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Rider on the Storm
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1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I own a 2006 VN 750 with stock Bridgestone tires. In just under two years I've ridden 9,800 miles ~ about 75% highway, 25% city. I usually keep the pressure in the front tire at 29, and the rear tire at 33. I use the front disc brake more than the rear drum brake, but I'm trying to use both simultaneously.

Here's the thing. My front tire is scalloped and showing a little dry rot, and the shallow tread depth indicates that I'm ready for a new tire. My rear tire, by contrast, still has excellent tread depth and no dry rot or any other signs of wear/disintegration.

I showed the tires to a nearby motorcycle mechanic. He was surprised that the front was in bad shape, and the back was in good shape. (He said that it's usually the other way around.) He also offered to put a pair of Dunlop 404s on for me, but that all I really needed to do right now was replace the front tire.

Questions:
  • Mix & Match? ~ Is it OK to put a fresh Dunlop 404 on the front and continue to ride on the rear Bridgestone until it is ready to be replaced? Or should I replace both tires at the same time with an identical product? I'm all for saving money, but I don't want to make a mistake with my tires!
  • Dealer vs. Local Mechanic? ~ I live about 20 miles from two different Kaw dealers, which is inconvenient when I need to leave my bike. This place (Motorcycle Parts Outlet) is within walking distance from my house. He's been in business for twenty-five years, selling a few items in the store but mostly working on bikes (both metrics and HD). He said that the cost of two Dunlop 404 tires, plus labor, would be $360. (The labor is only $104, but obviously he makes the $ on the tires!) Does all this sound about right, or is there something else I should consider? Again, these are my tires!
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
I would just change the front if the rear is fine. Shouldn't make a difference if they are two different kinds.

And yeah, the front wearing first does seem backwards. Maybe the front is an older tire, which would explain it somewhat.

Also, it'd be cheaper on labor charges if you take just the wheels in to get the tires changed, not the whole bike.
 

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Premium Member
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2,850 Posts
My buddy has an '03 Yammy sportbike and is having the same issue; scalloping, worn front, back is ok. He's thinin it's just how he's been riding and using the front brake more and such. At any rate, he's just replacing the front as well....
 

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Stay Away, sounds like way to much cash for tires and labor. try ron ayres or dennis kirk, order them yourself and find someone to mount them for under 80.00 bucks.. pierelli mt66... front and rear for 152.00 shipped from denniskirk.com plus say 80.00 to mount, so your looking at 232.00 total for much better tires then the dunflop 404's... and just for your info, if you really wanted the dunflops they would be 160.00 shipped...like I said stay away from that guy..
 

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I found if you remove the tire you could get it mounted and balance for less than 30.oo a tire. Also if you could put nitrogen in your tires. It helps make the tire last longer. It does make the ride a little stiff at first but once you ride it, but then it smoothes out. I also noticed it makes the bike handle a lot better in turns. I like it.
 

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Premium Member
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1,766 Posts
I just ordered 2 new tires for my Meanie, 130/70-17 front and 180/55-17 rear, Avon Storm ST radials. I paid $ 248 for the two tires, plus $20/each to mount and balance them when I roll the wheels in the door.

See if you have a Cycle Gear near you, they will price match an internet price, just put your tires into a cart, go all the way up to paying, and print the screen showing the total.

When you buy the tires from Cycle Gear, they ony charge $20/wheel, $ 30 if you broing your own tires.

I paid like $ 140 for a new set of D404's for my 750 early last year, the price you got seems VERY high.

Jon
 

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85 VN 700
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1,033 Posts
One note on cycle gear... (not sure if this note applies to all Cycle Gears or just the local one).

They're friendly, they're cheap, I buy a lot of stuff from em (they remember my NAME when I go in even though it's usually at least a month between trips), but I won't buy another set of tires from em. After checking the date on the tires that I'd JUST BOUGHT (the set that's on the bike now) one of em was almost 3 years old. The valve stem they installed also leaked since they'd neglected to tighten the inner nub - AND they didn't clean the rims, which caused a rim leak. Nevermind that with my previous bike I had a tire I had to take back 3 times because they couldn't get it seated right...

Like I said - might just be my local cycle gear, might just be my luck, but I think I'll be ordering my next set online and mounting them myself or getting em installed by a different (more competent?) shop... I just don't think they have the training they should...
 

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Premium Member
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Curtis -

Appreciate that feedback, I will watch them like a hawk when being done.

Jon

One note on cycle gear... (not sure if this note applies to all Cycle Gears or just the local one).

They're friendly, they're cheap, I buy a lot of stuff from em (they remember my NAME when I go in even though it's usually at least a month between trips), but I won't buy another set of tires from em. After checking the date on the tires that I'd JUST BOUGHT (the set that's on the bike now) one of em was almost 3 years old. The valve stem they installed also leaked since they'd neglected to tighten the inner nub - AND they didn't clean the rims, which caused a rim leak. Nevermind that with my previous bike I had a tire I had to take back 3 times because they couldn't get it seated right...

Like I said - might just be my local cycle gear, might just be my luck, but I think I'll be ordering my next set online and mounting them myself or getting em installed by a different (more competent?) shop... I just don't think they have the training they should...
 

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Rider on the Storm
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1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Metzler vs Dunlop

I don't have the set-up to remove my own tires. Two local Kaw dealers said that if I brought my own tires in, they would balance/mount them for around $120. The much closer small shop will do it for $134.

Is there a huge difference between Dunlop 404s and Metzler 880s?! I've also read good things about the Pirelli MT66 (on sale at the Motorcycle Superstore) and the new Night Dragons.
 

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On His Lady Vulcan
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1,647 Posts
What do you mean you don't have the set up to remove your tires? All it takes is your center stand and a large crescent wrench and its off in no time flat (pun intended...lol) Just remove the wheels and take them in separately and DON'T pay more then $30 a tire to mount them.

Peace :beerchug:
 

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I thought I needed a special stand to get the front wheel off. :doh:
I found out that if you put a 2x6 board under the center stand it will raise the bike enough that when you undue the shocks the wheel not already resting on the ground.
 

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On His Lady Vulcan
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1,647 Posts
Negative brother, just lift up on the forks a little slide it out, I would throw a milk crate (or whatever you have that might work) under the forks for further support while the wheel is off and boom shakalakka.

Enjoy
 

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Negative brother, just lift up on the forks a little slide it out, I would throw a milk crate (or whatever you have that might work) under the forks for further support while the wheel is off and boom shakalakka.

Enjoy
Your rirght my bad I was thinking of the rear wheel.
 

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Rider on the Storm
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1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Hey Kenneth, on a personal note: my first-born is being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army in a couple of weeks. After some officer training in Oklahoma, he'll be stationed for more training in the Newport News area!
 

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Rider on the Storm
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1,287 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
mix & match?

I still want to hear more about mixing and matching. My front tire needs to be changed, but my stock Brookstone rear tire still has a lot of life left in it after 2 years and 10,000 miles. Question: is there a reason not to place a fresh ME880 on the front and wait until next year to replace the rear?
 

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On His Lady Vulcan
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1,647 Posts
I am running Dunlop on rear and Metz on front...No issues what so ever
 

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Hey Kenneth, on a personal note: my first-born is being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army in a couple of weeks. After some officer training in Oklahoma, he'll be stationed for more training in the Newport News area!
He must be going to Fort Eustis. That's about 5 min from me.
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
I still want to hear more about mixing and matching. My front tire needs to be changed, but my stock Brookstone rear tire still has a lot of life left in it after 2 years and 10,000 miles. Question: is there a reason not to place a fresh ME880 on the front and wait until next year to replace the rear?
Well, the shop manual does say not to mix manufacturers. Only thing I figure is maybe they don't want you mixing two different compounds as you wont get consistant traction. That's just my hypothesis anyways.
But I've done it when I first got the bike and never had any issues.

IMO, there's no reason to change both if only one needs changed.

As with any tire, when new, just take your time breaking it in, take note of any different feeling of handling and traction, then enjoy the ride.
 

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Replace the front for now, It sounds like the tire pressure was too low on the front, i run the tire pressure at tire reccomended pressure now instead of frame reccomended chart, i think irun 40psi. I havent had the same problem with my OEM replacement running those pressures, they will actually last a bit longer, but be carefull now, too much pressure can compromise safety.
 
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