A new tyre – and a Facebook page for talking about it
Last year Michelin introduced a new motorcycle tyre – and it has now launched a dedicated Facebook application to go with it. The tyre part of the package is called the Commander II, a product designed for cruisers in the over-650cc category. The Commander II Facebook platform, on the other hand, is available at http://michelin-commander-2.com and enables users to share views, technical information and interests. Michelin describes the platform as a social networking tool that brings the riding community together, in the same way that associations, clubs and recreational events do. The tyre maker notes that one of the application’s most entertaining features allows users to star in a customisable animated film using their picture and other details from their Facebook profile.
The cruiser replacement tyre market, where the Commander II is targeted, is largest in North America; last year more that 1.59 cruiser tyres were sold there, 86 per cent of which were cross-ply varieties, the Motorcycle Industry Council reports. According to the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association, motorcyclists in our regions purchased 227,000 units in this same timeframe, 82 per cent of which were cross-ply. In the rest of the world (mainly South America, Australia and Japan) approximately 266,000 cruiser tyres were sold during the year. Michelin notes that, in all region, the expectations and priorities of cruiser riders differ from other motorcycle sectors. Speed and lively responsiveness do not top their wish list – rather, they are looking for products with distinctive design that also deliver excellent total mileage and superior safety.
Therefore, Michelin focused on longevity, stability, handling and wet grip when developing the Commander II. This performance combination the company achieved results from two technologies: Silica Rain Technology (SRT) in the compound and a tread designed to wear evenly and disperse water effectively so as to provide outstanding grip on wet roads.
Available in 15 sizes (six for the front and nine for the rear), the Michelin Commander II is a fitment suited to nearly all cruisers currently available on the market. The tyre has already received its first accolade, having been named New Product of the Year at the V-Twin Expo in the US in February.