Dunlop D404 vs Michelin Commander 2 are high-quality tires suitable for cruiser bikes. However, there are important things that set them apart. For instance, Dunlop D404 is not recommended for Harley Davidson motorcycles, whereas Michelin Commander 2 can be used on such bikes. Continue reading below to find out more about these tires and which one that’s better for you!
The following discussion will tell you further about:
- The construction and build quality of each tire
- The special technologies and features implemented on each tire
- The performance comparison between these two tires
- The durability of Dunlop D404 vs Michelin Commander 2
- Which cruiser tire that is better and more recommended for you
Dunlop D404: Construction and Features
Dunlop D404 is a motorcycle tire that is available in many sizes for various types of bikes. This tire has been designed to be balanced between optimum mileage and grip performance. If you take a look at the tread, you certainly can see that there are so many grooves – even more than Michelin Commander 2 vs Scorcher 11. So, we may expect the tire to have good wet performance.
Initially, Dunlop D404 is not recommended for Harley Davidson motorcycles. This is an important thing to keep in mind when choosing between Dunlop D404 vs Michelin Commander 2. However, Dunlop D404’s range has recently been expanded to include a few sizes that are compatible with Harley Davidson Dyna Super Glide and several other cruisers.
Dunlop D404 features a bias-ply construction for enhanced load-carrying capacity, smooth ride, and comfort. On the center of the tread pattern, there is a continuous offset center groove which optimizes the tire’s straight line stability. Furthermore, there are multiple side grooves to quicken water evacuation and prevent hydroplaning. The grooves also create a lot of biting edges to improve the traction. Meanwhile, the tread compound is specially designed for an impressive balance between mileage and grip.
The tire is available with the H-rating for speeds up to 130 mph or with the S-rating for speeds up to 112 mph. There are tubeless and tube-type versions available. Dunlop D404 has been used as the original equipment for several bikes, including Honda Shadow Aero, Kawasaki Vulcan Nomad, and Yamaha V-Star 1100.
Dunlop D404: Performance
The performance of Dunlop D404 is generally good. One nice thing about the tire that is very obvious is the traction. Dunlop D404 grips well onto the road in various conditions, even on wet roads. The stability when running in straight line is good, especially on a well-paved road surface. However, you may notice some vibration if the road is less than smooth.
The steering is generally good. You can transition from one side to the center, and to the side again without any real problem. The tire is quite responsive and light. Turn-in is quick, and maneuvering feels fun with this tire.
That said, compared to Michelin Commander 2, Dunlop D404 somehow doesn’t feel as comfortable. Transitioning is not as soft, though not difficult. While both the steering and stability are good, this tire still lacks a few things to be truly great.
Dunlop D404: Durability
The overall durability of Dunlop D404 is good, but not great. The tread life is actually pretty good. You can get several thousand miles before you need to replace the tires. The tread doesn’t get diminished and flattened too quickly.
However, compared to Michelin Commander 2, the tread life seems to be shorter. The tread depth gets reduced more quickly, though still in a tolerable way. Sharp rocks can get through the tread if you are not careful. In addition, this tire is not designed to withstand very heavy loads.
Michelin Commander 2: Construction and Features
Michelin Commander 2 has been specifically designed to provide enhanced durability and extended mileage. The company even claims that, an independent third-party test has shown that this tire can provide twice longer mileage than the competitors. This product is now a popular choice for a wide range of cruiser bikes because of its impressive quality.
The tire has been enhanced and optimized to provide safe and consistent performance at high speeds. The tire is H-rated, suitable for speeds up to 130 mph. In other words, you can rely on this tire for serious use.
Of course, one notable difference between Dunlop D404 vs Michelin Commander 2 is their compatibility with Harley Davidson motorcycles. In addition to being the original equipment of select Triumph bikes, Michelin Commander 2 is also known to be compatible with Harley Davidsons as well as many other cruisers. Michelin Commander 2 has the strength and toughness needed to serve the heavy requirements of cruisers bikes.
The tire casing is made from the Amplified Density Technology, hence resulting in a tire casing that is highly dense and rigid with enhanced handling and feedback. The construction is supported by square bead wires which enhance the rigidity, handling, as well as ease of installation.
For the rear tires, Michelin Commander 2 utilizes aramid tread plies which help to increase the tire’s centrifugal growth resistance. At the same time, the use of aramid tread plies also reduces the tire’s weight. Henceforth, the tire can deliver superior stability and dramatically increased longevity.
For the tread, the company has developed an all-new rubber compound which is said to possess great wet grip, but without compromising on the durability. Michelin Commander 2 features a peculiar tread pattern which looks quite aggressive. There are multiple longitudinal grooves that are optimized to evacuate water efficiently, while also improving the load-bearing surface. For sure, the tire’s radical look will invite compliments.
Michelin Commander 2: Performance
So, how is the performance of Dunlop D404 vs Michelin Commander 2? While there are indeed several factors that need to be considered, we can say that Michelin Commander 2 is generally better. The performance of Michelin Commander 2 on the road is really impressive. It has not only great traction but also excellent comfort and steering qualities.
In use, it is easy to mistake a set of Michelin Commander 2 for soft-compound sports tires. Simply because it has very good steering and comfort. The tire can transition from one side to the other very smoothly, hence allowing you to hit hard turns and make maneuvers easily. The tire rolls nicely when cornering. Never the bike feels unstable or dropping. There is very minimum vibration from the tires. Even at high speeds, the steering and comfort remain great.
The traction is very good. The tire grips properly onto the road, allowing you to turn and maneuver confidently. Michelin Commander 2 can also tackle hard cornering on a blacktop road that is not really smooth without complaining. Even so, when running in a straight line, the stability is also great. There is no sudden jerking motion that may surprise you.
The wet grip is great, too. The longitudinal grooves are obviously very effective in doing their job, as the tire can easily maintain its impressive performance even on wet roads. Indeed, the tire also has more biting edges, compared to most cruiser tires. Michelin Commander 2 resists hydroplaning well. You can run through puddles without losing traction. Cornering and braking on wet roads remain solid and precise.
Overall, the performance of Michelin Commander 2 is very good. It just doesn’t disappoint. In various road conditions, the tire’s impressive performance remains true. Even through multiple stressing hard brakes and hard corners, the tire can keep up.
Michelin Commander 2: Durability
Of course, durability is the main strength of Michelin Commander 2. Cruiser tires typically need to be tough and durable in order to withstand the crushing weights of the bikes. But, even so, cruiser tires don’t always have long life span. This is exactly why the company has released Michelin Commander 2 into the market.
Michelin Commander 2 is specifically designed to be a tough cruiser tire with extended mileage. After using the tire for more than 6,000 miles, we can see that the tire is true to its words.
The front tire experiences minimal flattening. While a new tire typically has 4 mm of tread depth, the used tire still has about 3 mm of tread depth remaining. So, the tread life is very good. The tire hasn’t experienced any real damage after extensive use on well-paved roads.
The rear tire, unsurprisingly, is in a worse condition. But it is still pretty much usable. A new tire has a tread depth of 6 mm, and the used tire still has about 2 mm or so. A replacement will be needed some time soon, but for the rear tire to be able to keep up for this long is already impressive.
Dunlop D404 vs Michelin Commander 2
|Dunlop D404||Michelin Commander 2|
|- Tread compound designed for balanced mileage and grip||- All-new rubber compound for enhanced wet grip|
|- Good overall performance with excellent wet grip||- Excellent performance, great traction and smooth transition|
|- Good tread life||- Excellent tread life|
|- Not suitable for Harley Davidson motorcycles||- Suitable for Harley Davidsons and other cruisers|
In the end, Michelin Commander 2 is more recommended. It is compatible with many cruiser bikes. The performance is impressive. It has great traction, excellent wet grip, and smooth transition. Cornering and maneuvering feel easy. Furthermore, this tire is highly durable with great tread life. It can last for thousands of miles without any real problem.