Michelin is now one of the biggest tire manufacturers in the world. The company makes tires for a wide range of vehicles, including cruiser bikes. In this article, we will help you choose between two cruiser tires from the company, which are Michelin Commander 2 vs Scorcher 11. They notably have different construction and features.
After reading this article, you will understand better about:
- The design and features of each Michelin tire here
- How good the steering and comfort of each tire are
- The comparison of their performance in various road conditions
- The durability of Michelin Commander 2 vs Scorcher 11
- Which Michelin cruiser tire that is generally better
Michelin Commander 2 has become a popular cruiser tire in the market. We have discussed the comparison between Michelin Commander 2 vs Avon Cobra AV71 in a previous article. Perhaps the main reason behind its popularity is the impressive mileage. Yes, this tire is very tough and durable. The company claims that an independent third-party test has shown that this tire can deliver twice longer mileage than the competitors.
If we put these two tires side by side, Michelin Commander 2 vs Scorcher 11 look radically different from each other. In particular, the one on Michelin Commander 2 looks unique. The tread pattern is quite aggressive for a cruiser tire, featuring plenty of longitudinal grooves. However, it is certainly a good-looking tire that can easily invite admiration from the people around. Michelin Commander 2 has been used as the original equipment for select Triumph models.
Michelin Scorcher 11 is also quite popular in the market. One of the main reasons is that it has been used as the original equipment for a number of Harley Davidson motorcycles. So, the quality should be more than just good. In addition, Michelin Scorcher 11 is also known for its great performance on the road.
Michelin Scorcher 11 is a stylish and good-looking tire. Compared to its sibling, the tire somehow looks more elegant. This is mostly because the tread pattern is not too aggressive. It has fewer grooves and more road-contact surface. The tires will enhance the overall appearance of your bike without attracting too much attention to themselves.
Construction and Features
Let us take a deeper look to the construction of Michelin Commander 2 vs Scorcher 11. Besides having different tread patterns, these two tires also seem to be made of different materials. They also use different technologies to promote different qualities.
Michelin Commander 2 comes with an all-new rubber compound that is said to increase the wet grip greatly, without compromising the durability of the tire. According to the company, this tire is made with the Amplified Density Technology to create a tough tire casing with great density and rigidity, which, in turn, allows superior feedback and handling qualities.
Furthermore, the Commander 2 tire is reinforced with square bead wires to optimize the rigidity, handling, and ease of installation. For the rear tires, aramid tread plies are implemented to improve the centrifugal growth resistance without adding too much weight. As a result, you get a rear tire that is lightweight, impressively stable, and long-lasting.
The longitudinal grooves on the tread surface create a lot of biting edges that further enhance the wet performance. These grooves have been smartly designed to evacuate water quickly from the contact patch, hence preventing hydroplaning. They also help to improve the load-bearing surface along the contact area.
Michelin Scorcher 11 is quite different. The company says that this tire is inspired from their supersport tires. This tire has a radial carcass that is reinforced with aramid fiber, hence resulting in a lightweight tire with good strength and stability.
The company also uses the Silica Rain Technology to create a silica-enriched rubber compound for the Scorcher 11. The company claims that this material allows for enhanced grip on wet surfaces and enhanced tire life.
Since this tire is exclusively designed for Harley Davidson motorcycles, it comes with special aesthetic features. On the shoulder of the tire, you can find the distinctive Bar & Shield design. In addition, there is the Harley Davidson co-branding on the sidewall. The elegant design of the tread pattern is definitely something that you can expect from such bikes.
Steering and Comfort
Both Michelin Commander 2 and Michelin Scorcher 11 are great in this aspect. You will enjoy riding on the Commander 2 very much. The performance of the Scorcher 11 is actually better in terms of steering and comfort, but not by much.
Michelin Commander 2 will immediately impress you with its smooth ride. There is almost no vibration coming from the tires. Even at high speeds, the performance remains smooth, stable, and reliable. It is a very comfortable tire to ride on.
The steering qualities of Michelin Commander 2 are also nice. It rolls really well into corners while still maintaining the bike’s stability. You can transition from side to side smoothly and quickly. Despite having great internal toughness and durability, the response of the tire almost feels like a soft compound sports tire.
Michelin Scorcher 11 definitely has an outstanding performance in terms of steering and comfort. From this tire, you can expect a perfectly smooth ride with virtually no vibration. It is also highly responsive and comfortable.
Compared to the Commander 2, the steering of Michelin Scorcher 11 is a tad better. You can make sharp turns and maneuver easily with this tire. The transition feels really nice and smooth. The tire moves from the side to the center and to the other side almost effortlessly. Even so, the stability on a straight road is still great.
On dry roads, both tires have great traction. There is no real difference in their performance. Both Michelin Commander 2 and Michelin Scorcher 11 grip well on the road. They are highly stable. Cornering and braking are solid and precise on both tires. You can perform evasive maneuvers or sudden hard brakes without feeling as if your bike is going to slip and fall.
Generally speaking, both Michelin Commander 2 vs Scorcher 11 also have good wet performance. Both tires can ensure your safety on wet roads. That said, if we really have to compare them against each other, it is quite noticeable that the Commander 2 has better wet grip than the Scorcher 11.
When tested through wet roads with puddles at different speeds, Commander 2 seems to resist hydroplaning better. The traction feels better and safer. Turning is predictable and confident. One reason for this impressive performance is that the tire has more biting edges and more grooves to evacuate water. On the other hand, Scorcher 11 performs reasonably good, though the traction is a bit lower. Turning is good, but requires more care.
Another crucial aspect that we should consider when choosing a new tire for our cruiser is the durability. After all, cruiser bikes are typically bulkier and heavier than regular bikes. The huge mass of a cruiser bike naturally puts a serious amount of weight to the tires. As the effect, cruiser tires must be totally tough and rugged.
And this is also one area where Michelin Commander 2 shines over Michelin Scorcher 11. Besides having better toughness to withstand impacts, the Commander 2 also has a better tread life than the Scorcher 11.
Michelin Commander 2 is able to hold up well even after more than 6,000 miles on the road. This is definitely an impressive feat. Many other cruiser tires struggle even to hit the five thousand mile mark.
The front tire is still in a good overall condition. A new front tire is known to have a tread depth of 4 mm. After the extensive use, the front tire still has about 3 mm of tread depth with very minimal flattening. So, the tread compound is quite durable and wear-resistant. Unsurprisingly, though, the rear tire is in a worse condition, but it is still pretty much usable.
This is because a rear tire has to endure greater stress than a front tire. While the center is noticeably flattened, there is still some tread depth. A new rear tire has a tread depth of 6 mm. The rear tire currently still has about 2 mm of tread depth. A replacement is due some time soon, but the longevity of the rear tire is not bad at all.
Michelin Scorcher 11, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be as durable. The tread life is pretty good, but it is not as long as the Commander 2. In addition, the Scorcher 11 is relatively more prone to damage, so you don’t want to ride on these tires if the roads around your home are in a less-than-ideal condition.
Well, to be fair, the tires should be able to last for a reasonable mileage if you only road on well-maintained roads. After all, the tires have been constructed with a silica-enhanced rubber compound and reinforced with aramid fiber. However, rocks can easily cause lines and flat spots. Meanwhile, the rear tire is only good for up to 5,000 miles or so.
Michelin Commander 2 vs Scorcher 11
|Michelin Commander 2||Michelin Scorcher 11|
|- More aggressive tread pattern with plenty of grooves||- More elegant tread pattern, fewer grooves|
|- All-new rubber compound with square bead wires||- Silica-enhanced rubber compound with aramid fiber|
|- Very good steering and comfort||- Great steering and comfort|
|- Great wet grip||- Good wet grip|
|- Much better durability and mileage||- Average durability and mileage|
Although both are very good tires, Michelin Commander 2 is generally more recommended. This tire generally has better wet performance. In addition, it is also more durable with better tread life.