Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra Tires
When it comes to tires for Harley Davidson, we are Metzeler fans. We have been using their products for as long as we can remember and have always been happy with the results. In fact, few things give us more pleasure than pulling into the driveway on a warm summer evening after a long ride with those nice "PING" sounds coming from under the fenders – you know - the sound of brand-new rubber against pavement!
But this time, Metzeler really went above and beyond – creating an ultra-reliable tire – designed to take rider abuse – without sacrificing grip or mileage. This baby made us work for its performance but was well worth all the effort!
So, what exactly makes the Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra so special? Well, it starts with construction. The tire's sidewall is reinforced by steel cords that allow you to run these tires at low pressure (which means a better contact patch for more mileage). Not only are you getting a long-wearing tire, but you are also saving money on gas at the same time!
Next up is the rubber compound used in making this tire. It has an extremely high resistance to wear and tear thanks to its built-in silica particles that work as a natural stone-chip protectant. You can simply ride on, knowing that those chunks of stones and wood won't be eating through your tires anytime soon!
Another benefit is that this rubber compound creates less rolling resistance and ultimately delivers better fuel economy. It does this by gripping the road surface more efficiently and requires less energy from your engine to power it forward (saving you gas).
Come rain or shine, or hot or cold - this tire grips like nobody's business! In fact, we were rather impressed with how well it handled on wet roads. It didn't feel as if water had any noticeable effect on the tire's grip. This is a big plus for anyone who spends a lot of time riding in humid or wet conditions!
Perhaps one of the best things about this tire is its ability to maintain a constant balance between grip and durability. Even after 60 days of abuse, this tire stuck to the road like glue and had more life in it than what we get from most brands. The wear rate for these tires is quite impressive! Considering how much gravel and debris we put them through, they only lost about 2/3 of an inch on their overall thickness.
One complaint we have about the Metzeler ME888 is its price. You will pay at least 20% more per tire than you would with Dunlop or Michelin. However, it's more than worth the extra cost considering the mileage you get out of them.
The Metzeler ME888 Marathon Ultra is available in all popular sizes, including 110/90-19, 130/80-17, 150/70-B18, and MH90-21, to name a few.
Overall, we give the Metzeler ME888 an excellent rating and highly recommend them to anyone in search of a long-lasting, good grip tire for their Harley Davidson.
Order your set of ME88 Marathon Ultra tires today from Revzilla to avail a 22% discount.
- Extremely high resistance to wear and tear
- Great wet weather performance
- Can maintain constant balance between grip and durability
- Long rolling resistance for better fuel economy
- Available in Wide White Wall (WWW)
- Premium price tag (but worth it)
Dunlop Elite 4 Tires
When it comes to riding motorcycles, the only thing that is guaranteed is change. Whether you are on two wheels or four, things are constantly evolving. Thankfully, Harley Davidson has partnered up with Dunlop Tire Company to develop the latest line of tires for their bikes. One of these new lines is the Elite 4 set that offers wet weather performance and extended tread life with its Multi-Tread compound. These features combined make them an ideal choice for those looking for durable all-season road use by way of touring, sport-touring, or cruising motorcycles.
The first noticeable characteristic about Dunlop Elite 4 was the tread pattern. We like how they don't look like typical cruiser style rubber, which makes me think more about higher speeds and cornering ability than, say, a Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe. There is a nice forward sweeping pattern that provides an aggressive look and helps with the direction of water drainage to reduce hydroplaning.
These tires are designed to offer better stability and control under wet weather driving conditions. We like this for touring bikes, especially when the roads are wet. There were a few times when we tested these tires during various rainstorms and noticed the difference. Our bike was more stable than normal, especially at higher speeds on wet roads or even wet parking lots. The tread pattern also helps with water displacement, so you really don't need to let your bike idle for long periods before riding off.
In our opinion, Dunlop has always been at the top regarding performance and durability, especially when cruising speeds are involved. The Elite 4's have H rated for speeds up to 130 mph, which means you will be able to reach the triple-digit speeds without much problem, but you may have to slow down around sharp curves or if strong winds are prevalent.
One complaint we have about these tires is that they make a peculiar noise when traveling over dry pavement or tarmac. It almost sounds like a tire going flat, but it isn't, so we don't think there is an issue with the tire's construction. It only happens on dry pavement, and it goes away when wet.
These Dunlop Elite 4 Tires are available in different sizes that will fit most Harley Davidson motorcycles. Harley Davidson recommends sizes from 100/90-B19 up to 170/80-B15, so there should be a size that can accommodate your needs. We suggest you look up your particular bike model online to ensure proper fitment prior to purchasing these Dunlop Tires.
In conclusion, we recommend Dunlop Elite 4 Tires as an excellent all-around tire for those who want to replace or upgrade their current tires. Though they may seem a little pricey, the overall performance and longevity will save you money in the long run since you don't have to keep replacing your tires every few months due to dry rot or age. The Dunlop Elite 4 tires are now available at Revzilla.
Order yours today and get a 34% discount.
- Great wet weather performance
- Plush ride quality
- Available in many sizes
- Long treadlife
- Comes in radial and bias-ply construction
- A little pricey
- Noisy on dry pavements
- Sidewall branding takes away from the overall look of the tire
Michelin Commander III Cruiser Tires
Another leading product in the Harley Davidson market is the Michelin Commander III. While it does not match up to the ME888 in terms of mileage, it has a unique design that allows for better grip and control.
We put this thing through its paces by riding it during some of our roughest outings – hard twisties, gravel roads, high speeds…you name it! Despite all the abuse we threw its way; these things looked pristine after each long ride.
Another feature that caught our attention was this tire's grip. It didn't matter what type of surface we were riding on…this thing stuck to the road like glue. It felt as if the surface conditions did not affect its ability to maintain contact with the road, even at high speeds.
One more thing that we noticed about these tires during the ride was how fast they warmed up. Usually, with other cruiser brand tires, you have to keep your speed less than 50 miles per hour for about 20 minutes before the tires are up to operating temperature. However, these Michelin Commander III's were ready to rock and roll right out of the gate,making cruising down the highway an absolute joy.
These are DOT certified legal for use on public roads, which is great news for those who ride year-round. We've all heard horror stories about riders being stopped by cops and given tickets because their tires don't meet required safety standards (too worn out). Not only do you get a durable tire, but you also get one that can take abuse from potholes, gravel, construction sites, etc.
That's not all... this tire also delivers a smooth ride along with improved steering response and better cornering capabilities compared to most heavy cruiser tires out on the market today. I was shocked at how easy it was to maneuver around corners without making wide sweeping turns! This is part of what made it such a pleasure to use.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides associated with the Michelin Commander III Cruiser Tire that potential buyers must consider before purchasing. Keep in mind that these tires are generally stiffer than traditional cruiser tires, so you will experience increased vibration while riding at high speeds (over 50 mph).
Also, while we did not personally experience this problem, there were some reported cases of tread peeling off the tire during its first few hundred miles of use. This seems like a defect and something you would hope Michelin would recall and fix (if possible).
Michelin Commander III tires come in several sizes: 100/90-19, 80/90-21, 160/70-17, and 160/90-15.
We expect three things from a motorcycle tire before we even consider purchasing them: they need to grip well, they need to feel smooth as silk on the road, and most importantly, they need to be economically priced above all else. The Michelin Commander III Cruise Tire performs admirably well on all three fronts. If you are looking for premium quality tires that make the ride seem like nothing is even touching the ground, look no further.
Order your set of Michelin Commander III Cruiser Tires today from Revzilla and get 25% off.
- Good treadwear warranty (25000 miles)
- Superior wet weather performance thanks to the Silica Rain technology
- Exceptional handling and ride quality
- Great value for money
- Fast warmup times
- Creates additional vibration at high speeds (on rare occasions)
- Increased noise level due to stiff structure (squeaking)
- Conflicting reports of tread peeling off during first few hundred miles
Pirelli Night Dragon Tires
Every now and then, we come across a tire that makes us go "wow" as soon as we mount it on the rim. The Pirelli Night Dragon was definitely one such tire, and it is no surprise to see why so many riders swear by this brand's products. We were thoroughly impressed with both its performance capabilities and overall quality construction. If you are looking for an affordable tire that outperforms most other models out there, look no further... this is the one you want!
One thing that appealed to me about these tires right off the bat was how well they warm up at low speeds. Usually, high-speed cruiser tires take about 10 minutes to reach the optimal operating temperature for normal use. Alternatively, the Pirelli Night Dragon tires usually heat up within 3-5 minutes, which is unusually short considering they are cruiser tires. Road noise was also considerably less when compared to other models I have tried out in the past, which made for much more comfortable cruising at higher speeds.
The Pirelli 100/90-19 motorcycle tires performed admirably even in wet conditions (which surprised me since most Harley Davidson tires don't grip well enough in wet weather). Speaking of grip, this tire grips exceptionally well at the corners. It feels incredibly solid when you lean into turns and provides plenty of feedback, so you always know what's going on underneath your wheels. This helps increase rider confidence immensely, making for a more enjoyable ride overall.
The Pirelli Night Dragon also comes in a GT variant for heavier Harley Davidson models. It's W-rated for speeds up to 168 mph, meaning it can handle some serious speeds without any problems. These tires are available in several different sizes to accommodate most Harley Davidson models, including the following: 100/90-19, 100/90-21, 120/70-17, 130/80B18, 150/80B16.
To make things even better, this isn't one of those tires where the manufacturer markets it as a high-performance tire for Harley's, but in fact, it's essentially a standard cruiser tire under all that fancy marketing jargon. The Pirelli Night Dragon is an actual premium performance motorcycle tire designed to be used on any type of bike without problems.
Fortunately, there are only two downsides regarding the Pirelli Night Dragon so let's go over them. First of all, they are advertised as having a superb treadwear rating, but in reality, they don't handle turns or braking very well while enduring heavy loads. Secondly, some reports claim that these tires lose some grip when driving at low speeds.
At the end of the day, you really cannot go wrong by purchasing this tire... it's an affordable, high-quality model with excellent performance capabilities and incredible handling ability.
Order your set of Pirelli Night Dragon Tires today from Revzilla, and get a 33% discount.
- Superior wet weather traction compared to other cruiser brands
- Low warmup times (3-5 minutes)
- Highly responsive tire with plenty of feedback
- GT variant available for heavier Harley Davidson models
- Exceptional ride quality
- Loses grip when riding at lower speeds (under 30 mph)
- A tad expensive
- Not the best tread life in its class
About THE AUTHOR
Russ currently owns a Yamaha FZ6N and KTM RC 390. When it comes to vintage bikes, his favorite motorcycle is the feisty BMW R32. He also holds a particular interest in the LAMS segment and triple cylinders. Himself a riding enthusiast, Russ has had experience with racetracks from around the world including Willow Springs Raceway in California and the Imola Circuit in Italy.Read More About Russ Crowley