In this video, I compare the stock OEM Harley Dunlop American Elite tires to the Michelin Commander II. Which tire is best? Well, that is dependant on what you are looking for. See comparison video below!
Harley-Davidson motorcycles have different weight and torque characteristics than most other bikes on the market. Dunlop has been working with Harley for years to develop great tires that work very well on Harley's. The Dunlop American Elite tire is built to wear more evenly over time, ride quietly, and work on many different surface conditions. Dunlop is the only motorcycle tire for Harley-Davidson that is designed in America, made in America, and tested in America.
The dual-compound construction of the Dunlop American Elite uses a high-wearing, long-lasting compound in the center of the tire to maximize life and a softer, more grippy compound on the sides for excellent handling. Dunlop says that the American Elite handles as well in wet weather conditions as the Michelin Commander II handles in dry conditions. Dunlop stands behind their own in-house tests done at their expansive Huntsville, Al proving grounds that demonstrates this impressive wet-weather performance.
More recently, Michelin has started to get into the Harley OEM tire game under their “Scorcher” product line. Our 2016 Dyna Low Rider S here at Law Abiding Biker Media came stock with Scorcher tires.
The Michelin Commander II tire for Harley has a lighter, stronger carcass made with modern materials called Aramid, a generic name for Kevlar, fibers which are super lightweight, but even stronger than steel. Michelin says the stylish tread pattern of the Commander II tire for Harley not only looks high-performance, but it's long grooves evacuate water quickly for excellent wet weather performance. The carcass of the Michelin Commander II is built with Silica Rain Technology (SRT) which integrates silica into the compound of the tire tread for superior traction in wet weather conditions.
Michelin conducted three years of customer-focused research at shows, events, and with focus groups. Michelin is proud to say that the Commander II is the first tire they've ever designed that was 100% directed by customer feedback. Michelin says that their tests have shown the Commander II is capable of nearly twice the distance covered by its direct competitors.
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GET THE DUNLOP AMERICAN ELITE TIRE:
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GET THE MICHELIN COMMANDER II TIRE:
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My experience and opinion:
The Dunlop is known for it awesome performance while the Michelin is known for getting more miles before replacement. The Dunlop American Elite tire is really good in all conditions, but you'll get fewer miles out of it. The Michelin Commander II is a great tire if you just want to lay down a lot of miles and aren't necessarily an aggressive rider.
I am a full-time LE Motor Officer who rides a Harley on duty daily and I also rides tons of miles off-duty on my personal Harley. I can tell you that I personally stick with the Dunlop American Elite. I ride aggressively in many different environments and surface conditions. I train and ride at higher speeds and lower speeds and train often. The Dunlop is an all around great tire for confident more aggressive riders. I have qualified on our police motorcycle qualification courses in the rain and the Dunlop American Elite grips strong and is truly amazing. I have much trust in the Dunlop tire. I'm okay giving up some miles out of a tire for excellent performance.
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The Michelin Commander II tire for Harley is a great tire for those that may not want to ride so aggressive and for a rider that wants to just lay down the miles and tour. In the rain and while riding the way most average riders do, the Commander II will be a great tire. The best part is that you will likely get more miles out of the Commander II than the Dunlop American Elite. Generally speaking, the Commander II is known for going longer before needing to be replaced.
Understand, that the number of miles you'll get out of any Harley tire will vary greatly from rider to rider. There are many determining factors on how long your tire will last. Your riding style and environments you ride in will determine the life of a tire.
There is no reason you need to pay a Harley dealership to remove your front or rear wheel from your Harley for a tire change. With our free tutorial videos, you can do it yourself right in your own shop or garage. See video links below!
If you don't have a tire changing device then you can then simply take your wheel to any motorcycle shop and have them put the new tire on the wheel. We also have a free tutorial video on how to remove the tire from you wheel with a manual tire changer.
Harley Front Wheel and Rear Wheel Removal Videos:
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Michael Lee says
As you said, the Harley-Davidson tires are much quieter. I love to go on weekend rides and one thing I have begun to realize is that the Harley-Davidson tires are made for Harley’s. I have been thinking about switching back to the Harley tires for some time now.
Dennis Toth says
Agree with your assessment regarding Dunlop tires Ryan. However the stock tire on a new Harley-Davidson touring bike says “”Harley-Davidson” and “Dunlop”. Nowhere does it say “American Elite” which is a Dunlop replacement tire with a slightly different tread pattern. I ride a 2015 FLTRUSE (assertively) mostly two-up with luggage and replaced my stock H-D tires with AE’s at 14k miles. I’m about to replace these at 15k miles with another set of AE’s which handle wonderfully.
Nikolaus Konig says
Because the stock Harley tire now is the D407 not the American Elite. The American Elite is a better aftermarket replacement for it, made specially with V-Twins in mind.
I ride a 2015 CVO Road glide the Dunlops to me just seems very stiff and harsh riding. I ride about 20,000 a year are the Dunlop elite any softer riding then what came stock on the bike ?
Mitchlen have such a better ride quality
Andrew Pera says
I have the el
I have American Elites on my 2007 Softail custom they’re actually really nice riding tires quiet and they’re really not too stiff of a tire I put 13000 miles so far my tires since March of last year when I put them on brand new I still have about 4/32 of tread on the rear tire and almost 3/32 of tread left on the front and I’m aggressive and non-aggressive I’m going to purchase another set I would definitely recommend getting a set for your Road Glide I’m buying another set online at the end of February
Anthony J. Caiati says
I ride a 2909 FLHX. I got 20,000 miles out of the own Dunlop rear tire. I can honestly say the tire made noise when going into turns. It made a sound like a bad bearing. But I never had any issues with traction at all. Then again I’m not a real aggressive rider. I ride to my limits, and I do enjoy getting into the turns. That’s part of motorcycle riding, the turns. I don’t have too much of an issue going across grated highway bridges where the bike would want to wabble, it does that very little. Can’t say anting thing about a Michelin tires at all I never used them yet. Years ago I did use Avon (not on a Harley) tires. At the time they were awesome.
Ryan Urlacher says
Thanks for the thoughts.
Bruce Hunt says
I installed American Elites on my 2013 Street Glide this spring. Then did a two up 6200 km trip from Central Canada out to Tofino, B.C. & return.
Elites performed very well under all conditions- heat, rain, fully loaded etc.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the American Elite tires.
Ryan Urlacher says
Very cool. Thx for sharing.
I put a hundred fifty five thousand miles on my 05 heritage always ran Dunlap tires. When the American elites came out I couldn’t wait to try them I got 12 thousand miles out of my rear tire before it had to be replaced. I thought well I will give Mitchell in a try with their Commander 2. I ride a lot in the hills and I found that the Commander II does not have the traction that I enjoyed with the dunlap’s. I’m sold Dunlop American elite until they come up with something better!!
David J Sidler says
What’s the difference between the Dunlop American Elite and the Dunlop Elite 4? They both have the multi-tread technology but I can’t find anything on which is newer or considered a better tire. The AE seems to have more aggressive grooving where the E4 is smoother with less grooves. Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!