The Best Motorcycle Tires for Cruisers: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

The Best Motorcycle Tires for Cruisers: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Cruiser motorcycles are some of the most stylish and comfortable machines on two wheels. Featuring forward handlebars and foot controls that result in a more reclined and stretched out riding position than sport bikes or standards, these motorcycles are designed with comfort and style in mind, and there are even some well-known brands, such as Harley Davidson, that specialize in this type of bike almost exclusively. 

With classic styling, and larger engines that produce more torque than many other models, cruisers are heavier than most other bikes on the market today. With heavier bodies and more torque-heavy engines, the rear tire of a cruiser motorcycle can experience greater wear and stress than the sort found on lighter bikes. For this reason, it is a good idea for riders of this sort of bike to be extra careful when choosing the best tires for their motorcycle. 

As the piece of the motorcycle that will actually be in contact with the road, a good set of tires is absolutely essential. The right set may have a profound impact on every element of the motorcycle’s handling, from general performance down to the quality of the ride and even fuel economy. In this guide, we’ll go over some of the best tires on the market, specifically for cruiser motorcycles, as well as provide a few helpful tips on what to look for in a tire. With the information below, you should have all of the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to the right tires for your favorite cruiser. 

Top Pick  

Our top pick for the best cruiser tire is Dunlop’s K591. This tire comes from one of the most trusted names in motorcycle tires, and features superb traction derived from Dunlop’s expertise in producing tires for racing. 

The Best Motorcycle Tires for Cruisers Are:

#1: Dunlop K591 

Dunlop is a familiar brand in motorcycle tires, as it is one of the most trusted across all different segments of bike. From sport bikes, to scramblers, to cruisers, Dunlop has been the go-to tire company for a massive portion of the motorcycle community, and their high quality has cemented their reputation as a top company. The K591, developed specifically for cruiser motorcycles and branded for Harley Davidson, is just one of the many examples of Dunlop’s top-notch quality. 

The K591 tire features a directional tread pattern, stiff sidewalls, and an excellent tire compound that provides good traction in both dry and wet conditions. A “V” speed rating means that these tires are rated to handle speeds up to 149 mph, accommodating all but the absolute fastest cruisers on the market. While the available sizes can fit a wide variety of bikes, the K591 tire is specifically branded for Harley Davidsons, with the brand name printed right on the sidewall, giving the tire a very factory appearance when installed on a Harley. You can check out more about the K591 tires, including their available sizes, on Dunlop’s official website


  • Excellent traction in dry and wet conditions
  • Directional tread pattern
  • Tire sizes can accommodate a wide range of bikes
  • V speed rating can handle up to 149 mph


  • Harley Davidson branding may look odd if installed on a non-Harley bike

#2: Dunlop D402 Touring Tires

These whitewall tires from Dunlop are specially designed for long-distance riding, and feature classic styling. The tread pattern is computer optimized to provide excellent tire performance in wet or rough conditions, enhancing the rider’s experience and ensuring long life for the tire. A wide range of different tire sizes is available to fit almost any model of cruiser, however the D402 is especially branded for Harley Davidson bikes, and is considered Original Equipment for many of their motorcycles. 

While the whitewall option boasts classic styling, and can definitely enhance the look of many cruisers, these tires do come in options with black sidewalls, or thinner white walls for a more modern look as well. All of the tires in the D402 line carry a speed rating of “H” which means they are capable of handling speeds of up to 130mph. You can check out more detailed information on these tires, including all of the available sizes and style options, on Dunlop’s website


  • Stylish white wall design
  • Very wide range of sizes to fit most cruiser style motorcycles
  • Computer optimized tread pattern to enhance handling in wet conditions
  • H speed rating can handle speeds up to 130 mph


  • Harley Davidson branded tires may look unusual on other models of motorcycle

#3: Pirelli Night Dragon

These cruiser-specific tires from Pirelli offer enhanced traction, excellent longevity, and a great range of available sizes. Pirelli is a particularly popular motorcycle tire company that is trusted by many manufacturers and racing teams, including Ducati. These tires bring that same responsive performance to the cruiser segment. 

These tires are especially well suited for riders that like a more high performance approach to their riding, and can enhance the handling of most bikes they are installed on. While these tires are meant to provide high performance traction, they do not make compromises when it comes to riding feel. While some high performance tires can provide a rougher ride, Pirelli has designed the Night Dragon to provide both high performance and a smooth, comfortable ride. You can read more about Pirelli’s Night Dragon tires on their website


  • Very high traction tire for cruiser motorcycles
  • Pirelli’s EPT technology helps deliver power more effectively
  • Specialized tire structure provides smooth ride and high performance grip
  • Available in a very wide range of sizes


  • No special styling or branding

#4: Continental ContiMotion

These Sport Touring tires from Continental are meant to provide outstanding traction, ride quality, and longevity to riders on a more restricted budget. As an entry level touring tire, the ContiMotion is designed to provide many of the same benefits as higher end tires do without the more specialized level of traction found in higher end models. 

The ContiMotion tires are designed specifically for smooth use on road, and provide solid bump absorption and traction in dry and wet conditions. However, the compromise is in high end performance, and these tires are not designed for extreme riding. For most cruisers, though, this is a drawback that will never actually come into play, making the Continental ContiMotion a great option for cruising on the highway or in the city. You can read more about this line of tires at Continental’s website


  • Solid, brand name performance at an entry level price
  • Smooth, comfortable ride 
  • Good traction in dry and wet conditions


  • Not suited for extreme or high performance riding
  • Not designed specifically for cruiser motorcycles

#5: Dunlop K555

These tires from Dunlop are designed to meet the OE requirements for Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki motorcycles, and provide solid traction in both dry and wet conditions. The H speed rating makes these tires appropriate for most cruiser style motorcycles, whether riding in cities or on highways. 

Despite the OE designation for Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki, these tires are available in a wide range of sizes that fit many different motorcycles, and offer all of the same advantages that a Suzuki, Yamaha, or Honda rider would enjoy. Check this line of tires out on Dunlop’s official website


  • OE level performance for Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki specifically
  • Excellent performance in wet conditions
  • Available in a wide range of sizes


  • Fit options are limited to smaller rim sizes

#6: Shinko 230 Tour Master


Riders looking for a great balance of cost and reliability will appreciate the Shinko 230 Tour Master tires. These tires are offered in a wide range of sizes to accommodate most motorcycles, and provide excellent tread life and solid performance. A staggered tread pattern provides a quiet ride, and the tires are capable of producing strong and predictable traction in both dry and wet conditions. 

These tires are also available with a “V” speed rating, making them a good fit for more performance oriented cruisers that may reach higher speeds. This rating means that the tires can handle speeds up to 149mph, which is somewhat uncommon for cruiser specific tires. The long tire life and solid traction make these tires an excellent option for more budget minded riders that may not want to invest the money in a more extreme or name branded tire. You can check out more information on the 230 Tour Master tires, including the available sizes, on Shinko’s official website.


  • Excellent balance of performance and price
  • Staggered tread pattern for quiet and comfortable riding
  • V speed rating
  • Available in a wide variety of sizes to fit more bikes


  • No major advantage for handling or power delivery

#7: Bridgestone Exedra G851

Riders that are looking for a tire to fit high-end cruisers such as the Harley Davidson V-Rod, or Honda’s VTX1800C may consider the Exedra G851 from Bridgestone. These tires were designed specifically as original equipment for many of the flagship cruiser models. The compound is meant to provide stable, comfortable handling in both dry and wet conditions, and is particularly comfortable for long highway cruises. 

The fit of these tires, however, is very specific, with a limited range of sizes available. Before buying a set of these, it is a good idea to check the original tire size for your bike and make sure that they match. In cases where the tires do fit, though, riders can expect solid, predictable performance that feels very close to factory. Read more about these tires on Bridgestone’s website


  • Solid performance in a wide variety of conditions
  • Specifically designed for high-end cruisers
  • Specialized compound for wet conditions


  • Very limited range of sizes available

#8: Pirelli MT66 Route

Classic styling meets modern technology in these cruiser tires from Pirelli. Featuring a classic tread design meant to enhance traction in wet conditions and modern compounds, the MT66 Route tire provides a great balance of style and substance that is an excellent fit for most cruiser motorcycles. The design of the tire is also functional, using 4-ply construction and top-quality tire compounds to deliver a more comfortable ride. 

Pirelli’s tire compound is meant to provide solid life expectancy to the tire without compromising the traction provided, resulting in a tire that can cover a lot of distance without giving up on handling. However, the tread pattern can cause a bit more wiggle in certain conditions than some competitors, which is something that riders using this style of tire should be prepared for. Read more about the MT66 Route tires on Pirelli’s website


  • Classic tire tread design for solid style
  • Excellent wet-condition handling
  • Good balance between longevity and performance


  • Tread pattern can produce wiggle in specific conditions, such as grooved pavement

#9: Kenda Kruz K673

This more budget oriented tire from Kenda was designed specifically to cater to larger motorcycles across long distances, and is a solid all-around choice for an efficient tire. These H-Rated tires are available in a very wide range of sizes, and have been reinforced to accommodate larger bikes, such as the Honda Goldwing. 

An all-weather tread pattern provides stability and traction in a wide range of different environments, providing peace of mind when riding through a rainstorm. The tire compound itself was also optimized to enhance the longevity of the tire, and to improve mileage for a very efficient and reliable ride. You can find more information about these exceptionally practical tires at Kenda’s official website.


  • Designed specifically for heavy bikes
  • Excellent longevity and mileage
  • All-weather tread design


  • Middle of the road traction 
  • Not suited for extreme or high performance riding

Things to Consider When Choosing the Best Motorcycle Tires for Cruisers

Cruiser motorcycles are some of the most popular bikes on the road, with options available from almost every major motorcycle manufacturer in the market. The relaxed riding position and easy handling are particularly popular with more casual riders that may not be looking to recreate their favorite racing moments on the highway. However, the heavier design of these bikes means that they may go through tires more quickly than other bikes. 

Choosing the right tire for a cruiser can be difficult. Aside from navigating the numerous high-quality brands, cruisers emphasize a different style of riding than most other types of motorcycles, meaning that the considerations when choosing a set of tires for them will be different. Here are some of the most important factors to consider when looking into tires for a cruiser specifically. 

Choose the Right Type

Cruisers can usually use a wide variety of tires, however there are some tires on the market that are specifically designed for use on this style of bike. Typically these will be wider than many competitive tires on the market, with reinforcements specifically designed to accommodate the greater weight of a cruiser as opposed to a sport bike or enduro. 

Beyond their reinforced sidewalls and wider sizes, cruiser tires may also feature styling elements that enhance the look of the bike as well. Many cruisers feature custom designs specific visual enhancements, and the tires chosen for each bike can sometimes accentuate these features. 

While some cruisers have rims that can accommodate other types of tires, it is not recommended to fit these types to a cruiser. Using dirt bike tires will seriously diminish the comfort of the bike, while serious sports tires will be too specialized in high speed cornering for a cruiser to make effective use of them. 

Select the Right Size

Making sure that the tires you install on your bike is extremely important. In some cases the tires may not fit at all, leading to a lengthy return and exchange process that can sometimes take weeks. In other cases, the tires may fit, but will be stretched, resulting in an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous ride. Larger tires may have excessive amounts of give when riding, which harms the comfort and performance characteristics of the bike as well. 

In general, it is best to use the recommended tire size for your motorcycle to make sure that the tires operate exactly as they are supposed to. The original tires will have their size listed on the side of the tire, or the owner’s manual may have the recommended tire size listed as well. Before ordering a new set of tires, always be sure to check out the information provided and choose a set that is the appropriate size. 

Biker’s Rights has a full length article relating to reading and understanding tire sizes, which can be found here

Consider the Tire’s Internal Construction


Radial tires use reinforced belts laid perpendicular to the tire. These belts are typically made from kevlar or steel, and produce tires that can have very dynamic handling properties. A radial tire may have a softer sidewall with a more durable tread, making a tire that is comfortable while still being capable of excellent performance and durability. Many radial tires offer extremely balanced and efficient performance, although they are less popular for heavy bikes, as their sidewalls are often weaker than their bias-ply competition.


Bias-Ply tires, also referred to as cross-ply or crossbelt tires, are made from multiple layers of nylon or kevlar cord, laid across each other at 35 to 40 degree angles. These layers are laid out in a crisscross pattern that provides a uniform thickness around the whole tire. This means that a bias-ply tire will have a thicker, stronger sidewall. This feature is specifically useful for heavy bikes like cruisers, and allows the tire to travel longer distances without excessive wear. The majority of cruisers will utilize bias-ply tires as factory equipment, and this tire construction is especially popular with heavy models like the Honda Goldwing. 

Other Things to Consider When Purchasing


The Carcass of a tire is the body that sits under the treads, and can be considered the “core” of the tire. Bias-ply and radial construction will have a major effect on the carcass, with the overall performance of the tire being strongly affected by its construction. 

For example, a bias-ply tire with a strong carcass will have stiffer sidewalls and transmit steering inputs to the tread more effectively, while a radial constructed tire may have a carcass with softer sidewalls for enhanced comfort. When you are considering the construction type of a tire, it is the carcass specifically that will be most affected. 


The treads of the tire are the component that will be in constant contact with the road, and as such can have a large influence on the way that the tire performs. Treads in the tire can be designed to optimize the traction of the tire and help deal with changing conditions. Look for tires with a balanced tread design that can provide good contact with the road while still directing water and dirt away from the contact patch of the tire. 

SPECIAL NOTE: Especially high performance tires will be significantly smoother in design, with fewer treads to ensure maximum contact with the road’s surface. These tires are very capable in dry conditions, but may struggle in the rain, as their treads cannot effectively direct water away from the smooth contact patch. This makes the tread pattern an important consideration for riders who are frequently riding in wet conditions. 


The strength of your tire’s sidewall is an important consideration for cruisers, as these bikes are often much heavier than other models. Sidewalls have a major impact on the bike’s ride quality, load transferring ability, and even the life of the tire. As a general rule, a stiffer sidewall will be more durable and be able to handle more weight, but will not flex as much, which can mean more feedback from the road and a rougher ride. 

Another factor when it comes to sidewalls is the tendency for stiffer and shorter sidewalls to offer better handling at the cost of a less comfortable ride. While most cruisers are built for relaxed cruising, there are some models that may benefit from tires designed for high performance cornering. However, if choosing a tire that is designed for sharp cornering, the stiffer sidewalls will not be as good at handling bumps in the road, so you should be aware of this trade-off before buying. 


Cruiser motorcycles are an excellent option for more relaxed riders looking to cover long distances in style. Making sure that your cruiser is equipped with the right set of long lasting tires can go a long way to making sure that your bike handles perfectly while still being comfortable on the highway. Tire companies across the market offer options for these bikes that cover every kind of riding, from comfortable tires that absorb the bumps in the road to stiff tires that allow sharp cornering, there is definitely an option for every kind of rider. 

In this guide, we’ve reviewed some of the best options around when it comes to cruiser tires, covering a wide range of styles. Whether you are the sort of rider that would choose our top pick, the Dunlop K591, or are more inclined toward tires like the Pirelli MT66 Route, the information found here should make sure that you are well prepared to choose the best motorcycle tires for your cruiser. 

joshua mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!