Michelin Commander II Cruiser Tires | Test

Michelin Motorcycle Tire Test

For 2012, Michelin has introduced a new long-distance tire for cruisers – the Commander II.

According to Michelin, the Commander II tires feature "a new rubber compound without aromatic oils to meet the long mileage demands of cruiser consumers," while at the same time offering "a new standard in cruiser tire longevity and uncompromised handling and stability." 

We had Mile High Harley-Davidson of Parker, Colo., mount the Michelin Commander II tires to our Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Classic.

According to the installation technician, the Commander IIs have a deeper tread than most tires. "For the majority of Commander II tires, which are bias-ply, new tread compounds were developed to echo the characteristics of the Silica Rain Technology-infused radial, with emphasis on tire longevity and wet-weather handling," Michelin tells us.

Our tire tech told us the Commander IIs were slipperier than average, so they would require about 100 miles of careful break-in (about double the norm). Playing it safe, we followed his recommendation.

On different types of asphalt, the Michelin Commander II tires performed quite well after break-in. In Colorado, our roads leave much to be desired.

The Commander II tires did well on rocky asphalt, deliver less vibration than our previous Dunlop tires, and grip quite well. Michelin claims a high-density carcass-Amplified Density Technology-for improved maneuverability and feedback. We were certainly satisfied with the feel of the tires, even on less-than-satisfactory roads.

Michelin claims that "third-party tests show that the Michelin Commander II rear tire lasts almost twice as long as its main competitors." The company also claims "the new compound also helps achieve remarkable wet grip performance without compromising mileage."

According to Michelin, "impressive water dispersal characteristics are provided by longitudinal grooves in the tire tread pattern, enhancing grip in wet conditions." As weather in the Colorado Rockies has prevented a full evaluation for wet weather performance and final mileage before replacement, that will have to wait until our long-term test can be completed. 

The Michelin Commander II tire are currently available in the following sizes:

Michelin Commander II Front

  • 130/90 B16 73H Reinforced
  • 120/90 B17 64S
  • 130/80 B17 65H
  • 100/90 B19 57H
  • 80/90-21 54H

Michelin Commander II Rear

  • 140/90 B15 76H Reinforced
  • 150/90 B15 74H
  • 170/80 B15 77H
  • 130/90 B16 73H Reinforced
  • 150/80 B16 77H Reinforced
  • 140/90 B16 77H Reinforced
  • 180/65 B16 81H Reinforced
  • 140/75 R17 67V Radial
  • 160/70 B17 73V
  • 200/55 R17 78V Radial