Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Mountain Top, PA
Front Tire Change Using a Car Ramp
I changed the my tires (OEM Trailwings to Battlewings) this past weekend after one last ride to Bike Week and encountered some unique issues compared to my earlier bikes. The biggest challenge was the front tire, as I don't have a center stand or motorcycle lift. I tried laying the bike on its side, but the wheel wasn't off the ground. I thought about tilting the bike further back to get the front wheel to lift but abandoned that idea as I could envision my handlebars driving into the sand.
I looked around the garage for something that could work, and eventually settled on a car ramp. My concept was to position the ramp under the left side of the engine as I laid the bike down. The handlebars wouldn't have to be cocked, and when settled, the bike would be parallel to the ground, about 8 inches up. It would also be easier to pick up the bike after the tire change.
It worked well enough that I thought to share the idea. I added some towels to prevent paint damage. I also removed the shift lever just so I had extra room as I laid the bike over. I didn't want all that weight to be on the shift lever. The lever can be swung out of the way after removing a single c-clip. Lastly, I did remove the calipers and hung them out of the way, but you can likely leave them in place. I did the job by myself, and re-installing the wheel without having to worry about rotor to caliper alignment was easier for me.
I suggest loosening the pinch bolts to at least break the axle free prior to laying the bike over. You can probably loosen the axle when it's on its side, but why damage the end caps, grips, etc. if you don't have to. I've attached a single picture to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.