Shopping for cruiser tires can be challenging, as it’s a broad category that encompasses everything from vintage machines and bias‑ply construction to modern bikes with radial tires. Also, there’s a crossover between touring‑based cruisers and full‑dress tourers. To help sort through the many options available, we’ve gathered tires from 10 manufacturers so you can see what’s currently on the market in this cruiser motorcycle tires buyers guide. The sizes of the wheels on your bike will dictate your options, and then you can decide which tire best suits the type of riding you do most often.
There are many things to consider when selecting your next set of tires. Your choice will depend on what type of motorcycle you have, the type of riding you’ll be doing, your performance preferences, and your budget.
If you’re a long‑haul traveler who enjoys open highways and extensive mileage, a tire with a durable rubber compound will be best, as it’ll hold up longer and provide better stability for larger bikes. If you’re looking to carve some corners, you might want softer rubber with more grip.
If you use your bike for long journeys or commuting, you will likely run into rain at some point, so a tire with good wet‑weather performance is desirable. A tire’s rain grooves – often referred to as sipes – help evacuate water to prevent hydroplaning.
Research into tire‑buying decisions reveals that the overall look of tires is a major driver of purchases. A pretty lady wearing ugly shoes is a fashion faux pas, and so is a motorcycle with homely tires. However, much the same as judging a romantic partner, choosing tires based only on their appearance can lead to pitfalls in long‑term relationships.
A tire’s speed rating is also something to keep in mind. Most cruiser tires will have a lower speed rating, prioritizing other features over high‑speed performance, but it’s wise to make sure your tire is approved for the speeds you plan to ride. Tires rated H are approved up to 130 mph, V for up to 149 mph, W for up to 168 mph, Y for up to 186 mph, and Z/ZR for over 149 mph.
Prices for tires vary widely based on several factors, including R&D expenses, cost of production, and tire sizes. Most of the tires on this list are available in several sizes, so we’re going to keep it simple and list the lowest MSRP in the range rather than listing all prices for every size. Keep in mind that you can often find deals for tires below MSRP, so it pays to do a little research.
American Rider‘s Cruiser Motorcycle Tires Buyers Guide
The K65s are unique in this list of cruiser motorcycle tires because they include sizing options that can suit everything from cruisers to tourers and even vintage bikes. These bias-ply tires have a rounded profile that delivers neutral handling, and the carcass is designed to provide strong lateral adhesion in corners while maintaining longevity and mileage. Heidenau’s catalog also includes tires for vintage motorcycles, like the K34s, as well as tires for bikes from the 1960s and ’70s, like the K36s. The K65s are H-rated, and pricing starts at $131.
Avon Cobra Chrome
These Avons incorporate technology from sportbike tires to provide nimble handling and a rubber compound for improved grip in both dry and wet conditions. A new construction is designed to support heavy loads and provides a contact patch that is 5% larger than other Cobra tires. These tubeless tires feature an aggressive tread pattern with a cobra-head etching for a unique look, and the sidewalls have a snakeskin effect. The Cobra Chromes are available in blackwall and whitewall. They are H- or V-rated and radial or bias-ply depending on size. Prices start at $204.98.
Dunlop American Elite
These tires are designed and manufactured in the USA and are available in 28 options to fit most Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The rear tire features MultiTread technology, which incorporates a long-wearing compound in the center and a softer compound on the shoulders for improved grip. The tread design provides secure traction in wet and dry conditions, along with even tread wear. They are available in three styles: blackwall, narrow whitewall, and wide whitewall. These tubeless tires are H- or V-rated and radial or bias-ply depending on size. Pricing starts at $185.95.
Bridgestone Battlecruise H50
These tires are designed for cruising on big-displacement American V-Twins. They provide durability, deliver smooth handling, and increase rider comfort for long-distance touring in wet and dry conditions. The tires’ handling capabilities allow large bikes to turn smoothly at both low and high speeds to reduce fall-in characteristics, and the optimized rigidity distribution absorbs energy inputs from the road surface to prevent fatigue on long rides. They are H-, V-, or W-rated and radial or bias-ply depending on size, and pricing starts at $207.83.
Designed specifically for heavy touring bikes and cruisers, these bias-ply tubeless cruiser motorcycle tires feature a reinforced carcass construction engineered for stability and comfort. The MileagePlus technology compound extends longevity while maintaining handling, and the center tread band on the rear tire also helps in these areas. The 6-9mm groove widths provide good drainage for riding in wet conditions. The tires are H- or V-rated depending on size and are eligible for Continental’s free three-year roadside warranty. Pricing starts at $199.95.
Shinko SR 999 Long Haul
These tires are designed for cruiser riders who enjoy racking up miles. The silica-rich compound is formulated for high mileage and grip, and the tread grooves provide good traction in wet or dry conditions. The aramid belting supplies plenty of load capacity while improving stability, and the reinforced carcass gives the tire a planted feel while cornering. They are bias-ply and come in tubed or tubeless applications. Check out our favorable review of the tires here. They are H- or V-rated depending on size, and pricing starts at $109.95.
These tubeless tires combine Metzeler sport-touring profiles with a muscular carcass to enhance your motorcycle’s handling and cornering stability. The dual-compound rear tire features high silica levels for fast warm-up and better grip in wet conditions, and the brush-like tread pattern with diverging sipes effectively evacuates water. The rubber compound and structure enhance grip to provide confidence-inspiring handling and distribute pressure to ensure even wear. They are H- or V-rated and radial or bias-ply depending on size, and pricing starts at $178.59.
Michelin Commander III Cruiser
These cruiser motorcycle tires build on the reputation of the Commander II to raise the standards for V-Twin cruiser tires. This generation offers better wet-weather performance, equally dependable dry grip, and greater longevity. Silica Rain technology aids wet-weather traction, and longitudinal sipes optimize water dispersal. The aramid fiber crown enhances durability while reducing mass, and the high-density carcass improves maneuverability. They come in radial and bias-ply, as well as tubed or tubeless. They are H- or V-rated depending on size, and pricing starts at $225.95.
Pirelli Night Dragon
Designed for custom and cruiser motorcycles, these tires feature Pirelli’s Enhanced Patch Technology that optimizes contour, structure, and tread pattern for a larger contact area to put more V-Twin power to the ground. They provide a balance between durability and grip and are a good choice for cruiser riders who enjoy carving corners. They are H-, V-, or W-rated and radial or bias-ply depending on size and can be used with or without tubes. Pricing starts at $174.28. Also available is a rear GT version providing 20% more mileage for heavy touring bikes.
Mitas Custom Force
These cruiser motorcycle tires have been designed to be predictable on a variety of road surfaces in both wet and dry conditions. They feature a rubber compound capable of delivering durability and grip throughout their service life, and the carcass provides stability even with heavy loads. Third-party testing indicates class-leading braking and handling in wet conditions. A tread pattern resembling a winding snake adds a unique styling element. They are bias-ply and designed for tubeless wheels but can be used with a tube. They are H-rated, and pricing starts at $154.90.