Dunlop D404 vs D401

Choosing the correct tires for your vehicle is not an easy task, moreover, if you have various options you want to try. Dunlop as one of the most popular brand of motorcycle tire may have what you need in their collection such as Dunlop D404 vs D401. They may seem similar but are also very different in use. If you wonder which match your vehicle the most, go check how these tires differ from each other in our article below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– Are you currently looking for a new tire for your bike
– What are Dunlop D404 and D401
– What Dunlop D404 and D401 are used for
– What Dunlop D404 and D401 can offer to you
– What are the difference between Dunlop D404 and D401
– Dunlop D404 vs D401

Choosing Motorcycle Tire

Tire is something we need to change from time to time to keep our vehicle stay responsive and comfortable to ride. They are available in a wide range of price which is great for we have many options to pick and match with our current budget. While tire tread wear can be affected by various things such as surface, condition and our riding habit, as a user we want them to stay longer and capable of providing a longer good performance before we have to change them again.

If now is the time to change you bike tire or if you just don’t feel confident anymore with your set, it is may be the best time to try a new tire. If you don’t plan to mount a different size, it is good to stick with your original tires size and after you decide the size, it is time to select the tire you need. Choosing tire is not an easy task because if we lack information, we may regret our purchase later.

This is a tricky part but if you already pay attention to your tire before or already change them at least once, we can already start surfing for the one meeting our need. As you may already know, depend on the type of bike you are riding, the tire we need will also differ because each one of them are made to fit into the specific design and provide a different benefit matching our motorcycle. For example sport tires for off road and cruiser tire for heavy bike.

Even after deciding what kind of tire we need, there is still another process picking the one that will benefit our riding experience the best and it is the hardest part if we never test them first. However, we can avoid bad performance and not fitting model by selecting them carefully and making sure they are suitable with the type of vehicle we own, thus they can deliver their best performance and stay longer as your companion.

About Dunlop D404 and D401

Since tire can get very expensive depend on the model and manufacturer we pick, it is good to find the one that offered their price in the range you are willing to purchase. If you are looking for a brand who also offer their collection in a wide option and price range, Dunlop can be a great choice. We are sure you are already familiar with this brand or even used one of their tire before because we can find them in many bike as original equipment.

Due to providing original equipment and the replacement that may available in a more affordable price point, many people are loving this brand’s product, moreover, they are also proven to deliver a good performance in various vehicles. If you are reading this article, chances are you own a cruiser or a Harley Davidson bike because the one we are going to talk here, the Dunlop D404 and D401 are used for cruiser or touring bike due to the certain design.

Dunlop D404 and D401 Use

Just like many other tires from this brand, Dunlop D404 and D401 can be found on many other cruiser even vintage bikes that usually have a hard to find tire with the suitable size, especially the D401 model since this variant is currently also coming with many Harley Davidson models as an original equipment, thus if you ride an HD with this tire before, it is good to pick the same size and model to eliminate the hassle of choosing another tire.

However, you may took interest to another tire because they seem promising and if we look from the same brand, Dunlop do have another similar tire to D401 which is D404 and what’s more interesting is this set is far more affordable almost half of the price of its brother, making the model look attractive in many bike owner’s eye. But, it still doesn’t mean that they are capable to be mounted on all cruiser or touring bike due to their limited capability.

Dunlop D404 Tread and Ply

Let’s start with Dunlop D404 first, looking at this model price, they are definitely going to win in term of affordability and value for your money because this model is a good all season tire, suitable for various standard cruiser and even older bike due to the availability or its variable options in size. This model is also available in both rear and front version which making user easy to pair the tire without looking further into other models available in the market.

Dunlop D404 is a single compound tire with an offset groove pattern which is as you can see from the sample picture above, very similar to the D401 and even to the other model D402, so it is understandable if we can get confused sometimes. What’s making this tire loved by many of its users is because of the design pattern. It has offset in the middle to provide that all-season traction and water evacuation as well as avoid nibbling and tracking, making them stay stable at speed.

Additionally, the siping we see on the middle of the tread will be useful for an extra grip to enhance your riding experience. As for the weight capacity, this model is a bias-ply tire which mean they are capable of carrying high load without compromising the comfort. Read also: Dunlop D404 vs K555 here.

Dunlop D401 Tread and Ply

Moving to the other model D401, this tire has been around for a long time and have been approved by Harley Davidson as the replacement tire for their vehicles. Similar like its brother, this tire is also available in various sizes and variant for they are also available in both front and rear version. What’s great from this tire is they are engineered especially to carry the heavy bike like HD and are designed with computer to create the proper tread profile and promote even wear.

With this technology, we will not get cupping as bad as what we may have experience if we decide to mount another cheaper option from the brand like the D404 above which is also have a softer compound than this model. This tire is bias or bias belted model along with stable traction in both wet and dry condition.


Now, let’s compare Dunlop D404 with D401. The basic difference between these models is on their quality because as it has been mentioned above, the D401 is coming with tougher build and weight capacity which is important when you want to use them in a heavy bike like a Harley Davidson, thus making the more affordable D404 more suitable for other cruiser which weight is not as heavy as HD bikes.

This difference seems to be strongly affected by the tire ply since while both of them are bias tire, D401 is bias-belted that is the new version of the bias-ply. For bias tire like D404, there is a tire bead, a sidewall and tread just like what you may already know. The reason why it is called bias is because there is a series of tire plies under the tread to support the vehicle and maintain the form when filled with air; they were developed to give smooth and resilient ride on rough surface.

With those benefit, it doesn’t mean bias-ply have no minus or disadvantage because they are known to have high rolling resistance or the amount of tire resistance that our vehicle has to overcome in order to roll forward. The reason why it is not a good thing is because our vehicle will need to spend more gas to put up with the rolling resistance.

On the other side, bias belted tire like Dunlop D401, while they are manufactured similarly as the predecessor bias-ply, this version have a different side. The difference is happening after plies have been layered because above the top layer of tire ply, we can find stabilizer belts which is made of steel or other corded material. They are applied at different angles to the plies and meant to offer another level of support as well as stiffer inner material to bond with the tread.

Another benefit of this technology is to provide a smoother ride and lower rolling resistance when compared to bias-ply like D401. Beside manufactured to be used in cruiser or touring bike, this type of tire is also available for classic cars whose owner want to stick to the original equipment as close as possible.

Dunlop D404 vs D401

Dunlop D401Dunlop D401
- For cruiser and vintage bikes - Harley Davidson OE
- Bias-ply- Bias-belted
- More affordable- More expensive
- Faster wear- Longer wear
- Good performance- Better performance


All in all, the decision is all yours to make but until this point, we are sure you are already keeping your choice based on the difference between Dunlop D404 and D401. The wise decision will be picking D401 if you are riding a Harley Davidson and if you use another bike but want to keep the budget low, Dunlop D404 can be a good option to choose.