Continental AG: So Much More Than Rubber

Round rolling rubber is Continental’s bag, but it’s not the only one – not by a longshot. You no doubt know Continental for its tires – and you should. Conti has been making tires for more than 150 years spanning nearly every industry. From solid rubber to pneumatic tires and now, tires made from dandelions. Continental has the tire market covered as a major player, but the German company’s emphasis on safety doesn’t stop where the rubber meets the road. Continental takes it more than a few steps further to inform how the rubber interacts with the road. In this day and age, striving to keep folks safe no longer ends at the mechanical traction of a tire. More than ever, companies like Continental are developing highly complex rider/driver aids that range from mild safety intervention to fully autonomous driving.

To showcase Continental’s dedication to two wheels, the folks in the Continental Engineering Services (CES) sector invited us out to the company’s Brimley, MI facility for a hands-on test of some of the technologies it has been refining over the past 30 years in real world simulations. We also had the opportunity to get a peek into the processes and components that Continental has on offer to manufacturers and how these systems work together.

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Burning Rubber: Best Sportbike Tires

The job of a sportbike tire is a tough one. Considering the performance – and variety – of today’s modern sporting machines, an ideal tire needs to be able to warm up quickly, offer good grip in both wet and dry conditions, transfer feedback to the rider, and provide good handling capabilities. Thankfully, all the major tire companies work tirelessly to improve their tires to meet these demands. Of course, longevity is a concern as well, but compared to a sport-touring tire a sportbike tire won’t quite measure up with all the other duties it has to perform.

Here, we’ve gathered seven different tires that are great at handling it all. We’ve focused on street-based tires, since that’s where the majority of sportbike riders spend their time, although all of the tires here are more than capable of handling the occasional trackday or two. If you’re the serious trackday/racing type, we’ll have a separate guide for you coming soon.

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Continental Recalls 68,770 Tires Including TKC 80, ContiGo!, K62 and LB

Continental Tire is recalling 68,770 motorcycle tires because they may develop cracks that can result in tread separation. The recall includes the popular TKC 80 dual sport tires, ContiGo! tires for lightweight motorcycles, plus K62 and LB scooter tires. The recall may also include tires that were installed as stock equipment on certain BMW, KTM and Husqvarna models. The recall affects tires manufactured between Jan. 6, 2019 and April 30, 2022. The full list of tires and specific sizes affected is posted at the bottom of this article.

According to the recall report released by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the problem was first noticed in February after a separate recall on ContiScoot scooter tires for potential tread groove cracking. That initial recall led Continental to conduct endurance testing on other tires. From February to April, testing revealed the TKC 80, ContiGo!, K62 and LB tires may be prone to develop groove cracks.

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Best Motorcycle Technology Of 2016

When cornering ABS (C-ABS) arrived a couple years ago, the general consensus among the motojournos was, Hey that’s awesome, we’ll take your word for it working as described, because no matter how professional we try to be, grabbing a fistful of front brake mid-corner to evaluate this new technology is a line few were willing to cross. At the International Driver & Rider Training Symposium, EiC Kevin Duke and I were given a chance to fully explore C-ABS thanks to this year’s Best Product winner, Skidbike.

Having sampled the capabilities of Skidbike’s crash prevention on a Honda CRF250L, we were anticipating an enlightening experience when switching to KTM’s 1190 Adventure model, and we weren’t disappointed. Brimming with the confidence only a motorcyclist who’s incapable of crashing has, we eagerly leaned the big ADV bike into an arcing corner, and without hesitation grabbed the front brake lever. The result? Rapid and drama-free deceleration. Switching off C-ABS and replicating the act resulted as you’d expect, with the front wheel washing away, but minus the crash due to Skidbike’s outriggers catching our falls.

We experimented with stabbing the front brakes, as well as applying continually more brake pressure in a series of front braking threshold tests, and C-ABS kept the front wheel from locking, allowing for controllable deceleration when a motorcycle might otherwise tend to stand up and go straight instead of maintaining lean angle and continuing its cornering arc. We were riding in a controlled area, but the advantages are obvious for any street rider who might, for example, get too hot into a decreasing-radius turn, or encounter an object mid-corner that demands avoidance.Knowing that you can, if required, apply a substantial amount of braking force while cornering, without fear of crashing, is a huge mental benefit.

C-ABS is a relatively new technology and increases the MSRP of the motorcycle, but it’s certainly worth the extra cost if you can afford it. Like any technology, the price will lessen over time as the technology becomes standardized. Good thing, because now that we know how well C-ABS works, we don’t like riding without it. Check out our full C-ABS report at MO Tested: Cornering ABS

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MO Tested: Cornering ABS

If your occupation is testing motorcycles there’s a certain measure of accepted risk that comes with the job. When cornering ABS (C-ABS) arrived a couple years ago, the general consensus among the motojournos was, Hey that’s awesome, we’ll take your word for it working as described, because no matter how professional we try to be, grabbing a fistful of front brake mid-corner to evaluate this new technology is a line few were willing to cross. Just thinking of the action conjures images of impacting asphalt at a rate approaching lightspeed.

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Continental Sport Attack 3 Tire Review

Don’t know about you, but when I think about the latest, greatest hot sticky tires for sportbikes, I don’t think “Continental” first, and the new Conti Sport Attack 3 isn’t really designed to change that. Probably that’s because Continental isn’t really associated with racing like Bridgestone, Pirelli, Dunlop, not in the U.S. at least. The new Sport Attack 3 is a sportbike tire designed for street use, for long life, for good but not ultimate grip, and in the case of this tire, increased wet traction.

Given that, it’s very cool that Conti invited us to Texas to ride around on the Sport Attack 3 on its new race track. Scratch that: “handling course!” And its chief test rider is nobody’s fool; he could’ve turned on the sprinklers for us to test that increased wet grip, but chose not to. Smart man. Motorcycles aren’t as cheap as they used to be.

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Sport-Touring Tire Buyer's Guide

Sport-tourers include a variety of designs from large technology-laden models such as BMW’s K1600GT, to Kawasaki’s more traditional Ninja 1000 to Ducati’s long-travel Multistrada and Yamaha’s FJ-09. With some luggage and a willing disposition you can, of course, set out for a far away destination aboard your new Yamaha R1 and call it sport-touring. And if you do, the tires in this Buyer’s Guide will certainly be a better choice than the sticky hoops you’d normally install on a sportbike.

For a look at the current crop of sport-touring bikes on which to install the tires in this Buyer’s Guide check out these latest shootouts:
2014 Heavyweight Sport-Touring Shootout
2014 Sport-Touring Final SmackDown
Middleweight Sport-Touring Shootout

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Sport Tires Buyers Guide

Tire manufacturers have a unique challenge when developing tires for sportbikes. Truth is, most sportbikes on the road will hardly, if ever, see a racetrack. Their time will largely be spent cruising around on the street during the week, with an adrenaline-pumping canyon ride or trackday on the weekends. The challenge engineers face is creating a tire with a center that will last, while also giving the rider side grip for navigating the bends, both on the street and the track. The different tire manufacturers have each come up with their own solutions to accommodate these needs, and what we have in this week’s Sport Tire Buyer’s Guide are choices from eight different tire manufacturers. Each tire is meant to live the majority of its life on the street, but is capable for the occasional trackday if needed.

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