According to online tire industry publications, Dunlop’s motorcycle tires are going to see a price hike in North America this fall.
If you’re shocked that there are multiple online tire industry publications, well, we’re kind of surprised ourselves. Nevertheless, both Rubber News and TireBusiness.com are reporting on different aspects of this story. Alas, both websites are paywalled, but here’s the gist of it: Sumitomo Rubber North America (SRNA), the parent company behind Dunlop’s motorcycle tire business, is facing rapidly rising costs. As a result, it’s increasing prices again, boosting the MSRPs for moto rubber by 15 percent effective October 2021.
A call to SRNA’s offices was not returned, so we are unable to positively confirm this news.
This follows two earlier price hikes in 2021 for various SRNA passenger vehicle tires. It also comes as the US’s Consumer Price Index inflation rate is officially pegged at 5.4 percent from September of 2020 through September of 2021. That’s already quite high, but some prophets of economic doom say the situation is far worse. American inflation rates are purposefully under-reported, some economists claim, and actually reach into the double-digit range, around 15 percent—which would match up with Dunlop’s moto tire price increases.
With motorcyclists already feeling other supply chain pinches (restricted parts availability, rising costs of gasoline, long waits for new machines), the news that tire prices are rising is most certainly unwelcome. To paraphrase General George S. Patton, “I can eat my belt, but my bike’s gotta have tires.”
However, it’s unsurprising to see the price hikes. Some of Dunlop’s tires may be made in Asia, but its New York-based plant is the only motorcycle tire factory in North America … and therefore subject to the same economic woes the rest of our continent’s industrial sector is currently facing. Shipping snarls, raw material shortages and price increases, labor turnover, not to mention the constant presence of COVID-19—it’s all happening now.