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Suspension and Tire Tech For all discussions related to your suspension and tire set-ups.

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post #1 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Tire tools

So I've decided to go hand tools and change my own tires. Not the least interested in a dedicated tire changer such as that which Harbor Freight makes - takes up too much room and not used enough to warrant it.
I'll likely use a Marc Parnes balancer - I've always been happy with how well they work.
But spoons - things have exploded in tire tools and it's tedious for me to sort out.
Basically I like the idea of something that can break the bead and also serve as a non-marring spoon.
Was looking at the Motion Pro tools but they seem a bit pricey for glorified pry bars - plus it only comes with two bars and you really need three to get the tire off.

So what do y'all use? I'm not concerned with trailside use - just something to keep in my toolchest that allows me to pop the bead, pry off the tire without marring the rim and putting a new one on.

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post #2 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 10:10 AM
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many easy ways to break a bead using items around the house. Here's what I usually do, although i use a long crowbar instead of a 2x4.

breaking-bead.jpg

i'd think the 2x4 could snap used like this. Maybe turned on it's other edge for more strength would be a better idea, or a 4x4.
You could also use a jack under a car. Lay a small piece of 2x4 on the tire, just away from rim's edge. Place jack on 2x4 and start jacking. No, not that kind of jacking.

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post #3 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mcrag View Post
many easy ways to break a bead using items around the house. Here's what I usually do, although i use a long crowbar instead of a 2x4.
LOL - I'd rather not go with the Primitive Pete approach.
I was hoping for tools that are used for both tasks - bead breaking and leveraging the tire off.

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post #4 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 12:55 PM
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I use a c clamp and two chunks of wood to break the bead. Taking the valve core out beforehand makes it much easier.

I use this set of tire spoons.

(ebay listing title was 'Spoon Motorcycle Tire Iron Changing Rim Protector Tool Combo New Lever Three Pcs' for when this link inevitably breaks)

I don't balance my tires, because I hardly ever go above 75mph, and I don't bother anymore with the rim protectors as my rims are already pretty rough.
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post #5 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 01:59 PM
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Hi Brojon. These are the tools I use: A Motion Pro Bead Popper, a selection of Motion Pro levers, and four Motion Pro rim protectors.

The Bead Popper is a wedge that you work around the circumference of the rim, where the tire seats into the rim. Go around the rim a couple times, smacking the bead popper with a rubber mallet, and the wedge forces the bead out of the rim.

It usually takes me three levers to de-mount a tire. I don't like the really long levers because the brake rotor can get in the way. Using four of the rim protectors makes it easier, so you don't have to reposition them as often.

For tire lube, I just use dishwashing soap mixed with water.

I should mention that I haven't been able to mount every tire I've had. I had a Battlewing BW502 rear tire that just defeated me at getting it mounted, and I had to break down and take it to a shop. It was weird, because I'd mounted other Battlewings and got them on. The Shinko 705s were the easiest ones I've mounted.

One good recommendation is that when your tire is delivered, take it out of the plastic shipping wrap and wedge some blocks of 2x4's that are about the width of the rim into the tire to spread out the sidewalls. If it's warm out, sit it out in the sun, even if you aren't going to change the tire on that particular day. Every tire I've ever got had been compressed from being stored on top each other, and it makes it a royal pain to seat the bead when the tire's sidewalls are pinched together and you don't have a big powerful compressor. When the bead is spread out sufficiently, I've been able to seat it using just the 12 volt compressor I use to fill up my tires.

I do balance my tires, but it's more of a force of habit thing than a necessity. I've been tempted to just skip the balancing and see what happens, but I'd hate to have to remove the tire again and balance it if it ended up being necessary.
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Last edited by RCinNC; 02-24-2017 at 02:01 PM.
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post #6 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCinNC View Post
Hi Brojon. These are the tools I use: A Motion Pro Bead Popper, a selection of Motion Pro levers, and four Motion Pro rim protectors.
Lots of good tips - yeah I've gotten the collapsed tires before - at shops they use a tire belt to squeeze around the circumference which helps plump out the bead. I've used a cheap Harbor Freight ratchet clamp to the same end and it works well. That said preventative maintenance is the best policy. Being used to auto tires I never considered using a wood block to keep 'em spread.
So that's one vote for the MP bead breaker, glad to hear they work. I've seen some realy doozy products out there including one that's meant for trailside use that assembles into something resembling a front end loader and is patterned after a commercial tire machine bead breaker with a wide levered lip to force the bead loose. I'm sure it works but seems overkill.

This is teh motion pro bead breaker I was looking at.
https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08.../dp/B008OXIYM6

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post #7 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 03:06 PM
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I would go with the Motion Pro Bead Breaker that you found. I've never used one, but I've seen videos of them being used, and they seem pretty slick. The Bead Popper had the virtue of being cheap, but it does take some labor to use.

I tried that ratchet strap trick when I had a front Battlewing that wouldn't seat, and I just could not get the bead spread out enough to form a seal. The tire had been compressed too much, and no amount of strapping, bouncing, and swearing would work. I needed a faster dump of air to push out the sidewalls just enough to make a seal, so the bead would finally seat, and i ended up taking it to a garage. And yes, that was with the valve core removed. That Battlewing was what made me think about using the wooden blocks.
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post #8 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brojon View Post
Lots of good tips - yeah I've gotten the collapsed tires before - at shops they use a tire belt to squeeze around the circumference which helps plump out the bead. I've used a cheap Harbor Freight ratchet clamp to the same end and it works well. That said preventative maintenance is the best policy. Being used to auto tires I never considered using a wood block to keep 'em spread.
So that's one vote for the MP bead breaker, glad to hear they work. I've seen some realy doozy products out there including one that's meant for trailside use that assembles into something resembling a front end loader and is patterned after a commercial tire machine bead breaker with a wide levered lip to force the bead loose. I'm sure it works but seems overkill.

This is teh motion pro bead breaker I was looking at.
https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08.../dp/B008OXIYM6

I've got these and they do in fact work great. I actually have both the Al set and a steel set due to a order error, and I use the Al set only to prevent scratching the rim.

For spoons I got a set of 3 curved spoons (they are the same as the black spoon in the motion pro kit) off amazon for about $30, and a set of 3 rim savers (generic brand) for about $10. I just got the rim savers as I am tired of strips of plastic bottle falling out of place.

I don't regret spending any of the money on these tools as I save so much money by not going to a shop. It's def worth the investment to make this a relatively easy process.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox View Post
I use a c clamp and two chunks of wood to break the bead. Taking the valve core out beforehand makes it much easier.

I use this set of tire spoons.

(ebay listing title was 'Spoon Motorcycle Tire Iron Changing Rim Protector Tool Combo New Lever Three Pcs' for when this link inevitably breaks)

I don't balance my tires, because I hardly ever go above 75mph, and I don't bother anymore with the rim protectors as my rims are already pretty rough.
I used to do this with c-clamps and wood, and it sucks so bad compared to the motion pro bead breaker. I have no regrets about buying the bead breakers.
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post #9 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks - always good to hear from someone who's actually used them!
I'd heard a guy say he used split garden hose as a rim saver. Seems a little big.
I have some left over 3/8" tubing I thought would work well.

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post #10 of 56 Old 02-24-2017, 03:30 PM
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I found the motion pro bead protectors to be worth it. They clip onto the rim and stay in place when you're reefing against them with a tire lever. Much less frustrating.

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