Motorcycle tire and tube changes made easy
Changing your own tires isn't as duanting of a task as you may think. The first rule is having a nice pair of tire irons or spoons-not screwdrivers or prybars. I prefer spoons, but either can be purchased for 10-20 dollars from any motorcycle parts outlet. After you get your irons or spoons, don't use them for prybars or any other use other than changing tires. It's important that they stay free from nicks and scratches so they don't damage tire beads or rims and puncture tubes.
A five gallon pail makes a good tire changing stand. Place the rim and tire on top and remove the valve stem to release the air if it isn't already flat. Remove the retaining nut from the valve stem and push it into the rim. Loosen the bead locks if you have them and push them into the rim as well. Sometime these get stuck, if you need a hammer be sure not to damage the threads. Leave the nut on the top, it's not necessary to remove the rim locks just get them off the bead of the tire.Break the bead down around the entire rim and apply soapy water with a brush or I keep a spray bottle in the shop.Use plenty, it won't hurt anything. Pry the bead over the top of the rim, hold it with the spoon and move 2-6 inches around the rim and do the same thing with the other spoon. Keep repeating until you have the entire bead off one side. Flip the tire and rim and repeat the process. On the second side, once you get about 1/2 way you should have enough slack to pull the rim into the open side of the tire, grab the other side of the tire and pull it over the rim by hand, tube and all.Take soapy water and a scrub brush and clean all the dirt from the inside of the rim. Be sure to realign the rim liner so the holes line up with the valve stem.
Installing the tire and tube goes like this. Put the tube in the tire and put enough air in the tube just to give it it's proper shape and fill the tire. Remove the lock nut off the valve stem, if it has 2, leave the bottom one on. Apply plenty of soapy water to the inside of the tire ,tube and both beads.Open both sides of the tire beads at the valve stem, insert it thru the hole in the rim and install the lock nut, then lay the tire over the top of the rim. Apply more soapy water to the rim and start to pry the bottom bead over the rim from the valve stem in both directions. When you get to the rim lock, you'll need to flip it over and carefully pull the bead past it and then push it in the tire so it's in between the beads. Flip back over to the side you started on and finish the bottom bead. If it dried out apply more soapy water and start the top bead from the valve stem around in both directions.Only put the spoons in far enough to catch the edge of the rim to prevent puncturing the tube. As you start to get about 1/2 way around, compress the section of tire that's already mounted so the beads can move towards the center of the rim; that will give you some slack and make installation of the last 1/2 of the tire easier.When you get to a rim lock, you'll need to push it into the tire so the bead can get in between it and the rim.Finish the top bead, inflate it to insure the beads seat and then tighten the rim lock. Be sure not to exceed any bead seating pressure maximums listed on the tire. Let air out of the tire until the recommended pressure is achieved. Good luck!
on Jun 12, 2011 | Motorcycles