The following is from Dunlop…
It may be hard to believe that Dunlop has been a critical part of the Western New York Community for 100 years now, with its first tire rolling off the assembly line in 1923. For half of those 100 years, this factory produced over 20 million motorcycle tires for the North American market. Back in the early 1970s, motorcycle tire molds were moved from the Dunlop plant in Whitby, Ontario, across the Canadian border to the nearby Dunlop factory located in Tonawanda, New York, just outside the Buffalo city limits. By 1973, this plant was producing the K81, K70, and eventually the K88 motorcycle tires.
Fast track to March of 1978, a Dunlop K181 built in that same Tonawanda plant won a tire shoot-out conducted by Harley-Davidson in San Antonio, Texas which would solidify its future and change the course of history for the Dunlop brand and the people designing and building tires at the Tonawanda plant. That shootout win started a relationship with Harley-Davidson that eventually led to Dunlop being awarded the Original Equipment tire business for 1981 Harley-Davidson Sportster motorcycles. This partnership has lasted over four decades with the two companies collaborating on numerous tire innovations, including things we take for granted, like wide white walls and multi-tread touring motorcycle tires.
Today, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires remains the largest motorcycle tire manufacturer headquartered and fully operational within the United States. The company is the largest motorcycle tire producer based in the North American market. “It’s incredible to think this facility has been building motorcycle tires for fifty years. Even more remarkable is the brand’s partnership with Harley-Davidson and how that relationship has pushed our technology and innovation to deliver world-class market-driven products for North American riders,” said Mike Buckley, Dunlop Motorcycle’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Having the R&D and manufacturing located so close to the market has been invaluable to our success. It’s not just about touring tires though, additionally, our support of North American Road Racing and Flat Track with tires designed and built here, further demonstrates our commitment to this market.”
Dunlop’s R&D team, located in Buffalo, NY, has been committed to American racing and is the official tire of MotoAmerica and American Flat Track series, where all the tires used in the series are developed and manufactured by Dunlop in its New York facility. In addition, many of Dunlop’s popular tires, like the American Elite, D401, D402, D407, D408, Sportmax Q5, Sportmax Q5S, Trailmax Mission, and many more are produced in the same footprint that started production in 1973.