Motorcycle Tires. Did You Know?

In 2011, more than 1.59 million cruiser tires were sold in North America, of which 86% with traditional or diagonal technology. The same year, 227,000 units were sold in Europe, of which 82% diagonal tires.

In the rest of the world (mainly South America, Australia and Japan) approximately 266,000 cruiser tires were sold during the year. In all regions, cruiser riders stand apart by their shared expectations with regard to tires. They’re looking for products with distinctive design that also deliver excellent total mileage and superior safety. Speed and lively responsiveness are not among their priorities. The tire manufacturer’s role is to combine all these different features

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12 Responses to “Motorcycle Tires. Did You Know?”


  1. 1 rebel Apr 19th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    does anyone know if the claims by MICHELIN about double the mileage of metz. or dunlop on the harley touring tire is an actual fact?

  2. 2 Tracker Apr 19th, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I don’t know if their claims are true but I just installed a set of Commander II’s. I’ll let you know…

  3. 3 Doc Robinson Apr 19th, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Yes, many people would indeed be interested in how those claims work out. Doubling the mileage is a huge claim by any standards. I hope Tracker does report back and that Cyril runs it for our benefit.

  4. 4 richard Apr 19th, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    I suspect the Longer wearing tires are much harder and therefore more resistant to “rubbing” wear. However, the softer tires (while wearing faster) should grip better, giving improved stopping and cornering capability. Although I ride slower than others, I like the safety advantage of the “softer” tires. I recognise that this may be an “old school” impression….I’m not sure as I know there are other features involved in tire wear and road adhesion such as rubber compound. I guess that until I learn otherwise, I’ll stay with the Dunlops on my Road King.

  5. 5 courtney Apr 19th, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    Intrigued by the comments above (new news to me), I googled a bit and here’s a couple of interesting youtubes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSKFDtTBK2g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXar3Ki6mZo

    The second youtube (from RevZilla) promises a review of the Commander II tires later this Spring!

    Also, I’ve read lots of individual consumer reviews online & they are overwhelmingly positive, even concerning gripping ability.

    I’m liking them & don’t even have them yet.

  6. 6 Woody Apr 19th, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    @ rich-remember the old Dunlap “Qualifier” rimsaver that used to be OEM on many bikes? They didn’t have grip OR life ;) Maybe as an apology they’ll make a tire with both now.

  7. 7 Tim Apr 20th, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Seen the Vids with the spokesmodel, very well scripted. I did notice they did not compare to Avon Cobra, just Metz & Dunlop. I like Dunlop been always a good OE tire, metz extremely dissatisfied with, poor handling, poor quality and no support at the dealer level. Avon & Conti just the opposite, Great performance on the Venom & Cobra on the FL roads (With coral in them) about 25% more miles on the Avon over Dunlop. The 407 tire has greatly improved on the mileage and handling but still happier with the Corba, better stick, better handling and almost not “jumping sideways” as I cross drawbridges. I do wish Contiwuld do a ’09 & later bagger tire. (Ya hear me Germany?) Time will tell, All I hear is cant wait to get them, let see how good the comments are after they have 5-10k on the Mich.

  8. 8 Rogue Apr 20th, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Sitting around with some friends having a few cold ones I mentioned I was not happy with the wear and handling of the factory tires on my 2004 Harley FLHT.
    My friend Larry Curik suggested I try a set of Continental tires. I mentioned I had run them in the 70s and though they lasted a long time I did not care for how they handled in the rain. Larry told me that has all changed and showed me he had a set of the Continental Milestone tires on his motorcycle.
    He said I will get you a set, put them on and ride to Sturgis, if you do not like them when you get home take them off and give them away.
    Well I took him up on it. Had hot weather coming out of Florida and of course rain. I will admit I did push it a little to see how the tires would handle and they surprised me by never losing grip. Pretty much hit every kind of weather and road conditions during the trip as any of you that have made the ride knows.
    When in South Dakota running a little over the speed limit I saw rain grooves in the road and said Oh Shit as previously the bike would do a wiggle for lack of better words. As I rode through the rain grooves there was no change in the handling. I though I might have imagined the road conditions until I came to the second set and again no change in handling. I decide then I was keeping the tires no matter what the mileage I got out of them. Well as it turned out I got almost two thousand miles more.
    I know this was not some fancy test but it was me, same bike, same conditions and riding style so it was about as good as I can do it. I started informing people about it like I do about many products I try.
    I am still using Continental tires and still getting great mileage out of them.
    As it turns out recently Continental tires used me in one of their ads. I am due for a new rear tire and the company has asked me to try their new CM 2 Milestone. They say it gets 20% more wear than previous with out giving up any of the handling.
    Okay it is going to take me a while to get the miles on as the 04 is now a back up and I am riding my 09 FLHTC to events. But even if they get the mileage the previous tires did I will be happy.
    Continental says they are working on tires to fit my 09 and I am looking forward to getting a set when they come out.
    OH by the way check the price of a Continental to some of these other tires. More mileage, better handling and less money sounds good to me. I hope this information helps.

  9. 9 Jeff Apr 20th, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I put a set of the new Mich Commander II on my 09 Dyna Streetbob around the end of Feb. I have to say I was totally blown away as to the handling and performance. Always ran the oem Dunlops until I read some reviews. I have put almost 2100 miles on the new Michelins, so can’t really vouch for the mileage just yet, although gotta say @ 2100 mi both front and rear still look brand new. I dont care if they only last 5k or 6k miles cuz the difference in ride quality and performance is insane! Even riding through rain the new mich outperform the dunlops. The new Commander II are also way cheaper than the oem (best deal i found was motorcycle superstore website) I wont ever piss my money away on dunlops or any other brand after running the new Mich.

  10. 10 Shanedrive Apr 20th, 2012 at 9:04 am

    I’ve installed a bunch of commander II’s on different models/differernt sizes/different riding habits. Probably @ a dozen or so bikes now. Been telling each customer that opts to try them that they’re “guinea pigs”. They’re aware of the 1 1/2 to double the mileage claims. They also like the pricing. I’m in Wi so it’ll be a while before feedback starts coming in. It will be interesting to check our records vs. mileage on each bike as they come back through for service(s).

    Our season’s just starting to get rolling barring the weird warm weather in March.

  11. 11 Olive oil Apr 20th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    After my Dunlop blowout, I can’t ride anymore.

  12. 12 JK Apr 23rd, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I have had a few friends have issues with their Baggers when using the Metzler tire and it was discovered that the local shop was installing a tire that looked exactly the same, made by Metzler but it did not have the same rating as the touring model (its was rated for a sport bike application), causing issues with handling and wobble. Make sure your local shop is not purchasing the cheaper tire based on cost to them, its your life on the line!

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