Best Tires for Harley Davidson Touring in 2022

When it comes time to replace the tires on your Harley Davidson Touring, you have a tough choice to make, as there are multiple good options on the market. There are many different types of tires for your touring motorcycle, but Dunlop and Michelin are considered to be the best options. However, it is always worth trying new things to broaden your horizons. Before making a decision, take a look at my list of favorite tires for Harley Touring.

I have a lot of experience with different Harley models and tires from various manufacturers. I know which companies make the best Harley tires in general, as well as which ones are most appropriate for Softail, Cruiser, Touring, Street Glide, and other models.

Once I was looking for a comprehensive guide on a topic to share with a friend, but I couldn’t find one on the first 5 pages of my search. I tried different queries but still couldn’t find what I needed. Another friend of mine asked me about the best tires for a Harley Ultra Classic, but I couldn’t find anything for that query either.

This comprehensive guide is based on my knowledge of cruiser motorcycles. It took me a while to finish, but it’s finally done. The guide provides detailed reviews of the 10 best models, as well as a concise guide on how to choose the right one. Be sure to read it carefully and ask questions if needed.

Online shopping can hold a number of advantages over brick-and-mortar stores in terms of pricing and convenience. Because online stores don’t have the overhead costs of traditional stores, they can often sell items at lower prices. In addition, shopping online can be more convenient because you can do it from home and have items shipped directly to you. However, there are some downsides to online shopping as well. It can be difficult to get a sense of an item without being able to see and touch it in person, and it’s also easy to make mistakes when ordering due to misreading descriptions or misunderstanding terms.

I have done some research and compiled a list of the best tires you can buy for your Harley Davidson, as well as some additional information on choosing and changing tires.

Comparison Table

NameWeightLoadRim sizeSpeed
MICHELIN Commander III Touring22 lbs1019 lbs16 inches130 mph
Dunlop Harley-Davidson D40219 lbs908 lbs16 inches130 mph
Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra14.18 lbs639 lbs17 inches168 mph
Pirelli Night Dragon GT21.8 lbs1019 lbs16 inches130 mph
Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring14.9 lbs805 lbs17 inches168 mph
Bridgestone Exedra Max14.9 lbs908 lbs16 inches149 mph
Dunlop D402 Whitewall17.4 lbs-16 inches130 mph
Shinko 777 H.D.14.9 lbs1019 lbs16 inches130 mph
Avon Tire Cobra Chrome‎10.5 lbs694 lbs21 inches149 mph

Selecting the Best Tires for Harley Touring

  1. MICHELIN Commander III Touring – Premium Choice
  2. Dunlop Harley-Davidson D402 – Top Pick
  3. Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra – Best Choice
  4. Pirelli Night Dragon GT – Top Rated
  5. Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring – Budget Choice
  6. Bridgestone Exedra Max
  7. Dunlop D402 Whitewall
  8. Shinko 777 H.D.
  9. Avon Tire Cobra Chrome

Keep in mind that either the front or the rear tire is on the top, but this does not mean that each of the models is only available in this variant. You can buy both the front and rear tires of any model from my top.

I don’t see any reason to include more options because this list is exhaustive and doesn’t require any additions. Any other tires are either the same or similar to what I offer you.

1. MICHELIN Commander III Touring – Best Harley Touring Tires Among Premium Models

This tire is a great option for Harley touring bikes. It was designed by Michelin, a company that’s known for making high-quality products. Michelin is considered one of the best tire manufacturers in the world.

Michelin is one of the leading companies in the tire manufacturing industry. They have been a supplier of advanced racing and touring tires for 131 years. You can trust their brand to provide excellent quality and US-based customer support.

Michelin’s classic tires are always in high demand, and their new offering of tires for cruisers promises extended longevity. In 2011, third-party tests showed that these tires were twice as durable as similar competitor products. The tires have a stiffer frame and a higher density of rubber.

180/65B-16 is the size of the tire. The width is ‎180, the aspect ratio is ‎65, and the rim diameter is 16. The weight is approximately ‎22 pounds, which is pretty common for many tires. The Michelin Commander III uses a biased construction. This means that the material of the tire is placed at certain angles. This allows drivers to maneuver easily on different rough surfaces.

Key features:

  • size – 180/65B-16;
  • weight – ‎‎22 pounds;
  • load index rating – 81 (1019 pounds);
  • rim size – 16 inches;
  • speed rating – H (130 mph).

This Michelin tire is great for Harley Davidson motorcycles. It offers the perfect balance in traction, grip, stability, and other qualities. The only disadvantage is that you may need an extension kit for clearance.

Positives:
  • Longevity
  • Wet surface grip
  • Well-known developer
  • Maneuverability
Negatives:
  • This tire is slightly more expensive than similar tires of other brands

2. Dunlop Harley-Davidson D402 – Best Tire for Harley Touring

There are many famous tire manufacturers, but Dunlop is especially famous for its racing tires. Their tires are usually very durable and allow for sporty riding styles. They are also one of the top competitors of Michelin products. It is important to consider the difference between the two brands before making a purchase. For more information, please see the buyer’s guide section at the bottom. These tires are proudly made in the USA.

The Dunlop D402 touring tire is approved by Harley-Davidson for use on Touring motorcycles and other bikes with a similar configuration. It has a special tread design that combines the traditional Dunlop tread pattern with small treads for added grip on the road.

The pattern of the tires was designed to be optimized by a computer in order to provide the most predictable and reliable handling possible. The higher number of grids also helps the tires to disperse water to the edges faster and to strengthen the grip on wet roads.

The construction of this tire is stronger than most because it has heavy-duty fiberglass belts built into the 3-ply polyester casing. This makes the tire able to handle heavy loads during long rides without wearing down too quickly. It is also a more stylish solution if your Harley looks good with white tire walls. This MU85B-16 front tire could become your best touring partner for years.

Key features:

  • size – MU85B-16;
  • weight – ‎‎‎19 pounds;
  • load index rating – 77 (908 pounds);
  • rim size – 16 inches;
  • speed rating – H (130 mph).

Some people have complained that the tire may slacken at high speeds, even when it is properly fixed and balanced. This is not acceptable for a tire that is priced this high. Think about this before you buy it.

Positives:
  • 3 coloring options
  • Amazing grip and durability for touring
  • Computer-optimized treads
  • Feels great on the wet road
Negatives:
  • Slackening issues

3. Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra – Best Motorcycle Tires for Harley Touring

A company with a rich 120-year history in the motorcycle industry, Metzeler has always maintained a presence in Germany, where its tires are designed and manufactured to ensure the utmost quality.

The design specifications of this model promise improved force distribution, longer-lasting rubber with enhanced traction, and improved abrasion resistance and grip – especially on wet roads. The special carcass construction helps to distribute force more evenly towards the sidewalls, making it a great choice for heavier motorbikes. Additionally, there are carcass piles and aramid belts which make this model even more versatile.

This tire offers 50% more mileage than average city tires due to the patented cross-tread design. I would not recommend replacing these tires less often than every 5-6 years or 9-11 thousand miles. I have had one friend who used these tires for so long that the treads were still good enough for safe touring when he came to my garage.

Key features:

  • size – 130/80B-17;
  • weight – ‎‎‎‎14.18 pounds;
  • load index rating – 65 (639 pounds);
  • rim size – 17 inches;
  • speed rating – H (130 mph).

This particular tire is one the best options for a Harley Touring. Keep in mind that you’ll be paying extra for the quality and comfort in performance. Some customers have said that the price is a bit higher than they’re used to, but the experience of riding on these tires is worth it.

Positives:
  • Extremely high mileage
  • Consistent performance
  • Durable materials
  • Outstanding stability at any speed
  • Smooth handling
Negatives:
  • Might be too expensive

4. Pirelli Night Dragon GT – Top Rated Choice

Pirelli is a world-renowned manufacturer of tires. They offer car, bicycle, and motorcycle tires. Pirelli is an Italian company that was founded in 1872. Today, their products are sold all over the world. Night Dragon tires are compatible with many different models of Harley Davidson motorcycles. However, I suggest that you check to see if they are compatible with the model of motorcycle that you have before you buy them. Night Dragon tires are a high-quality product that was first released in 2008. They were specifically designed for custom, touring, and cruiser motorcycles.

This tire, called Night Dragon by Pirelli, is made for motorcycles of the Harley-Davidson brand. You can put this tire either on a cruiser or custom motorcycle, and it will still ride splendidly on versatile road coating.

This product has a great grip and is very stable on slippery surfaces. The high mileage is reached mostly because of the fiber cover and well-designed grooves that are specially placed between the edge of the tire and the crown. These grooves make the tire resistant to water.

The tire has a biased construction, which means that it might not have as good of a grip at high speeds as a radial construction tire, but it will be much easier to drive on rough surfaces. Fuel consumption could also be higher with this kind of tire, but it is also long-lasting.

Key features:

  • size – 180/65B-16;
  • weight – ‎‎‎21.8 pounds;
  • load index rating – 81 (1019 pounds);
  • rim size – ‎16 inches;
  • speed rating – H (130 mph).

I decided to try the Night Dragon GT tire because there were a lot of good reviews. The GT version is an upgraded version of the Night Dragon tire and it has better durability so it will last longer.

Positives:
  • The product will surely last long
  • Great price
  • Comfortable driving on rough surfaces
Negatives:
  • The grip at high speeds may be inferior to the grip on radial construction tires

5. Continental ContiMotion Sport/Touring – The Best Cheap Choice

Continental is a leading German tire manufacturer that offers some of the most cost-effective tires in the market. Through this competitive advantage, the company has been able to expand into new markets every year, and it currently holds the title of best-selling Europe tire supplier and #4 supplier in the US.

The ContiMotion series is slightly less expensive than many top-quality options for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but Michelin and Dunlop offer similar levels of quality and features. This tire is designed to provide good stability and a soft feel on corners for entry-level and average cruising loads.

Key features:

  • size – 180/55-17;
  • weight – 14.9 pounds;
  • load index rating – 73 (805 pounds);
  • rim size – ‎17 inches;
  • speed rating – W (168 mph).

The 180mm/17’’-rim tire has a W speed rating, which makes it a good choice for street bikes and cruiser/touring Harleys. These tires have universal weather capabilities and are durable and provide good control. If you need something closer to sports performance, look for other models.

Positives:
  • Cost-efficient model
  • Stable steel-belt construction
  • Good cornering
  • Reliable for cruising
Negatives:
  • Not for aggressive riding style
  • Not very high mileage

6. Bridgestone Exedra Max – Best Radial Tires on the Market

The next tire is the Bridgestone Exedra Max, produced by the Japanese Bridgestone company. It is an affordable tire that uses radial construction to provide a reliable grip.

The Blackwall tire model from BRIDGESTONE is designed for touring bikes and stands out thanks to its uni-directional pattern. It offers great traction and a reliable grip, and riding is secure during any weather condition, whether it’s hot summer or heavy rain.

The fact that you can browse the list of available sizes is another positive detail. This tire is size 180/70R16 and is long-lasting, so you will not need to replace it after one trip.

Key features:

  • size – 180/70R16;
  • weight – 14.9 pounds;
  • load index rating – 77 (908 pounds);
  • rim size – ‎16 inches;
  • speed rating – V (149 mph).

Some customers say these tires perform really well, but you have to keep an eye on the pressure levels and make sure they’re where they’re supposed to be. This can be tough to do if you’re not near a service station, but if you’re just riding around town it shouldn’t be a problem.

Positives:
  • Affordable price
  • You can choose between a variety of sizes
  • Good grip
  • High mileage
  • Belt package for linear handling
Negatives:
  • Requires often pressure checking

7. Dunlop D402 Whitewall – Best Whitewall Front Tire for Touring

Most riders are surprised to learn how popular whitewall tires are for motorcycles. The wide tire made by Dunlop Tires is one of the most suitable front tires you can order for your Harley. Dunlop is the only tire approved by Harley Davidson company for touring motorcycles.

The bike’s load-carrying capacity has improved because of the three-ply polyester casing’s two belts of fiberglass. The bike is also more stable and has a better grip on water and steel surfaces.

This tire is designed to withstand heavy loads and last a long time without wearing down quickly. It also has a stylish look with white tire walls. If you like this look, you can also order the same model with black and wider white walls.

Key features:

  • size – 130/90-16;
  • weight – ‎17.4 pounds;
  • rim size – ‎16 inches;
  • speed rating – H (130 mph).

Dunlop also develops rear tires. The company has a long and distinguished history dating back to its founding in 1888 in the USA. Over the intervening years, Dunlop Tires has continued to expand its production and raise its profile. If you want to buy a rear tire from Dunlop, you can choose the D402 MT90B16 model, which fits perfectly with the front tire.

Positives:
  • Reliable coating
  • Affordable price
  • Approved by Harley Davidson
  • Water surface grip
  • Amazing grip and durability for touring
Negatives:
  • You will have to buy a rear tire additionally if you need it
  • White walls are not for everyone

8. Shinko 777 H.D. – Top Choice for Versatile Sizes

This tire was designed for cruisers originally, but it comes in multiple sizes to fit different motorcycles, including touring. You’re guaranteed to find the perfect size for your bike, whether it’s metric or a V-twin. The load capacity is high, and it has a long lifespan due to the reliable coverage of the tire.

This tire has been designed to withstand different types of roads, with the tread rubber compound focused on long-distance travel. Its durability is one of the best qualities of this tire. If you need a heavy-duty version of this tire, you can order one with an advanced carcass. Be sure to pay attention to the size you need, as there are 4 and 6-ply rated H tubeless tires available.

Key features:

  • size – 180/65B-16;
  • weight – 14.9 pounds;
  • load index rating – 81 (1019 pounds);
  • rim size – ‎16 inches;
  • speed rating – H (130 mph).

Shinko is a US-based developer of tires with a long history and a wide range of clients. This tire is designed specifically for Harley-Davidson bikes and provides excellent grip on wet surfaces. Additionally, the tire is tubeless and does not require tubes if you don’t have them.

Positives:
  • High mileage
  • Strong grip on wet surfaces
  • Unique design
  • Heavy-duty coating
  • Affordable price
Negatives:
  • There is no whitewall model

9. Avon Tire Cobra Chrome – One More The Best Tires for Harley Touring

Since 1904, Avon tires have been highly competitive on the worldwide motorcycle market. This British company is famous for producing virtually all types of motorcycle tires for the majority of brands. The Avon Cobra has been a popular tire model for several years and was updated in 2019 to Cobra Chrome by the Australian subsidiary, Pro Accessories. The previous generation was excellent, but the new one is even better.

The Cobra Chrome front tire is a 120mm unit that has a V speed rating and a 21’’ rim diameter. This tire is 5% larger than the previous Cobra design, which provides a better grip and precise cornering feel. These tires are great for cruising and intense circuit racing. One of my clients is using them on his enlightened Street Rod for racing and is satisfied with the precision.

If you drive a heavier Harley, you will benefit from this tire. The construction is strengthened with Aramid belts concentrated in the middle, which will slow down the wear. The tire can take a constant load of 660lbs, but the contact area is still soft enough for smooth lean-over deformations.

Key features:

  • size – 120/70-21;
  • weight – ‎10.5 pounds;
  • load index rating – 68 (694 pounds);
  • rim size – 21 inches;
  • speed rating – V (149 mph).

This tire has a more sporty chevron-like tread which improves agility but may result in lower mileage and less grip in wet weather because there is no central grove.

Positives:
  • Excellent for cruising and racing
  • Sporty precision
  • Fast stopping on a wet track
  • Superb cornering
Negatives:
  • A bit reduced average mileage (depends on your style)

Buyer’s Guide on the Best Tires for Harley Davidson Touring

You can explore all of the different options available by educating yourself on how to select the right tires. For example, you need to know what features are most important to consider before making a purchase.

Materials

The majority of modern tires are made of 70% synthetic rubber and 30% carbon black. Each tire brand has a unique compound that provides different benefits such as longevity, touring capabilities, shortest stopping time, and easier cornering. To get the best tire for your needs, research which compound provides the benefits that are most important to you.

Dimensions and Weight

The weight of a tire is not always the best indicator of quality. Heavier-duty tires often provide higher mileage. You need to consider whether both front and rear tires will be a good fit for your motorcycle. Additionally, it is important to check the speed rating and stability of the tires on the road. The features for each tire on my list include dimensions and weight. Check them out to see if the tire will be compatible with your bike.

Speed Rating

The most popular speed rating is H, which means the tire can reach up to 130 mph. There is also a V speed, which means the tire can reach up to 149 mph. The developers consider this to be the maximum safe speed for drivers. The coating of the tires and the grip on the road also influence the speed of the motorcycle.

Durability

I have chosen tires with a high mileage rating because they are more reliable on the road. Durability is important on the road because a flat tire in the mountains can cause you a lot of problems. Hard compound tires may be more expensive than other types of tires, but you will save money in the long run because you won’t have to replace them as often.

Price

Tire cost and tire longevity are both important considerations. Lower-cost tires will not last as long, while higher-cost tires may not give the level of satisfaction you were expecting. Finding a perfect balance between the two is suggested. There are no unaffordable tires on the list, however, consideration was not given to the cheaper options as this motorcycle requires a higher level of quality. You can mix manufacturers when choosing front and rear tires in order to save money.

FAQ

Are Dunlop Harley tires good?

If you are looking for the most durable and high-traction tires for your bike, we recommend Dunlop tires for Harley Davidson motorcycles. These are by far your best options for better mileage, improved technology, performance, and durability.

How often should you change tires on Harley?

Tires have a maximum shelf life of 5-6 years, after which their rubber compounds will have dried out and they will need to be replaced.

What is the difference between a cruiser tire and a touring tire?

The main difference between Touring and Cruiser tires is the tread pattern. Cruiser tires have more aggressive grooves to channel water for increased traction in the rain while Touring tires have a wider midsection between grooves for increased mileage.

The Bottom Line

There are nine different types of tires that are suitable for the Harley Touring. These tires include those for the front and rear of the bike, as well as whitewall tires. They come in both wide and narrow varieties. All of these tires are designed for long-distance riding and have a good grip on wet or slippery surfaces. I recommend them because they come from famous developers that have been providing high-quality, expert-certified tires to American riders for many years. I hope this guide will help you choose the most reliable tires for your bike.

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