Best Motorcycle Tires For Touring

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You love to ride your motorcycle, and you want to be able to take long trips. But you don't know about the best motorcycle tires for touring.

If you're going on a long trip, the last thing you want is for your tires to fail when you need them most. And even if they don't blow out, the way they handle it can make it hard for you to enjoy the trip.

Touring tires offer the best of both worlds. They are made to handle long miles on the highway, but they also provide excellent grip in wet or dry conditions. The best touring tires are Avon Cobra Chrome, Michelin Commander III, Dunlop American Elite, and Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra.

Motorcycles are a great way to get around the world, and touring is one of the main reasons people ride. Touring tires have different requirements from other styles of tires because they need to be able to withstand more miles on roads that can vary in quality. In this article, we will be discussing the best touring tires available in the market so that you can make an informed decision.

Our experts have spent hundreds of hours researching the best touring tires on the market. Every tire in this review has been chosen because it offers an excellent combination of performance, price and durability. We looked at real customer reviews to check how each tire stood up under extreme conditions and came up with a list of the four best touring motorcycle tires for long-distance riders.

In this article...


1. Avon Cobra Chrome

Avon has been in the tire manufacturing industry since 1904. One of its most popular motorcycle tires is the Cobra Chrome. The Avon Cobra Chrome tire is best described as a high-performance touring tire. Not only does it perform better than almost any other motorcycle tire in its class, but it also looks awesome and gives a bike an entirely new look.

Tread Design and Compound

One of the first things you'll notice about Avon's Cobra Chrome tire is its unusual snakeskin tread pattern. It features a rigid carcass consisting of multiple Aramid belts, a material designed to be strong, heat resistant, and flexible. This rigid carcass design helps flatten the tire profile for excellent aerodynamics.

It has a thicker tread than other tires, which provides more control and stability when cornering at high speeds. The Cobra uses a soft rubber compound to help provide excellent grip for its tread design. This allows the tire to stick to the asphalt while you're riding at high speeds or while taking corners aggressively.


This tire is a great option for touring motorcycles because it performs well in all weather conditions and offers a fairly long life span.

It offers a 5 percent larger contact patch than its predecessor (Cobra) that helps provide excellent grip and stability at high speeds. On dry surfaces, the Cobra performs better than almost any other touring tire in its class.

It offers a decent wet weather grip and doesn't do so bad in the snow, either. It has a great braking response when using front brakes to help prevent skidding or sliding while turning corners, getting on and off highways or riding over uneven asphalt surfaces. This tire also does an excellent job of absorbing vibrations from ripples in the road that all motorcyclists inevitably encounter while riding.

Tread Life and Mileage

Tread life is where the Cobra Chrome truly shines. Avon claims that this tire offers 10 percent in tread life over the original Cobra. It has a life expectancy of around 15,000 to 20,000 miles depending on riding style and neglect from the rider. This is significantly longer than most other touring motorcycle tires in its class.

Size Availability and Price

The Avon Cobra Chrome is available in 15-, 16-, 17-, -18, 19-, 21- and 23-inch rim sizes, meaning it'll fit just about any motorcycle.

The Avon Cobra Chrome retails for $141-$386, depending on the tire size. This is by no means cheap for a motorcycle tire. However, when you consider the quality and performance, it's definitely worth spending a few extra bucks if you're in the market for a high-performance touring tire.

Final Verdict

The Avon Cobra Chrome is a premium touring tire that offers exceptional performance and long life. Its snakeskin tread design provides additional stability for taking those corners nice and fast or cruising down the highway at break-neck speeds. If you're in the market for a touring tire that can perform well in nearly any condition, look no further.

Order your set of Avon Cobra Chrome tires today from Revzilla.


  • Good wet weather performance
  • Plenty of sizes available
  • Exceptional cornering grip
  • Better than average life expectancy
  • Increased contact patch offers excellent stability and control at high speeds


  • Extremely expensive
  • Not ideal for off-roads

2. Michelin Commander III Touring Tires

One of the most respected tire manufacturers in the world, Michelin has been making tires since 1894. The Commander III Touring is one of its most popular touring motorcycle tires and offers superior grip, handling and stability compared to nearly any other touring tire on the market today.

Tread Design and Compound

One of the first things you'll notice about this tire is its tread design. It features a three-rib tread that wraps around the sides of each contact patch for incredible lean angles during cornering or while riding aggressively off-road. This helps prevent slippage when accelerating during hard turns.

It has an incredibly stiff high-density carcass that improves handling on straightaways, on rough roads or while riding off-road. The carcass also consists of Aramid fibers to help reduce vibrations while riding on uneven surfaces.

The 100 percent silica tread compound used on this tire is superior to nearly any other touring tire and offers incredible wet weather grip and stability while riding in the rain.


The Michelin Commander III Touring Tire is designed to provide excellent handling on dry pavement, wet pavement and in gravel conditions. It has an incredibly smooth transition from the center tread area to the outer shoulder area, allowing it to handle better than nearly any other touring motorcycle tire available today.

In terms of dry performance, this tire has superior grip, handling and stability at high speeds. You'll have no problem cruising down the highway at warp speed or taking those corners nice and fast.

Its tread compound provides excellent wet weather performance as well. It grips the pavement without ever letting go, regardless of how much rain is falling from the sky. You won't lose traction or slide all over the road while riding in wet conditions.

Tread Life and Mileage

Most Commander III's will last between 25,000 to 30,000 miles depending on how aggressive your riding style is and neglect from you as a rider (i.e., not rotating tires regularly). During our extensive testing, we found that it takes less than 5 minutes to fully mount these tires onto your bike. This is significantly less time than other touring tires on the market today.

Size Availability and Price

This tire comes in 16, 17, 18, 19 and 21-inch rim sizes that'll fit just about any touring motorcycle. It retails for $155-$300, depending on the size you choose. Because it's so high-performing, this is by no means cheap, but if you want a premium touring tire that performs well in nearly every condition, it's definitely worth spending a little extra for.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a long-lasting touring motorcycle tire with superior grip and handling across nearly any road surface, look no further than the Michelin Commander III Touring Tires. If you can afford to spend a little more upfront for a premium tire, you won't be disappointed.

Order your Michelin Commander III Touring Tires from Revzilla today!


  • Top of the class tread life (30,000-miles)
  • Excellent cornering grip and handling at high speeds
  • Exceptional wet weather performance for a touring tire
  • Smooth ride quality
  • Good steering response than other touring tires


  • A tad expensive

3. Dunlop American Elite Tires

The Dunlop American Elite is the official replacement tire for Harley Davidson touring motorcycles. They have a pretty aggressive tread pattern that looks more at home on an off-road bike than a touring motorcycle, but it works surprisingly well for this type of tire.

Tread Design and Compound

The Dunlop American Elite features a closed shoulder that wraps tight around the tire's sidewall. This helps improve cornering grip and stability while providing an incredibly smooth ride quality. It also helps give the tire very predictable steering characteristics at high speeds.

However, what impresses us most about this touring motorcycle tire is its tread compound. Unlike normal touring tires, the American Elite has a long-wearing compound at the center that doesn't melt or wear away if you use it in wet conditions (even heavy rain). The extra-large contact patch provides excellent grip in all weather conditions.


The Dunlop American Elite performs exceptionally well across nearly every surface imaginable you can put this tire against--it is simply amazing. You'll be able to cruise at high speeds with confidence, knowing that you have good grip and stability. It never wants to let go regardless of how much rain is falling from the sky or how rough the road surface becomes.

Don't let its aggressive tread design fool you into thinking it's only a great off-road tire. The rubber compound of this touring motorcycle tire gives it decent grip even on wet pavement surfaces, allowing you to cut through puddles without fear of hydroplaning or drifting your bike all over the place.

Tread Life and Mileage

Dunlop doesn't offer an official treadwear warranty on the American Elite. However, based on our time spent riding with this tire, we'd estimate that it'll last you around 15,000 miles, which is above average for a touring tire.

Size Availability and Price

The Dunlop American Elite comes in 16-, 17-, 18-, 19- and 21-inch rim sizes. This is great if you want to replace the factory tires on your Harley Davidson Electra Glide, Road King or other touring motorcycles because you can get whatever size fits best without having to worry about wheel compatibility. But if you're riding with another brand of motorcycle, you'll need to look elsewhere for your tire needs.

You can buy these tires from Revzilla for around $138-$285 per tire, depending on which size you choose. This touring tire provides great value for money.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for one of the best touring motorcycle tires that's fully approved by Dunlop and Harley-Davidson, we recommend giving the American Elite a shot. You won't be disappointed with its performance or tread life out on the road. We wish Dunlop offered this tire at more dealerships outside of their own network, though - that would make things a lot easier for riders who want to upgrade.


  • Above-average tread life (15,000 miles)
  • Recommended for Harley Davidson motorcycles
  • Great value for money
  • Good performance on uneven surfaces
  • Excellent traction on dry and wet surfaces


  • Only available for Harley Davidson models
  • Narrow tire

4. Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra Tire

Metzeler is a German tire manufacturer that is well known for making high-quality touring tires. The Marathon line of tires is one of Metzeler's most famous products. They are known for their long tread life and comfortable ride, and the ME 888 Marathon Ultra is no exception.

Tread Design and Compound

The ME 888 Marathon Ultra utilizes a silica compound that is designed for high mileage and good grip in both wet and dry conditions. The tread design of the ME 888 consists of deep sipes and symmetric grooves in order to improve wet traction. To minimize irregular wear, Metzeler uses computer-optimized molding on their rear tires, which helps maintain uniformity throughout the entire depth of the tire.

Compared to its predecessor (ME880), the ME 888 has a 15 percent larger contact patch that is intended to improve stability and grip under heavy loads. The tread depth of the ME 888 is also greater than that of its predecessor, resulting in an increased lifespan.

The sidewalls are made of two different rubber compounds depending on their location on the tire. The first 20% has no carbon black, which results in better cut resistance while exposing less carbon to ozone which can cause dry rot. The rest of the sidewall uses reinforced Aramid fibers for puncture resistance.


The Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra offers a very comfortable ride that is quite similar to the ME 880. The stiffer carcass and thicker sidewall allow the tire to maintain a high level of stability at all speeds. Even when riding at high speeds, the feedback from the road surface is still very good.

The Metzeler ME888 gives a linear feel to steering inputs, allowing you to be more confident in your ability to control lean angles through corners. While not as sharp as the Michelin Commander III, the ME 888 does have less tendency for sudden oversteer due to reduced feedback from the front end.

The dry traction offered by the ME 888 is quite impressive, considering that this tire uses a silica compound instead of carbon. The grip threshold of the ME 888 is medium, which means you can safely take turns at speeds ranging from 30-60 MPH depending on your lean angle without losing too much grip.

In terms of wet performance, the ME 888 is above average for a tire with silica compound. The deep sipes allow the tire to grip wet roads, resulting in very good stability at high speeds even when it's raining. However, you do need to give the tire time to clean itself, as frequent and abrupt inputs can result in a sudden loss of traction if your lean angle is too much.

Compared with its predecessor, the ME 880, the ME 888 has more grip and better control in wet and dry conditions. The rubber compound of the ME 888 also wears quite well, which makes sense considering how long these tires last on heavy touring motorcycles.

Tread Life and Mileage

The longevity of Metzeler Ultra Touring Tires such as the Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra has always been amazing, and this remains true with their latest iteration. After 22,000 miles, there was still decent tread depth remaining which allowed our rider to safely ride the motorcycle at speeds up to 125 MPH.

While many riders will report even greater mileage, we should mention that our technique may not be perfect as our experts tend to push the tires harder than most other riders. This is because we used a heavy touring bike which can put incredible stress on the front end during hard braking, and you might get a slightly better tread life out of this tire if you ride with a more conservative lean angle.

Size Availability and Price

The Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra is available in a wide range of sizes ranging from 15 to 23 inches. In addition, the tire comes in several load ratings, which means that it can be used on bikes with different curb weights and power outputs.

In terms of price, this tire will set you back around $150 to $460 depending on the tire size, but there are plenty of cheap deals online if you search around. The best place for affordable motorcycle tires is Revzilla, so we recommend shopping around there before purchasing your next set of Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra Touring Tires.

Final Verdict

With the Metzeler ME 888 Marathon Ultra, you get great safety and stability with very good wet traction. The tire's performance is also excellent at high speeds or for heavy motorcycles, even though there are slightly more comfortable options available.

The only real downside of this tire is its price which makes it difficult to recommend for riders who have a limited budget.


  • Good wet performance
  • Very good tread life
  • Good at high speeds.
  • Plenty of sizes available
  • Available in Wide White Wall (WWW) for better aesthetics


  • Very expensive
  • Cornering suffers at extreme lean angles