By Adam Waheed, Road Test Editor

A fun, affordable tire

Continental joins the A group with its Sport Attack 2 tires. Debuting three years ago, the Contis feature a unique design and hybrid rubber compound that the German company thinks is key to a wide range of performance on the road.

The Sport Attack has the distinction of being the second least expensive tire in this class, carrying a price of $409 as a set, with only the outlier $247 Shinkos costing less. The Contis are a few bucks cheaper than the value-oriented S20 by Bridgestone and the recently introduced Dunlop Q3.

Weighed as a set, the Conti’s came in at 24.31 pounds, positioning them just below the A-group average. Specifically, the rear tire was a tad heavier than the Dunlop and Michelin but still a smidge under the Avon and Bridgestone. However, the opposite was true of the front with it weighing less than the Q3 but a fraction more than the other aforementioned brands.

At both circuits, more so at the Streets, the Contis felt a little sluggish and required a extra muscle to get the bike pointed in the desired direction. Once leaned over, however, the Sport Attack was communicative, which helps you extort the high level of traction. While stability wasn’t as high as the Dunlop or S20, it was by no means poor, and the overall flex made it one of the more fun tires to ride.

The Sport Attacks arrived at minimum operating temperature the fourth fastest (145.8 seconds), despite being tested during the hottest part of the afternoon on the first day. On Day 2, where they were tested a bit earlier in the day, they moved one position back to fifth and were still quite a bit off from both Avon and Dunlop.

The Continental posted respectable lap times on both circuits. At the Big Track it was second fastest with a 1’30.5 – 0.4 second ahead of the excellent Q3, but still almost two seconds off the racy-feeling SP. The following day the Q3 outgunned it by a full second, with Michelin’s Pilot Power 3 also besting the Sport Attack by 0.3 second. The Contis slotted in third fastest overall in the combined lap time rankings.

Even though the Continentals failed to wow us in any one category, above-average scores in seven of eight categories propelled them up the score sheet. And if you’re seeking a fun and affordable sport tire with great all-around grip, the third-place Continentals just might be the ticket.

RIDER NOTES:

“This one had a better rubber mixture and was more communicative than Tire 1 [Avon Xtreme 3]. Edge grip was fantastic and you had to really try to make it spin. These tires were easy to get a feel for and had perfect consistency from Lap 1 to Lap 5. But they were a little sluggish in the steering. I had to modify my riding style and get the bike turned a little bit early because it was so slow to react. Stability was OK, but the carcass felt a little soft and not as rigid as some of the others.”