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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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.
 

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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. :fineprint:
 

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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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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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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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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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See I get spoiled when I am working on the Hawk. Single sided swingarms are a blessing when it comes time to undo the wheels, lol. A centerstand is your best friend.
 

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Man, no where around me will touch a tire you bought yourself for $25. All the shops around here are $50-75/tire if they even do it at all. Most require you to buy the tire from them.

I can't quite believe the trouble y'all are having. I just put a set of Shinko 705's on my Vee yesterday, and it was pretty smooth. I use the Motion Pro set of 3 tire irons. The big black tire iron is just perfectly shaped for both removal and reassembly. You can get the black one separately, or as a set of 2, or other companies appear to sell the same thing under different names. I love that thing. The 11" and the 8.5" are good for holding the tire over the rim after prying it with the black one, but otherwise they are worthless. doing the whole tire with just 2 11"s would be horrible. Get the black one and try it again, it's a totally different experience...

For rim guards, I have some cut pieces of an old brake fluid bottle, they have worked great for about 3-4 sets of tires and are just now wearing through, so I'll just hack up another bottle.

Combine that with a little rubber cleaner spray for lubrication, and it is pretty easy. I took some pirelli sport demons for my other bike to a local guy with a tire machine and he struggled majorly to get it on the rim. Since then I have swapped out I think 2 sets of sport demons with the motion pro set and it was cake, even without lube.

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. :fineprint:
This is very good advice. forgetting to get the tire bead down into the trough is an easy way to make it miserable to damage your tire.

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.
I've done it one 2x4's too, and never take off the rotors. It works fine for me. Not the easiest, but it works. Now I just use a couple old tires to keep everything off the ground and it works great.

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.
Oh dear lord that's a bad idea for breaking the bead! :yikes:

Try putting a 6 or 8" C-clamp on the bead and just crank it all the way down. It takes some light fidgeting and you want to make sure it doesn't touch the rim as you tighten it, but it works great and costs less than $10 from HD. I just did this yesterday and it worked just fine. previously I have used my press, but the c-clamp was easier. The clamp can also be used to help keep the bead down in the trough if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sometimes you have to try things to see if they work for you. I am failing miserably and still unable to work with this tire. I may try again, but I am running out of bandaids.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
As a last resort I may buy a couple of clamps and try and get the tire towards the center. A couple of issues with the HF tire changer is that the center rod seems to be useless so I bought a steel rod, but the loose tolerances on the changer mean I cannot keep the tire centered. Its times like these when I begin to feel the whole riding thing just isn't worth it anymore. My tough luck, as they say.
 

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I think the saving grace when I took off Trailwings and installed Shinko 705s late last year was the big spray bottle of soapy water. Otherwise I used Motion Pro Bead Pro irons, one extra non-descript iron, and used the zip-tie method for on and off. It was a challenge, but having done it once I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I will cut up some plastic from a windshield washer fluid bottle to save the rims a little more though.
 

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It took me a few tries my first time with just 3 levers and no bead breaker. Took some practice to break beads with tire levers, I just use a full size breaker now. The c-clamp and mobile breakers are a pain to use. There is a good thread on advrider for first timers. I also use the 3 piece motion pro lever set, you use the little one to hold the bead and keep it from walking around. Its really all technique, many tire tools will get the job done, its all user preference. I use a Habor freight changer at home, but I alos practice with the tools I carry on the DS bikes when running tube tires. I had some flats on my tube type DR650, I was glad I had full size MP irons tucked away.

If I could do it over again I would never self teach myself to change moto tires, watching some one do it first hand helps BIG TIME. Having a friend or fellow rider show you the ropes on tire changing will save huge amounts of learning curve. Just choose someone who can change a tire with minimal effort. If its hard to do, your doing it wrong and the tire and wheel suffers along with you. My wheels took many unnecessary hits because I was learning, but I tend to do things the hard way.

Forget dish soap and window cleaner, most advanced auto and other auto parts dealers will have a gallon of bead lube for around $10 to $12 and that will last a LONG time and actually make the job much easier. Tire removal is much easier using a decent bead lube that doesn't weld the rubber to the rim like windex and wd40 and other things people say works great.

But, unless you ride a lot it will be best to have your tire work done by a shop. If I had a good shop near by I probably wouldn't change my own. Its getting really expensive though, I do save $60 to $100 per single tire change doing it myself. Around here no one has good prices on tires and they charge $70 or more for the change on the bike. So, I get screwed on the tire price thats usually even more than retail and then they nail me $70 to $90 for labor depending on the shop. I had a rear changed on my DR650 in Talladega, AL and the dealer charged me an hour for labor. Thats $90 plus over $24 for a cheap Chinese tube and then the added tax and shop supplies for a tube change. I haven't been back. It was a hot summer day and I got lazy after my second flat and no spare tubes. Love tubeless tires on the Strom!
 

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I've changed a few tyres now. How important is it to balance them? I have never bothered, and they have never seemed to be an issue?
 

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I just did this yesterday and it worked just fine. previously I have used my press, but the c-clamp was easier. The clamp can also be used to help keep the bead down in the trough if necessary.
I always use a C-clamp to break the bead (KLR650) but never thought of using it to keep the bead down for the VEE, good advise.

Brian
 

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I've changed a few tyres now. How important is it to balance them? I have never bothered, and they have never seemed to be an issue?
I've always balanced mine so I really can't comment on the necessity of balancing. I've read comments of others that it's not necessary.

However, after tire changes I actually look forward to the simple balancing process. I just use the wheel axle (which of course is already off the bike) and a couple 5-gallon buckets / pails to suspend the tire-wheel combo. I use stick-on weights which are cheap and simple to use. I clean the whole assembly beforehand of course and I (now) leave the old weights in place and just remove (or add) weights as necessary. I have a feeling most of the weights I leave in place are needed to balance THE WHEEL, and the few I add or remove are balancing the new tire. Just my opinion of course.
 

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Since I have yet to change a tubeless tire on the VEE ( I always get them installed at the shop, $45 Canadian) I need to know if they are hard to inflate afterwards? Is it hard to seat the bead and what are the tricks to successful inflation.

thanks

Brian
 
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