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Discussion Starter #1
Currently drive a 2004 Suzuki GS500F, about 12,000 miles.
Rear tire is a Michelin Pilot Active
Front tire is a Bridgestone Battlax BT45

My front tire looks really worn and has cracks. What causes cracks in the tire? I would like to replace the front tire, but do I need to have both rear and front tires matching? I did purchase the bike with these two different tires installed 4 years back.
 

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Rubber naturally dries out as it ages. Exposure to direct sunlight or chemicals can speed up the process. The older a tire gets, the more susceptible they are to cracking. IT's called "weather checking".

You don't NEED matching tires, but front/back tires of a specific brand/type are made with matching geometry. When you mix tires you may not get that matching geometry. For most people riding on the street the side effects of this mismatch might not be that noticeable. As I younger rider I never minded that much and would mix tires. Now I never do. For me it's just one less thing to worry about knowing my tires are working correctly together when I need them to.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for the info Justin726.


Are there any tires or brand you would recommend for my bike? I would like to keep my rear tire as it still has a lot of life left. The rear tires are "Michelin Pilot Activ tires- bias-ply tires." I am assuming I should purchase bias-ply for the my front tire. I was thinking about just purchasing the Battlax BT45 as this is my current front tire. Not sure if anyone would recommend that or maybe another tire to pair well with my rear tire?
 
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