The Best Rubber on the Road: Harley-Davidson Tyres

The Best Rubber on the Road: Harley-Davidson Tyres


No great Harley-Davidson bike would be completed without branded tyres. Jennings takes pride in being able to sell Harley-Davidson tyres. These tyres have been put through vigorous testing by Harley-Davidson, and they have been designed to handle any and all types of road condition.


Tyre Wear is All in the Tread


Your tyres are designed to stand up to a lot of punishment. They are easily the most important part of the bike when it comes to maintenance. Wear happens. It makes no difference how careful a rider you are because wear will occur whether you want it to or not. However, the rate of wear on the tyres of motorcycles is greater than the equivalents on cars because the part of the tyre that comes into contact with the road is smaller. Therefore, it wears away much faster.


You need to monitor the wear on your tyres regularly. This should always form part of your pre-ride checks.


The main contributors to tyre wear are:


Inflation – A tyre that is inflated to the correct pressure reduce the rate of wear.


Aggression – The more aggressively you take those corners and the harder you push your bike, the more likely it is that the tyres are going to wear away at a rapid rate of knots.


Road Surface – A gravelly road will wear away your tyres far faster than a freshly tarmacked carriageway.


Passengers – The more often you carry passengers, the more weight presses down on the tyres. This puts more pressure on the tyres’ contact areas.


Compounds – How your tyres are made can influence how quickly they wear away. Sports tyres, for example, are softer and lead to more rapid wear.


Placement – Tyres that are bulging or cracked will deteriorate extremely quickly. Therefore, you have to look out for these signs.


Other than overt signs on your tyres, you should look at the tread. Use a tyre gauge before you begin each ride. You should have a minimum of 0.8 mm of tread depth. Anything less than this means that you are no longer getting the grip you need to keep you safe.


How Do You Choose the Right Tyre?


At Jennings, we want you to make sure that you are considering all the options when it comes to tyre choices. Harley-Davidson tyres are our favourites, of course, but we would never do anything more than recommend them to our customers.


We believe everyone should see for themselves so they can make an informed decision. When it comes to Harley-Davidson, the company liaises directly with Dunlop and Michelin to produce custom tyres for the specific models of Harley.


Which Tyres Do Harley Use?


There are only six types of tyres used on Harley-Davidson bikes. We recommend choosing from these six, with two made by Michelin and the remainder by Dunlop. They have all been tested at Harley-Davidson’s Arizona facility, which is notorious for its harsh driving conditions.


Dunlop Tyres


Dunlop is one of the oldest tyre companies, founded by John Boyd in 1888. This company was responsible for introducing Kevlar belts to motorbike tyres and is one of the major world leaders in tyres. They have worked with Harley-Davidson since 1984.


D407/D408F Touring


These tyres are made for the Softail models from 2006 up until the present day, and the FL Touring models from 2009 onwards. They come with MT multi-tread technology and possess the following benefits:


·         A tough tread compound in the centre of the tyre to provide more stability and traction

·         Enhances traction through the grip compound on the side of each tyre; boosts grip when taking corners

·         Comes with a reinforced tyre carcass to give it more strength and to improve its lifespan

·         The angled lateral grooves push water out of the way on wet roads.


GT502 Performance/GT502F Sport Bias


This performance tyre has been optimised with a superior contact patch and extra grip in dry conditions. It also possesses fantastic grip in wet weather conditions. Currently, it is available to use on both Dyna and Sportster motorbikes. It comes with a maximum speed rating and has been recommended for its cornering ability in both dry and wet conditions.


D401 Cruiser


Harley-Davidson has approved this cruise tyrefor use on a range of its cruiser models. Some of the main benefits include:


·         a tread pattern and a unique chemical compound that offers superior grip in dry and wet weather

·         a bias-belted construction and computer-generated treads to ensure that the tyre lasts for longer.


You can find this tyre in a range of sizes for the front and rear tyre, making it one of the most flexible of the tyres provided by Dunlop for Harley-Davidson bikes.


D402 Touring


The Dunlop touring tyre comes with a three-ply polymer casing and two fibreglass belts, making this one of the strongest tyres available. Its computer optimised tread profile gives it superior grip and a longer lifespan. You can find it in a number of forms, including black, white stripe, and wide whitewall.


Michelin Tyres


The Michelin tyre has existed for over a century. In 1946, it became famous for introducing the first-ever radial tyre. It pioneered many of the motorbike tyres currently on the market today. It only teamed up with Harley-Davidson in 2007. They collaborated to create a range of fine tyres. As of this writing, there are two main tyres on the market.


The Michelin Scorcher 31


·         The best grip in the industry on wet and dry roads due to the rubber compounds featured within. It comes from the decades of racing experience that Michelin has.

·         The casing design is supple and malleable, thus allowing total control on the roads.

·         The carbon black rubber compounds provide excellent durability without compromising on performance.


The Michelin Scorcher 11


·         Greatgrip that comes from a semi-slick tread pattern. Maximises the contact patch to reduce the pressure on individual points.

·         The groove design pushes water out of the way to offer grip that you can rely on.

·         The tread grip on offer comes from the championship-winning Michelin racing tyres the company is known for. This means that you can count on a tyre that lasts.

·         No compromise on handling. The latest radial tyres produced by Michelin are designed with agility and manoeuvrability in mind.