Another hard lesson on tires - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 33 Old 08-29-2015, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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Another hard lesson on tires

I am in maintenance mode on my strom and decided to try and change my tires myself for the first time. Basically I blew it and will probably have to buy another tire from the shop and have them put in on for me.
Here's how I did (or didn't) do it.
I patterned the process after the video on the other strom site How to change tires...
You have to scroll down a bit.

So i buy a stop and go bead breaker, three tire irons, two rim protectors, and a bunch of beads. And two new Battlewings.
I removed the rear tire from the bike and broke the bead and managed to get the tire off the rim. I also managed to get the first half of the tire on the rim, but I was unable to get the rest of it on.
After several hours of discomfort and a little stress I finally had to admit defeat. On top of that I tore a piece of the tire and now I don't know if I can live with that even if it seals. The shop probably won't touch it now anyways. So there you have it my friends. I was hoping to post on how I did it, but now I must say that I could not. Yet another expensive lesson.

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post #2 of 33 Old 08-29-2015, 06:17 PM
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Sorry to hear this but thanks for posting as a warning to others.

Your experience is why I recommend against "first timers" trying this job - especially without help from someone who knows how to do it. I've changed my share of many types of tires - all the hard way, and I struggle each time. I think it's hard, sweaty work.

I do it, and sort-of enjoy the challenge, but I consider it real, hard, dirty work that takes awhile. Usually about two hours (per tire) from start to finish. For me, all goes well except the removal and replacement of tire on wheel / rim.

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post #3 of 33 Old 08-29-2015, 11:19 PM
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I used to change the bias ply tires. I was a wiz at the Avon SM II tires for my side car rig.
The new ones, fugitaboutit on the road. I go to the dealer or a buddies house with the equipment.
Some stuff ain't user friendly.
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post #4 of 33 Old 08-30-2015, 01:50 AM
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I did the front and rear on my Hawk with nothing but three spoons. I used my truck to break the beads. took the rotors and stuff off and rolled over the edge of the tire as close as i possibly could with my truck. it did it but scratched the heck out of the wheels. Hindsight being what it is, I think I am going to just leave it to the shop. I could get one of those manual garage setups for about 500 bucks but it would take me a while to recoup the savings, unless I started doing tires for everyone and honestly I don't have the time to right now. Maybe once I get relocated and squared away, lol.
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post #5 of 33 Old 08-30-2015, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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I think I made a few mistakes that once corrected will allow me to mount the tire. For starters I should use spoons instead of the two 11 inch motion pro tire irons. They are useful for grabbing the lip of the tire and they help hold the bead, but the tool that did most of the work was the Ken tool 16 inch tire iron. So I need to find a couple of spoons to do it by hand.

The other major problem was working on top of a couple of two by fours. This method worked well for removing the tire and mounting the first half of the tire, but on the second half the two by fours prevented the tire from moving freely enough so I was fighting a lost cause. I also did not understand well the method for the final install. As for the damage to the tire it seems minimal, but still not sure I will stay with it. Another major issue is that the tire was unsecured and this made it harder and is also something of a safety issue. So one of my concerns is securing the rim.

So I went and bought the HF tire changer and adapter and I am today setting it up for use in my storage shed. Not sure if I will tackle the tire again today as the set up is a bit of work and I feel like I rode 700 miles yesterday, on my strom, in a cross wind.

2011 DL650A: Knocked down, dented tank, superglued hand guard and cowling, rarely washed, still fun to ride!
2014 FJR: Big Red

Last edited by frankintx; 08-30-2015 at 12:49 PM.
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post #6 of 33 Old 08-30-2015, 01:56 PM
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The biggest single mistake rookies make is not getting both upper & lower beads down in the well of the wheel (Where the "spokes" are), opposite the working area.
I remember explained this to a guy once, then watched him as he removed then attempted to install the new tire. He couldn't get the last part of the bead to go over. Guess what he was doing wrong?
I agree with HokiesRWee, you should have someone there the first time attempting this.

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post #7 of 33 Old 08-30-2015, 02:23 PM
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Practice with the old tire first. Pull it off, put it on, pull it off, etc., until you are comfortable with the process. I have the HF tire changer, but I have also done it many times with just tire irons. Over the life of your motorcycle, you will save money by doing it yourself. Once you learn how, you will know it is done right. The guy at the motorcycle shop could also easily damage your wheel or tire bead, and never tell you, leaving you with a flat (or worse) out in the thulies. I had a tire shop damage a tire bead on a car once and it went flat on me the next day.

Use plenty of Ruglide tire bead lube both in the removal and the installation process, makes it a whole lot easier. Buy a gallon at the local auto parts store, it will last you the rest of your life. If you don't have the plastic block modification to your HF tire changer clamps, then at least wrap a bunch of electrical tape or such on them to keep from dinging up your rims. For info, Google "MOJO blocks for HF tire changer", you'll find lots of pics and info.

After you learn how to take the tires off and on, then learn how to save yourself a lot of effort on removal, by simply slicing the old tire around the center of the tread with a razor knife, (after you've broken the bead from the rim) then you can pull it off one bead at a time, makes removal a snap.

If you have a couple of jackstands or other things like that, you can balance the wheels yourself.

Pic below
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post #8 of 33 Old 08-30-2015, 05:36 PM
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I fought like hell changing Bridgestones once and that was all it took for me to change over to Michelin and I never looked back. They are SO MUCH easier to install, as well as a great tire! A tip that did work with the B-Stones was to let them sit in the hot sun for a while to soften them up. Don't give up hope... practice makes perfect!

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post #9 of 33 Old 08-30-2015, 07:21 PM
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One other thing that is good to get and makes the job easier is some of those third hand accessories. I can not remember the model name of the tire changer or the company at the moment, but there was a youtube video I saw of a fellow doing some changes in his garage and the kit looked solid and they had a lot of nice acessories that took the fight out of most tire changes, especially on bikes that have a slightly narrower tire setup. It's always real easy when you are changing 180/55 sized tires but Vee sized tires and wheels definitely make it tougher, especially if its knobbly tires.

I'll have to look back through my youtube history and find that video again and get the brand names and links for what I found. You might find it useful.
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post #10 of 33 Old 08-31-2015, 05:21 AM
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I'll take the wheel off but for a measly $25 to mount and balance, I let the pros do it.

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