Michelin and Harley-Davidson – Solid foundations for success
In the eight years since the two brands have been partners, 1.5 1 million MICHELIN Scorcher tires have been produced for Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
The forecast for 2016 is even more encouraging, now that this range is available across the globe via an expanded network of suppliers. These two world class brands have further increased their synergies while remaining true to the values they share.
The partnership between Michelin and Harley-Davidson’s technical teams began in 2007, through the joint development of the MICHELIN Scorcher. This tailored range – which can be recognised by the presence of the two companies’ logos on the sidewalls – is unique in that it is the only co-branded range produced by the Michelin Group. In light of the company’s international standing, this is a rare exception indeed.
MICHELIN Scorcher tires are fitted as original equipment to the following iconic models manufactured by Harley-Davidson: the Street750, Sportster® Iron 883TM, Sportster® SuperLow®, Sportster® Forty-Eight®, Sportster® 1200 Custom, Sportster® SuperLow® 1200T, V-Rod® Muscle, Night Rod® Special, the Dyna® Street Bob®, Dyna® Low Rider®, Dyna Low Rider® S and the Dyna Wide Glide®.
Michelin tires are currently fitted as standard to 33 percent of the motorcycles produced by Harley-Davidson. Indeed, the impact of this collaboration takes on even greater significance when it is considered that one in every two bikes sold in North America is now a Harley-Davidson.
Until 2015, the MICHELIN Scorcher range was sold exclusively by Harley-Davidson dealers. However, in evidence of its faith in Michelin’s expertise, the American manufacturer has recently made these tires available through all distribution networks.
The advantages of such a partnership across an increasing proportion of Harley-Davidson products are numerous, not least of which being the opportunity to carefully match the specific features of each motorcycle to the appropriate characteristics of each tire. This means riders benefit from tires that have been expressly designed for their bike and that are available both throughout the extensive Harley-Davidson network as well as from all tire specialists.
It was at the turn of the 20th Century that Michelin and Harley-Davidson were founded on opposite sides of the Atlantic. The year in question was 1889 for the Clermont-Ferrand firm, when André and Edouard Michelin undertook a project to design a detachable bicycle tire, whilst in a small wooden shed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1903, William S. Harley and Arthur Davidson developed a prototype of a motorised pedal-bike. Purely coincidentally, that same year, Michelin began marketing its first motorcycle tire – the ‘Triomphe’.
Inspired by the core values of innovation and performance that are a hallmark of the brand’s DNA, Michelin has always been a major player in the motorcycle industry. Indeed, in 1984, the firm conceived the world’s first radial tire for motorcycles. It went on sale three years later.
Michelin’s partnership with Harley-Davidson provides it with an opportunity to hone and develop its expertise and produce a bespoke offering in this segment, by developing and designing tires that are ideally adapted in terms of both their specification and performance.