Tire Advice For Indian


Ok, serious question looking for opinions from full touring riders (RMs). I have run nothing but Dunlop tires for decades. I have gotten good mileage and never experienced a problem. There are a few other choices out there, Avon, Michelen, Continental, Pirelli and others. I would like to hear from riders who have experienced some of the other brands. Are there any that are really any better then the old dependable lops?

Carl Hur 6 years 30 Answers 2777 views 0

Answers ( 30 )

  1. I personally like the Bridgestone g704 on the rear, unfortunately the matching g709 doesn’t come in the same size as my RM requires so I’m following this thread. I’ll probably be going with a metzler or Avon up front with the bridgestone in the rear in the next couple of weeks.

    • Mixing and matching brands on a motorcycle has always been a questionable choice to me. Doesn’t mean it don’t work but I am sure the tires are designed to work together. The new Avons do look good.

      • I’ve always heard that mixing is bad too Carl Hursky, but in recent years I’ve changed rears and left different brands up front with no ill effects. I’m a daily rider that logs 13k-15k a year that covers everything from commuting to touring. I’ve never been happy with the Dunlops performance so I’m always looking for the best tires that suit my riding style, which most people I ride with say is overly aggressive in cornering, braking, and acceleration….

  2. I have a 2015 RM. I got 17k on my stock tires and I went with the Dunlop Elite 4s on second set and have 18k on them with 1 or 2k left on them. Very pleased. Will go with Elite 4’s again.

    • They have always worked very well for me. That’s why I have always stuck with them. The new Metz and Contis make big claims. I am just exploring other options.

    • Do you have a problem with wet traction with the E4? I just have no trust in them on wet pavement. Corners haven’t been a problem but I still don’t trust them because stopping and starting is tricky

    • Chris FOrty, I’ve heard that before. However I haven’t experienced that. I ride a lot, which means I ride in the rain a lot. I say if you don’t ride in rain, you don’t ride. The E4’s have a harder center and I’m enjoying the miles. Looks like I’m going to get 19 to 20k on rear.

  3. I believe my issue is it’s not as sticky in the center with the harder compound for mileage. I’ve felt nothing in the corners to make me uneasy but after having it break free starting out or stopping slowly in heaven rain, the comfort level isn’t there.

    I agree the durability is awesome and I to ride in the rain alot. 27,000 miles this year so far. I don’t avoid weather.

  4. Chris, I got it. There is a difference I’m sure. But I just don’t worry about it. If you’re riding straight it doesn’t matter with the harder center and if you’re cornering you’re using the softer side.

  5. The “breaking free” is influenced by over all load and of course horsepower and the use of it. Under hard acceleration sure it will spin. I attributed that to the excellent torque of the T111. And my aggressive throttle hand. I don’t know if any of the others would stick better then the Dunlop but under more normal riding it doesn’t happen.

  6. Agreed but when in the corner and you see a wet spot in like ohhhh ssshhhhhiiiiittttt please hold.

  7. Carl Hursky I agree somewhat but I can tell you that under easy acceleration and deceleration in heavy rain it’s common place.

  8. True, could raise your anxiety level. I have never experienced slippage in a corner.

  9. I often push the corners until something touches. The wear pattern on the tire is right to the edge of the tread.

  10. Me either but I have had extreme pucker factor haha
    I do the same my exhaust great shields are thin.

  11. Yes, when a friend questioned my sparks I found both muffled scratched underneath.

  12. Of the tires I’ve tried preference in order Avon, Bridgestone and a distant third are the Dunflops. I prefer stickiness over mileage.

  13. Riiigght! Gona put a cheap Chinese tire on a 30 k motorcycle? Go for it. Certainly not me.

  14. Why does it always seem to come down to the highest mileage on these kinds of posts? If you want high mileage use a run flat car tire! Performs better than any Dunlop motorcycle tire on the market! But back to it, 14k-18k miles on a rear is fantastic, but how’d it perform when you left work at 5 in the morning in pissing rain and 40 degrees? The true question to be asked is what tire performs, no matter the condition, what can you ride on in most any situation like it’s 80 and sunny? That’s the tire everyone should be flocking to! Not “I do 500 mile days on the interstate and my tires perform flawlessly and I’m getting 18k miles” kind of tires. Everyone that rides a moto is constantly questioning their current tire and looking for something better. Maybe that’s what needs to happen on future posts, what’s the best tire for mountain rides, best for interstate high miles, best for everyday/every weather? Those are the way these tire threads should start out and be based on, Situations! Expectations! I degress, sorry for the rant…..

    • Well it doesn’t rain in cali soooo…

    • Your rant was correct. I have gotten good mileage out of the lops but it rains ALOT in southern LA. The responses I was looking for is what people have found performs best in poor weather conditions. Most anything is fine on a dry road in a straight line, but that’s not often the situation.

    • Carl Hursky, as I stated in my earlier post, the bridgestone g704 is an awesome tire for the rear. It’s unfortunate that indian decided to put that little 16 inch on the front end. I’ve got a series of test I run any time I start off in the rain to know how and where my traction is at. 2nd gear roll on starting 10 mph or so, apply an aggressive amount of throttle to see where the rear end breaks loose at. That gives you a good idea how aggressive you can be in case you need to move fast. The 2nd test concerns the front tire and cornering, basically just see how much you can lean and at what speed you start feeling the front slip. The Dunlops never pass these tests. Commander 2s only performed slightly better than the Dunlops after they warm up. The rear Commander 2 also felt like it was buckling on the sidewall when aggressively coming out of corners due to the bias construction I’m assuming. The bridgestone took a lot of power to get it to break loose in the wet on my roll on test and feels planted and solid in the curvy stuff. Mileage wise, 12k to 13k is what I was getting on my Vic with 115hp/115tq, and I used most of that power all the time. Now to find a front tire that will match up and meet the expectations that I have.

    • Shit on the Dunlop you can’t hit it hard in fourth gear on the Roadmaster. But they are a torque monster.

  15. I’ve run Pilot 4’s and also Dunlops Elite 4’s. Just put a set of the Elite 4’s on my roadmaster about 5,000 miles ago. Like riding on rails, and great in the rain. Best tire I’ve ever put on her.

  16. Cant speak from Indian experience yet…but as soon as I need them, I’m grabbing Michelin Commander II’s…on my Harley Road King and Heritage, they go at least twice as far as what the Dunlops did…but also handled a lot nicer over tar strips on hot days, and bridge grates.. rain was always good…no wiggle in the wheels…so I cant imagine they’ll let me down on the Indians.

  17. Dunlop Elite 4 and American Eagle, Mitclin Commanders II are also good if they fit. All dual compound tires.

  18. A word of caution. I spoke with a Michelin rep. They DO NOT recommend their tires for the Roadmaster. He said they did not have anything to fit which does not seem to be true. He said if someone has them they must be running the wrong tire. I have called all the major reps and come down to a choice of ME88’s or the new Dunlop Elite 4’s.

    • Well, they do have tires to fit …I know some people running them on a Chief, and another on a Chieftain… And aside from the trunk, a Roadmaster is essentially the same bike, with some fancy bits added… Did he say it had anything to do with load ratings? Because that’s the only thing I could think of as an issue. And even that I wouldn’t think is the issue ..I mean, we been running them on Harley Touring bikes for years now.

    • I was just told they do not have anything to recommend for Roadmasters. J&P cycles had a 180 -16 shown for the rear so I am not sure why the don’t want them on RMs.

  19. Dunlop also has the American Eagle which is dual compound available in white wall.

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