Best Harley and Cruiser Tires of 2016

RyanF9 recommends his favourite harley and cruiser tires. Check them out!

0:10 – Michelin Commander II:
1:41 – ME 888 Marathon Ultra:
3:20 – Pirelli Night Dragon:
4:35 – Dunlop D404:
6:30 – Avon AV72 Cobra:

Gear up for your next adventure:

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glen john says:

i put 3 dunlop 404 on my heritage softail THEY DONT LAST. the best i got was 3600 miles. but i got them from a dealer that was closing down for $55 each i bought 8 of them. 4 fronts 4 rears but after 3 i went back to the 401 for the rear and when my front goes bad i will go back to the 402 on it. but it does look like i’m going to get about 8 maybe 9k miles out of the front.

George Benitez says:

Hey Ryan, I do not know if I stay with the standard Dunlop American Elite 2nd Generation Harley-Davidson Tires for my 2016 Breakout or try something else? I was able to get close to 7000 miles on my rear tire. 240/40R18 79V TL. What are your thoughts?


Gr8 Vid Fort9! Have you done any homework on the Michelin Scorcher 11, 31 ad 32 tires? Looking for some performance and tread life info on them espesially living in Canada it gets a bit cold here and have heard they are no good in cold temps and or cold pavement. Any info you can share would be greatly appreciated. Cheers

toby rank says:

commander 2 are shit put them on my 07 harley fatboy and got 1;500 km so they replaced them second set same km would not recomend them to any one at all dont touch them for a big twin harley

Prathamesh Madan says:

hey i have a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500 which tyre will b the best for me pls suggest for front n rare both! am more looking for good performance in stability and grip!

directorgtr says:

Hey buddy just found your channel and enjoying your vids. I just got my first road bike. 86 Honda Magna v65 vf1100c. Trying to research which tire will suit it best since it’s a very quick bike but is a cruiser. Regarding this vid would the Avon be the best choice? I’m not a super aggressive rider but with my Endo racing background, I know how to haul ass if I want.

VicJackpotRider says:

Any tire suggestions for a 2011 victory Vegas jackpot?

TianoRR says:

Hey Ryan,
Thanks for those great reviews man
I ride hard a 2011 HD Sportster Iron with 78,000km (since I bought the bike brand new) The original set was Michelin Scorcher which I’ve replaced at 42,000km with a full set of Michelin commander II and they still run with at least 5,000km more in them, and they handle in a very forgiving way.
Just wanted to let you all know that the word in the street about 40,000km+ is real
Very Real guys

James Lotz says:

You just sold an AV72. Nice job

Kapsol says:

This guy is always selling Michelin lol

Seth and Camille Dyck says:

Good reviews. I got a 2003 mean streak and trying to decide between the Commander II and the Avon Cobras. Anyways, informative review. GJ

BrotherCane says:

Nice reviews, thanks ! With one exception (Dunlop 21″ which was kinda soft and did not lasted much) I had 880s on my VS1400 Intruder. And the bike is not as heavy as Harleys even with lots of stainless custom parts + myself, but has a huge torque, an old school monster engine even compared with bikes with larger displacement. The Metzelers done a perfect job, take them off at about 14-15k miles every time with plenty of life left in them each time … On the wet they weren’t slippery at all IMO even in early spring or late autumn, and at the hard braking on the dry I felt them very safe, in the summer very sticky and again … very safe. They are hard at touch indeed but on the sides only and pretty shiny too. Brazilian made ones I felt to be better compared to German made (!?), a bit softer which I liked. After about 5 years they show their age on the sides first. I now wonder which one to choose, Michelin, Pirelli or 880s, don’t care so much for mileage, I’d like to have the best grip on wet and dry too. Are some of these China made ? I can live with Brasil rubber and German engineering … Better mileage goes well with better grip? I mean Michelin does it or I must go with Pirelli ? I’d sacrifice a bit from 880s mileage for a slightly better grip. 888s did not convinced me from the online reviews … THANKS !

Bradley Cowan says:

Great review. Exactly what I was looking for. Learned a thing or two

Mik Mann says:

I would have gone with the Michelin’s but they don’t make my front size, I have the 888’s on my 1600 Vulcan Nomad and I love them, no problem holding the corners when I scrape a floorboard

Cam Mandel says:

Hello Ryan, I have a 2008 Dyna CVO with the 124 Race engine installed. I don’t ride often (less than 8000 miles on a 8 year old bike) but when I do I ride really hard and fast. Lots of long pulls through the mountains of Montana, Idaho and Washington at 80 90 sometimes 100mph. I don’t care about milage, I want the best handing grippiest tires I can get. The bike has the stock Dunlops and they still ok but I don’t trust them due to age. The front is getting some small cracks.
Michelin???? I have had a few sets of Avon’s on my CVO Ultra and they make the bike handle remarkably better than the HD Dunlops.
Thanks Cam

David Kaylor says:

I put 16K miles in the U.S. South East on a set of Commander II’s. The set was on an 07 Dyna Wide Glide, but I did do some mods on it and ran the Tail of the Dragon and several of the twisty knockoff type loops. I put 46K miles on the bike before selling it and getting a 17 Street Glide Special. I know, but I’m 65 and I carry a ton of crap in the bags and t-Bag on long trips several times a year. Your Littre sport bike would have me in traction, and the BMW I wanted was just a bit to expensive with the add ons…..The Commander II’s will go on my SGS and I did replace them on the Dyna when I sold it…Rubber side down…

Tomek Es says:

I fully agree with your opinion on the Michelin. I switched to the Commander from the factory Dunlop on my FatBoy and it was a great move. You said nothing about the Dunlop American Elite though. Any opinion on these tires, especially taking into account they are probably the only double compound cruiser tire and also come in whitewall for all those classic bike owners?

Julien Delvat says:

Thanks for mentioning small vintage cruisers. Not everybody is riding a big fat Harley-Davidson or Goldwing with luggage for a week of cruising.

I just ordered the Dunlop D404 for my 1983 KZ550 LTD. By the way, the bike is Canadian and I’m riding in Miami. I still haven’t figured out how it got there ;o)

Philip Simonin says:

The D404 I had put on my 1983 Honda Shadow vt500c. This bike is shy of 500lbs (225kg) and I drive it extremely hard and fast. The tires are phenomenal, and spectacular in the rain. HOWEVER; I need to say that mileage is terrible. I want to say perhaps 5,000 miles (8 km) was the lifespan through two sets of tires. The rears wore out fast, wearing down quickly in the middle of the tire, making flicking the bike dangerous later in the tire life. They are great tires, however, you will burn them up fast. Perhaps the front not as quickly, but similar to the rear.

Justin Chetney says:

I love the 402! Use it on my 85 Harley Softail. Only tire I will use on that bike. I do like the Scorcher 31 for my Harley Touring though…

shegocrazy says:

I replaced 404s on a Vulcan with Metz 880s. The 880s were a much better tyre for handling and did seem to wear better.

guy christiaens says:

hey ryan , i ride a new triumph speedmaster with stock metzelers marathons, in belgium most of the time we have wet roads, the mettz realy dont make me feel confident ,verry slippery.(two times face on the ground) what is your best suggestion to chang them to? thanks guy

Len Laskowski says:

Getting great wear out of Commander2’s on my Kawasaki Voyager.

Ian Ferguson says:

straight up joff dude

Steve Habl says:

I had the Avon Cobra rear on my Suzuki M109R Limited and it was amazing. Transformed the handling from non existent to very good for that big fat dumb gorilla of a bike. Had a Harley rear sized ME880 up front also amazing and a common mod in the M109 world. Going with the Avon AV/72 Cobra’s in wide white walls on my 1998 Road King Classic. Love the round profile and ease of turn in.

Paul Douglas says:

I found your channel tonight and I really like your reviews. You seem to put a lot of thought into them and sound like you have a lot of knowledge. You also verified my own research and the ME888. I watched a few of your other reviews on helmets as well. Keep up the great work and thanks.

FortNine says:

Hey Pit Bull – sorry to hear about your 880. That tire was notorious for wearing quicker than it should. Try the ME888 – Metzeler got the mileage thing right the second time around. ~RyanF9


can i put the d404 on an 08 Harley Nightster?

Michael Stockinger says:

You dont explain why you recommend the Avon Cobra for power cruisers, I have a Rocket 3 and the Metzlers on it are just ok and looking for a replacement for when I do have to change. I have had the Michelin Commander 2’s on my Harley before and their are amazing.

Greg durkee says:

thanks for the info on the ME 888 Ultra Marrithon. I currently have one on my bike that is now 5 years old I road 27000 miles on it and due to the tires year of manufacturing I am having it replace with a new ME 888. I hope this one won’t chop or tread split.

shegocrazy says:

Really good and informative summary. I’ve got Cobras on my Thunderbird and notice a minor front end shimmy at low speeds. Could it be caused by the pronounced left/right groove pattern on the tyres? Other than that the tyre handles really well and (as you say) looks great.

A daft punk says:

>Praises the Error D404: Treadwear/Grip Not Found
>No mention of the 777 HD which beats it in grip, life, price.
Why are we listening to this guy?

E Al says:

Michelin Commander vs Dunlop American Elite for Yamaha Roadliner..??? Which one is better.???

Drew w says:

I actually get better mileage out of night dragons than I did out of commander II’s. And the grip is FAR better! The commander II’s are only good for pounding miles in a straight line, but they’re actually too hard and wear quick of you take off quick and ride hard. I’ve got a 2014 street bob and scrape pegs…

Joel .A says:

I own a victory vision. They recommend dunlop elite 4. What would you put on it. I bought it with a car tire on it.

Robt Bomba says:

Commander II on the rear … slightest hint of squaring at 15k miles, which is about 5k better than I used to get with Exedra Max …

Robert Van Hook says:

thanks for all the info, so I have a 2015 CVO 110 Limited Harley , I love letting the clutch out and spinning the real wheel will the Michelin Commander do it for me ? even the long rides / with out breaking the rear tire loose ?  thanks Bob

Michael Snaddon says:

Great review. Ive got a 2008 HD Rocker C with worn out Dunlop D407. The Commander sounds best but im not worried about tire life and just want the best performing tyre as my other bikes a VFR1200. Should I go for the Avon AV72

shannon james says:

Doing reviews on available equipment , do you find any influence on manufactures at all  ?      I would enjoy having a set of the Cobras  with dull silver reflective sidewalls . Would work on my lighter weight 100 C.I. thumper .Thanks

1Bigduff says:

Curious why you did not review the Dunlop american elites. I have had the commander II and although it is a good tire, it does not fare well in cooler, wet or rainy conditions. it does tend to slip in turns. I have a 2012 HD ultra classic and went from the commanders to the elites. I am currently at 19,000 Miles and they still handle great, and are much better cornering in damp and rainy conditions. I am a full time commuter in and out of DC every day, and in DC/Maryland weather, the elites perform better for me. just thought I’d throw in my 2 cents. thanks for the reviews.

Cooper Riggs says:

Hey Brian great video! I ride a 2013 Road King (FLHR) with the OEM Dunlop D408F & D407 and surprisingly have 24,600 miles on it, no joke! I’m planning to change them next summer and I’m hesitating between the Commander II and the Dunlop American Elite. I found the American Elite rear tire to be wider at 7.32″ compared to the 7.09″ width for the Commander II. Is this a significative factor? What’s your thought on this! Thanks in advance.

Cheech 'n Chong says:

Hey RyanF9 …………if you can see my rant, maybe you could give me some insight?
Bullshit!! ….First, let me say that I have no complaints about the tires themselves ( …just the mileage claim! )
“Michelin” says the “Commander 2” can get 25,000 mi. My belt is showng thru already on my rear tire after only 8000 mi!
I have E-mailed “Michelin Tire” and had some dumb woman tellin’ me about “her expertise” and blah blah blah!
My opinion is that they are very mis-leading about the mileage of this product. Before any of you assume that I might
ride hard or something, lemme just say that i’m a little too old for that! With their claim being triple
of what I actually got is a damn shame!! ( 3 to 1 …gimme a break! )

greg29150 says:

What about Shinkos?

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