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Chris_in_the_Mojave

Changing Tires

24 posts in this topic

Okay, "Blue Thunder" eats tires.

The local dealer is pretty pricey on tires, I could save almost $20 a tire even with shipping buying mail order...I've changed a bunch of tire on my mountain bike but never a motorcycle....

So here's the question, do you change your own tires? What tools do you like? How many tire irons do you really need? How long does it take you?

I'm thinking about getting one of the Ty Davis stands and 3 or 4 irons.

------------------

Chris in the Mojave

'98 YZ400F

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I'm DA MAN when it comes to changing a tire. Why, you ask? Because when I had my XR650L that ate more tires than gas, I couldn't see spending $120 on a tire that I could mail order for $65 from Baja Designs.

I'm not a 5 minute tire changer. I usually take my time so I don't screw up and get in a hurry. Getting in a hurry can cost you a tube.

Note: Front tire is much easier so I'll give an example with the back tire.

So, here goes:

TAKE IT OFF BABY!

1) Take the rear wheel off (MAJOR DUH!)

2) Let all air out of the tire AND remove the core from the shraeder valve.

3) Put the tire on a hard surface with something soft underneath, like a towel, or Ty Davis/Terry Cable tire changer (I don't have one yet).

4) STAND on both sides of the tire to brake the bead. Note: This can cause some damage to the sprocket or rotor so that's why I put it on a towel.

5) BREAK THAT BEAD. You might even have to jump up and down a little.

6) When the bead is broken, turn it over and brake the bead on the other side.

BE ABSOLUTELY SURE BEADS ON BOTH SIDES ARE BROKEN OR YOUR LIFE WILL BE A LIVING HELL!

7) Now you need to put something slippery on the bead and rim to help get the tire off. I used to use soapy water but have found that ArmorAll works a little better. Spray the bead all the way around and even more where you first start to dig in. Note: It helps CONSIDERABLY if the old and new tire(s) are warm before you start. Cold tires don't want to come off or go back on.

8) Put on some work gloves because your hands are going to take some abuse. Use that big tire iron and START-A-CRANKING! I usually try and start away from the rim locks and valve stem to avoid damage to these parts. Removing the bead is no small sissy task. I often work up a sweat doing this and I do this on days when I don't work out in the gym. Think I'm kidding?

It's nice to have two or three tire irons so you can hold one bead in place and start a little ways away on the next bead. I also start with the bead on the rotor side to avoid putting half inch gouges in my hand from the sprocket.

9) Getting the first bead started is a little tricky. If it absolutely won't come off even with all your slippery stuff, you probably didn't brake BOTH SIDES of the bead as much as possible. But, for me, the hardest part in the ENTIRE tire changing ritual is getting a start on the second bead. For some reason this is a major bitch. It's a little easier if a friend can help push the sucker. But, it's definately do-able.

10) Now that you have the tire off, your half way home. Notice I didn't mention the rim locks? They don't interfere much on tire removal.

11) Take a brake. Go eat dinner. Go watch Hocky. Have a beer or two. Just relax and replenish lost fluids.

Additional notes:

Keep putting on ArmorAll or soapy water during tire removal. Put it on the bead of the tire and the actual rim. Not only does it make it slippery, it seems to allow the tire to streach more when it isn't so dry.

I brake the bead of the tire on the ground but after that put it on a MSR bike stand/crate. This allows the rotor or sprocket to remain a little protected and makes the tire a little higher to work on.

Also, you'll have to experiment on how to take it off so you can avoid the sprocket during high intensity efforts (more hand gouges).

And, when in doubt, replace the tube. Although, I've gone a couple of changes without replacing them.

PUT IT BACK ON

1) I usually don't put on the tube or rim locks yet. I get the first bead on first. Lots of soap/ArmorAll on the rim and bead of the new tire. The new tire is a little stiffer so, again, it's nice for it to be nice and toasty. Start with the tire irons and get the first bead on. It's a little tricky to get it started but, it'll happen eventually.

2) It's hard for me to tell you how to get the rim lock(s) in and how to work around them during tire installation. It's not as bad as you might think though. Just put them in for now. Put their nuts on but only at the very end of the threads. This will allow for some needed movement later on. You can tighten the later.

3) I use a bicycle trick and pour some talcum powder in the new tire and on the new tube. This lessens that chance of the tire binding when you first fill it with air thereby causing a pinch flat.

4) Make sure all air is out of the tube and put in into the tire flat against the side that you've already done. This is tricky since the new tire is so stiff. You'll probably crush your hand. Wear gloves just in case. Be sure to work the valve stem into the little hole and put the valve stem nut just on the end of the valve stem. This will allow for some movement during inflation and you can tighten it later.

5) Start work on the second bead between a rim lock and valve stem. I usually pick the area that has the farthest distance between the two. This allows you to streach the tire better and avoid possible valve stem damage. Use two or three tire irons as needed. Also, remember to use LOTS of ArmorAll or Soap on the rim and tire bead. This is where you need it the most.

Important Note: Extreme caution must be used to avoid pinching the tube against the rim with the tire iron. If the tire is flat against the opposite side and you are using fairly modern tire irons that don't have a sharp edge, your chances are good against a pinch. But, I've pinched a few in my days and it REALLY SUCKS because you don't know it's pinched until you are done and are filling it with air. Then you have to TAKE THE FREAK'N BEAD off again to replace the tube!

6) More Soap or Armorall. Especially when you get near the end. Also, as you near the end, be aware of your rim lock placement and tube location. When possible, I pry up the bead just a little with the tire iron and try and stick my finger in their to see if I can feel a tube. If not, it's safe to crank away at the bead.

7) The last 8 or so inches are the hardest. But, it's still not as hard as getting that second bead OFF the tire like I said earlier.

8) Make sure rim locks are inside the new tire. Also, you should be able to push them in and out against the un-inflated tube since the nuts are at the end. Same with the valve stem. In and out and in and out (sorry). If they don't easily go in and out, something is out of kilter and you need to take the bead back off to adjust.

9) Put the valve stem core back in.

10) This is my inflation technique and I don't know if it's overkill but it works for me. I have a portable air compresser from Target that works nice. I inflate to about 5 pounds or so and stop. I then listen and pray that I didn't pinch a tube. You can hear that air coming out if you did. It's a major bummer. I then bounce the tire up and down on the pavement to try and set the tube. I then take the valve stem core back out and bounce a little more. Then, I fill the tire WAY past the desired pressure. I actually go to about 50 pounds or so. I do this because it takes all this pressure to properly seat the bead against the rim. You'll see when it's seated properly. I then remove the air back to the desired pressure once the bead is seated.

11) Mount the tire and ride on!

Good luck and we'll welcome you to manhood when you complete this task.

When you do this yourself sucessfully, you can call your friends that PAY to have this done sissies if you wish. You've earned the right.

Warning: They'll probably start asking you to do the changes for them once they realize they can get two tires mail order for the price of one through a shop.

Bryan...

:)

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Great, detailed reply! The only things I can add are inflate the tube after you have put it into the tire while there is only one bead set, that way the tube expands into it's position and won't wrinkle. I use quite a bit of air, enough to raise the tire a little. After that, take out the valve stem (to deflate it quickly) until there is just a little bit of air in there....not pressure, just a little air so that the tube wants to stay round instead of collapse if you press on it with your finger....then replace the valve stem so that little bit of air stays in the tube. Now, when you are working on the second bead, it's very very very important that as you work it on the rim the opposite side of the tire you're working on is in the middle of the rim (in the "valley" of the rim so that you aren't trying to stretch the tire any more than absolutely necessary). I usually start opposite the rim lock so that when I get to the rim lock the opposite side of the tire can fully go into the valley. If you do it the reverse, you won't be able to get the tire into the valley right at the rim lock and will be trying to stretch the tire much more than necessary.

Baby powder on the tube, tons of it....always put the sprocket side down when breaking the bead (sprockets are cheap, rotors aren't!!)....have patience, and definitely try to warm the tires before hand. You'll get the hang of it.

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Tire irons with completely rounded tips are safer. 3 is a minimum, 4 is much better. I use 5.

The 7 things that have been mentioned that are most important are:

>Lube the bead

>Preinflate the tube to give it shape

>Get the bead opposite the tire irons all the way down into the well of the rim (use a mallet to encourage it)

>Take small bites with a number of tire irons

>Be patient and think about what you're doing

>Don't pinch the tube

>Don't pinch the tube

The tire that outlasts everything else I know about by a factor of two is the Maxxis IT (not the desert IT) 120/90x19

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I change my tires. I use two 8.5" Motion Pro tire irons that fit in my tool bag. I dont use any lube and only cheat in the garage by laying the loose tire under the wheel. I do this for practice so I can fix a flat in the middle of no where if I need to.

Here is a good post on how to do it. However he uses much bigger tire irons then I do.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50717&highlight=neduro%27s+tire+change

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The tire that outlasts everything else I know about by a factor of two is the Maxxis IT (not the desert IT) 120/90x19

I thought I read that the desert IT was a stiffer tire (longer lasting)?

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I thought I read that the desert IT was a stiffer tire (longer lasting)?
It might last longer, but it's so heavy that I was never interested in trying one. Heavy as it is, the 120 IT is n much lighter than the desert version

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If you have got the time to do it the most important thing to remember is take baby steps. :ride:

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Pay the $10-$15 dollars. Some tires are harder then others. Maxxis tires are a beotch. Passing a stone is easier then changing a Maxxis Desert IT.

I second Mr. palmdale, I nearly broke my thumb and I destroyed two new irons installing a Maxxis IT. It took me 2 hours. I can tell you this 2 hours of my time is worth way more than $20. I will never change another rear tire myself...the difficulty is not worth the saved $$$ :ride:

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It might last longer, but it's so heavy that I was never interested in trying one. Heavy as it is, the 120 IT is n much lighter than the desert version

they are really heavy. I have one on my XR. It's wearing nicely though.

I didn't find it too terribly tough to mount. That is on an 18 wheel though, a 19 might be a real whore to mess with.

I put then on after they sit in the sun a while to get good and hot.

I use baby powder on the tubes.

I use a dish soap solution on the bead

I use 3 16" motion pro rounded irons.

I usually toss the rubber band spoke head thingy and replace it with duct tape.

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Motogoalie was right that its important to think about that spoke cover inside the wheel. Before you put the tire on the rim, toss that rubber band and then use duct tape on the inside of the wheel over the spokes with about 2 wraps (use narrow tape or rip the wide tape in 1/2). Make new holes for the rim lock(s) and air fill schrader valve. Now you're good to go to put the new tire on (with lots o baby powder).

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Pay the $10-$15 dollars. Some tires are harder then others. Maxxis tires are a beotch. Passing a stone is easier then changing a Maxxis Desert IT.

I agree with palmdaleRider, pay the extra. I have changed quite a few tires but I noticed recently that my time and aggrevation caused was worth more than the extra charge that a dealership would charge. I also found that no matter how careful you are, tubes sometimes get pinched and you have to start all over. If someone else does it they have to throw in a new tube and try again, all at the rate quoted to you.

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I second Mr. palmdale, I nearly broke my thumb and I destroyed two new irons installing a Maxxis IT. It took me 2 hours. I can tell you this 2 hours of my time is worth way more than $20. I will never change another rear tire myself...the difficulty is not worth the saved $$$ :ride:
?? Take some lessons or something. Takes me about 10-15 minutes, not counting wheel R&R. The 250F rear gets a little challenging because we run a 110, and it still has the narrower 1.85 rim on it. The beads of the Maxxis are pretty fat and the rim lock barely fits.

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I also only use two 8.5 inch motion pro irons. Never thought of lubing the bead while puting it on and off, I usualy only do it to seat the bead. Tossing the rim band and replacing with duct tape is really the way to go, as well as extreemly liberal amounts of baby powder. Also I like to keep the tube semi filled with air while tucking it into the tire, this keeps it from wrinkles and I havent pinched a tube yet doing it this way. Ohh yeah takes me about 20 minutes and some cursing to mount a tire.

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?? Take some lessons or something. Takes me about 10-15 minutes, not counting wheel R&R. The 250F rear gets a little challenging because we run a 110, and it still has the narrower 1.85 rim on it. The beads of the Maxxis are pretty fat and the rim lock barely fits.

I think a lot of my problem was that I had to remove a really old and stiff dunlop. This tire was so stiff that I didn't even notice that I had a flat until I got it into my truck. the only REALLY hard part of installing the Maxxis was the last 3" of the bead. You are right though I do need practice :ride::banana:

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I like to use a big C clamp to get both beads into the valley of the rim. That makes getting the bead on or off much MUCH easier. I usually use WD40 to lubricate the beads for off or on which also helps seat the bead at the end.

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