Dunlop vs Michelin Motorcycle Tyres: Which One Takes the Crown?

dunlop vs michelin

Choosing the right tyres for your motorcycle is crucial, as they are the only point of contact between the bike and the road. With numerous tyre manufacturers in the market, two prominent names that stand out are Dunlop and Michelin. Both brands have established themselves as leaders in the industry, offering a wide range of tyres for various motorcycle types and riding conditions. In this article we aim to guide riders through the Dunlop vs Michelin debate by offering a detailed comparison of their motorcycle tyres.

Company Background

HistoryDunlop traces its origins back to the late 19th century when John Boyd Dunlop, a Scottish veterinarian, invented the pneumatic tyre.Michelin was founded in 1889 by brothers Édouard and André Michelin, establishing a long and illustrious history in the tyre industry.
LegacyDunlop’s invention revolutionized the cycling and automotive industries, including the world of motorcycles. The company has a rich history of providing high-quality tyres for motorcycles, garnering a strong reputation among riders worldwide.Michelin introduced radial tyre construction, which revolutionized tyre performance and handling. Their innovation in this area has become the industry standard for motorcycle tyres.
CommitmentDunlop is committed to innovation and excellence. The company has accumulated a wealth of experience and expertise, making it one of the most trusted and respected tyre manufacturers in the motorcycle industry.Michelin is dedicated to innovation, safety, and performance. Their commitment to research and development has led to numerous game-changing technologies and advancements in motorcycle tyre manufacturing.
Technological InnovationsDunlop has introduced multi-compound tyre construction, utilizing different rubber compounds in specific areas of the tyre to optimize grip, handling, and durability.Michelin’s advancements include radial tyre construction, which provides improved performance and handling characteristics. They have also introduced technologies like 2CT (Two-Compound Technology) and 2CT+ (Dual-Compound Plus Technology) for enhanced grip and cornering performance.
Notable FeaturesDunlop’s multi-compound tyre construction allows for optimized grip, handling, and durability. The use of different rubber compounds in specific areas of the tyre ensures superior performance in various riding conditions.Michelin focuses on striking a balance between grip and longevity in their tyre compounds, resulting in excellent performance throughout the tyre’s lifespan. They have also conducted extensive research in tread pattern design, developing innovative patterns that offer optimal grip in both wet and dry conditions.
TechnologiesDunlop has incorporated advanced features like silica-based compounds for enhanced wet grip, carbon fiber reinforcement for improved stability, and innovative tread patterns designed to maximize traction in different riding conditions.Michelin’s technologies include 2CT (Two-Compound Technology) and 2CT+ (Dual-Compound Plus Technology), which provide improved grip and cornering performance. They have also invested in tread pattern optimization to ensure optimal grip in various weather conditions.

Performance Factors – Dunlop vs Michelin

When comparing Dunlop and Michelin motorcycle tyres, several key performance factors come into play. These factors contribute to the overall handling, stability, grip, and durability of the tyres. Understanding how Dunlop and Michelin address these aspects can help riders determine which brand’s tyres are best suited for their riding style and requirements.

Tread Design and Patterns

Dunlop’s tread designs often focus on maximizing contact patch and providing consistent grip throughout various riding conditions. They incorporate features like angled grooves, sipes, and channels to enhance water evacuation and promote better traction.

On the other hand, Michelin is known for its innovative tread patterns that are designed for specific purposes. They utilize a combination of longitudinal grooves, lateral grooves, and specialized rubber compounds to ensure optimal grip and handling characteristics in different scenarios.

Effects of Tread Patterns on Traction, Stability, and Handling

Dunlop’s tread designs often prioritize stability and cornering performance. They focus on maximizing the contact area of the tyre with the road, allowing for enhanced grip during acceleration, braking, and cornering maneuvers.

Michelin, on the other hand, emphasizes a balanced approach, tailoring their tread patterns to offer both stability and wet weather performance. Their tread designs aim to evacuate water efficiently, reducing the risk of hydroplaning and maintaining traction on wet surfaces.

Grip and Traction

Dunlop has a reputation for providing tyres with excellent grip, particularly in dry conditions. Their tyres often feature advanced compounds and construction techniques that enhance traction, allowing riders to confidently navigate corners and accelerate with control.

Michelin, too, is renowned for its focus on grip and traction. Their tyres incorporate a combination of compounds and tread patterns that provide reliable grip in various conditions, including wet and dry surfaces. Michelin’s use of innovative rubber compounds and tread technologies allows for enhanced traction and stability.

Comparing the Technologies

Dunlop utilizes technologies such as Multi-Tread (MT) compounds, which combine different rubber compounds within the same tyre to optimize grip and wear resistance. They also incorporate innovative tread compounds that offer excellent grip in both dry and wet conditions.

Michelin employs their proprietary compounds, such as the Dual-Compound Technology (2CT) and Dual-Compound Plus Technology (2CT+). These technologies involve using different rubber compounds on different parts of the tyre to optimize grip, stability, and longevity. Michelin’s compounds are specifically designed to enhance performance in various riding conditions.

Durability and Mileage

Dunlop tyres are known for their durability and ability to withstand demanding riding conditions. The brand utilizes high-quality materials and construction techniques to enhance tyre strength and longevity. They focus on providing tyres that can endure high-speed riding, sharp cornering, and long-distance touring without excessive wear and tear.

Similarly, Michelin tyres are engineered to offer excellent durability and mileage. Michelin utilizes advanced compounds and construction methods to enhance tyre longevity while maintaining performance. Their focus on wear resistance allows riders to enjoy extended mileage without sacrificing grip or handling.

Factors Affecting Tyre Lifespan

Dunlop addresses tyre lifespan by utilizing durable rubber compounds and robust construction techniques. They focus on optimizing the balance between grip and longevity, ensuring that riders can enjoy extended use from their tyres without compromising performance. Additionally, Dunlop provides clear recommendations for tyre maintenance and proper inflation, which can significantly impact tyre lifespan.

Michelin employs similar strategies to enhance tyre lifespan. Their use of specialized rubber compounds and tread designs that offer even wear distribution helps maximize mileage. Michelin also provides guidance on proper tyre maintenance, such as regular inspections, correct tyre pressures, and appropriate storage conditions, to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Expert Opinions and User Reviews

Dunlop’s Expert Opinions: Dunlop tyres have been subject to extensive testing and evaluation by industry experts. Many experts highlight Dunlop’s commitment to performance, durability, and safety. They often praise the brand for its innovative tread designs, excellent grip, and stability in both dry and wet conditions. The consistent positive feedback from experts reaffirms Dunlop’s reputation as a reliable and high-performance tyre manufacturer.

Michelin’s Expert Opinions: Michelin tyres have also garnered praise from industry experts. The brand is frequently commended for its technological advancements, exceptional grip, and handling characteristics. Experts often highlight Michelin’s focus on safety and longevity, recognizing their efforts to provide tyres that excel in both performance and durability. Michelin’s reputation as a premium tyre manufacturer is consistently upheld by the positive assessments of experts.

Dunlop’s User Reviews: User reviews of Dunlop motorcycle tyres reflect a high level of satisfaction among riders. Many users appreciate Dunlop’s tyres for their excellent grip, cornering ability, and overall performance. Positive reviews often mention the confidence-inspiring nature of Dunlop tyres and their reliability in various riding conditions. Users also frequently praise the longevity and durability of Dunlop tyres, highlighting their value for money.

Michelin’s User Reviews: User reviews of Michelin motorcycle tyres are similarly positive, with riders expressing satisfaction with their performance. Michelin tyres are frequently lauded for their exceptional grip, stability, and wet weather performance. Users often highlight the smooth and comfortable ride provided by Michelin tyres, even during long-distance travel. Many riders appreciate the extended mileage potential and longevity of Michelin tyres, considering them a worthwhile investment.

It is important to note that user experiences and opinions can vary based on individual riding styles, preferences, and specific motorcycle models.

Here are some of the comments made by real life riders,

  • In my experience, Dunlop tires have not impressed me as much as their snow tires did 10 years ago.
  • Dunlop tires offer good road holding and braking, while Michelin tires have better longevity and cost more. It depends on your priorities.
  • Dunlop slicks are excellent for racing and track riding, but their touring tires didn’t work well for my Goldwing. Michelin tires are versatile for street and track.
  • Dunlop is known for performance, while Michelin is known for durability and ride quality. It depends on your needs and budget.
  • Michelin tires are considered superior due to their longevity, all-weather handling, and comfortable ride.


  • Better handling and performance
  • Generally more expensive than Michelin tires
  • Dunlop American Elite touring tires for Harley Davidson motorcycles


  • Better value, generally more affordable
  • Harder rubber for longevity and multi-use
  • Michelin Commander 3 touring tires for motorcycles

Ultimately, the choice between Dunlop and Michelin tires will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you prioritize handling and performance, Dunlop tires may be the better choice. If you prioritize affordability and value, Michelin tires may be the better choice. 

Performance in Different Riding Conditions

Dry Conditions

  1. Dunlop’s Performance in Dry Conditions: Dunlop motorcycle tyres are renowned for their exceptional performance in dry conditions. The brand’s focus on maximizing grip and stability translates into confident handling and precise cornering on dry roads. The specialized tread patterns and high-quality compounds used in Dunlop tyres provide excellent traction, allowing riders to push the limits of their motorcycles without compromising safety.
  2. Michelin’s Performance in Dry Conditions: Similarly, Michelin motorcycle tyres exhibit impressive performance in dry conditions. The brand’s emphasis on grip and handling ensures that riders experience responsive and controlled maneuvers on dry surfaces. Michelin’s advanced rubber compounds and innovative tread designs contribute to the overall stability and agility of their tyres, making them well-suited for spirited riding in dry weather.

Wet Conditions

  1. Dunlop’s Performance in Wet Conditions: Dunlop has made significant strides in improving wet weather performance across its tyre range. The brand’s incorporation of silica-based compounds and innovative tread patterns enhances water evacuation, reducing the risk of aquaplaning and maintaining grip on wet roads. Riders can rely on Dunlop tyres to provide adequate traction and handling in challenging wet conditions.
  2. Michelin’s Performance in Wet Conditions: Michelin has earned a reputation for producing tyres that excel in wet weather. Their expertise in tread design and rubber compounds results in tyres that offer outstanding grip and stability even on rain-soaked roads. Michelin’s commitment to safety in wet conditions makes their tyres a popular choice for riders who frequently encounter inclement weather.

Off-Road Conditions

  1. Dunlop’s Performance in Off-Road Environments: Dunlop manufactures a range of off-road and adventure motorcycle tyres designed to tackle challenging terrains. Their off-road tyres feature aggressive tread patterns and reinforced construction to provide superior traction and durability in dirt, gravel, and mud. Whether riders are exploring trails or embarking on off-road adventures, Dunlop’s off-road tyres offer the necessary grip and control.
  2. Michelin’s Performance in Off-Road Environments: Michelin has also ventured into the off-road segment, offering tyres suitable for various adventure and dual-sport motorcycles. Their off-road tyres feature robust construction, specialized compounds, and innovative tread designs that deliver reliable traction and handling on unpaved surfaces. Michelin’s commitment to innovation extends to their off-road offerings, providing riders with the confidence to conquer diverse terrains.

Price and Value for Money

Pricing Range

  1. Dunlop’s Pricing Range: Dunlop offers a wide range of motorcycle tyres across various categories, catering to different budgets and preferences. Their pricing range varies depending on factors such as tyre size, performance level, and specific model. Dunlop provides options for riders with different budget constraints, ensuring there are choices available at various price points.
  2. Michelin’s Pricing Range: Similar to Dunlop, Michelin offers a diverse range of motorcycle tyres with varying price points. Michelin’s pricing range takes into account factors such as tyre size, performance capabilities, and specific model. Whether riders are seeking premium high-performance tyres or more budget-friendly options, Michelin provides options to suit different price ranges.

Check out the Dunlop Prices Here.

Check out the Michelin Prices Here.

Value for Money

  1. Dunlop’s Value for Money: Dunlop is known for offering tyres that provide excellent value for money. Their tyres are renowned for their performance, durability, and reliability, making them a popular choice among riders. Dunlop’s commitment to quality ensures that riders get a tyre that delivers on performance expectations and provides a satisfactory lifespan. While Dunlop may have a slightly higher price point in some cases, the overall value for money is often considered worthwhile due to the brand’s reputation for quality and performance.
  2. Michelin’s Value for Money: Michelin is also recognized for delivering value for money with their motorcycle tyres. Michelin tyres are known for their exceptional performance, longevity, and reliability, offering riders a high level of satisfaction. While Michelin tyres may have a slightly higher price tag compared to some other brands, riders often find the performance, durability, and overall experience they provide to be worth the investment. Michelin’s reputation for quality and innovation contributes to their value for money proposition.

Performance on Different Motorcycle Types

Sports Bikes

  1. Dunlop’s Performance for Sports Bikes: Dunlop offers a range of high-performance tyres specifically designed for sports bikes. These tyres are engineered to deliver exceptional grip, responsiveness, and stability, allowing riders to push the limits of their bikes on the track or during spirited rides. Dunlop’s focus on advanced rubber compounds and aggressive tread patterns ensures maximum traction and cornering performance, providing sports bike riders with the confidence to tackle tight corners and achieve high-speed maneuvers.
  2. Michelin’s Performance for Sports Bikes: Michelin has a strong presence in the sports bike segment, offering tyres that cater to the demanding needs of high-performance motorcycles. Michelin’s sports bike tyres feature cutting-edge technologies, such as dual-compound construction and innovative tread designs, to enhance grip, stability, and precise handling. These tyres provide the necessary performance for sports bike enthusiasts, whether they are on the track or enjoying spirited rides on the open road.

Touring Bikes

  1. Dunlop’s Performance for Touring Bikes: Dunlop recognizes the specific requirements of touring bikes and has developed tyres that excel in providing comfort, durability, and stability over long distances. These tyres feature optimized tread patterns and construction techniques to offer enhanced grip, stability, and extended mileage. Dunlop’s touring tyres are engineered to provide a smooth and controlled ride, allowing touring bike riders to enjoy long journeys with confidence.
  2. Michelin’s Performance for Touring Bikes: Michelin understands the needs of touring bike riders and offers a range of tyres tailored to provide excellent performance and comfort for long-distance travel. Michelin’s touring tyres prioritize longevity and comfort without compromising grip and handling. The use of specialized compounds and tread designs ensures stability, reduced road noise, and increased mileage potential. Michelin’s touring tyres offer touring bike riders a balance between performance and comfort on their extended journeys.


  1. Dunlop’s Performance for Cruisers: Dunlop recognizes the unique demands of cruiser motorcycles and has developed tyres that cater to these requirements. Cruiser tyres from Dunlop emphasize stability, comfort, and extended tread life. These tyres feature optimized construction and compounds to provide a smooth and comfortable ride, while also offering adequate grip and handling for cruiser bike riders. Dunlop’s cruiser tyres excel in delivering a balance of performance and longevity for a relaxed and enjoyable cruising experience.
  2. Michelin’s Performance for Cruisers: Michelin offers a selection of tyres designed specifically for cruiser motorcycles. These tyres focus on providing excellent stability, comfort, and longevity. Michelin’s cruiser tyres feature specialized compounds and tread patterns that ensure reliable grip and performance, even during extended rides. With Michelin’s cruiser tyres, riders can expect a smooth and controlled ride, making their cruising experience more enjoyable.

Other Motorcycle Categories

Both Dunlop and Michelin cater to a wide range of motorcycle categories beyond sports bikes, touring bikes, and cruisers. They offer tyres for adventure bikes, dual-sport motorcycles, street bikes, and more. These tyres are designed to meet the specific needs of each category, considering factors such as off-road capability, all-weather performance, and versatility.

In summary it is important for riders to consider their motorcycle type and intended usage when selecting tyres from either Dunlop or Michelin. By choosing tyres specifically engineered for their motorcycle category, riders can ensure optimal performance, safety, and enjoyment. Choosing the right motorcycle tyres is crucial for optimal performance, safety, and overall riding experience. When comparing Dunlop and Michelin motorcycle tyres, both brands exhibit a strong commitment to quality, performance, and rider satisfaction.

Ultimately, the choice between Dunlop and Michelin motorcycle tyres will depend on individual preferences, riding style, budget, and specific motorcycle requirements. It is advisable for riders to consider their riding conditions, motorcycle type, and desired performance characteristics when making a decision. Remember, selecting the right tyres is essential for your safety and riding experience. It is recommended to consult with tyre experts, seek advice from fellow riders, and refer to the official websites of Dunlop and Michelin for detailed specifications and recommendations.

Mike Thompson
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