Continental ContiMotion - Product Evaluation

Tire “deflation” can be a good thing.

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With all the excellent deals to be had on things like used motorcycles during the Economic Downturn, it’s a shame none of that has trickled down into the motorcycle tire marketplace. Or has it? Continental Tire introduced the zero-degree-belted ContiMotion about a year ago, calling it “a contemporary, high-quality radial tire for budget-minded customers.”

Curious, we spooned a pair onto Feature Editor John Burns’ economy-minded Kawasaki ZX-9R naked ratbike and were pleasantly surprised by their performance. While these tires may not provide the outright grip of the Pirelli Corsas they replaced, there’s still plenty of peg-dragging traction, along with confident, predictable steering manners that encouraged us to flog the old Ninja right along in the expendable manner to which it’s grown accustomed.

Furthermore, the Contis provide an outstandingly smooth ride with excellent small-bump absorption (almost feels like somebody serviced the suspension). With the old Ninja’s LSL Superbike handlebar kit, steering remains as light and neutral as ever, along with flawless stability. We can’t speak to mileage, but Conti claims its unique compounding and the wide treadless area in the rear’s center will provide above-average wear.

Here’s the best part: Conti’s suggested price for a 120/70-17 front is $81, with the 180/55-17 rear selling for $123. Online shopping turned up prices even lower. Seems like a reasonable fee to pay for good rubber, especially for an under-appreciated bike that’s not worth a helluva lot more than that. Except to the person who loves it.

Contact|Continental Tire the Americas, LLC 7800 Liberty Church Rd. Johnstown, OH 43031 973/471-8890 www.conti-moto.comPrice...$185-$210 per set
Ups|• High value, low cost, big performance • Three front, five rear sizes
Downs|• Won’t be mistaken for premium ContiRaceAttack • Not for hot-lapping at the racetrack