Both Michelin Commander 2 and Dunlop American Elite are popular tires for big cruiser bikes. The question is, which one is better? The following discussion will show you the comparison of Michelin Commander 2 vs Dunlop American Elite, the pros and cons of each tire as well as the distinctive features of each tire. So, continue reading!
What we will discuss in this article include:
- The construction and features of each tire
- The grip and traction of each tire in different road conditions
- Which tire that is generally easier and more comfortable to ride
- The durability of Michelin Commander 2 vs Dunlop tires
- Which tire that will give a better value for your money
Overview of Michelin Commander 2
Michelin Commander 2 is a popular cruiser tire that is loved for its superior durability. Simply put, if you want a set of tires that will last for a long time without compromising your safety, Michelin Commander 2 is a highly recommended choice. Despite the amazing durability, the tire still has very good performance and handling qualities. See also: Dunlop D404 vs Michelin Commander 2.
Michelin Commander 2 has the H rating and is suitable for high speeds up to 130 mph. It has been chosen as the original equipment for several Triumph models. Just like Dunlop American Elite, Michelin Commander 2 is compatible with a wide range of cruiser bikes, including Harley Davidson and Victory models.
The durability of Michelin Commander 2 is a result from the combination of several advanced technologies. First, the tire casing is constructed with the Amplified Density Technology. What it does is essentially increasing the density and rigidity of the tire to enhance the feedback and handling. The construction is further reinforced with square bead wires to promote the rigidity, handling, and ease of installation. Meanwhile, the all-new tread compound offers increased wet grip without reducing durability.
Special for the rear tires, the company has implemented aramid tread plies. This is to increase the centrifugal growth resistance of the tire while minimizing the weight. As a result, the tire can have great stability in any condition and significantly increased longevity.
The tread pattern of Michelin Commander 2 is fairly aggressive. There are many longitudinal grooves, some of which extend from the center to the edge. The grooves ensure efficient water evacuation and optimum resistance against hydroplaning. The grooves also help to improve the load-bearing surface of the tire.
Michelin Commander 2: Performance
If we compare the performane of Michelin Commander 2 vs Dunlop American Elite, we can notice that Michelin Commander 2 tends provide better traction. At the same time, it also has great stability and handling.
When running on a straight line, both the front and rear tires feel really stable. They stay in the line without showing any sign to jerk to the left or right. However, the transition is surprisingly smooth and quick. When you need to hit a turn or maneuver, you can get the tires to lean and then back upwards without much effort. The performance feels like soft compound tires, but the tires are much more durable than soft compound tires.
The traction is really great. When turning or maneuvering, the tires always feel solid and safe. They grip well onto the road, even at high speeds. Even when taken to a not-so-smooth blacktop road, the tires remain comfortable, stable, and confident.
The wet grip is definitely impressive. The tires continue their safe and confident performance. Obviously, the tread compound and grooves are not just gimmicks. Thanks to these features, the tires can evacuate water from their contact patch and resist hydroplaning really well. The tires never lose traction even on wet roads, so that you can continue riding your bike without any worry.
Michelin Commander 2: Mileage and Durability
When comparing Michelin Commander 2 vs Dunlop American Elite, durability is an aspect that obviously can’t be ignored. Many tires for cruiser bikes don’t have long lifespan because of the heavy work that they need to do. After all, cruiser bikes are typically very heavy and will put great stress on the tires. Still, many bike riders will choose a tire with a longer lifespan whenever available, as longer tire lifespan means less frequent replacement and lower maintenance cost.
If you want a set of cruiser tires with extended mileage, Michelin Commander 2 should be your choice. It has proven its quality to many bike owners, and it sure is an amazing tire in this regard.
Michelin Commander 2 can easily last for 6,000 miles and more. The front tire only experiences minimal flattening even after such an extensive use, with more than half of the original tread depth still available. The tire itself is really tough. It does not get damaged easily, even when facing a relatively harsh road.
Of course, after some time, you will notice that the rear tire of your bike has become in a worse condition than the front tire. However, the rear tire of Michelin Commander 2 can hold up well on its own. The tread life is very good, as it still has some tread depth after 6,000 miles. The rear tire also has excellent toughness, as it doesn’t get affected by road bumps or impacts.
Overview of Dunlop American Elite
According to the company, Dunlop American Elite was resulted from a cooperation between Dunlop’s tire engineers and Motor Company’s engineers. By working closely with the bike producer, Dunlop could have a clearer picture and deeper knowledge of the requirements of modern cruiser bikes. At the same time, the company also combined feedback from their customers. Finally, Dunlop American Elite was born as a non-exclusive cruiser tire suitable for various bike models.
Dunlop American Elite is classified as a tire for V-Twin and cruiser bikes. It is compatible with most Harley Davidson bikes. There are also sizes for select Victory and Indian bikes. Quite recently, Dunlop American Elite has been chosen as the OE for Indian’s Chief Vintage, Chief Classic, and Dark Horse bikes.
One notable difference between Michelin Commander 2 vs Dunlop American Elite is the whitewall availability. Michelin Commander 2 doesn’t have whitewalls. Dunlop American Elite has. So, if you really want a set of whitewall tires, you know which to choose.
Dunlop American Elite features a dual-compound multi-tread construction. The dual-compound design is inspired from sports bike tires. In the center, there is a durable, high-wearing compound to maximize tread life. On the sides, there is a softer compound that is more grippy, offering great traction and handling.
The tread pattern looks somewhat similar to Michelin Commander 2, with plenty of grooves, some of which are long enough to extend from the center to the edge. However, unlike Michelin Commander 2, Dunlop American Elite doesn’t have grooves that meet at the center. Overall, the tread pattern is still quite aggressive.
Dunlop American Elite: Performance
The overall performance of Dunlop American Elite is great. Many people find it very fun and comfortable to ride because of the excellent handling. In addition, the traction is also great and reliable. The stability is good, both when running in a straight line and when cornering.
Dunlop American Elite can be a great choice for an aggressive bike rider that tends to run at high speeds and make evasive maneuvers. The handling is really good, so you won’t find any difficulty when transitioning from one side to the center or to the other side. Both the stability and traction are also good. The tires won’t fail you.
On wet roads, the performance is still good, but it doesn’t seem to resist hydroplaning as great as Michelin Commander 2. Well, don’t make a mistake; the wet grip is still really good. You can still ride your bike confidently even on wet roads. You just need to be a bit more careful when passing over deep pools of water or when hitting a sharp turn.
Dunlop American Elite: Mileage and Durability
In terms of mileage, Dunlop American Elite is pretty good, but definitely not as great as Michelin Commander 2. It is pretty much similar to the average cruiser tires in terms of mileage. Depending on the condition of the roads, you should be able to get a few thousand miles before having to replace your tires.
The initial tread depth is good, so it will take some time until the tires are totally flattened. Upon a closer inspection, The tread depth on the center seems to resist wear better than the sides, as a result of the harder compound on the area. As the effect, the tread wear is relatively even between the center and the sides.
Michelin Commander 2 vs Dunlop
|Michelin Commander 2||Dunlop|
|- All-new tread compound for increased wet grip and durability||- Dual-compound design for durability and handling|
|- Some grooves meet on the center of the tread||- Separate alternating grooves on the tread|
|- Doesn't have whitewalls||- Has whitewalls|
|- Great grip on both dry road and wet road||- The grip is generally great, though slightly lower on wet road|
|- Excellent mileage and durability||- Good mileage and durability|
Each tire here has its own strengths and weaknesses. However, Michelin Commander 2 is generally more recommended because it will give a better value for you in the long run. It has impressive mileage and durability, and it is typically able to last for much longer than other tires. Also, the overall performance is great. The tire has very good stability, traction, and handling.