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Old 11-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #1
bass567
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Question Matched tires - How important?

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?
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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I Have been riding for over 25 years on mostly un matched tires like now I have a Pirelli on the back..when I needed a front tire there where no pirellis to be had So Ive got a IRC up there"Wild Flare"nice looking and great handling. Im sure you will not be able to tell the differnce on the matched or un matched tires, You will notice a difference when both Stock dunlops are off your bike They are just terrible in my opinion.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:09 PM   #3
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I'd agree it's not as important with good tires. The stock Dunlops are not good as the previous poster mentioned, however. I think putting a good rear on is going to really highlight just how bad the front stocker is. I was in a similar position - just bought the bike not long ago and the rear was finished with less than 7,500 on it. The front probably could have gone a couple thousand more. I had the rear changed out and they had to order a new front because it wasn't in stock. Took it out some with the mis-match and it was a world of difference once I had the matching front mounted. I went with the Pirelli Rt. 66's, by the way.
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Old 11-19-2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass567 View Post
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.
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Last edited by Comanche; 11-19-2012 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:07 PM   #5
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Just replaced my front tire (Metzler ME880), and still have my original OEM Dunlop (still has 1000-2000 miles left). So far I have not notice any handling issue with this configuration. I will plan to replace (when it's time) the rear with the matching Metzler. But, until then I don't see any issues running the mis-matched tires.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:03 PM   #6
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when I replaced my 1st rear tire on my 05 800vnb, my dealer installed rt66s at 12,500. My 2nd tire was also on the rear at 18,000 with the same tire. Had the stock front on untill nearly 21,000. Replaced with stock tire. From there had Dunlop 404s and went to 402s, as they wore out. Recently have had Continentals front and back, still have it on the front. Went back to the 402 I took off last feb, now have a Shinko on the back. No noticable difference other than how fast they wear out. The 402s are what I get the best milage from.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:09 PM   #7
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I've got a D404 on the front and a ME880 on the rear. No wobble or anything, everything works just fine. Handling improved when I switched from the D404 to the ME880.

I'm not a tire expert, but I would guess that neither is the shop guy at the dealer. But it hasn't bothered me in my experience. ANY time you put a new tire on the bike, whether it's ol' faithful or a whole new combination of tires, take it easy. The tires aren't scuffed in yet, AND, it may handle differently than the worn tire(s) you just took off. It's always a good idea to wait until you've put 50 miles or so on a new tire before you start to be even the least bit aggressive. I try and avoid rain on new tires as well. If you do this, then any change in handling from new tires will be picked up anyway!
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:35 PM   #8
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Rick & Romans, I hope my opinions didn't seem as though I were trashing Dunlops. I have just had bad experiences with them and I dislike them intensely because of that so all I was sharing were my bad experiences along with that strong personal dislike. Let's just call is "preferences" and "even." Haha!

Glad you guys had good experiences with Dunlops though. I just can't seem to get them to like me. Romans, dig the excellent advice on the "burn in" period.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romans5.8 View Post
I've got a D404 on the front and a ME880 on the rear. No wobble or anything, everything works just fine. Handling improved when I switched from the D404 to the ME880.

I'm not a tire expert, but I would guess that neither is the shop guy at the dealer. But it hasn't bothered me in my experience. ANY time you put a new tire on the bike, whether it's ol' faithful or a whole new combination of tires, take it easy. The tires aren't scuffed in yet, AND, it may handle differently than the worn tire(s) you just took off. It's always a good idea to wait until you've put 50 miles or so on a new tire before you start to be even the least bit aggressive. I try and avoid rain on new tires as well. If you do this, then any change in handling from new tires will be picked up anyway!
Same here with no issues ... the big issue is not to put radial tires mismatched with bias ply tires ....that is a no-no

great idea about scuffing em in first b4 any hard cornering, its important to scrub the glaze off them.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiting57 View Post
Same here with no issues ... the big issue is not to put radial tires mismatched with bias ply tires ....that is a no-no

great idea about scuffing em in first b4 any hard cornering, its important to scrub the glaze off them.
I THINK that's a non issue for the Classic 900's. Correct me if I'm wrong, but for some reason you can't put radials over a tube right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comanche View Post
Rick & Romans, I hope my opinions didn't seem as though I were trashing Dunlops. I have just had bad experiences with them and I dislike them intensely because of that so all I was sharing were my bad experiences along with that strong personal dislike. Let's just call is "preferences" and "even." Haha!

Glad you guys had good experiences with Dunlops though. I just can't seem to get them to like me. Romans, dig the excellent advice on the "burn in" period.
Well, it's what I run, didn't say I liked it! I definitely won't do another D404 rear. My ME880 has half the miles the D404 did and is much, much less worn. That D404 was bare in the middle with just around 7,500 miles. But the front is still good and I don't see any reason to change it until it's worn. A guy I know sold his 900 and had an extra set of tires that I got from him cheap (brand new). So there is a set of Michelins in my laundy room, the front will go on the bike before the winter is over.

The bike handled fine with the D404 (though I think it improved some in hard cornering when I swapped the rear), but the other tires seem to last longer. They are certainly worth the extra price when you figure the cost of mounting the tires (even if you don't figure the cost you still come out ahead with the other tires). Though some say they get the same mileage out of all of them, kinda weird isn't it?

You know, I have yet to buy a tire. The tires were fairly worn when I bought the bike and the dealer threw in a set for free, then I was ABOUT to buy a rear tire before I went on my honeymoon with the bike, and I had a friend ride it to the wedding for me. Well, he noticed the back tire was worn and knew I was about to buy a new tire, and figured I should save my money for the honeymoon so he went and had a new rear tire put on the bike, along with new brake pads and a full 'pre trip' inspection from a dealer with a service department we both really like. Then, I worked out this trade a while back for some stuff (referenced above) and got this set of Michelins thrown in for free...

So I guess I shouldn't complain too much about 'em eh? BTW, I have close to 20k on that Dunlop front. It's ready to go, but not in DIRE need. Next warm day I'll probably take the bike down and get the front tire swapped out
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