It’s Easier Than it Sounds!
Have you ever wondered how to change a motorcycle tire? It’s a common thing among motorcycle riders. No one likes paying out of pocket to have a professional handle tasks you feel should come naturally as a bike owner. Unfortunately, many owners chicken out before even attempting to replace their own tires because they think the process is a little intimidating. Yes, at first glance, the tools and seven-step process can seem a bit much, but if you trust yourself enough to work through that initial anxiety, you’ll realize changing your tire is easier than it sounds.
Gathering the Necessary Tools
Most owners, especially first-time owners, will be more concerned with their abilities than the tools and supplies required for the job. Don’t panic! Swapping your tires is not as tricky as it sounds, and even owners with less than average mechanical experience should be able to complete the job. Therefore, stop worrying about your skillset and start concerning yourself with the equipment necessary to complete the task. While workstations or stands are helpful, there are several tools and items that are essential to the job.
- Tire Irons
- C-Clamps or Bead Breaker
- Silicone Lubricant
- Valve Core Tool
- Breezer Tire Tool
- Rim Protector
- Air Compressor
Remove the Wheel from Motorcycle
While it may not seem like it, there are a lot of parts involved in securing your wheels to the bike, so be careful moving forward not to lose anything. The first thing to do is loosen the axle nut with your motorcycle on the ground. Do not loosen the nut all the way. Next, if you have stands, then lift your bike. If you don’t have stands, then find some other way to get the bike in the air. A decent method is to use automotive jacks. Now, with the motorcycle elevated, remove the chain from the sprocket by loosening the adjusters. Then, finish removing the axle. Remember to keep all parts and pieces organized. Last, remove the tire and the valve core, using the valve core tool to deflate the tire.
Remove Tire from Rim
The next step in the motorcycle tire replacement is removing the tire from the rim. However, before doing this, you will need to specify the spin direction. All you need to do is use a pencil to draw an arrow on the edge of the rim to prevent putting the replacement tire on the wrong way.
Once you have marked the spin direction on the rim, you can use the bead breaker tool to separate the inner edge of the tire from the rim. While you can substitute the bead breaker tool with a C-clamps and a board, the actual tool makes the process so much easier.
Once the bead is broken, you can remove the tire. You will need to use a combination of lubricant, tire irons and a rim protector to pull the tire free of the rim gradually. Take your time and be careful not to damage the rim.
Complete the 7 Steps Process
Are you ready to put your bike back together? Seating the new tire can be exciting, but it is also necessary to stay focused and alert, especially when seating the beads because you can get hurt if you’re not careful. Also, if you accidentally mount the tire backward, then your bike may lack traction and control. Therefore, stay focused, and follow the seven-step process to the letter.
The first step is to lubricate the inner walls of the tire. Go ahead and put the lubrication on heavy. You want this part of the process to go smoothly and as efficiently as possible. To avoid damaging the rim or tire, it is necessary to create as little resistance as possible, so lube up and don’t fret.
Next, before putting the tire on the rim, make sure that you match the spin direction of the arrow you drew earlier. Remember that mounting a tire in the wrong direction is potentially life-threatening, so be extra sure that the direction is correct. If you didn’t mark the rim before, then keep in mind the wheel spins with the bike direction.
Next, it is time to attach the new tire to the rim. Working your way around the rim, you will want to pry the tire into position. However, be sure to use your tire irons and rim protectors. It is still crucial to be patient and avoid damaging the rim and the tire.
With the tire seated in the rim, partially inflate it. You can use your air compressor, but don’t inflate the tire completely. You want to listen for a popping sound to signify that the bead is in place. If you do not hear the “pop,” then use the breezer tool to seat the bead.
Balancing is not essential to replacing your tires. Some riders like to balance their tires, but others don’t. If you would like to, then you can use either a static balancing setup or ceramic dust specified for tires. Ceramic dust and other balancing methods primarily work to equalize the weight of the tire, but again, it is a personal preference and not required.
Next, you will need to reinsert the valve stem. Again, grab your valve stem tool to make this process easy. You will want to ensure that the stem is seated correctly, tightened securely and has a strong seal before moving on to the last step.
Last, fully inflate your new tire using your air compressor. Look in your manual to inflate to the precise recommended pressure. Do not over-inflate because that increases the risk of a blowout. Check for leaks, and if all is well, then reattach the wheel to the bike.
That’s all there is to it. You now know how to change motorcycle tires yourself. Congratulations! However, knowing is only part of the battle. Now it’s time to try an actual motorcycle tire replacement, so pick up the necessary tools and supplies and get to work. You can do this!