Dunlop Vs Michelin Motorcycle Tires

Dunlop vs Michelin Motorcycle Tires—Battle of “Big Daddies”

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When you’re looking to burn the best quality rubber, there are many factors to consider. These include traction, comfort, and mileage. 

Both Dunlop and Michelin are the two top names that offer excellent performance and have plenty of loyal followers, but which one is the best?

Tough question. (Think of choosing between Batman and Superman.)

Think

In reality, both brands have some great tires that offer solid performance. The general idea is, Michelin offers better value while Dunlop offers better handling and performance. So, it’s best you make your choice based on your riding style and the motorcycle type.

Not satisfied by short answers? 

Time to dig deeper and find out more! Let’s compare Dunlop vs Michelin motorcycle tires, shall we?

Dunlop vs Michelin — The Best Brand for Motorcycle Tires

Mechanic Changing Motorcycle Tires

First things first, let’s size up the ‘contestants’.

Brand Overview: Dunlop

Without any prejudice, let’s start with Dunlop. (And a short history lesson)

Dunlop was launched as Dunlop Pneumatic Tire Co. Ltd. In 1890 in Dublin, Ireland. The founder was John Boyd Dunlop.

The brand quickly spread across to the rest of the world. However, the present ownership of the Dunlop brand divisions is quite fragmented. The Dunlop Motorcycle Tires in North America is owned by Sumitomo Rubber North America. The manufacturing unit is located in Buffalo, New York.

Dunlop makes every variety of motorcycle ties including sport, street, off-road, and racing.

The brand has introduced various innovations in the world of motorcycle tires over the years. These include the Geomax block-in-a-block technology, MT Multi-Tread technology, and carbon fiber technology. 

Here are a few technologies of Dunlop that have earned praises from motorcycle veterans:

Heat Control TechnologyThis involves advanced tread design to reduce heat build-up in the tires.
Multi-Tread TechnologyTread design using multiple compounds to ensure durability and cornering performance.
Jointless Belt ConstructionA continuous belt around the tire casing to improve strength and handling.
Dynamic Front FormulaAdvanced from tire design that ensures the right balance between steering effort, and neutral handling.

Brand Overview: Michelin 

Michelin is a French tire manufacturing company that was founded almost at the same time as Dunlop. ( Let’s not take this coincidence seriously) The brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin launched the brand in 1889.

Keep in mind, Michelin engineered one of the biggest innovations in the history of tire design. It developed the radial tire in 1946. 

Michelin has more than 10,200 active patents across the world. In the US, Michelin has manufacturing plants in Alabama, North and South Carolina, and Arkansas.

And there’s also Bib, or Bibendum, The puffy white mascot who is still going strong at an age of 120.

At present, Michelin ranks behind Bridgestone as the second-largest tire manufacturing company in the world.

Michelin manufactures a wide range of motorcycle tires including sports, sports tourer, and the roadster.

Here are some of the advanced technologies it uses.

Regenion TechnologyA special tread design that’s developed through 3D metal printing techniques. It allows the treads to self regenerate. 
ACT+ Casing TechnologyThis design process improves cornering stability by reducing the stiffness on the tire crown and retaining it at the sidewalls.
Advanced cCompounding TechnologyMichelin has created a unique material with a high percentage of silica for the treads to reduce rolling resistance.
Pilot Power 2CTThis technology offers excellent grip on dry and wet roads along with power around the curves.

Michelin vs Dunlop Motorcycle Tires — Performance Comparison

Here’s an interesting fact: Michelin claims that Michelin Road 5 tires were tested against the Dunlop Road Smart III, and a few other competitors in the Michelin test center at Fontange. The  Rod 5 emerged as the numero uno in terms of wet road grip.

But this isn’t an independent trial. So make of it as you will.

On the other hand, the Dunlop Roadsmart III was independently tested by Texas Test Fleet, Inc. As per the tests, both the front and rear tires outlasted the Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT by a few thousand miles.

Let’s shift tracks before it gets as confusing as string theory.

When it comes to features like raw performance and durability, both brands have their own strengths and weaknesses. Some Dunlop tires have better features than those from Michelin. Whereas the reverse is true for others.

How about comparing the two brands based on the main parameters?

Performance

Michelin has a few tires (think of the Commander series) that offer excellent wet grip and short stopping distances. Along with excellent traction, the tires are also great for turning or maneuvering. That gives you a lot of confidence even at high speeds

Several Motorcycle Turning At High Speeds

It turns out Dunlop isn’t far behind in this aspect. Tires like the Dunlop American Elite offer solid stability and handling. Even during cornering, you won’t feel any loss in stability.

However, when it comes to resisting hydroplaning Michelin tires have a slight edge. The tread design tends to shake off the water more quickly

That said, many riders have the opinion that Dunlops are more suited for aggressive riding. 

Do you prefer leaving fiery trails of shredded asphalt as you ride?

Then the dual-compound construction of the Dunlops is a great choice.

Winner: Shall we consider this a tie?

Durability and Mileage

Frankly, if you want to get more miles from the tires, Michelin is a better choice. I have seen Michelin Commanders last easily above 6500 miles with minimum loss of tread structure. Even in harsh road conditions, Michelin tires can hold up well. 

We all know this. The rear tires, being the empower wheel, wear down faster. But in most cases, Michelin rear tires have excellent toughness and prolonged tread life.

What about Dunlop?

It’s not that Dunlop tires have a poor life. There are riders who have used the Roadsmart IV and swear that the tire offers the same ride quality at 8,000 miles as it did at 2,000 miles

And let’s not forget the life of a tire can vary depending on your riding style and ride conditions.

In the end, choosing the finest motorcycle tires is about finding the right balance between mileage and traction. But when it comes to overall durability, we feel that Michelin still has the lead. 

You might say the price of Michelin tires is on the higher side. But in the long run, you will get more bang-for-the-buck from them.

Winner: Michelin (Phew. That’s a close one!)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best tire brand for motorcycles?

There are quite a few top motorcycle tire brands including Dunlop, Michelin, Metzeler, Bridgestone, and Pirelli. You can choose a tire based on what works best for your bike and the ride conditions.

Does Michelin make Dunlop?

No, Michelin doesn’t make Dunlop. They are two different tire brands.

How long do Dunlop motorcycle tires last?

Dunlop motorcycle tires last long enough. A tire like the Roadsmart IV can last for 10000 miles. But the lifespan can vary depending on the tire design and your riding style.

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