I change my own, and recouped my investment several times over with the first tire change.
Contrary to what many believe, you don't need to spend $800 on a No-Mar. In fact, you don't need a tire changing "machine" of any sort.
Here's the list of materials:
- Valve core tool (a buck or two)
- Valve installation tool ($6 at Napa)
- 412 tire valves are a buck each at Napa.
- Two small and one long tire iron (I think a nice Motion Pro set is around $30)
- a 14" car rim from a junkyard ($5)
- A piece of heater hose -- split it with a utility knife and put it around the car rim. Maybe $5 if you have to buy it.
- A two foot length of 1/2" all-thread, and a few washers and nuts. About $10 at the local Meanards, I think.
- A jug of RuGlyde tire mounting lube from Napa. Pretty much a lifetime supply for $15.
- Several squares of plastic as rim guards, cut from old milk jugs or shampoo bottles. Free with a little trash diving.
- A creative arrangement of all-thread, 2X4s, and my workbench to create a bead breaking lever. Maybe $10 if you don't have lumber and such lying around.
- I made a balancer out of a couple of old jack stands and some skate bearings I had lying around. There are several ways to balance your tires free, or you can spend a pile of cash on a Marc Parnes balancer. Either works just as well.
- Stick-on wheel weights: $5 and up, depending on what you get.
Here's the guide I used to learn how to change and balance my own tires using the above materials:
Guide To Changing Motorcycle Tires
Honestly, after gaining a good bit of experience, I can have two tires changed using levers while the No-Mar user is still futzing around with those incredibly lame rim clamps. The rim clamps are the one serious weakness in the whole expensive tire changing machine thing, especially when you have a bike with two different rim diameters as on a V-Strom.
Changing your own tires is obviously a great way to save money (you can order your tires fresher and cheaper), but more importantly it's also the best way to ensure that this critical job is done correctly.
You're the one riding the thing, so it's your ass on the line. You're the only one who will take the time to make sure the beads are clean, the rims aren't damaged, and to check the bearings.
With a good static balancer setup and a little time, you can actually balance wheels far more accurately than a stoned teenage tire monkey and a fancy electronic gizmo.
Just a warning -- any time the topic of tire balancing comes up, a red light goes on at the Church of the Holy Round Dynabead HQ, and an urgent alert is dispatched to the legions of Dynabeadian True Believers worldwide. So what I'm saying is that the Dynabeads zealots will be all over this thread shortly to lay some o' that beady religion on you.
If you think they work, I'm happy for you, really; ride fast, have fun, and enjoy that beautiful beady feeling. None for me, thanks -- they're a messy pain in the ass when changing tires.