Replacing tires on a bike can be such a pain in the ass, especially for beginners who don’t know what mounting and balancing a tire is at all. Of course, owners of sports bikes and choppers may never face the need to change tires on their own since they mostly move around the city or on paved roads, where it is always possible to find motorcycle services nearby. Although, an accidental puncture in a remote place can always happen.
But enduro lovers need to learn to change tires whether they like it or not. If you drive it on your own to off-road on ordinary wheels, then, in any case, you will need to change them to off-road ones with powerful tread. So the ability to mount the wheels is a useful skill that is desirable to master, at least at a minimum level.
When you may need a tire replacement + list of tools
Harsh statistics say that up to 99% of motorcyclists put their iron horses out into storage for the winter. Therefore, bikers do not change tires 2-times a year, like car owners. And studded motorcycle tires are not quite in demand. Winter is a dead season for bikers.
The typical reasons for tires replacement are:
- Abrasion to the tire when the tread is at the minimum level permitted by the traffic rules;
- Tire wear when the tire loses its properties.
The set of tools a motorcyclist needs for a tire change includes:
- Pry bars (or tire irons) in the amount of 2 pieces.
- A thick, snot-like solution of soap. A solution of water along with a surfactant, such as dishwashing detergent, is suitable. It is better to take WD-40, Vaseline, or silicone grease on the road.
- Valve core removal tool to remove the valve core and let the air out.
- A set of wrenches, “ratchets”, heads for unscrewing the bolts and removing the wheel. These tools are indispensable when working with rear wheels.
Tubeless wheels are easier and faster to change than tubed ones because the biker doesn’t have to fiddle around with a tube. For this reason, we will focus on replacing tube tires.
The first step is to loosen the bolts securing the wheel to the motorcycle and raise it onto the center stand. If you have to work outside the garage, you can ask friends to hold the bike. In extreme cases, you can lay the motorcycle on its side. But be careful not to stain the chain with dirt.
Place the removed wheel on a clean surface, on a newspaper, a rag, or polyethylene. This way you will protect the hubs. Now let the air out of a tube and twist out the nut holding the valve core.
The next thing you should do is detach the tire bead off the rim. Do this by pressing with your hands, if muscle strength allows, or with the heel. Then pull one side of the bead of the tire out of the rim, acting with two pry bars or tire irons: with one hold the edge of the tire so that it does not fall into the rim, with the other pull the edge and pull it out. Before the procedure, use lubricant to avoid damaging the rim. When you’re done, pull the nipple out of its opening and then the tube. Pull the other side of the tire out of the rim with a pry bar, and then continue pulling out the tire with your hands. Here it usually peels off without any difficulty.
Evaluate the internal condition of the rim: there should be no scuffing, damage, or rust. If the wheel is spoked, then you need to examine the rubber band covering the spokes for wear and tear.
Install the new tire in the reverse order, taking into account the following nuances:
- Coat the tire from the inside with grease or soapy water, so it will be easier to pop the tire on.
- Before installing the tube, inflate it slightly to reduce the chance of twisting or “biting”.
- Pay attention to the markings on the tire – the dot should align with the valve stem on your rim, and the arrow matches the direction of rotation of your wheel.
If you still feel that it’s too much work and doesn’t worth it, you couldn’t correctly replace the tires on your own, or simply want to spend time on something else, it’s about time to join the motorcycle community in the CryptoMoto app where you can easily find a reliable nearby service center. If you have trouble finding the right tires, you can also use CryptoMoto, or rather our extensive database of motorcycle shops where you will find the tires you need or another biker to help you who is looking for someone to sell or give away their tires for free.