Michelin released their Commander 3 tire line several years ago for motorcyclists.
These tires were designed to improve upon the Commander 2 tires. And while these are decent tires for bikers, there are some important things to know about potential issues with their design, which we’re exploring today.
Michelin Commander 3 tires are known to have issues with poor handling, riding instability, vibration, noisiness, and tramlining. The most noticeable issue reported among customers was extreme vibration exhibited at all different speeds and mileages.
Keep reading as we explore some of the main problems you’ll experience when driving with the Michelin Commander 3 cruising tires specifically. We’re looking into possible fixes for these issues when possible.
We’ll also answer some frequently asked questions about the tires at the end of the article, so read to the end!
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Problems with Michelin Commander 3 Tires
Although Michelin advertises their Commander 3 cruiser tires as having Premium Touch Design, Aramid Shield Technology, exceptional wet grip, and performance without compromise, customers note specific issues with tread and traction.
Furthermore, you may notice the following other problems if you install a pair of Commander 3 tires on your V-Twin cruiser motorcycle:
- Harsh Vibration and Humming
- Picking Up Nails
- Tread Wearing Out Quickly
- Tracking on Road Imperfections
- Unstable Riding
- Loss of Rubber Chunks
These problems, which we’re outlining below, are reported based on firsthand customer reviews on the Michelin website and biking forums online.
Harsh Vibration and Humming
Most of the negative customer reviews and comments on forums that we found had to do with the tire vibration issue.
Commander 3 tires are notorious for vibrating and humming, causing issues such as:
- Vibration when riding between 15-30 mph going straight
- Humming/vibration when riding between 55-60 mph going straight
- Vibration that leaves body parts numb on short and long drives
- Vibration when riding between 30-40 mph going straight
- Vibration that worsens the longer you use the tires
- Vibration in the bike seat
Riders note that the vibration is noticeably stronger in the handlebars at lower speeds and in the floorboards at higher speeds.
Unfortunately, the vibration issue also leads to noise issues, such as tire buzzing noises.
These problems are hard to fix, even if you get replacement Commander 3 tires with your warranty. It seems to be a design flaw.
Picking Up Nails
You might notice a lack in durability when it comes to Commander 3 tires, especially if you have a heavier motorcycle that takes a bigger toll on the tread.
Some customers noted that the front tire lasts longer than the rear but that the tires are prone to picking up nails.
Punctures and leaks can become a problem in this case, and you can’t always fix this problem with plugging and patching.
Unfortunately, if it arises, this problem may have to be fixed by replacing the tire altogether.
Tread Wearing Out Quickly
In addition to scoring low among customers in terms of stability, these tires also scored relatively low among customers in terms of longevity.
This means that you can’t rely on the tire tread to last as long as it’s advertised to last.
Customers mostly rated longevity around 40%-60% out of 100%.
The problem with tread wearing out too fast is that you end up spending more money on replacements or using your warranty sooner than you should have to.
But there are some ways that you can prevent the loss of tread and hopefully improve traction, including regular tire rotations, maintaining tire pressure at all times, and driving defensively on wet or snowy roads.
Tracking on Road Imperfections
One inconvenience of driving with Commander 3 tires is that you may start to tramline on uneven roads.
Tramlining is when you “track” or the tires get pulled into road imperfections such as cracks, grooves, or patches.
Some customers have described this experience with the tires as “squirrely handling”.
In other words, when these tires track road imperfections, you end up having a hard time handling the bike and keeping it straight.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to fix this problem. It really comes down to an issue with the design of the tire and its tread getting caught on road blemishes.
Among Michelin Commander 3 cruiser tire customers, there’s a noticeably low rating when it comes to the “Stability” category.
Many reviewers rated this factor at or around about 50%/100% performance level.
A major part of this problem is due to the issues with tramlining along the grooves of uneven road surfaces.
Because the tires make it difficult to handle a vehicle, you may find that you don’t get a stable riding experience.
Some ways that you can get around this problem are to drive defensively and keep a stable hold on your handlebars.
Adjust yourself and prepare when you’re coming up on a turn or going over uneven surfaces.
Loss of Rubber Chunks
Another issue that is rare but occasionally occurs is a problem with random places in the tire rubber wearing off.
For example, one dissatisfied customer noted that their tires developed an “odd worn patch in the middle with wires showing”.
And this was only after having driven the Commander 3 tires for 5,000 miles (fairly new).
These issues are dangerous to drive with and hard to fix without replacing the tires outright, which can get costly over time.
How to Properly Maintain Michelin Commander 3 Tires and Prolong Their Life?
Here are some maintenance tips to prolong the life of your Michelin Commander 3 tires:
- Have your tires properly inflated
- Check your tire air pressure monthly
- Rotate your tires regularly every 5,000-6,000 miles
- Assure that your tires are balanced correctly
You might also be interested in: Michelin Commander 2 Problems (Explained)
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Are Michelin Commander 3 Tires Any Good?
According to the official Michelin product page, more than 100 customer reviews have garnered Michelin Commander 3 tires an average rating of 4.14/5.0 stars, and about 77% of customers would recommend the tires.
However, many customers have noted in their reviews that these tires exhibit strange problems, such as dangerous driving vibrations, humming noises, and other issues.
How Long Do Michelin Commander 3 Tires Last?
On average, Michelin Commander 3 cruising tires should last for around 25,000 miles of driving.
However, this estimate is subject to change – more or less – depending on how heavy your bike is, what types of terrain you typically drive on, and how well you maintain your tires after you get them installed on your bike.
Are Michelin Commander 3 Tires Noisy?
One of the biggest complaints about the Michelin Commander 3 tires is that they produce obnoxious noises, including humming sounds.
They’re also known for having loud vibrations at certain speeds, particularly when it comes to the front bike tire.
According to customer reviews, this is a noise you can hear and feel while riding.
When Did Michelin Commander 3 Tires Release?
In 2016, work on the Michelin Commander 3 tire line began, but these tires weren’t introduced to the market until 2020.
According to an official blog post by Michelin Media online, the custom tire line was released during Daytona Beach Bike Week.
This was an expansion from the Michelin Commander 2 tire line that had already existed at that point.
If you’re interested in installing a pair of Michelin Commander 3 tires on your cruiser bike, you should be aware of the main Michelin Commander 3 problems.
Hopefully, our guide explaining the issues with handling, stability, vibration, tread, durability, and tramlining has given you a decent insight into the design flaws of these tires.
Make sure you review Michelin Commander 3 tire problems before buying them for your motorcycle.