaring, the transition to the softer tyre wall is progressive.
We tested the TrailAttack 2 as standard fitment on the R1200GS and found them almost impossible to fault in the dry. Warm-up times are good, and grip is plentiful from both ends. It’s impossible to detect any difference in grip between the shoulder and the fat part of the tyre, and feedback from both front and rear is excellent under load.”
“Within a few minutes of being fitted to the Suzuki SV650 on MCN’s 2016 long-term test fleet they brought to life a bike that had previously been weighed down by the original fitment Dunlop Qualifiers. The Contis immediately gave a more supple feel for bump absorption and a feeling of connection with the road. The lighter steering was the real bonus over the original rubber – and greater lean angles opened up to our test rider straight away.
It’s early days for the Continentals on the SV, so it’s impossible to report a full verdict from that, but MCN’s senior road tester Michael Neeves hammered around a Spanish racetrack earlier this year on a SportAttack 3-shod BMW S1000RR. He was seriously impressed with the new tyres, saying they provided feel that was more like dedicated trackday tyres than everyday sports rubber, which he considered an impressive feat, and he added that they gave the BMW nice light steering.