How important is to have a matched type of tires on our bikes?
My rear tire still looks OK for another 500-800 miles to me, but the guy at the dealership failed me at the inspection this past weekend. I still have the original OEM Dunlops on there - I am at 6400 miles at the moment, which matches the experience of many others on this list it seems.
The sales guy gave me a heavy pitch how importnat it is for me to match the tires and why I should go with the same type of the same brand -- possible wobbles, unmatched performance, yada, yada, if I don't.
The fact is that the front tire looks near-new. I would expect it to last for another 5-6k miles or so.
Do I really need to trash a perfectly good front tire for the sake of the above mentioned concerns that he raised? Or is it baloney? Have any of you guys experinced a problem due a mismatched pair??
Naturally, I have not been impressed with the stock Dunlops and I am thinking about going for the Excedra MAX (or the Metz 880s - not sure yet).
Any thoughts on the "danger" of having the Briidgestone in the rear and the stock Dunlop in the front? Will I be able to even tell?
Bass, Dunlops are some of the worst in my book so I agree with you on that point.
As for the "tire guy" he was on point about the possibility of different brands having different handling and wear characteristics that will affect your overall performance and safety. Having matched quality tires optimizes your overall performance and safety according to the manufacturers. He's just doing his job I would guess but since I didn't hear his pitch like you did I am hoping he was just being subtle about you realizing that your "safety" is priority here and that you also understood its gravity besides his "pitch." Clearly, you would have a valid lawsuit against that dealership if you had left without having the benefit of a tire safety pep talk and in this way they have avoided liability considering how close you are to that tire's service limits.
I can agree in that having a worn rear tire along with having a better condition front tire or even a new front tire would or could affect rear and straight line handling and steering and thus affect overall safety due to reduced cornering and handling capabilities. Maybe even possible fishtailing or slideout issues when cornering. I would even agree more in that a worn rear tire especially with the colder weather coming up will cause a further deterioration in handling and steering capabilities and thus cause safety issues. I can even further agree that the inverse of this reasoning is also correct and I've also heard some say their steering on turns was impacted because of a worn front tire and all this even more so when leaning is factored in.
Additionally, although our eyes may try to tell us a tire looks good (and considering you have Dunlops mind you) we have to concede that we should error on the side of caution when tread wear limits are that close because:
1. Our health and lives truly depend on the tires we ride on.
2. Our lack of microscopic vision will not allow us to see manufacturing defects or wear stresses that may cause a tire to fail regardless of who manufactures it. I've seen top quality tires suddenly fail right out of the shop and simply because of a manufacturing defect.
We only ride on two wheels and not on four since having more than two tires would allow us to avoid danger better like cagers can but bikers do not have this luxury. If one tire blows out while we are riding we are down in whatever shape or form it comes in whether easy or hard. IMO and if it were I facing this decision I wouldn't hesitate to get two NEW matching tires and mostly because I can't stand or trust Dunlop tires and 500 - 800 miles means nothing on a Dunlop tire. I say this because I've even seen Dunlops suddenly tear, crack and fall apart. All this simply comes down to the RISK we are willing to assume for ourselves riding on worn tires BUT ONLY as long as that risk DOES NOT involve others.
As for the danger of having a new rear Bridgestone along with your used good condition front Dunlop I can't make that judgment for you and you will have to make it yourself. I can give you my opinion in that if I were riding on that type of setup then I don't think anything would be noticeable except the different feel or handling issues with the differing "quality" but here again such handling issues "may" affect your overall performance and handling which do affect your safety. The main point here is that when it comes to my safety I would much rather spend some money now to prevent a mishap that may end up costing me much more or worse if anything bad were to happen. Basically, all I did was agree with Feenix and Infinite here on the fact that as long as you have a "quality" rear tire then it should be fine but I emphasized that the "difference in quality" between the Bridgestone and Dunlop is evidently clear and one can never tell until they ride it. If it handles badly then you have your answer.
As for that good condition used front Dunlop tire I'd sell that to someone who can match it to their good condition rear used Dunlop so they could at least having a matching set of used good condition Dunlops.