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Between Eternities
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845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After putting 10 thousand miles on my FLHTK when I bought it new back in 2012, I decided to give Michelin Commander II tires a try while simultaneously switching to a full front/rear Progressive suspension setup.

I have absolutely NO complaints about the Michelin tires. They work great in wet weather, and the handling of these tires combined with the upgraded suspension made my bike handle less like a truck and more like a canyon carver. OK maybe that last bit was a little stretch, but it definitely made a huge difference.

I am now at 30 thousand miles and I need new front and rear rubber, so I am going back to Dunlops for two main reasons:

(1) I want to slow down
(2) I want to see just how significant the Progressive suspension is to handling

I am also trying to see if I can stretch some additional mileage; right now I cash out the Michelin rears at around 10 thousand miles, and I have heard and seen anecdotal information of people getting 15 thousand miles from their rear tires when using Dunlops.

I also want to ride a lot more conservatively than I have been, to-date.

My guess is that I will go through one iteration of these tires (One front and two rears) before either going back to Michelins or trying another brand altogether. But for the time being intend to give Dunlop another try now that I have logged some more miles and additional riding experience on my FL.
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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25,208 Posts
CC, I got 28K out of front and rear on my last set of Dunnies, and the present ones have 19K and still in the green on the tire depth gauge. No way I'd swap them out for Michelins or any other tire that will give me maybe half of that. Performance on the Dunnies is all that I ask of them.
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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5,119 Posts
I've thought about switching from the Dunlops but after getting caught in a down pour on the interstate, with the feeling of having that bike stuck to the road, I'm staying with Dunlops. I know they wear pretty quick, but I like the feeling of traction.
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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25,208 Posts
Bruce, I agree that they grip in the rain. God knows, I've got more than a few miles when it was wet, and they performed perfectly. But are you really getting bad mileage with the Dunnies? Or is it just the ones they redesigned for the big touring bikes that roll forever?
 

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Gypsy on Parade
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4,983 Posts
Just chiming in here... Seems like I always get good mileage out of dunnies, but no stick'em. I like Metzlers better in the wet and I really want to try some Avons from what my friends have told me.
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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5,119 Posts
Bruce, I agree that they grip in the rain. God knows, I've got more than a few miles when it was wet, and they performed perfectly. But are you really getting bad mileage with the Dunnies? Or is it just the ones they redesigned for the big touring bikes that roll forever?
Darryl, if you mean MPG, if I ride within posted speed limits, I get about 40-42, which for a bike that size I feel is good. If you mean the number of miles I get in between tire changes I do seem to go through a rear tire rather fast. Front has about 18K still looks good, rear has about 7K on it, its starting to get "riders ridge".
 

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Mississippi Cajun
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25,208 Posts
I'm almost fanatical about tire pressure, and that seems to be a key factor in tire longevity. Don't know if the tires used on various models differ that drastically, but the ones I have used (and several riding friends with Ultras also use) seem to get 20K+ between changes. On my '04 Ultra, best I ever got was 13K on the rear and 27K on the front.
 

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Between Eternities
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845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am picking up the bike with the new Dunlops this morning so I am eager to feel the difference between my Michelin Commander IIs and this new rubber.

If I could get close to 15 thousand miles out of a rear tire, I would be ecstatic. While I have been good about tire pressure management in the past, intend to be great about it moving forward. I tended to keep my Michelins on the stiff side (41 psi front/rear when the recommendation from Harley was 36-40, IIRC) and my Michelins were awesome on almost all road surfaces, in all weather conditions, with one exception: when relatively still new (< 1000 miles) I was riding in a bad storm on the PA Turnpike headed west on the bridge nar Harrisburg crossing the Susquehana River, and my back end got really squirrely and loosey-goosey feeling. Otherwise, they were very confidence inspiring.

Now that I have 30K miles on the bike, with 20K of those miles including a Progressive suspension setup that I really like, I am keen to see how Dunlops which are purportedly designed specifically for Harley touring rigs perform.

Thank to all for the feedback. Stay safe everyone!
 

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Between Eternities
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845 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
300 miles logged so far (mostly highway in dry weather) and I am happy so far.
I remember these tires feeling "heavy" previously, but that was when I had the stock suspension on the bike and was still a raw neophyte to all things Harley. Now with 30K on the bike I feel a bit better at rating the tires' performance, and with a full Progressive setup (monotube fronts and HD 444 rears) these tires feel better than I remember.
This may be due to my memory as the rear tire wore down to the point where it required replacement while I was using the old stock suspension, so I am interested to see how these fare once I really put some miles on the bike with this Progressive setup.
Will update this thread periodically.
 
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