Author Topic: tire changing tools  (Read 171 times)

Offline mr72

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tire changing tools
« on: September 12, 2018, 03:43:46 PM »
I ordered a new rear tire, need to change it.

What tools will I need to do the tire change? I can manage the balancing part no problem, just need the inventory of basic tools to remove and install the tire.

Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 06:34:35 PM »
First you need to get the air out. Fastest way is to remove the valve stem using a valve stem removal tool. Its a good time to replace the valve stem as well.

Then you need a way to break the bead. There are bead breakers on the market but I find the bike's own kickstand work well. You can also use a C-clamp, or if the tire has a soft sidewall just stand on the side of the tire to break the bead.

Then you need tire irons to remove the tire (and install the new tire). 2 is the absolute minimum but 3 is better. If you care about the paint on your tire you should get (or make) rim protectors so the irons don't scratch the rims.
Talc, tire lube, windex, or something similar to apply to the tire as you install it can make the job much easier.

Then you need to re-seat the bead. A really good air compressor should be all you need but some tires are stubborn. You may need some ratchet straps to help form the tire to the bead as you put air in. I had one tire (rear TKC-80 knobbie tire) I had to take to a tire shop and get them to set the bead because I just couldn't do it myself.

Then you need wheel weights for balancing and a tire gauge to set the pressure.
If you are paranoid, a pool of water or a soapy solution can be helpful to check for leaks.

Offline mr72

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 06:40:36 PM »
So a set of 3 tire irons and rim.protectors should get the job done since I have a good compressor and can probably use clamps to break the bead. Right?

Offline cbrfxr67

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 08:43:14 PM »
Blue said it all.  I just did front tire on my gsxr and compared to ElectraGlide, it was super easy.  I used one double ended tire iron Ken Tool #32116 and dishwashing soap in spray bottle, plus a couple of zip ties for remount.  Oh and cut pieces of my Jeep's old soft top to protect the chrome :laugh:
Went around the bead slowly to separate it, kept my knees on it to get the bead to let go.

Remount used plenty of spray and took my time to get it back on.  I'd say take your time and you'll get it done easy. :thumb:
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 09:04:44 PM by cbrfxr67 »
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Offline Watcher

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2018, 12:07:29 AM »
Blue got it, though I've always wondered about the kick-stand thing.  I mean, presumably the bike is up on a lift or at least a rear stand, and so it's #1 pretty stable and won't be able to be leaned down onto the tire to break the bead and #2 is probably going to fall over once you've done that.

So...   :dunno_black:

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Offline pliskin

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2018, 05:57:03 PM »
I just changed my rear tire using the zip tie method only. No need for spoons/irons. Break the bead with a large enough C-clamp (or kickstand or whatever). Just feed the ties between the rim and tire and cinch them tight all the way around the tire every few inches. Put some soapy water on the bead and pop the tire off the rim. Do this in reverse with the new tire. You can utube video's of the procedure. Takes a little muscle but the front tire is even easier.

Why are you looking here?

Offline beRto

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2018, 01:15:59 PM »
A credit card  :thumb:

I do all my own wrenching on every bike I have owned. Tires are the only exception as i have always found the hassle far exceeds the shop cost. I just dismount the wheel myself and bring to shop. They charge around $20 to do the tire swap on the spot. Then I go home and reinstall.

Of course, your shop may charge more. Or maybe they hassle you if you didn't buy the tire from them. Or maybe you just want the satisfaction of changing your own tires.

Offline mr72

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 02:00:13 PM »
Yeah I'm not really finding shops that will do the tire change for me for a tire I bring in for just $20, and frankly I'd rather spend the time swapping the tire than driving to and from that magic shop, not to mention the time it would take to find such a shop. I think I'm going to clean up the wheel and touch up the paint while it's off.


Offline Bluesmudge

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2018, 10:14:20 PM »
I'm just paranoid about tires. I assume tire changes are like oil changes and they let the less experienced mechanics do that work. The few times I have taken my bike to a shop there have been little things wrong.

For my motorcycle I just prefer to do it myself so I know exactly what was done. Also,changing tires does bring an odd sense of satisfaction.

Offline Watcher

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2018, 04:18:55 AM »
I'm just paranoid about tires. I assume tire changes are like oil changes and they let the less experienced mechanics do that work.

I dunno, maybe at some shops, but definitely not at mine.  As someone who does tire changes on the regular at work, I can say for sure that some people in my shop have absolutely no clue and I will not let them do anything more than swap a tube on a dirtbike without some further training.  We ordered a "beater wheel" for the shop to give the less experienced something to practice on.  No shortage of "take offs" either, so it's a relatively low risk and low cost way to practice.

There are definitely some proper techniques to mounting a tire, and for safely operating our machine, that if not followed can cause damage to the wheel/tire or injury.  But that being said, realistically the only things that can go wrong other than scratching the rim are rotation not being followed or the bead being damaged/torn.  Fresh/new tires are incredibly pliable and resilient, though, so it's not easy to damage a tire during installation.  Sometimes I see a bead rip on dismount if the tire is old and dried out, but new tires are nice and soft.
And besides, a damaged tire likely won't even seat properly or hold air, or will have an obvious fault like a sidewall bulge or something.

At least at my shop we do a triple-check on every tire we mount.  The technician initials off on the work in 6 categories (balance-dot orientation if applicable, rotation, bead seat, valve-stem and cap, balance, and rim-lock if applicable), another employee double-checks those categories and initials off, and the cashier/salesman makes sure it's been double checked, gives it quick visual and verifies the DOT numbers on the work order, and then ads the final sign off on the work order.  The customer also signs off on the form agreeing that we did the job correctly and they received their tire/wheel in the same condition as when it was dropped off.

Tire changes are something my shop definitely takes seriously, as we should, since as the only thing connecting your bike to the road they're pretty damn important.  It's not like on a car where a blowout is usually just a major inconvenience and rarely results in a total loss of control, a blowout on a motorcycle could mean certain death...


But I think by far the biggest issue that ever comes up when inexperienced people mount tires is time spent.  I can knock out a dismount, valve-stem swap, mount, inflate, and balance on a typical sport-bike wheel in around 10 minutes or less (tube type wheels take longer), on slow days when the new guys have a chance to try their hand at it they can sometimes take a half hour or longer.  It's a good thing we charge a flat-rate, otherwise I'd be doing dirt-cheap installs and the newbies would be racking in the service fees!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2018, 04:25:36 AM by Watcher »
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Offline mr72

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 12:20:41 PM »
Thanks for the clarification on all that, Watcher. I'm sure the local CG shop here could do my tire replacement no problem, but it's a half hour drive each way to their shop. Most of my labor time will be spent getting the rear wheel on and off anyway, so once I have it off, I can either load it up, drive to CG and have them do the swap, then come home and remount it, which is probably a 2-hour affair. Or in less time, even for my first time, I can probably get the tire mounted myself all while learning something new in the process.

There are a couple of much closer MC shops, the one who did my top end rebuild is the closest, but I don't know any of them or trust them. I also figure I should establish some kind of relationship with the shop before I go in trying to negotiate a work order that they really don't want or need. CG being kind of the Walmart of motorcycle shops (no offense, BTW, I am a big fan of Walmart), it's a slightly different story.

I'm a habitual do-it-yourselfer, so anything remotely within my capabilities, I'll do myself.

BTW I ordered a set of tools from Amazon, like $20 or less, three tire iron/spoons, rim protectors, and a valve core tool (which I already had) and a bunch of valve stems (already had those too). I kinda figured this is not likely my last motorcycle tire to change. Plus maybe now if I have a TPMS sensor go out again on the Jeep, which happens all the time, I might be able to break the bead and fix that myself too.

Offline mr72

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2018, 05:12:21 PM »
Well I changed the tire this morning.

Couple of observations.

1. getting that original Pilot Activ (bias ply) tire off was only about 10% harder than wrestling an adolescent grizzly bear.
2. that youtube video with the guy who just sort of "pops" the tire off, that's a lie from the pit of hell.
3. the new radial tire was about 10,000x easier to install and remove (which I learned ... because first time I mounted the tire backwards, even got it balanced and mounted on the bike before I realized it, so I pulled it and put it back on the right way)
4. the zip-tie method to mount the new tire was about 200x easier than the not-zip-tie method (I did one of each!)
5. I didn't try the zip tie method to remove the tire but my guess is it also makes it hugely easier, but I didn't have long enough zip ties to do it.
6. the rim protectors I got with my kit are slightly more than useless, so I gave up and decided to just repaint the wheel anyway. It needed it before, now it just needs it some more. Given the amount of oil I leak onto the back wheel it hardly matters.

Anyway, too rainy to ride (or repaint the wheel) but I did get the job done. Three spoons made it easier, but weren't strictly necessary.

Second time I did it, it was way easier. That old bias ply tire was a beast to remove, but the new radial tire was a snap by comparison. More like wrestling a grizzly bear cub.

Offline Kilted1

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Re: tire changing tools
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2018, 08:51:53 PM »
Good to hear!  I'll be doing this myself in the next few months so I've been following this thread with interest.  Zip ties are something I have plenty of from work so I'll probably go that route.  :)