How to Change Your Motorcycle Tire by Hand

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For many motorcycle owners, getting new tires is always very exciting. However, the thought of incurring forty to fifty dollars to change the tires is never encouraging. Changing the tire at home seems like a better idea. Depending on whether you have a standard, superbike or dirt bike, the process of changing your tire can be different. Changing the dirt bike tires is harder than the rest. In this article, we shall look at how to modify the standard or superbike tires by hand.

My favorite tire can be found here!

For those who would rather watch a video, check the one I linked below.  Otherwise read on!


What you need.

You need the right tools to pull off this job. These include a rubber mallet, a valve tool, a wrench and socket, soapy water in a spray bottle and an air pressure gauge. You should also realize that this procedure can be dangerous especially for people doing this for the first time. You shall, therefore, need safety glasses and a good pair of rubber gloves to improve the grip on your tools.

Support your Bike's Wheels.

Before beginning the process, you should ensure that your motorcycle wheels are well anchored. The most efficient way of doing this is by using rear swingarm stands and a front stand. If your bike has the center stand, it will enable you to change the back wheel alone. However, newer bikes lack this stand.

Removing the Axle.

Before removing the axle, make sure you know how everything fits. These include the washers, bushings, chain indicators and the nuts. If the rear tire is well supported, it is easier to remove the axle. Use a rubber mallet on the threaded side of the axle. Once the axle is out, you can now remove the rear wheel from the swing arm.

Removing the valve.

At this point, use the valve removal tool to let air out of the tire. Use the non-pointed end of the tool to take out the valve completely. Be sure to note the direction of forwarding motion of both tires in regards to the rim.

Removing the Tire from the Rim.

To protect your rim from getting scratched during this process, make sure you have rim protectors. If you have a Harbor freight stand, this is the best tool for the job. However, breaking the bead can also be done with a substantial amount of force and a tool such as a shovel or a tire spoon. The wider your rim is, the easier it is to break the bead. To make your process easier, pour soapy water around the bead. When you succeed in breaking the bead at one point, rotate the tire and remove the bead on the upper side followed by the other side.

At this point, use your rim protectors or plastic bottle pieces to safeguard your rim. Using your tire irons, begin removing your tire from the rim. Start with one tire iron. Once it is correctly inserted, insert the second one and bring the bead over and above the rim. Do this around the tire with two-inch gaps from your last point. If done correctly, this process should be effortless. Be sure to use a small tire iron appropriate for the motorcycle tire. Once this is done, remove the tire completely from the rim by pushing it away from the rim on two ends.

Mounting the New Tire.

This is a relatively easy portion. The lower bead of the new tire should go first using a little soapy water. After that, align the valve mark with the valve. Following the reverse of the procedure, you used to remove the tire, place the new tire in place. After this, you should be able to use your air compressor to inflate the new tire to the correct degree. Check for any air leaks before ultimately placing back the tire. Finally, mount the tire and put back the axle as it previously was.

There are many ways you could go about this; the vital thing is to remember to have the right tools and ensure your safety throughout this process.

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