Continental ContiTrailAttack 3 tyre review


Replacing the successful Continental ContiTrailAttack 2 motorcycle tyres, the new third generation is claimed to offer quicker warm up times, greater grip in wet and dry, offer longer life and more agile handling than the competition. The new rubber’s closest rivals include Bridgestone A41s, and Michelin Pilot Road Trail 5s. 

Billed as a tyre with a 90%/10% road/off-road-bias, the ContiTrailAttack 3s sit between the firm’s more off-road focused street-legal TKC70 (60%/40%) and TKC 80s (20%/80%).

Our test begins in Crete, chosen for its varied road network and reputation for good weather at this time of year. But the reality of the climate is somewhat different, and we ride on wet roads for the whole day. Even so, testing the TrailAttack 3s for around 120 miles in those conditions serves as an excellent real world test.

Aboard BMW’s latest R1250GS, the Contis provide a very reassuring feel, thanks to impressive feedback and grip. Given the very challenging nature and condition of some parts of the route, this security is a welcome bonus.

Conti points out the value of the tyres’ ‘RainGrip’ silica compound in such wet weather, adding that the deeper tread depth of the rear tyre, with its grooves extending all the way to the sidewall, also boosts wet traction. Those deeper grooves extend tyre mileage too.

The German manufacturer claim these tyres reach full temperature within 1.5 kilometres from setting off and I can vouch for these claims. Even deliberate provocation on the throttle coming out of corners, and deeper braking going into them, fails to trigger either traction control or ABS.

Stability is good, though sustained high speeds are more limited on Crete’s roads. As far as their performance in poor weather is concerned, the TrailAttack 3s get a high score.

Continental ContiTrailAttack3 tested in the UK

Testing the grip on a KTM 1090 Adventure

In the much improved conditions experienced in the UK, the Contis are also hard to fault. Fitted to a KTM 1090 Adventure, they give the bike an agile and predictable feel. Steering is light and easy, with grip more than good enough for hard riding.

Excellent feedback lets you brake deep into corners safely and get on the throttle early to drive keenly from corners. The bigger 19″ front wheels of adventure bikes can sometimes lead to a slightly vague feel when turning harder into tighter corners, but with the Contis I’m happy and confident to get my knee down. 

The ‘MultiGrip’ compound is the same over the whole profile, though controlled curing during manufacture results in superior grip on the tyres’ shoulder, and a more hard wearing central section. There’s also a promise of more consistent whole-life performance. Available in dealers now, they come a wide enough range of 17-21″ sizes to fit almost all adventure bikes.

Downsides to the Contis

For more serious off-road riding though, you’d be better off with Conti TKC 70 or 80s. Their more focused design and chunkier tread pattern makes them a lot more suitable for that environment. The TrailAttack 3s are fine on the like of Crete’s gravel beach roads, but not really any better than any good sports touring road tyres.

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Chris Moss

By Chris Moss