I recently(2 months) bought a ME 880 of of ebay for $200 from a private seller thinking, "This sure beats paying $250-300 from any store."
I took the wheel to a local shop and had them mount the tire. When I went to pick it up the partsguy/cashier said the tire was awfully dry and hard(looked fine to me) and the cure date for the thing was 2007. Apparently the mechanic had a REAL hard time installing the tire due to its unwillingness to flex.
I didn't think much of it 'cause 'Hey. I got one hell of a good deal'.
Fast forward to Thursday July 12th. I came home to Ft. Worth after a vacation in the New Orleans area. Took about 9hrs with a 1 hr lunch break with 100 miles of rain. When I got off the bike in my garage after the trip I could smell burning rubber. I looked down and saw this:
I figure I rode the last 200 miles with it like that because I could smell the rubber at each gas stop but shrugged it off as coming from one of the big rigs at the station.
With around 2000 miles on it the whole center tread around the circumference of the tire had separated with a 12 inch chunk departing the scene. I do not blame the tire manufacturer. I blame myself for not asking the tire seller what the cure date was.
I had to find and install another tire before the following weekend due to a scheduled ride with friends. After looking at $300 Metzlers I finally settled on the factory Bridgestones I found for the incredible price of $168.
Almost bought two. Now I'm sitting by the door waiting with eager anticipation for the UPS dude to deliver my present to myself.