Review: Continental Tire’s New Trail Attack 2

Dec 02, 2013 View Comments by

Review: Continental Tire’s New Trail Attack 2Review: Continental Tire’s New Trail Attack 2Good Road Grip and Sporty Handling for Adventure Bikes

Continental Tire Company’s management recognized that sales of large adventure-touring motorcycles (or as the Brits say, “big trailies”) have been booming on both sides of the Atlantic. To meet this need for tires, the new Trail Attack 2 is designed for riders of heavy adventure touring and enduro machines who are looking for high performance with long wear.

High-powered, adventure-touring bikes chew up knobby tires quickly, so a less-aggressive tread provides longer wear and a smoother, quieter ride. Conti’s zero-degree, steel-belt construction is designed to deliver superior stability at high speeds and good ride quality with high-load capacity. Reinforced front tire carcasses employ a new tread pattern to ensure precise steering and long wear. The open tread pattern should also work well in the rain. Trail Attack 2s warm up quickly. You have grip when you begin, and the new style looks good.

The “continuous compound technology” uses a single rubber compound employing a temperature-controlled curing process. With the CCT, the shoulders are grippy in turns, and the center area is harder for longer wear. During fast stops, they deliver a high limit of grip; and at speed, they feel stable and don’t get caught up in longitudinal rain grooves. Conti’s mold-coating system (Traction Skin) eliminates tire-release agents, so the tires have a brief break-in period. Conti also uses a proprietary “Black Chili” compound for quick warm ups and better traction.

The Trail Attack 2 press introduction was a three-day ride from Munich to Austria’s Tyrolean Alps. I switched between the new BMW R 1200 GS and the latest KTM 1190 Adventure. Both were fitted with Trail Attack 2s, and both worked well with the new rubber. Uwe Reichelt of Continental showed us his home tracks around Bad Aibling to Saalfelden in Austria. We experienced autobahn runs to 125 mph as well as winding mountain routes through storybook villages and tidy farms on our way to the Grossglockner Pass, which is a playground for Europeans. Winding our way upward through countless turns and switchbacks, we climbed toward the year-round ice of Austria’s largest glacier. On the way, we refreshed at “Bikers Point,” which includes special motorcycle parking at the Edelweiss-Spitze. The views are literally and figuratively breathtaking.

Continental tests its products extensively before releasing them to the public, and we found the Trail Attack 2 to be well sorted and made of quality materials.

The tires offer easy turn-in and good grip, enough to lean until parts start to scrape. You can maintain a steady line through a turn yet easily change course. Germany has little off-road riding, so we didn’t try them extensively in the dirt. With their tread design, they should work satisfactorily on graded dirt or gravel roads. If you want to ride in sand or mud, consider a more aggressive tread, such as Conti’s TwinDuro TKC-80s.
BMW is fitting about 20 percent of its new R 1200 GS models with them, and KTM is using them on new 1190 Adventures. Trail Attacks have different speed ratings depending on application: H-rated for speeds up to 130 mph; V-rated, up to 149 mph; and W-rated, up to 168 mph. Suggested retail prices range from $89 to $290.

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Text: Ken Freund
Photography: Continental


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