How to Change a Motorcycle Tire?
Riding motorcycles is an amazing feeling, but now and then you have to do things like change a tire. It’s a skill all riders should have.
Note that chancing motorcycle tires is not a straightforward thing you will intuit. There is a correct procedure to changing a motorcycle tire. Do it improperly and you will damage the tire – furthermore, you put yourself at risk of being in an accident.
That should not scare you, though. We have you covered – read on and learn how to change your bike’s tire.
Tools and Materials You Need:
How to Remove the Tire:
1. Remove Air from the Tire
Use the valve core tool to deflate the tire. You either snap or screw the tool into the valve so as to keep it open for the air to come out.
Note that air comes out with great force, and you must therefore hold the valve core tool firmly.
Once the tire is deflated, the tension will have been loosened and working on the tire will be a much easier process.
2. Mark the Direction of the Spin of the Wheel
Before going on, ensure you mark the edge of the rim with a pencil to demonstrate the direction of the spin of the wheel.
If you can’t tell, you can hold the tire back up to the motorcycle the way you removed it. Observe the direction the wheel is supposed to turn.
This information is crucial for when you are inserting the next tire.
3. Detach the Bead from the Rim
The bead is the inner edge of the tire. Use the bead breaker to detach the bead from the room. As the bead breaks loose, there will be a pop sound. Go on until you have separated the tire from all rim edges on both sides.
If detaching the bead is giving you trouble, you should try to deflate the tire some more to loosen the tension.
4. Spray Silicone Lubricant on the Bead
Spraying the silicone lubricant on the bead enables it to come out. You can then slip the tire off the rim with ease by inserting tire irons under the bead and then pulling the tire off the rim. You remove the tire’s both sides until the whole tire is able to come off.
During the process, spray the lubricant every time you expose a portion of the tire bead. This will ensure it does not re-stick, which would force you to start over.
5. Use 2 C-clamps as an Alternative
Alternatively, 2 C-clamps are sufficient for pushing the bead out.
One large clamp is set over the tire, right before the tire connects with the rim. The clamp is tightened to ensure the tire presses down and the bead bends off.
You then add the second clamp 6 to 8 inches to the side of the first one and repeat the process.
Pull the two clamps towards the tire’s edge to make the bead pop out.
6. Two Tire Levers for Prying the Bead Up and Over the Rim
Shove 2 tire levers under the tire bead (with the back sides sitting against the rim), and force them down do as to pull the tire up.
In this way, the rim is a fulcrum, enabling you to pop the tire up and over the rim.
Keep doing this, going round in a circle until the entire tire comes off.
In case you are worried about chipping or nicking your rim, you should get some rim protectors. These are foam pieces which fit between the rim and the tire iron.
How to Install the New Tire
1. Lubricate the Tire’s Inner Walls
Use the lubricated spray or Windex to thoroughly lubricate the inner walls of the new tire you want to install.
While working with the new tire, keep lubricating, so as to ensure it maintains slipperiness, making it easier for you to work with.
2. Match the New Tire to the Spin Direction You Marked Earlier
Remember when earlier on you marked with pencil on the rim the direction that the tire is supposed to spin?
Well, place the new tire in such a way that its spin direction matches the direction that you marked.
Look for a red dot on the tire – located near the valve stem. Note the dot and the spin of the tire and then set it up.
3. Attach a Side of the New Tire to the Rim
Use the tire irons to pry in the new tire and attach one side of it to the rim.
The tire wall should be between the tire iron and the rim – that way, you can use the tire iron to force the tire into the rim.
The tire bead is the fulcrum, and you’re pushing away from the tire’s center, easing the bead under the rim.
Once the first side is in, repeat the process on the other side.
4. Pump Air into Tire, but Don’t Inflate Fully
Use a compressed air pump to pump some air into the tire. Don’t inflate it fully.
Inflate till you hear small “pop” – that means the bead has just popped in.
Use a small hammer to hit the tire around the bead while you pump in the air. This makes it more likely to slip into the bead.
5. As an Alternative, Use the Breezer Tire Tool
If you don’t get the “pop” sound when inflating, use the Breezer tire tool to press the bead in, rotating the tire to push the bead in from all edges.
If you can’t get the bead in, don’t continue pumping. In fact, let some of the air out, and then use the tool and repump.
Ensure the red dot is balanced with the tire’s valve stem.
6. Ceramic Dust into the Tire Valve
Squirt some ceramic dust, which is made for tires, into the tire valve. It will help keep the tire balanced and equalize some of the weight and balance out any issues.
You should do this before you put the valve stem back on.
7. Reinsert Valve Stem
Reinsert the valve stem using a valve stem tool.
You tighten it and ensure it does not move.
8. Inflate to Recommended Pressure
Now you can pump the new tire to the normal pressure. The job is done – you can ride.
See Also: Top 10 Best Motorcycle Tire Repair Kit
By just following these instructions, you can change your tire and be ready to take your bike out for a test-ride. Changing tires is a skill you absolutely need if you’re going to be a bike rider.
There is just something about doing something like that with your own hands – it makes you feel good; makes you love motorcycles even more.