Michelin Launches New Commander III Cruiser Tire

The fresh rubber designed for cruisers promises better grip and longevity.

Michelin unveiled its latest new V-twin Cruiser and Touring tire series at last week’s Daytona Biketoberfest. Shown is the Cruiser tire.
Michelin unveiled its latest new V-twin Cruiser and Touring tire series at last week’s Daytona Biketoberfest. Shown is the Cruiser tire.Courtesy Michelin

This past weekend at Biketoberfest in Daytona Beach, Florida, Michelin showcased the latest addition to its V-twin Cruiser and Touring tire lineup. The new Commander III custom tire unveil went down at Bruce Rossmeyer's Harley-Davidson, but for the rest of us, the fresh rubber won't be available for purchase until January 2020.

The company's shy on the rest of the details though, emphasizing mostly that the Commander III—like the Commander II—is designed for better grip in the wet as well as superior durability. How much better, Michelin doesn't say, adding only that the Commander III Touring tire gets new tread compounds that are set up to exceed its predecessor's grip and longevity, thus enhancing the handling and stability of your bagger. The Michelin Commander III Cruiser tire meanwhile—according to the press release—is engineered to deliver the same results: outstanding wet grip without compromising longevity. Sounds like an evolutionary step over the Commander II, which, you guessed it, was designed for long life, exceptional handling, and stability.

The new Commander III will be available in January of 2020, with pricing and sizes to be announced. Hopefully by then we’ll have some photos without the Michelin Man.
The new Commander III will be available in January of 2020, with pricing and sizes to be announced. Hopefully by then we’ll have some photos without the Michelin Man.Courtesy Michelin

Michelin does toss in a few key phrases to flesh out the description though. The new tire gets "Amplified Density Technology," which apparently is a highly dense, more rigid tire casing designed to boost feedback and deliver better handling. Aramid tread plies in the rear tire resist centrifugal growth and reduce weight, for better stability even at highway speeds. That all-new rubber compound is formulated for exceptional grip on wet or dry roads, yet still aims for "remarkable durability." Michelin also touts a "groundbreaking new look" for the tire, which in this case translates into a unique tread design and a premium sidewall treatment to better align with that all-important V-twin cruiser styling mandate. That innovative (and apparently good-looking) longitudinal tread pattern also aids in efficient water evacuation and grip on wet roads.

As Michelin puts it, the Commander III “goes for distinctive tread patterns and patented velvet sidewall designs of the new line…to enhance the styling of all V-twin motorcycles.”

“Michelin developed this tire line to optimize riding enjoyment with a focus on improving the tread life and wet grip versus the already widely accepted Commander II tire line,” said Shane Messner, director of two-wheel at Michelin North America.

No word yet on pricing or sizes, but Michelin is offering us a ride on the new tire at Daytona Bike Week this March, so stay tuned and we'll let you know if the Commander III lives up to all the hype.