ME888 Second failure - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 49 Old May 11th, 2018, 9:56 pm Thread Starter
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ME888 Second failure

Hi all,

Approaching 100,000 miles on my 05 lt and still love it. Have to share my experience of late. The old head-shake has become intolerable over the last few years so I decided to spend a little cash and upgrade shocks, paralever bearings etc. Immediately became better, but not satisfactory. Past postings have indicated tire balance issues but I have to share my latest observations.

IN June of 2017 my front ME888 de-laminated with several bulges following a cross county ride that included temps of 121' in Arizona. I blamed the heat and Metzler replaced the tire. Two weeks ago I'm riding with my wife at posted speed limit of 75, begin to hear strange noise like a helicopter in the background. Stop at the next gas station and check everything over, looks good. Pull out onto road and we immediately realize something is wrong, pull into station across the street. Three bulges on front tire indicate another de-lamination issue. Thank god we stopped when we did and a friend has a trailer nearby.

Decide to mount Bridgestone BT 020 front and rear. WOW! The bike is a new bike again. I know that there have been failures with other makes as well but I put over 90,000 miles on ME880's without a problem except the head-shake. Now two ME888's in a row! This is too much to be a coincidence. I'm done with Metzlers. Hope the pics upload ok. Best wishes to all and be carefull.
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post #2 of 49 Old May 12th, 2018, 12:45 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

Glad you figured out what was going on before serious trouble. You seem to have found the proper tire. Not every tire is for any bike. The LT has requirements that limit the tires. World economy has moved tire fabrication to locations that are not original. I think the Tourance tires from China are not as good as the original due to a small change in bead diameter. Things change. Good that you found a solution.

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post #3 of 49 Old May 12th, 2018, 9:20 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumber101 View Post
Hi all,

Approaching 100,000 miles on my 05 lt and still love it. Have to share my experience of late. The old head-shake has become intolerable over the last few years so I decided to spend a little cash and upgrade shocks, paralever bearings etc. Immediately became better, but not satisfactory. Past postings have indicated tire balance issues but I have to share my latest observations.

IN June of 2017 my front ME888 de-laminated with several bulges following a cross county ride that included temps of 121' in Arizona. I blamed the heat and Metzler replaced the tire. Two weeks ago I'm riding with my wife at posted speed limit of 75, begin to hear strange noise like a helicopter in the background. Stop at the next gas station and check everything over, looks good. Pull out onto road and we immediately realize something is wrong, pull into station across the street. Three bulges on front tire indicate another de-lamination issue. Thank god we stopped when we did and a friend has a trailer nearby.

Decide to mount Bridgestone BT 020 front and rear. WOW! The bike is a new bike again. I know that there have been failures with other makes as well but I put over 90,000 miles on ME880's without a problem except the head-shake. Now two ME888's in a row! This is too much to be a coincidence. I'm done with Metzlers. Hope the pics upload ok. Best wishes to all and be carefull.
I have a claim in right now for a bulged front 888. It looks like your first picture, but mine is a little less severe. I just installed a second 888 to replace it and we shall see how it does. Since I had 9,000 miles on the first one, I doubt I will get anything much from Metzeler. However, it had close to 50% tread left. It was wearing well compared to the front BT020 which barely made 6,000. If only the front Bridgestone wore like the rear.

If this second 888 fails, not sure what I will try. At least the front tire has more options available than does the rear.

I will add that both my 888s were made in Brazil. I had one rear 880 fail with a sidewall split. If memory serves, it was made in Mexico. I hope we don't need an ME880 failure thread as we have for final drives.

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post #4 of 49 Old May 12th, 2018, 10:58 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

I think you'll be happy with the Stones. Probably better traction on wet roads.

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post #5 of 49 Old May 12th, 2018, 11:41 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by james216 View Post
I think you'll be happy with the Stones. Probably better traction on wet roads.
The 020 rear is the best tire for the rear, at least for the bias tire restricted later models. The 020 front handles great, but wears out very quickly, about twice as fast as the rear, just opposite of the 880s. I really liked the 880 front and 020 rear combination, but I'm beginning to think the quality of the 888 isn't up to the standard set by the 880.

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post #6 of 49 Old May 12th, 2018, 1:57 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

I'm glad I have enough front ME880's to last me for the next 5 or 6 years.
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post #7 of 49 Old May 12th, 2018, 9:28 pm Thread Starter
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Re: ME888 Second failure

If the front BT020 lasts 6,000 miles I may decide to live with it. Its been a long time since the bike felt this good. Only time will tell. There's always been discussion about maintenance costs but real performance always comes at the $$ side of compromise. A good friend told me "If you can't afford the tires on a Corvette, better not buy one." I've chosen to spend some cash on an older bike. Now's not the time to get cheap with rubber. Appreciate everyone's feedback. This site has saved me enough money over the years to buy several Bridgestone's but not one Metzler.
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post #8 of 49 Old May 12th, 2018, 9:29 pm
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Cool Re: ME888 Second failure

My bike had worn out Metz on it at purchase. Tried a 'Stone on front and it seemed a little unstable in the rain at highway speeds. Replaced it with Michelin and love it ( 4k on it as of today) . I went with Avon on rear, now at 8k, and both tires have alot of tread left. I'm not so concerned about the mileage/distance I get out of my tires; I want stability and safety at highway speeds, in the twisties and in the rain. My .02 cents after 40 years riding.
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post #9 of 49 Old May 13th, 2018, 7:25 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

On my 2000 LT I ran mostly the BT 020 tires. Attached are my dates and mileage installs. I averaged between 10k and 12k between tire changes.
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post #10 of 49 Old May 13th, 2018, 11:34 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by mtrevelino View Post
On my 2000 LT I ran mostly the BT 020 tires. Attached are my dates and mileage installs. I averaged between 10k and 12k between tire changes.
Front and rear changed at same time? My front and rear tires never wear at the same rate.

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post #11 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 12:19 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

Sumbitch. I just put a 888 on my front. The date code on it was pretty recent. (2517) I guess I better keep a good eye on it.
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post #12 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 2:52 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

020 tyres are the only one recommended for the K1200lt by BMW. If you have an accident the insurers can invalidate your insurance as you have modified your vehicle from the BMW specs
I spoke to Bridgstone uk last week . They said that the 020 M is the only tyre recommended and legaly suitable for use on the LT as it is specificaly strengthened for use on the bike. It is the only tyre able to cope with the weight of the bike.
A lot of people try radials and have no problems but the 020 is a Biased radial. Some companies will sell you anything just to get your cash.
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post #13 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 5:13 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

So you talked to Bridgestone and they say Bridgestone is the only tire that's recommended and legally suitable? That sounds totally reliable.
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post #14 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 7:54 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Front and rear changed at same time? My front and rear tires never wear at the same rate.
From what I remember with the LT, the rear tires center was pretty worn, so I just changed them both at the same time. I had one rear tire that was showing good and the next time I looked at it the cords were showing.

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post #15 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 7:56 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by sentry07 View Post
Sumbitch. I just put a 888 on my front. The date code on it was pretty recent. (2517) I guess I better keep a good eye on it.

Made in Brazil?

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post #16 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 8:12 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by peterj View Post
020 tyres are the only one recommended for the K1200lt by BMW. If you have an accident the insurers can invalidate your insurance as you have modified your vehicle from the BMW specs
I spoke to Bridgstone uk last week . They said that the 020 M is the only tyre recommended and legaly suitable for use on the LT as it is specificaly strengthened for use on the bike. It is the only tyre able to cope with the weight of the bike.
A lot of people try radials and have no problems but the 020 is a Biased radial. Some companies will sell you anything just to get your cash.
That is simply not correct. My 07 came from the factory with ME880 tires. They are also properly rated for the LT, at least the 05-09 model years. There is no such thing as a biased radial. The correct BT020 tire for the LT is a bias ply tire (as noted in the fitment guide) and that is what Bridgestone makes for the LT ... as does Metzeler.
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post #17 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 4:27 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Made in Brazil?
I'm not sure where it was made. I'll have to check when I'm back near it. Does it just say Brazil on it or is there a code somewhere?
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post #18 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 4:47 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by sumber101 View Post
Hi all,

Approaching 100,000 miles on my 05 lt and still love it. Have to share my experience of late. The old head-shake has become intolerable over the last few years so I decided to spend a little cash and upgrade shocks, paralever bearings etc. Immediately became better, but not satisfactory. Past postings have indicated tire balance issues but I have to share my latest observations.

IN June of 2017 my front ME888 de-laminated with several bulges following a cross county ride that included temps of 121' in Arizona. I blamed the heat and Metzler replaced the tire. Two weeks ago I'm riding with my wife at posted speed limit of 75, begin to hear strange noise like a helicopter in the background. Stop at the next gas station and check everything over, looks good. Pull out onto road and we immediately realize something is wrong, pull into station across the street. Three bulges on front tire indicate another de-lamination issue. Thank god we stopped when we did and a friend has a trailer nearby.

Decide to mount Bridgestone BT 020 front and rear. WOW! The bike is a new bike again. I know that there have been failures with other makes as well but I put over 90,000 miles on ME880's without a problem except the head-shake. Now two ME888's in a row! This is too much to be a coincidence. I'm done with Metzlers. Hope the pics upload ok. Best wishes to all and be carefull.
What tire pressures were you running on the ME888s?
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post #19 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 8:26 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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I'm not sure where it was made. I'll have to check when I'm back near it. Does it just say Brazil on it or is there a code somewhere?
Written right on the sidewall.

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post #20 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 9:06 pm Thread Starter
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Re: ME888 Second failure

For the last five years I've been running 48lbs rear and 39lbs in the front. Prior to this period I ran the BMW recommended 42/36 with 47 in the rear when riding double or in extreme conditions. The 10 percent increase made a noticeable difference in the cupping on the front. As a FYI, both tire failures featured a product of Brazil.
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post #21 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 9:43 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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020 tyres are the only one recommended for the K1200lt by BMW. If you have an accident the insurers can invalidate your insurance as you have modified your vehicle from the BMW specs . . .
For members from the U.S., be aware that peterj is from the U.K.

In the U.S., I'm not aware of any state where a modification to a car or motorcycle "invalidates" the insurance. (Before I retired, I was a licensed agent in 40 states.) Even such things as bald tires, a broken headlight, or brakes that need repair are not good enough reasons. If you want to invalidate your insurance, lie on your insurance application in a substantial and relevant way (this is called "misrepresentation"), stop paying your premium, or get caught arranging to have your bike stolen or destroyed on purpose just so you can file a claim.

I don't know anything about British insurance laws.
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post #22 of 49 Old May 14th, 2018, 11:23 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
If this second 888 fails, not sure what I will try. At least the front tire has more options available than does the rear..
Just a reminder as its been discussed before.... Michelin Pilot Road 4 (PR4) GT is very useable on the LT front, meets the required specs.
Been very happy with them on both my LT and K12GT.
It often seems to be overlooked as the rear is not suitable for the LT.

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post #23 of 49 Old May 15th, 2018, 12:01 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
Written right on the sidewall.
I found a thing that says Pirellia Pneus LTDA Industria Brasileira.



........so about 9,000 miles you say?

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post #24 of 49 Old May 15th, 2018, 2:37 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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I found a thing that says Pirellia Pneus LTDA Industria Brasileira.



........so about 9,000 miles you say?
I think mine simply said "Made in Brazil"

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post #25 of 49 Old May 21st, 2018, 10:51 am
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Unhappy Re: ME888 Second failure

Well I have had ME880 on both of my LTs and I thought they did a good job for me, 13-15K on the rear tires and about 10K on the fronts. Usually replaced them due to the cupping on the front tire that always seemed to arise. I ride with 42lbs in the front and 48 in the rear. I just purchased a new set of ME888s so to hear of two failures is a concern. My tires were purchased from the dealer here in Indy and both say Product of Brazil and were made 4216 front and 4016 rear.

I dont know that I ever looked at where the ME880s were mfgd.

:-(

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post #26 of 49 Old May 31st, 2018, 5:25 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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I have a claim in right now for a bulged front 888. It looks like your first picture, but mine is a little less severe. I just installed a second 888 to replace it and we shall see how it does. Since I had 9,000 miles on the first one, I doubt I will get anything much from Metzeler. However, it had close to 50% tread left. It was wearing well compared to the front BT020 which barely made 6,000. If only the front Bridgestone wore like the rear.

If this second 888 fails, not sure what I will try. At least the front tire has more options available than does the rear.

I will add that both my 888s were made in Brazil. I had one rear 880 fail with a sidewall split. If memory serves, it was made in Mexico. I hope we don't need an ME880 failure thread as we have for final drives.
I finally heard back from American MotoTire regarding my bulged front 888. They offered me two options:

1. Follow normal warranty claim process and return tire for evaluation and prorated credit.

2. Drill holes in the defective tire to ensure it is not used by anyone else and they will ship me a new one with no paperwork or cost.

I took the hint and chose option two. The only downside is that I had to buy a new front 888 for the ride to CCR and it will last two years at my typical 6-7,000 mile annual average. But, I have no qualms using a two year old tire that has been stored properly. I am hoping these next two made in Brazil 888 tires do better than the first one.

Or, I may just have to ride more so I can wear our the current front tire sooner.

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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #27 of 49 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 12:25 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

Same thing happened to me I got my tire at Dennis Kirk. My pressure is kept at 38-40PSI (front). To me if the tire pressure was reasonable high or low (ride not too compromised) the mode of failure would be different the delaminating. They say made in Brazil. That is not to say this issue is just Brazil. This was found while my wife and I were riding in the mountains, so basically worst case. The Pirelli warranty facility for North America is not too far a ride away, but I don't know what they would do. I don't want a new tire as I will not put another one of those on my bike, and if they offer a prorating I would assume they would say 9313mi is the expected life anyways, but it is still above the indicators. I already have BT020 for the front, and was just trying to get the last bit of life out of these 888, but what a risk. Hopefully others will report their issues too for awareness.
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post #28 of 49 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 1:10 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Originally Posted by Panzer View Post
Same thing happened to me I got my tire at Dennis Kirk. My pressure is kept at 38-40PSI (front). To me if the tire pressure was reasonable high or low (ride not too compromised) the mode of failure would be different the delaminating. They say made in Brazil. That is not to say this issue is just Brazil. This was found while my wife and I were riding in the mountains, so basically worst case. The Pirelli warranty facility for North America is not too far a ride away, but I don't know what they would do. I don't want a new tire as I will not put another one of those on my bike, and if they offer a prorating I would assume they would say 9313mi is the expected life anyways, but it is still above the indicators. I already have BT020 for the front, and was just trying to get the last bit of life out of these 888, but what a risk. Hopefully others will report their issues too for awareness.
I bet you noticed that pretty handily with a bulge that big. I assume you made it home safely as it looks like you are holding the tire.

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post #29 of 49 Old Jun 2nd, 2018, 8:05 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panzer View Post
Same thing happened to me I got my tire at Dennis Kirk. My pressure is kept at 38-40PSI (front). To me if the tire pressure was reasonable high or low (ride not too compromised) the mode of failure would be different the delaminating. They say made in Brazil. That is not to say this issue is just Brazil. This was found while my wife and I were riding in the mountains, so basically worst case. The Pirelli warranty facility for North America is not too far a ride away, but I don't know what they would do. I don't want a new tire as I will not put another one of those on my bike, and if they offer a prorating I would assume they would say 9313mi is the expected life anyways, but it is still above the indicators. I already have BT020 for the front, and was just trying to get the last bit of life out of these 888, but what a risk. Hopefully others will report their issues too for awareness.
Yours is worse than mine. I didn't notice mine riding. I had lifted the tire barely off my garage floor so I could rotate it trying to find a slow air leak after the tire went flat over the winter. The tire hit the floor in one spot and that gave it away. Mine was bulged only 1/8" or so.

I am not ready yet to give up on Metzeler or Brazil, but if I get a second similar failure... I am now running my second 888 and it ran 2,700 miles to CCR and back with no detectable issues. I ride to Tail of the Dragon later this month so that will add a couple thousand more miles. And I have a third tire supposedly being sent to me directly by the Metzeler North America rep so we shall see. Given how willing they were to send me a tire without even getting the failed tire back (I sent pictures), makes me suspect they had a bad lot and are getting them out of circulation without an outright recall.

I don't think they would send out more tires if they thought the same issue would recur so I'm hopeful it was just a temporary issue that has been resolved.

The Metzeler is the only front tire I've ran that will last for a trip around the US (8500 miles) or to Alaska and back (10,000+ miles). So, other options require mid-trip tire changes which are a pain.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
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post #30 of 49 Old Jun 3rd, 2018, 2:11 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Hi all,

Approaching 100,000 miles on my 05 lt and still love it. Have to share my experience of late. The old head-shake has become intolerable over the last few years so I decided to spend a little cash and upgrade shocks, paralever bearings etc. Immediately became better, but not satisfactory. Past postings have indicated tire balance issues but I have to share my latest observations.

IN June of 2017 my front ME888 de-laminated with several bulges following a cross county ride that included temps of 121' in Arizona. I blamed the heat and Metzler replaced the tire. Two weeks ago I'm riding with my wife at posted speed limit of 75, begin to hear strange noise like a helicopter in the background. Stop at the next gas station and check everything over, looks good. Pull out onto road and we immediately realize something is wrong, pull into station across the street. Three bulges on front tire indicate another de-lamination issue. Thank god we stopped when we did and a friend has a trailer nearby.

Decide to mount Bridgestone BT 020 front and rear. WOW! The bike is a new bike again. I know that there have been failures with other makes as well but I put over 90,000 miles on ME880's without a problem except the head-shake. Now two ME888's in a row! This is too much to be a coincidence. I'm done with Metzlers. Hope the pics upload ok. Best wishes to all and be carefull.

where did you find the Bridgestones ??? i ended up with a set of Radial Avons and my yr 05my states belted tires and i get some wandering on the Radials - when these wear out would lkie to try a set of Stones -
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post #31 of 49 Old Jun 3rd, 2018, 3:46 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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where did you find the Bridgestones ??? i ended up with a set of Radial Avons and my yr 05my states belted tires and i get some wandering on the Radials - when these wear out would lkie to try a set of Stones -
I've had good luck with American MotoTire for price and delivery as well as my two Metzeler warranty claims.

The Stones handle well, if only the front didn't wear out so fast.

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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
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1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #32 of 49 Old Jun 3rd, 2018, 5:00 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

As a new guy to the LT, can anybody summarize the reasons to choose a ME888 over a ME880? You can get the ME880 in 120/70-17 as bias or radial ply, they seem to be readily available, they have the same 520 lb load rating, and they only cost what? about $20 more than the ME888? I just don't see the appeal to the ME888. But maybe it's something really obvious that just escaped my muddled brain.
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post #33 of 49 Old Jun 3rd, 2018, 5:37 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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As a new guy to the LT, can anybody summarize the reasons to choose a ME888 over a ME880? You can get the ME880 in 120/70-17 as bias or radial ply, they seem to be readily available, they have the same 520 lb load rating, and they only cost what? about $20 more than the ME888? I just don't see the appeal to the ME888. But maybe it's something really obvious that just escaped my muddled brain.
The 888 was supposed to last longer, but my only sample failed well before the tread was gone. It did have good tread depth still at 9,000 miles when I noticed the bulge.

Also, I am not sure the 880 is still being made. It may just be old stock being sold. If you buy one, let us know the date code.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #34 of 49 Old Jun 4th, 2018, 9:23 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Also, I am not sure the 880 is still being made. It may just be old stock being sold. If you buy one, let us know the date code.
So how long is old stock good for? I've heard stories about new tires stored in a shipping container out behind the shop getting baked all summer long.

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post #35 of 49 Old Jun 4th, 2018, 10:53 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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So how long is old stock good for? I've heard stories about new tires stored in a shipping container out behind the shop getting baked all summer long.
The unanswerable question. I've heard anywhere from 5-8 years. I've run Goodyear tires for 10 years on a pickup. I've had Chinese trailer tires have serious sidewall cracks after 4 years.

I personally prefer to have tires off my bike by about 6 years, but I let inspection be my guide.

I think much depends on your climate.

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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
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post #36 of 49 Old Jun 4th, 2018, 5:52 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Yours is worse than mine. I didn't notice mine riding. I had lifted the tire barely off my garage floor so I could rotate it trying to find a slow air leak after the tire went flat over the winter. The tire hit the floor in one spot and that gave it away. Mine was bulged only 1/8" or so.

I am not ready yet to give up on Metzeler or Brazil, but if I get a second similar failure... I am now running my second 888 and it ran 2,700 miles to CCR and back with no detectable issues. I ride to Tail of the Dragon later this month so that will add a couple thousand more miles. And I have a third tire supposedly being sent to me directly by the Metzeler North America rep so we shall see. Given how willing they were to send me a tire without even getting the failed tire back (I sent pictures), makes me suspect they had a bad lot and are getting them out of circulation without an outright recall.

I don't think they would send out more tires if they thought the same issue would recur so I'm hopeful it was just a temporary issue that has been resolved.

The Metzeler is the only front tire I've ran that will last for a trip around the US (8500 miles) or to Alaska and back (10,000+ miles). So, other options require mid-trip tire changes which are a pain.
wow you rode to Alaska? that is bold. that is on my list for sure. I like how you still have loyalty to the brand regardless of the your recent issue and and others data. sounds like you have good experience enough to get you thru the rough spots. I tried the back 888 too, and did not like it. really the Shinko is better in my opinion. the 880 was a good tire front and back, but to me the hardness compromised the grip especially the wet grip. I have about worn out a rear stone and could not be more happy, so I don't mind trying a front regardless of wear.

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post #37 of 49 Old Jun 4th, 2018, 9:36 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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wow you rode to Alaska? that is bold. that is on my list for sure. I like how you still have loyalty to the brand regardless of the your recent issue and and others data. sounds like you have good experience enough to get you thru the rough spots. I tried the back 888 too, and did not like it. really the Shinko is better in my opinion. the 880 was a good tire front and back, but to me the hardness compromised the grip especially the wet grip. I have about worn out a rear stone and could not be more happy, so I don't mind trying a front regardless of wear.
No, not Alaska yet. It is tentatively being planned for next year. We essentially circumnavigated the US last September (except New England). We spent 29 days on the road and logged 8,540 miles. The new BT020 rear and 888 front made it with at least 3,000 miles of tread left, but a bulge in the front tire. Early routes to Anchorage and back are over 9,000 miles. The 880/888 front are the only tires I've used that have a chance to go that far. The Bridgestone front would make it one way with little to spare.

This September is three weeks riding Ireland and southern England.

Hopefully, Alaska is next June or July, but that is still tentative. I generally like to ride alone (well, me and my wife), but a trip of that length through that territory on a bike as notoriously troublesome as the LT gives me some pause. I am debating trying to find another couple to join us or at least one other rider. Or buy a K1600 and hope for better reliability than the LT. All indications from the K1600 forums is that this is a safe bet. I'd like to ride the LT to Alaska and ride it to 100,000 miles (just shy of 70K now), but I'd really, really not like being stranded alone in the Yukon with {final drive bearing mangled, clutch oiled, input shaft bearing crunched, U-hose burst, driveshaft bushing spun, reverser module on fire, etc.}.

That is my current conundrum: either ride the LT with at least one other bike or buy a new bike. I had high hopes for the 2018 Wing, but after reading the specs, looking them over carefully at IMS Cleveland and then taking a 100+ mile test ride on a DCT Tour in Russellville, the Wing just isn't a viable LT replacement. I suspect it will be as bulletproof as a Mack Bulldog, but it just doesn't cut it for two-up travel unless you tow a trailer. I will drive a car or a Spyder before I do that.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #38 of 49 Old Jun 5th, 2018, 10:22 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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That is my current conundrum: either ride the LT with at least one other bike or buy a new bike. I had high hopes for the 2018 Wing, but after reading the specs, looking them over carefully at IMS Cleveland and then taking a 100+ mile test ride on a DCT Tour in Russellville, the Wing just isn't a viable LT replacement. I suspect it will be as bulletproof as a Mack Bulldog, but it just doesn't cut it for two-up travel unless you tow a trailer. I will drive a car or a Spyder before I do that.
I was very interested in the GW with DCT. I didn't know they had trailer hitch options yet. I ride solo but like the idea of a tiny camper. But the camper and bike just look wrong for each other.

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post #39 of 49 Old Jun 5th, 2018, 11:59 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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I was very interested in the GW with DCT. I didn't know they had trailer hitch options yet. I ride solo but like the idea of a tiny camper. But the camper and bike just look wrong for each other.
I am not aware of hitches yet, but they will be available quickly without a doubt. I don't think a couple could travel more than a few days between laundry stops and there is little space for things like air compressor, tire repair kits, rain gear, etc. and the topcase shape will make adding a rack challenging. Even our our LT, we use a bag on the rack for rain gear, air compressor, bike cover, etc. I don't see how two people carry such stuff on the new Wing without a trailer.

I think the Wing will be a good towing platform. Low rpm tractor like engine makes it well suited. Add a car tire on the rear and better shocks and you're ready to tow.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
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post #40 of 49 Old Aug 25th, 2018, 2:22 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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The 888 was supposed to last longer, but my only sample failed well before the tread was gone. It did have good tread depth still at 9,000 miles when I noticed the bulge.

Also, I am not sure the 880 is still being made. It may just be old stock being sold. If you buy one, let us know the date code.
ME 880 still listed on the Metzler site: https://www.metzeler.com/en-ww/produ...e-880-marathon
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post #41 of 49 Old Aug 25th, 2018, 5:45 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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ME 880 still listed on the Metzler site: https://www.metzeler.com/en-ww/produ...e-880-marathon
Selling does not necessarily mean still making. Warehouses can be large.

But maybe they will keep making both.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
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1976 Kawasaki KH400
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post #42 of 49 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 7:28 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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ME 880 still listed on the Metzler site: https://www.metzeler.com/en-ww/produ...e-880-marathon
Metzler took care of me when my ME880 failed and replaced it with the ME888. Since they adjust through their distributors who process the claim, I believe the tire you receive under warranty will depend on the distributor's stock.

"If at first you don't succeed... well, so much for skydiving."

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post #43 of 49 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 9:10 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Selling does not necessarily mean still making. Warehouses can be large.

But maybe they will keep making both.
Gee...I just noticed this thread began back in May. I hadn't been paying attention 'till recently, 'cause I was too distracted by other issues in getting used to my new (to me) 2011RT. The bike has Michelin tires, and only recently have I noticed the front tire is beginning to look a bit sketchy and I will be in the market for replacement soon.

In addition to my somewhat casual motorcycle riding, I have several vintage vehicles. This discussion reminded me of an experience several years ago when I bought new tires for my Studebaker pickup truck. About two years after having the tires installed, I had decided to drive the truck to a show about a hundred miles away. The tires had less than 500 miles on them. While washing and prepping the truck for the show, I was horrified to see small weather checking cracks in the sidewalls. That was the first time I had ever paid much attention to "date codes." A little research and I realized that the tires were already five years old the day they were purchased!

I took the receipt to the dealer and explained why this was unacceptable. This was an independent dealer who takes his inventory from a large wholesale warehouse distributor. What many folks don't know is that many of the huge warehouses have no environmental control...open bay doors, unheated, and subject to the whipsaw of temperature changes, and the degradation atmospheric ozone can cause to any compound comprised of elastomers (The stuff that makes tires/plastic/rubber flexible).

The dealer apologized and replaced the tires at no charge. He said he hadn't thought to check the date codes himself. Ever since that experience, I make sure to check date codes on all tires I purchase.
Now that I'm getting close to needing tires for my two-wheeler...I'm going to have to refocus my date code attention and what the numbers mean.

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post #44 of 49 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 9:32 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

I've had good service with the ME888's. My first Front ME888 went 26,740 miles before I replaced it @ 4/32 wear left. Replaced with another ME888.
My rear went 13,982 miles before I replaced it due to a nail puncture with 7/32's left. Also with another ME888.
They do seem to be a little more sensitive to tar snakes than the BT020, which I can live with due to the high thread/ mileage life.
I was running ME880's front and rear with mileage around 25k front and 20 rear. Tried a BT020 on the rear once, Handles good but, mileage stunk, less then 12k.
FYI: I run 42 psi front and 48 rear (nitrogen), no problems with cupping. Bike is a 2000 K1200LT.
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post #45 of 49 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 11:50 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

I spoke with a support guy at Metzler today. It took a while for him to say "the delamination problem has been taken care of". Later he said he'd gotten himself into enough trouble for the day. LOL. I told him I was rather pleased to hear that the problem has been acknowledged and dealt with, rather than denial.

The more concerning part about the conversation was the subject of country of mfg. He said they make tires in Germany, Brazil, and China. I will never accept a Chinese tire for my MC. And I'm stunned that a premium brand like Metzler would go there.

All that said, I may go with a pair of ME888. One thing I dislike about my ME 880 rear is that I've noticed a lot of wheel spin, wet and dry. I'm a spirited rider.

How's the grip on the 888?

Last edited by bram; Aug 30th, 2018 at 12:03 pm.
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post #46 of 49 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 12:07 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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I spoke with a support guy at Metzler today. It took a while for him to say "the delamination problem has been taken care of". Later he said he'd gotten himself into enough trouble for the day. LOL. I told him I was rather pleased to hear that the problem has been acknowledged and dealt with, rather than denial.

The more concerning part about the conversation was the subject of country of mfg. He said they make tires in Germany, Brazil, and China. I will never accept a Chinese tire for my MC. And I'm stunned that a premium brand like Metzler would go there.

All that said, I may go with a pair of ME888. One thing I dislike about my ME 880 rear is that I've noticed a lot of wheel spin, wet and dry. I'm a spirited rider.

How's the grip on the 888?
I suspect the same or less than the 880 since it is supposed to wear longer.

Often you have to have some manufacturing in China in order to sell there. And the production there may go mostly to the domestic market. I am pretty sure my first 880 that failed was made in Mexico. I wonder if they stopped operations there? That was several years ago. My most recent failure was a tire made in Brazil. I would much prefer tires made in the US or Europe.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
1973 Kawasaki 100 G5
1970 Rockford Chibi (the orange one)

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post #47 of 49 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 12:22 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

Meztler rep. said the grip would be better due to different compound.
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post #48 of 49 Old Aug 30th, 2018, 3:02 pm
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Meztler rep. said the grip would be better due to different compound.
Would you expect them to say otherwise?

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post #49 of 49 Old Sep 17th, 2018, 11:50 am
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Re: ME888 Second failure

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Just a reminder as its been discussed before.... Michelin Pilot Road 4 (PR4) GT is very useable on the LT front, meets the required specs.
Been very happy with them on both my LT and K12GT.
It often seems to be overlooked as the rear is not suitable for the LT.
I have never mixed tire brands on my bikes but then again I have never had a bike with such limited choices, lol. From this post and others it sounds like dissimilar tread on front and back is no big thing which is good to hear given the delamination posts I have been reading. I have always had Pilot GTs on my bikes and while the front tire (Metz)was put on October 2017 and has only about 600 miles on it the back was made the 6th week of 2013 although it looks healthy. I dont feel much comfort since I saw the date

Which to choose for the rear...(scratching head). I had Avons on a Drifter and they fixed a death wobble at 90...whitewalls but still, lol.

Oklahoma City, OK. 2003 K1200 LT. "Remember men, if the women don't find ya handsome, at least let 'em find ya handy." Red Green
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