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  • Michelin Commanders

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tires have been discussed in depth here, but 2 brands / models constantly bubble to the top.

Which one, and more importantly, why?

Considerations:
- Longevity

- Dry straight grip
- Dry twisties grip
- Dry braking straight
- Dry braking turning

- Wet straight grip
- Wet twisties grip
- Wet braking straight
- Wet braking turning
 

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Tires have been discussed in depth here, but 2 brands / models constantly bubble to the top.

Which one, and more importantly, why?

Considerations:
- Longevity

- Dry straight grip
- Dry twisties grip
- Dry braking straight
- Dry braking turning

- Wet straight grip
- Wet twisties grip
- Wet braking straight
- Wet braking turning

After weighing the two I chose the Commander II's because the Night Dragons (rear or front tire) are all over two years old can't remember which. Not the end of the world by any means but I was able to get Commander II's well under a year old.

Nobody at any store nor Pirelli in Rome, Georgia who is listed as the contact point on their website could tell me how long the Night Dragons might last.

The Commander II's did have mileage estimates published and best I could tell from Night Dragon users it was about four times the expected life of the Night Dragons.

I ride a good bit, over 1000 miles a month. I guess I'd already have had to replace the Night Dragons but there's so much more I want to do the the bike than be buying tires every four months or so.

I'm not at the skill level yet to be talking much about grip. I can tell you that I regularly go around pretty sharp curves at 75-80 mph with the tires cold with no issues (close to the house). I've never had an issue wet or dry but I have broken a tire loose in the wet from a standing start where I didn't feel like I was "getting on it" etc. Surprised me but likely just my lack of experience. My thought at the time was that well you could probably break one loose dry too if you desired. I've been through a couple of thunderstorms where the rain was so hard I had my hazards on because I was afraid I couldn't be seen it was raining so hard and had no issues.

Tar snakes 1000 percent better than on the Kendas and yellow lines don't have the skating rink feel they did with the Kendas. They also seem to be a much more responsive tire.

Edited to add:

I've had someone stop quickly in front of me and I wasn't paying close enough attention. I wound up locking the rear tire and slid probably 25ft all under control. Ha. I say that because it did start coming around a little but when I released pressure on the brake it wasn't an issue. I'm thinking I'm about over it now but when I first learned to ride like almost 40 years ago I was taught never to use the front brake and so primacy kept me heavy on the back brake during instinctual responses. I've changed it now I believe. The tire wasn't damaged at all.

I practice an emergency stop when approaching my driveway a lot and it always is straight and quick. Always dry though. I'll have to try it wet.

They also handle well on just wet roads.
 

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Tires have been discussed in depth here, but 2 brands / models constantly bubble to the top.

Which one, and more importantly, why?

Considerations:
- Longevity

- Dry straight grip
- Dry twisties grip
- Dry braking straight
- Dry braking turning

- Wet straight grip
- Wet twisties grip
- Wet braking straight
- Wet braking turning
I was not concerned with longevity (mine perhaps, but not the tires). The Kenda tires just handled poorly on gravel, tar snakes, and in wet weather/wet pavement. In another post Meggie states that they put Michellins on all their bikes. Sounds like a fine idea to me. The Commander II tires grip well and handle well under ALL of the above conditions. Happy as I am with the Commanders I saw no need to experiment with the Night Dragons. So much for the subjective after over 6 K miles on them.
 

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I bought the Pirelli Night Dragons because they offered the best grip. Tire manufacturers will boast of their new compounds and tread patterns that offer both grip and longevity, and to an extent its true, in that strides have been made towards making tires that offer both better grip and longevity from tires from years past or cheaply made tires (cough, Kendas, cough). However, all tires are made to some compromise point between the two competing ideals as grip requires soft pliable tires that grip all the tiny road imperfections, however longevity mandates stiffer compounds that cause less friction and therefore wear, but also grip between the road surface and the tire. The Commanders have good grip and great longevity, the Pirelli's good longevity and great grip. It's your call.
 

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I bought the Pirelli Night Dragons because they offered the best grip. Tire manufacturers will boast of their new compounds and tread patterns that offer both grip and longevity, and to an extent its true, in that strides have been made towards making tires that offer both better grip and longevity from tires from years past or cheaply made tires (cough, Kendas, cough). However, all tires are made to some compromise point between the two competing ideals as grip requires soft pliable tires that grip all the tiny road imperfections, however longevity mandates stiffer compounds that cause less friction and therefore wear, but also grip between the road surface and the tire. The Commanders have good grip and great longevity, the Pirelli's good longevity and great grip. It's your call.
Sidewall structure/stiffness and tread pattern is also an important factors in the longevity vs grip equation. It's much more complex then rubber compound alone.

Paul
 

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Sidewall structure/stiffness and tread pattern is also an important factors in the longevity vs grip equation. It's much more complex then rubber compound alone.

Paul
Tracking, I mentioned tread pattern. I didn't specifically mention side walls, but yes, that's a factor too. My point was there are competing ideals and there will typically be some trade off or compromise and where that ideally should be is up to the individual rider.
 

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Tracking, I mentioned tread pattern. I didn't specifically mention side walls, but yes, that's a factor too. My point was there are competing ideals and there will typically be some trade off or compromise and where that ideally should be is up to the individual rider.
Yes sir, tire are a personal choice as are all things in life. A well informed consumer will made the wise choice that best suits their needs.

Tread pattern is a major factor in traction as well, especially wet traction.

Paul
 

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The Commanders have good grip and great longevity, the Pirelli's good longevity and great grip. It's your call.
And there lies the crux of the matter…riding style. This being an Indian forum we are not talking about rice burning crotch rockets here. Cruisers, baggers, and touring bikes although the differences between them seem to blur a bit even in the mind's of Indian engineers. Me? I'm a peg dragger, just the way I roll. In general I think it safe to say that the bigger the bike the less need to roll on the sidewall of the tires (not literally but I'm sure you get the gist). I don't ride for CHP and don't stunt ride.

As for the Commander II's being a little "stiffer" than the Dragons? My Indian dealer's part's whiz DID mention the commanders were supposedly stiffer (which is as you mentioned) but was not surprised at my performance report on the new rubber. It breaks down to the subjective again: based on YOUR bike, YOUR skills, YOUR experience. All are different. If enough forum riders had chosen the Dragons and reported good results we'd probably all be riding on Dragons instead of Commander II's.
 

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I know Michelins don't match Exact oem specs and think the Night Dragons don't either. I won't consider them unless they exceed oem specs. Riding 2up much of the time and packed for two week trip it's just not worth it to me.
 

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I would never buy a Pirelli tire. And yes, Pirelli owns Metzler, but they are leaving them alone, do like the Metzlers.
Amen brother Metzler builds awesome tires and I can't understand why Pirelli didn't benefit from the union of the two.
 

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Amen brother Metzler builds awesome tires and I can't understand why Pirelli didn't benefit from the union of the two.
To you as well, I ask, what issue you take with Pirelli? Is there a difference in reputation in the sport bike world vs the cruiser world?

I came to the Scout from the Sportbike world, where Pirelli is king. What tires does a Ducati Panigale or a Ferrari come stock with? Not Metzler or Michelin, but Pirelli.

Most here came from the Harley world where Harleys are genuine, iconic, legendary American bikes noted for their sound, style, and top shelf attention to detail and sport bikes are plastic clad, cheap, foreign, uncomfortable, ugly, rice rockets ridden by punk squids who can't afford a real bike. To hear the sport bike guys tell it, their bikes are adrenaline pumping, precision engineered, master pieces of high tech form and function that carve canyons like a scalpel where as the Harleys are over priced, under engineered, unreliable, poorly performing, relics, with technology better suited to turn of the century agricultural equipment ridden by pirate wannabes with groupthink. Both points of view are exaggerated here for comic effect, and both have their grains of truth. As I said, matter of perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
To you as well, I ask, what issue you take with Pirelli? Is there a difference in reputation in the sport bike world vs the cruiser world? I came to the Scout from the Sportbike world, where Pirelli is king. What tires does a Ducati Panigale or a Ferrari come stock with? Not Metzler or Michelin, but Pirelli.
Good points. From that, for me, it now comes down to longevity. Which one would last the longest?

I'm at 7000 miles on the stock Kendas and they're due. Did the Cherohala and Tail last weekend.
 

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Good points. From that, for me, it now comes down to longevity. Which one would last the longest?
It's subjective but in all my research you're going to get about 3-4 times the miles out of the Commander II's. Somewhere around 20,000 vs 5000.

The new Pirelli front or rear I still can't remember is supposed to do better. They don't make it for both yet though and don't know when/if they will. They don't know what better is just more longer. Ha
 

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To you as well, I ask, what issue you take with Pirelli? Is there a difference in reputation in the sport bike world vs the cruiser world?

I came to the Scout from the Sportbike world, where Pirelli is king. What tires does a Ducati Panigale or a Ferrari come stock with? Not Metzler or Michelin, but Pirelli.

Most here came from the Harley world where Harleys are genuine, iconic, legendary American bikes noted for their sound, style, and top shelf attention to detail and sport bikes are plastic clad, cheap, foreign, uncomfortable, ugly, rice rockets ridden by punk squids who can't afford a real bike. To hear the sport bike guys tell it, their bikes are adrenaline pumping, precision engineered, master pieces of high tech form and function that carve canyons like a scalpel where as the Harleys are over priced, under engineered, unreliable, poorly performing, relics, with technology better suited to turn of the century agricultural equipment ridden by pirate wannabes with groupthink. Both points of view are exaggerated here for comic effect, and both have their grains of truth. As I said, matter of perspective.
Metzler Tourance was the best adventure touring tire I've had and I ran through two sets. I'm now running Michelin Anakee 3 and they are a good tire but not what the Tourance was. The Pirelli equal is priced much higher (25=30%) and the general feedback has been sour. My adventure touring is 98% road but the tires do engage severe conditions via sport riding, extended touring range, and some rough back roads, I get very good mileage from my tires.
 

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Michelins. I do a thousand miles a month, use the bike for transportation. I'm in the good grip great life side of the camp. And the grip does far exceed the Kendas in all conditions. I am intrigued by the Dunlop duel compound solution, but need more data. They do not seem to have generated the consistent reviews I would hope for. I have full confidence in the Michelins performing as advertised.
 

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Ok, I'll throw in also, reckon I'm gonna go with the Metzler when come time to change out the stock tires on my Chieftain Dark Horse, reason is, I DO ride in the rain and would rather have traction over how long they will last over another.
 

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I would mention too, this is a Scout thread, we're talking tires as applied to the Scout. The requirements of the Chief bikes are significantly different.
 
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