Best Tires for Harley Ultra Classic — A Wide Choice for Your Bike
Maintaining your bike in good condition can sometimes be challenging due to a large number of available equipment. Moreover, customers have to pay attention to many details while buying a product, such as its quality, price, and, of course, reviews. I have bought and tried many modifications of Harley Davidson bikes, and sometimes these purchases fell short.
Harley motorcycle tires also play a great role in the stability of your bike. Many popular brands create tires; usually, the quality of their products does not differ much, so buyers can simply choose the brand they like the most. Customers usually pay attention to the durability and size of the tires.
Of course, the weather conditions are also important because some tires are not intended for rainy or snowy weather. Sometimes, you may need only a front or back tire. In this case, you can find offers that allow you to purchase a single tire, which is also nice because you can save some money. Considering all the pitfalls, I am going to help you select the best tires for a Harley Davidson touring bike.
Top Products for Harley Ultra Classic
In this part of the article, I would like to show you more products in Harley Davidson tires reviews below. Having tried a lot of tires, I’ve defined these ones as my favorites. They are durable, can be easily replaced, and you can buy them for a reasonable price. Moreover, some products have different sizes, so you could easily choose the one you need.
1. Dunlop Elite 4: The Best Tire Model for Your Bike
Dunlop Elite 4 is an upgraded tire of Elite series. Elite 4 has a better grip than Elite 3, especially during rainy or snowy weather. Dunlop is a well-known company famous in tire-making, especially among the moto- and auto- owners.
From my experience, Dunlop Elite 4 is reliable and long-lasting. However, due to the radial construction, it sometimes might not be 100% comfortable to drive slowly on rough surfaces. Radial construction means that there are many cords placed across the thread, and others come from the beads. This construction improves the grip on the road.
It should be mentioned that after a few thousands of miles, the bike can vibrate while leaning. Nevertheless, these tires are a nice choice for comfortable driving, especially during rainy weather. The speed rating of the item is also H.
The size of the product is 180/60-16. However, you can also find other sizes for Dunlop Elite 4. The price of these Harley Touring Tires may be higher than usual, but due to their noteworthy features, they are worth purchasing.
- (Load/Speed Index 63H) (Recommended Rim 3.50) (Dia. 25.50) (Width 4.90) (Max Load @ PSI 600 LBS @ 41)
- All Elite 4 rear tires utilize Dunlop's MT Multi-Tread technology with a long-wearing compound in the center of the tire and a lateral-grip compound on each shoulder, providing increased mileage without sacrificing handling.
- New tread pattern helps provide class-leading wet-pavement performance, even wear over the life of the tire, and less road noise.
- Available in radial and bias-ply construction, the Elite 4 fits hundreds of touring, cruiser and standard bikes, including current and non-current machines.
- Nice grip due to the radial construction;
- You can choose between different sizes;
- Durable tires;
- Were created by the well-established company.
- Might not be comfortable to drive slow on rough surfaces;
- The bike can vibrate while leaning after a few thousands of miles with these tires.
2. Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra: High Mileage and Great Durability
Marathon Ultra is a front tire from the Metzeler company, a famous brand that creates tires for motorcycles. I have tried many of Metzeler`s products, and they always met my expectations. Marathon Ultra is not an exception, and I recommend it to you to upgrade your Harley bike.
First of all, the weight of the product reaches approximately 16 pounds. It uses radial construction, but you can easily find a bias option. The size is 130/90-16. The good thing about this tire is that there are various sizes on the product page. Keep in mind that it is only a front tire. However, the manufacturer offers both front and back tires for Harley`s model.
I have enjoyed using the ME888 Marathon Ultra because of its reliability and long-lasting features. The Metzeler company has done a great job because their tires do not lose their potential even after 5 thousand miles. The speed rating of this front tire is H.
The disadvantage of the tire is its price. It is not excessively high, but at the same time, you could buy two tires for the same price. Nevertheless, ME888 Marathon Ultra is an awesome choice to spend money on your bike.
- High mileage tire for V-twin cruisers and heavy touring motorcycles.
- The ME 888 Marathon Ultra - also known as the "Triple Eight" - does not replace the established ME 880, it merely provides a supplement for riders who value high mileage.
- Ultra-high mileage.
- Outstanding tread life (up to 50% more mileage) Metzeler combined with performance and handling.
- Custom designed for touring bikes.
- A lot of sizes are available;
- Solid grip;
- Can last for a long time.
- The product is not cheap.
3. Pirelli Night Dragon GT Rear Motorcycle Tire: One of the Best Rear Tires
This is a pretty remarkable rear tire that is made by the Pirelli company, which is pretty popular, especially in Italy. The size of this tire is 180/65-16. Unfortunately, you cannot choose from other sizes on the product page.
I decided to try the Night Dragon GT tire because of the great number of positive reviews. In fact, Night Dragon GT is an upgraded version of Night Dragon tire. GT version has better durability and will easily serve you longer.
The tire features bias construction. The grip might not be as good at high speeds as the grip on radial construction. However, it will be much easier to drive on rough surfaces. Fuel consumption could also be higher. Nevertheless, this kind of tire is long-lasting.
The speed rating here also equals H. Alongside other Harley Ultra Classic tires reviews, Night Dragon GT is a nice choice for your bike. The price is not very high. The tires are affordable for people with a tight budget and make it safer to drive at high speed.
- Where performance meets the road: A specific tire for high-performance Harley-Davidson® motorcycles.
- Better adherence, road holding and look than standard tires for custom / cruiser motorcycles.
- Designed for custom motorcyclists that need tires with high performance on the straight and inclining.
- Excellent grip and a higher mileage.
- Great fun to ride with a good balance between reliability and life of the tire.
- The product will surely last long;
- Great price;
- Comfortable to drive on rough surfaces.
- The grip at high speeds may be inferior to the grip on radial construction tires.
4. Dunlop American Elite Front Motorcycle Tire: Reasonable Tire for the Best Bike
It is another qualitative tire from Dunlop that does its job well. It is not the cheapest option, but the price is affordable. American Elite uses bias construction. Thanks to the design, the tire is not very expensive. Moreover, it can last more than 8 000 miles on the condition that you regularly check it.
The size of the item is 130/80-17. You can search manually for other sizes if needed. American Elite tires are produced for both new and old models of Harley Davidson motorbikes, and the price can slightly differ.
Keep in mind that this is only a front-wheel version. You can also look for a rear one or buy front and rear tires at once. The price will be different if you decide to do so. The speed rating here is also H.
Different turns become smooth with this tire. You will not feel any vibration of your bike while driving. However, the grip might not be perfect due to the peculiarities of the construction. Nevertheless, taking into account the price of the tire and its durability, I think that Dunlop American Elite will serve you faithfully for a long time.
- Only replacement motorcycle tire for Harley-Davidson motorcycles which is designed in America, tested in America and made in America.
- All new Dunlop American Elite replacement tire line ensures that industry-leading Dunlop Tires will be on your Harley-Davidson motorcycles for years to come.
- Dunlop's decades-long engineering experience with Harley-Davidson motorcycles is the foundation for the all-new American Elite line of replacement tires.
- All-new tread design provides even tread wear and quiet operation in all conditions wet and dry.
- Sidewall design proudly features the American Elite name and made in the USA logo.
- Affordable price;
- Easy to turn smooth;
- The tire is durable;
- You can choose other sizes on the product page;
- Available for different Harley Davidson models.
- The grip is not the best on the list.
5. Michelin Pilot Road 4 Touring Radial Tire: Long-Lasting and Durable
This is another tire produced by the early-mentioned Michelin company. The item has a high price but is totally worth buying. Pilot Road 4 for touring bikes allows you to travel thousands of miles without any issues. It is comfortable to drive your bike during wet weather conditions.
This size of Pilot Road 4 is 180/55-17. You can also browse other available sizes on the official product page. The weight reaches approximately 14 pounds. The good thing about Pilot Road 4 is that this tire uses radial construction, which makes it comfortable to drive the bike at high speed because of the efficient grip.
It should be mentioned that the speed rating in Pilot Road 4 is different, compared to the above-mentioned tires. Here, the speed rating equals W. It means that the maximum recommended speed for the tire is 168 miles per hour. As you can see, the number is slightly higher.
You will enjoy driving your bike with Pilot Road 4 tire because it allows you to travel many miles comfortably and without vibrations while turning. The radial construction will help the tire to last longer. If you need the rear Pilot Road 4 tire, you can also find it on the product`s page.
- Great grip during any weather conditions;
- Long-lasting tire;
- Many sizes are available;
- Speed rating equals W.
- High price.
6. Shinko SE890 Journey Touring Radial Front Tire: A Reasonable Option for a Limited Budget
This front tire is not as expensive as the previous variants. It features amazing quality and is produced by the Shinko company. The item is designed specifically for heavy touring bikes and allows drivers to travel many miles in various unexpected weather conditions.
I have encountered many positive reviews for this front tire because it is durable, and you can easily find it for an affordable price. The size of SE890 is 130/70-18. You can easily choose other sizes by simply clicking on the one you are interested in.
The other pleasant feature of Shinko SE890 is that it uses radial construction. You will appreciate the remarkable grip quality even if you drive on the wet surface. The speed rating equals H. As the price is not so high, you will have to check the tire regularly and maintain its condition, especially if you want it to last longer.
- Designed for larger touring bikes and cruisers, The SE890 Journey Touring Radial features a versatile all-weather tread pattern.Economically priced without sacrificing quality.Excellent ride and load carrying capabilities.Aramid belted radial construction
- Good price;
- Nice grip during the wet weather;
- Various sizes are affordable.
- You will have to look after the condition of the tire regularly.
7. Bridgestone Exedra Max Front Motorcycle Radial Tire: One of the Best Radial Tires on the Market
The next tire I would like to describe is produced by the Japanese Bridgestone company that specializes on the tires not only for motorcycles but also for cars. The price of the tire is affordable. It is suitable for people who want to save some money, especially because Exedra Max uses radial construction that provides you with a reliable grip.
Another positive detail is that you can browse the list of available sizes. The size of this one is 130/70-18. The tire is long-lasting, so you should not worry about replacing it after one long trip.
The speed rating is W, which is slightly higher than the “H” one. You will have to check the tire pressure and look for the possible physical damage regularly to make the Exedra Max even more long-lasting. You can find the rear tire if needed. Some Exedra Max tires use bias construction.
- Specific rubber compound for cruiser applications provides long mileage.
- Linear handling and high speed, straight line stability.
- Unique wide shape of tire profile supports touring-type riding while reducing fatigue.
- Rubber compounds and tread patterns enhance water evacuation and both dry and wet grip.
- Affordable price;
- You can choose between a variety of sizes;
- Good grip.
- Often can be out of stock.
8. Michelin Commander II Reinforced: The Best Affordable Front Tire
This is one probably the best tire for Harley touring bike that can be purchased for a low price. The tire was created by a Michelin company that is famous for its quality products, being one of the best tire-making companies in the world.
The size of the tire is 130/90-16. 130 is the width, 90 is the aspect ratio, and 16 stands for the rim diameter. The weight reaches approximately 15 pounds, which is pretty common for many tires. Michelin Commander II Reinforced uses bias construction. It means that the material of the tire is placed at certain angles. It allows drivers to maneuver easily on different rough surfaces.
The disadvantage of the bias construction is that it is easy to overheat it. Nevertheless, I haven’t experienced this problem. Even more, reviews for the product report that Michelin Commander II Reinforced is the longest-lasting cruiser motorcycle tire.
The speed rating of the tire is H. It means that the maximum speed should not exceed 130 miles per hour. The H speed rating is pretty common for other products in today`s reviews. Keep in mind that this is only a front tire. It does not cost too much, so I consider it to be a great choice for the owners of the Harley Ultra Classic model.
- Developed and tested by and for American riders. Test riders logged more than half a million miles on U.S. roads
- Each front Commander tire size is tailored to the unique handling characteristics of each bike by a combination of profile and casing designs
- Rayon carcass ply instead of polyester for a compliant ride and stable handling
- Aramid belts in the rear Commander, instead of less costly fiberglass, controls the centrifugal growth on the tire allowing a large contact patch, excellent traction and wear
- Italian (Publication Language)
- Does not cost much;
- Is not very heavy;
- Sometimes it may overheat.
In this buyer’s guide, you will get more information about characteristics you should pay attention to while selecting the tire for Harley Ultra Classic. In addition, I will tell you more about the tire-making brands that appeared in today’s article.
How to choose tires for Harley Ultra Classic?
Now you are familiarized with the best Electra Glide tires I have ever used. All of them did a nice job and lasted for many miles. In addition, a lot of the described tires have similar characteristics. While buying the product, you should pay attention to the next details:
It depends on the company-manufacturer of a tire, the construction, and the quantity of product. You can buy front and rear tires or select only one item. In addition, new models of tires usually cost more. You should pay attention to this detail because very often, the previous version can have better quality and cost less.
The most popular are radial and bias types. The radial version is usually more expensive. The reason is, in most cases, radial tires last longer and make it really comfortable to drive a motorcycle. However, bias options are also high-quality and can serve you efficiently for a long time.
It is also essential to consider the dimensions of the tires. It is easy to understand the sizes of the tire because usually, the information is located directly on the item or on the product page. For instance, 180/60-16 refers to width/aspect ratio/rim diameter.
As you could have noticed from my reviews, this aspect is almost the same for the above-mentioned tires. It equals H, which means that the recommended maximum speed for the product is 130mph. However, sometimes you could see a W speed rating. It means that the maximum speed for the product is 168 mph.
Who makes the best tires for Harley?
There are many tire-making companies on the current market, but I really enjoyed using tires from the following brands:
Michelin. It is the French tire-making company that was founded in 1889 by Édouard Michelin and André Michelin. Michelin is one of the biggest tire-manufactures in the world.
Their high-quality tires are usually designed for wet weather. With their products, you can drive your motorbike comfortably. However, the price can often be high. If you need to contact the customer support, you can visit the official Micheline website and find the required phone numbers or email addresses:
Dunlop. The company was established in 1890 in Ireland by John Boyd Dunlop. It is a well-known brand that is famous for producing high-quality tires. You can get more information about tire warranty on the official Dunlop website. I enjoy this brand because they always dedicate a lot of time testing their tires during various weather conditions. Their tires have a reliable grip. Nevertheless, some models can last only for a few thousand miles.
Metzeler. The German company dates back to 1863, and the founder is Robert Friedrich Metzeler. The brand specializes in creating motorcycle tires. Metzeler regularly offers new tires that are much better than the previous versions. The prices are not very high, and I think that Metzeler`s quality is one of the best. You can write an email to customer support in case you experience some issues or have questions about the product: https://www.metzeler.com/en-ww/about-metzeler/contact-us.
Pirelli. It is the Italian manufacturer that was founded by Giovanni Battista Pirelli in 1872. The headquarters are located in Milan. Pirelli offers a large number of tires for motorbikes. The brand really pays attention to the grip of their product. The tires are always long-lasting. However, the prices are often high, so some people might not be able to afford the possible purchase. There is customer service available 24/7, where you can ask for help.
Shinko. The tires of this Japanese company feature a remarkable quality and are actually pretty affordable. The products from Shinko would be a nice choice for those who do not want to spend a lot of money on this category of products. The brand was found in 1946 in Osaka. It has been creating tires for motorbikes since then. The customer support is always ready to answer your question.
Bridgestone. Though the tires from this company are pretty cheap, at the same time, they are reliable and long-lasting. Bridgestone is one of the most popular tire-producing brands that was created in 1931 by Shojiro Ishibashi. The headquarters are located in Tokyo, Japan. There is a great chance that you will appreciate their remarkable tires because of their price and quality. You can always address customer support with any additional questions if needed.
In this part of the article, you will get some useful information and tips on how to maintain the condition of your tires. I will also include other lifehacks that can positively affect the longevity of the early-mentioned product.
How long do cruiser motorcycle tires last?
First of first, the more you drive your motorcycle, the faster your tires will expire. Usually, tires for touring motorcycles last for more than 10 000 miles. However, there are a lot of exceptions. You can drive even more, and the tires will still be in a decent condition. Or you can drive approximately 5000 miles and have some issues. Rear tires can sometimes last even less than 10 000 miles. Nevertheless, a lot of people experience zero issues with tires even after 10 000 miles. And of course, pay attention to the time of usage. It is not recommended to use the same tire for more than 5 or 6 years.
How to change tires on Harley Ultra Classic?
First of all, you need to have your bike on a lift by using a jack. Remove the rear exhaust muffle to get to the axel that comes through the rear wheel. After that, remove the axel and take off the wheel. The same thing you need to do with a front wheel, except there is no exhaust muffle. Remove the brakes and unscrew every detail connecting the wheel with your bike. Finally, take the wheels to the auto- or moto- service, so specialists there could change your tires.
How to increase durability on my tires?
To extend the durability of your tires, you need to follow several rules. Try to keep your tires clean after driving on dirt surfaces because it can negatively affect the lifespan of the tire.
It is also recommended to check the tire pressure regularly because the right pressure level will help you to save fuel and also make it safer to drive. You should also check your tires visually to determine the presence of physical damage. For example, you can look for cuts and indentations. If there are some, it is recommended to visit a specialist that can help you to fix the problem.
When should I replace tires on my motorcycle?
First of all, pay attention to the number of miles you have driven. It is important to maintain the condition of tires. Try to clean them regularly and check their state. You have to replace touring tires after 5 or 6 years or 8 000-10 000 miles (in case you noticed that their overall condition became worse) or if you found the signs of some physical damage.
Also, pay attention to the grip and your comfort while driving. If you do not like the grip or feel some vibration of your bike while driving, you can try different tires that will make it comfortable to drive for a long time.
Choose the Best Tires for Your Harley Ultra Classic
To sum it up, let`s recollect the best tire-making companies for your Harley Ultra Classic. They are Michelin, Shinko, Dunlop, Metzeler, Pirelli, and Bridgestone. Each of these brands is producing high-quality tires. Besides, you can easily find many available offers if you have a limited budget.
All the tires in today’s reviews are durable and reliable. They can serve you over many miles and years! Dunlop Elite 4, Michelin Commander II, Night Dragon GT, and Pilot Road 4 are expensive, and Metzeler ME888, American Elite, SE890, and Exedra Max are for those who want to save some money. Due to the steps in the Buyer’s Guide, now you know how to replace your tires and maintain their condition.
I hope this article was helpful, and I am interested in what tire-making company you like the most. What is your experience of using tires of a certain company? It would be nice if you wrote some lifehacks that are related to the tire durability topic. The comments are always open for your opinion!