Home / Reviews / Product Reviews / Michelin Scorcher Tires Review – Why They’re Harley’s Best OE Tire Yet

Michelin Scorcher Tires Review – Why They’re Harley’s Best OE Tire Yet

You’ve probably already seen them and just never noticed, but they’re there, and it’s a big deal. The Michelin Scorcher tires. It’s Michelin’s new line of tires that are coming from factory on many new 2018 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. They’re Michelin’s new Scorcher series, including the Scorcher 11, Scorcher 21, and Scorcher 31. Michelin’s been working closely with Harley-Davidson for the last ten years to develop the new tires to manufacturer’s specs.

Tire manufacturers stand a lot to gain from being the OE tire on a given model. That means they’re the tire which comes standard on all production units. It means a big order for Michelin and leaves them with big rubber shoes to fill. Not only do tires have to meet the manufacturer’s standards (some tires are even built with the needs of specific individual vehicles in mind), the tire manufacturers also need to meet the huge demand being an OE fitment represents on Michelin’s production and supply chain. Given that these two juggernauts continue to work together, it seems like everything rolling smoothly.

Not only does being an OE fitment tire represent a huge volume of sales of Michelin tires to Harley-Davidson, there are statistics from the tire industry which show that many users are likely to replace their current tires with the exact same ones. A lot of people won’t change tire brands and will stick to what it came with from factory. In other words, Michelin’s aim isn’t just to meet or exceed Harley-Davidson’s expectations, but they want to do the same with you to get you on that second pair.

Michelin Scorcher Review

Lastly, being the OE tire of a brand like Harley-Davidson shows that Michelin isn’t just making kick-ass sport and sport touring tires. The move solidifies Michelin’s name in the cruiser realm as well, especially when we consider how synonymous Dunlop tires were with Harley-Davidson for so long. I can’t tell you how many kilometers, on all of the Harleys I’ve owned over the years, have been on D404s. I personally am excited for a change.

This is all great news for current-year Harley riders. There are many different Scorchers out there; The Scorcher 11 is perfect for aggressive, sport-oriented cruisers like Sportsters and V-Rods. The Scorcher 21 was developed specifically for the new Street platform. The Scorcher 31 is a little more traditional in look and designed for Dynas and similar classics. Etc.

So how will the new OE-Fitment Michelin Scorchers line-up do in real-world testing? For that I reached out to my friend Xania Khan. Xania’s been a familiar face in the Toronto motorcycle scene in the last few years. She makes her away around the Toronto HOG chapter gatherings, and other big events in the city. If memory serves me right, Xania will do about 15,000 miles a year on her Sportster, and it’s her primary method of transportation. Michelin hooked us with a free set of tires to install on her bike in exchange for a fair and honest review. These are her words:

By Adele Mabley

From Xania:

Every aspect of your bike is important and critical to optimal performance but trusting your tires in all types of weather and on varied road surfaces is critical. Having taken my 2016 Harley Davidson Iron 883 in for my major maintenance at 25K km in May, I was advised that new rubber would be something I should be considering. I’m no professional in tire review, simply stating my opinion on how I felt and my bike handled with a new set of tires.

A couple days before I embarked on a three-day long weekend road trip, I had a brand-new pair of Michelin Scorchers installed on my bike. I figured this would be the perfect time to really break them in and given the monsoon-like summer we’ve been having, an opportunity to test them out in wet weather. 

From a comfort perspective, I could immediately feel the difference once I hit the highway. The tires felt comfortable, the ride was smooth, and my Sportster felt like it had a little more gusto while I was flying down the highway.

Canadian weather didn’t fail; it rained on our first day. While I’m no stranger to rain riding, the elements just add another layer of heightened senses to the equation. This is where trusting your tires on wet roads is critical; it’s one less thing to worry about. It didn’t take long for me to fee completely confident and safe with the Scorchers. After a few turns at 80 km/h, I was still enjoying the ride and got a great sense of the traction and stability from my new Michelins. Something every rider wants to feel. 

We faced quite a bit of technical riding on our second day. It was full of incredible twisties and sweepers. Performance and handling was not an issue. I was actually cornering much better than I ever had with previous bikes and probably the best personal performance I’ve had with this bike. Those tires gripped, behaved and cornered like no tomorrow.

We also encountered some unexpected “off-roading” on dirt roads. The Scorchers hung in there and got me through some tough times, sketchy terrain and by the end of the three days, I got off that bike with bigger smiles than I ever had before.

By Jeff Turner
Give Xania a follow on Instagram @xaniakhan.

Note: For those of us on older models, like my 2006 Harley-Davidson, the Michelin Scorcher line isn’t backward compatible, so you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Based on everything I’ve seen from Michelin and from Xania’s experiences on the bike, the Scorcher seems like the way to go for Harley-Davidson riders lucky enough to have their sizes available.

Buy NowContact us if you need help finding your size.

 

About YouMotorcycle

YouMotorcycle is a lifestyle motorcycle blog to be appreciated by those who see motorcycling as a lifestyle and not simply a hobby, sport, or method of transportation. Most of the posts on the site are written by past and present motorcycle industry staff. We remain fiercely independent, innovative, and unconventional. Our goal is to encourage more people to enjoy the world's greatest outdoor sport by helping new riders get started and inspiring current riders to get out more. We motorcycle, do You?

One comment

  1. These tires came on my 2018 Fatboy.I noticed a line around my front and back tire.And a flat spot in center about 1 1/2 wide around both tires.Took my motorcycle to dealership.My back tire had white cords showing front tire still had line and flat spot.dealership said they wouldnt warranty my tires.They said rear tire was only good for 5000 miles.They said a rock must have done damage to front tire.Somebody needs to check into this before someone gets killed.Cannot ride my motorcycle but my truck can get me over to see my lawyer.

What do you think?