Dunlop develops new GT503 for the 2021 Harley-Davidson Sportster S
Dunlop has supplied original equipment and replacement tires for several Harley-Davidson models since 1984. Despite the long-standing relationship, most previous generation Sportsters wore factory Michelin Scorchers. When the Motor Company unveiled the 2021 S Sportsters, it upped the performance with the company’s Revolution Max 1250T engine suspended from the new three-piece trellis frame.
Of course, all that power doesn’t mean crouching if you can’t bring it to the ground. So Harley-Davidson turned to Dunlop to formulate a bespoke tire for the next-generation Sporty: the GT503. With the Revolution Max 1250T putting out 121 horsepower and (more importantly) 94 lb-ft of torque, the rig needed a hoop that could grip the line and turns.
The old angled construction wouldn’t do the trick, so Dunlop developed a new radial tire equipped with its Steel Jointless Belt (JLB) technology. The 160 / 70R17 front and 180 / 70R16 rear tires offer great stability with a generous contact patch, but the new radial casing also offers an ultra-compliant ride.
The round profile of the GT503 contributes to the responsive yet predictable handling of the Sportster S, and the new compound achieves levels of grip rarely achieved on the Sportsters of yore. The aggressive tread pattern and water sipes should also preserve traction in wet conditions.
“We are proud that Harley-Davidson has chosen Dunlop as Original Equipment for the Sportster S,” said Luca Davide Andreoni, Marketing Director of Dunlop Europe. “It has been exactly 40 years since Dunlop was asked to develop stock tires for the first Sportster. then, Dunlop supplied more than 10 million original equipment tires to Harley-Davidson, proof of our close collaboration. With the Dunlop GT503, Dunlop continues to develop innovative tires to meet the needs of the manufacturer and its customers.
Fortunately, we tested the Dunlop GT503 firsthand on the new 2021 Sportster S, and the new tires did not disappoint. Dunlops may not have been on the previous generation Sportsters, but we have a feeling they will be on future iterations for decades to come.