Dunlop D402 vs American Elite

Just like with your car, choosing a proper tire for your motorcycle is also important since different tire will deliver a different performance as well can suit a type of vehicle better. If you are riding a Harley Davidson, Dunlop D402 vs American Elite are two great options to go since they are made for this heavy bike. If you are also considering the two, go check our article below to see how they differ from each other and which suit your bike better.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– How to choose tire for your Bike
– What are Dunlop D402 and American Elite
– How are the Tread Pattern on Dunlop D402 and American Elite
– How are the Performance of Dunlop D402 and American Elite
– How are the Treadlife of Dunlop D402 and American Elite
– Dunlop D402 vs American Elite

Choosing Tire for your Bike

With the other maintenance we have to do to keep our bike at the optimum condition and ready for action anytime whether it is for daily use or for some leisure time, we will also need to consider the tires we put on their wheels. This is because as you already know, this rubber compound material is not going to last forever in your wheels and depend on where you are riding as well as your habit and brand, they may wear faster or longer.

After thousands of miles, your tire will gave up and finally, we have to change them with a newer tire that match with the kind of application you need, the type of bike or a certain performance you want. In general, tire is black, round and sticky due to be made from rubber but this kind of information will not make us going anywhere when selecting from those vast amount of option with their own description, model and brightest part to offer.

Before going anywhere, make sure to look at the tire made for your bike because we can’t use a trail tire on a bike made for touring and vice versa. Each bike have their designed tire and in this article, we are speaking about cruiser or big bike riders. Even in cruiser tires, there are several subtypes that made to follow each purpose such as those made for sport, touring, sport-touring, and economy tire so it is wise to pick which suit us the most.

Another thing you may want to consider is the type because there are tube and tubeless. While there is no general rule which bike should use which tire type, in real life people belief that those with spokes will probably need the tire with an inner tube while as oppose, those with cast wheels may want to choose the tubeless type. In addition, tires with specific front and rear description should be used following the placement because while they may sound not necessary, they are made to be different.

About Dunlop D402 and American Elite

If you are here, chances are you are the owner of a Harley Davidson bike and want to look for a replacement for your tire whether it is your first time replacing the stock tire or you may already use a model before. Harley Davidson is a heavy bike and everyone knows that so the first thing we need to consider when matching a tire with the build is to look for those with higher weight limit or sturdier carcass.

When talking about Harley Davidson tire, most of us will instantly remember Dunlop because this brand is the one we opt to when it comes to tire for our bike since they are the one we can found when first purchasing the vehicle. For many years the engineers from both companies are working together to provide the user with handling, stay ride, even wear, and predictable performance. Among those made for HD, the two you may want to check out are definitely D402 and American Elite.

If you are riding a Harley, then you will need to use what the brand’s approved for your motorcycle and Dunlop is the one to go but beside these two tires, they also have the D401 that looks very similar to D402 but if you want to check their difference, go back to our article on: Dunlop D404 vs D401 here. While they may sound similar or the same, apparently these tires are made for different application so make sure you pick the most suitable one.

What makes Dunlop D402 and American Elite different from the other model is because these two are made for heavier bike for they have the power, beefier and proper for anyone who ride a heavy touring Harley bike. The first model is for bike from 2008 and older bikes while the latter model is for bike in 2009 and forward. In general, these two are made to support your torque and even wear for a longer time.

Dunlop D402 and American Elite Tread Pattern

As you can see from the sample picture above, both tires are very different in term of tread pattern and as for option, we are using the example from the rear tire since both models have their own front version. What we notice from the pattern here is the siping which is strategically placed on the blocks so you can already expect that D402 tire will be good when used to ride in wet road since the water management will handle the problem.

This model is also a single compound tire and while it is not the strongest you can get, it is indeed made with bulkier and thicker carcass to suit the weight of your bike. The symmetric design is also good to make sure the tire won’t stray when you are trying to ride straight and should provide a pretty stable handling. At the other hand, American Elite is made with double compound so in term of longevity, this model will win.

It is featured with different compound so the center will be harder yet a little softer on the side. It is also created with different tread pattern and newer technology because it is designed for newer Harley or those with bigger and bulkier body as well as different handling characteristics. While there is no siping appear on this model, the tread pattern is supposed to evacuate water from the road and wear evenly as well as looks good on your bike.

Dunlop D402 and American Elite Performance

Now jumping into the performance part, both of these tires are actually working amazing because they are made to fit the bike so we can expect some matching work here. First let’s go with D402 because this tire is also popular among those Harley rider and what’s making it loved by many people is because it works just like the description and what the original OEM tire feels like. When tested, this tire made the bike we rode roll smoothly on the road and very comfortable for long distance riding.

What noticeably good in this model is when you are riding in a straight line, the bike feels very stable and not straying which sometime we can feel on a bad tire and this also promote a very a stable handling so we can be very confident. When tried on a wet road, this tire is also proven to be good since the handling feels similar like when we are in dry road, making sure that the tread pattern and siping does work in your favor.

Moving to the American Elite tire, this model is also working really great as a Harley tire and many people have similar experience with the D402 so in general, they are working equally great. In dry road, it is nice and stable as well as doesn’t show any problem and when moving to wet road, even without siping, this model working well to move the water where the tire is in contact with the ground so we can get a traction and proper grip.

Dunlop D402 and American Elite Wear

The last we are going to talk is the mileage or wear because tire is not cheap, moreover, the good ones so we want them to stay as long as possible and push that repurchasing date a bit further. In this part, the difference between Dunlop D402 and American Elite is very prominent because due to the double compound used on the carcass and thanks to this upgrade, users can enjoy their ride a little longer before changing the tire again.

Comparing the two, D402 is noticeably will wear faster, for example, this model is having an average of 8K miles until they are no longer dependable but with American Elite, it can go much further because in 8K, you will still have around half the tread so they still can go for a ride in near future.


Now, let’s compare Dunlop D402 with American Elite. The difference between these models are the build because AE is featured with double thread so the middle is harder and the side is a little bit softer unlike the single compound in D402. This difference also brings an upgrade into the treadwear since AE is shown to be able to last longer than D402.

Dunlop D402 vs American Elite

Dunlop D402Dunlop American Elite
- Single compound - Double compound
- Have siping - No siping
- Shorter treadwear - Longer treadwear
- For 2008 and older models- For 2009 and newer


All in all, the decision is all yours to make because we may have different need and preference. Since these models are not far in price, if we are to choose we will recommend you to pick Dunlop American Elite because it can last longer yet still have a great performance. In addition, older bikes are also working fine with the AE as long as the size is the same.