Can you imagine tires that never wear out or tires that regenerate automatically?
Chemists and engineers have never stopped trying to make those kinds of tires.
Up to now, the choice was either black or white. You could buy touring tires, which you knew were hard as rocks and would last almost forever. Otherwise, you could buy sporty tires, which you were sure were only going to last a few thousand miles if you were lucky.
You just had those two options. On the motorcycle, you have to keep in mind a technical detail that is the shape of a tire is round, which means that it wears out more in the center and has more continuous contact with the asphalt. The choice between those options has literally been a nightmare for many bikers.
Keeping that in mind, you’ll always have a dilemma. If you mount tires with a hard compound, then you must slow down on the curves because the sides of the tires won’t grip enough. However, if you mount soft tires, you won’t even be able to consider riding any long distance on any highway with a passenger and baggage.
Obviously, you can’t have two pairs of tires and install them depending on each riding scenario. To alleviate this issue and save the cost of buying two pairs of tires, Continental came up with a double-compound technology called MultiGrip, a technology that provides a hard compound on the central area and a softer one on the shoulder area. This tire is the closest to perfection for the most demanding motorcycle rider.
How does MultiGrip technology work?
It makes it possible using a graded, homogeneous grip from a single compound, thanks to temperature control during the curing of the tire in the production process.
Between 0 and 5 degrees of slope, the tire has hard compound, so you get good grip and longer durability.
In the transition zone with an incline of 5 to 30 degrees, fast warming is got allowing the tire to better evacuate water during wet conditions since +/- 25 degrees is about the maximum angle of incline for wet surfaces.
For maximum grip, the MultiGrip technology uses a soft compound in the tire beginning with an angle of incline of 30 degrees and a negative ratio of 0%.
In the following graph, you can see the entire curing process of the compound and the three drawings of ContiSportAttack 2. You can see on the Y-axis the % of tread pattern (negative ratio) and on the X- axis the lean angle. Starting on five degrees of lean angle, we can see on the colored areas how the compound changes.
Moreover, the use of the silica as a compound provides the tires a lower rolling resistance, it’s more durable and has a better response in wet conditions.
What is the silica compound and how does it improve the tire?
Silica, or better said silicon oxide, is the union of silicon with oxygen. These two elements mixed together with the rubber, produces the compound that becomes the tread of the today’s last generation modern tires.
The silicon provides a number of advantages like the reduction of the gas consumption and the improvement of the grip, mainly in wet conditions. Keep in mind that technically the harder the compound of the tire, the more resistance to the wear-out of the tire. But the harder the compound is, the less grip it has in wet conditions.
A tire absorbs energy each time that it rolls over. With the silica compound, it achieves less absorption of energy from the tire because it produces less resistance making it easier for the tire to roll over.
For easy understanding, with much softer compounds, we achieve more durability and stickier tires.
We hope you learned something new.
Until next week!