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With a motorcycle tire, if you're being forced to bang on the tire with a hammer, or using a three foot tire iron, then you're simply fighting against yourself to get it done. Any time I'm changing a tire and I feel like I'm really struggling, then I stop what I'm doing and reset. If the bead won't go over the rim, then I know that I'm simply not getting the opposite side of the bead into the drop channel. I'm either not kneeling hard enough on the opposite site, or I'm not positioned correctly, or it needs a little more lubrication on the part of the bead and rim on the side of the tire that I'm trying to work over the rim. The first time I tried to change a tire, on a Road King, I gave up in total frustration and took it to a shop. But I knew it could be done, because plenty of guys did it themselves. And in spite of what some guys on line say, there are no motorcycle tires out there that are too stiff to mount by hand, using regular motorcycle tire irons, and that includes E07 Dakars and K60's. I can see how a smaller guy might have trouble with a K60, mainly because it helps to have some bulk when you kneel on the tire to force the bead into the drop channel, and those bias ply ADV tires have thick sidewalls and it makes them a little harder to compress the sidewalls if you aren't a bigger guy.
 

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Sounds super scary. Been using dish soap on cars, trucks, trailers and bikes for years. But now you have me concerned that it is going to eat my aluminum pans . :p
Don't be. If it hasn't done anything to your tires or wheels yet it ain't going to.
 

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I've changed hundreds of dirt bike tires. Only one set of street bike tires. Shinko 705 on my 2012 vstrom 650. It was not easy and I scratched the rims pretty bad. Tried to keep the rim savers In place to no avail. The best advice I have heard is to stop and reset as soon as you start to struggle. But by then the scratches are there. I bought some dunlop trail mission tires for my 2014 1000. Paid 30 bucks ea to have them installed in 15 min. I like to do all the work on my bike and feel ashamed for paying someone to do it. I'll try again on my next set.
 

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I like dish soap to aid dismount - push some foam into the crevice as I work my way around. Usually pops right off that way with a little prodding. I haven't seen noticeable deterioration of the rim over many years and miles parked outside, but I can appreciate that it probably isn't good for the finish. My beat up rims show the learning process.

I've seen some videos that convinced me that goopy tire soap makes for easier reassembly and air-up since you can fill the voids to reduce the amount of air that rushes out.
 

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I can see how a smaller guy might have trouble with a K60, mainly because it helps to have some bulk when you kneel on the tire to force the bead into the drop channel, and those bias ply ADV tires have thick sidewalls and it makes them a little harder to compress the sidewalls if you aren't a bigger guy.
I remember well, the summer evening I did that first tire change using 10" levers. Even though I was using somewhat proper technique, at 5' 6" and 145 lbs., it can be a challenge to do all the correct moves simultaneously while keeping the wheel, the beads and everything from squirming around on you. I was sweating for sure.
 

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I carry three lightweight 8 inch tar arns in my tool kit and can break the beads on tubed and tubeless tires and do a complete tire change with them.
How do you break the beads on your tires with only 8" irons?
 

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How do you break the beads on your tires with only 8" irons?
I wrote an article on my buddy's blog here:

Robin made a video to demonstrate:

Side note: I had NO IDEA he had made a video until I looked up my article!

It's best to practice this a few times on stuff like dirtbikes before you try it on alloy wheels. You'll notice Robin scratched the inside of the wheel a little. He could have been a little gentler and moved only a little to the right for the second attempt.

Like everything else with tires, do a little at a time, then move a little and keep trying. And of course it works best when tires are warm (which is usually the case if you're doing this on the side of the road).

Also, remember that rubber takes time to move; you can get a lot done by simply being patient and maintaining pressure until the rubber oozes where you want it. It's important in tire work to take your time and be as gentle as you can, if that makes sense. Take lots of tiny bites at the job; don't try to muscle anything or do everything all at once.

I carry tire irons with wide, dull curved tips that aren't as likely screw up the inside of the wheel; there's a link and a photo in the article. Robin was using longer, sharper tire irons. This made things a little easier because he had more leverage; this takes a fair bit of force with smaller tire irons, but it can be done and I've done it many times.

Of course, at home, I have a much faster crude lever contraption made of 2x4"s that bolts to my workbench and easily presses the beads off. But on the road, tres tire irons do the trick when needed.

And of course Motion Pro makes a forked contraption called the Bead Pro that works on exactly the same principle, then the halves function as tire levers.



The gist of it is:
1) Deflate tire completely, if that hasn't already been handled for you by, uh ... external factors.

2) Stick the small curved tip of one tire iron between the tire bead and the rim with the curve at the tip facing UP. Wiggle and weasel it in there until the tip is touching the rim, or as close as you can get.

3) About two inches away, do the same with tire iron #2.

4) With one hand, push DOWN on both tire irons.

5) Take tire iron #3 in your other hand, turn the tip so it's facing DOWN. then weasel it into the middle between the other two tire irons. Yes, this is a little awkward.

6) Work the tip of the third tire iron in as far as you can. The idea is to use the tip to dig into the rubber a bit to push the tire bead down by pulling UP on this tire iron while pushing DOWN on the other two.

7) After some pushing and wiggling, you'll get a little motion but you normally won't completely break the tire bead on the first push.

8) Move a few inches to one side and repeat the procedure and you'll get a little more motion.

9) If the tire bead hasn't broken at that point, move a few inches to the other side of your original tire bead attack spot and try a third time.

10) Enjoy the astonished looks all around.
 

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Wha???? Ok, you're getting astonished looks from me right now, and I've only read the instructions! EDIT: Now I've watched the video. Sheesh! I'm for sure going to try this next tire change. Thanks!!
 
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Wha???? Ok, you're getting astonished looks from me right now, and I've only read the instructions! EDIT: Now I've watched the video. Sheesh! I'm for sure going to try this next tire change. Thanks!!
I think it's worth practicing so that you have the skill if you need it out on the road, but as noted there's a risk of scratching the rim on the inside, especially the first few times until you fully grok the technique. That said, it's one hell of a lot safer than some of the doofy ideas I've seen like kickstands or jumping onto the tire.

For routine tire changes, I break beads with a simple lever arrangement made out of 2x4s.

And of course, the vast majority of tire issues out on the road are punctures, which are easily plugged from the outside and don't require breaking the bead on tubeless tires.


The Motion Pro tools works really well and is worth the investment.
I've heard good things about this too. A buddy of mine carries one on his KLR, but we haven't had the "opportunity" to test drive it.
 
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It is an interesting technique, curious to try it. I use the 2 c clamp technique - only place I change tires is in the garage, which is where my tire irons are too.
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It looks like you are trying to get the old tire OFF, is that correct? It also looks like the bead has not been "broken" yet, is that true? (Maybe I'm just not seeing it well in the picture.) I have the same HF tire changer, and it has a bead-breaking attachment on the side that will press down on the inner area of the tire just at the edge of the wheel rim, to push the bead towards the center of the wheel, making it loose so you can then use the bar or spoons to lever the tire over the rim.

If you haven't done motorcycle tires before (maybe you have so I don't want to insult you, sorry) but the wheel "valley" where the opposing bead has to go to get room to angle the tire up over the top rim, is a lot narrower than on a steel-rimmed car tire.

Think "out of the box" for minute and here's a trick everybody laughs at but trust me it works slicker than deer guts:

Once you get the beads (top and bottom) broken loose from the rim, take a razor knife/box cutter/K-bar or what ever you have, put a little oil or Ru-Glyde on the blade, and cut the tire all the way around the center of the tread. That way you won't have to fight the opposing bead at all. You can pull the upper bead you are trying to get over the rim up and over really easy. I have been close a couple of times to being able to pull it off by hand, once I get it started, depending on the stiffness of your tire casing. Plenty of Ru-Glyde on the beads for both removal and install.

When putting the new tire on, make yourself some kind of little tent that you can out the tire in with a spcae heater if you have one and get it good and warm. Warm rubber stretches better than frozen rubber.

Hope that helps, and good luck.
Loved the Stanley knife method but definitely not for fixing punctures. Some brands of tires are totally SOB's. I have all wayed done my own tires using the plastic rim protectors and 600mm plus tire levers. But there are times that the protectors are just fighting you and you have little choice but to risk a rim to tire lever case. I find that after you do scratch the damn rim you accept it and do not get so paranoid about them. Bead breaking is another SOB at the side of the road so I made up a devise that can do it . If anybody thinks of mounting Hieneken tires make sure you have a gorilla as a friend as they in my opinion were designed as the ultimate challenge.
 

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I use the Motion Pro leavers for breaking the bead, there is no doubt they work for that but I don't use them as leavers for removing the tyre, I have been using 3 of these for many years, they are tough and easy to use.


If at home or the farm I also use the clamps or blocks of wood and when I need to fit a tube I use a ratchet strap to open up the beads to make getting it in much easier.
 

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I have been using a modified harbor freight tool with some mojo blocks, a no scuff tire mount lever, the yellow thing, two tires lever spoon and some motion pro rim edge protector. Honestly, I had to throw everything at it but the kitchen sink to be able to mount them. The no scuff works beautifully to take the tire off, but not so much to mount it.You also need a piece of carpet to put on the harbor freight corner feature that is being used to break the bead. Otherwise 100% guaranteed you will scratch your rims. The black paint on these cast Suzuki rims is very delicate. Even though I was super careful, I ended-up with a few very superficial scratches and it drove me nuts ( I am very much of a maniac with these small details.... Nothing less than a 100% will do...) 🙄, and so I cleaned the spots with a rag and some alcohol and did put a tiny bit of black paint with a Q-Tip so it won't be noticeable and I won't have to clean a brush.
For balancing the tire, I am using this device that I found on ebay, with a custom 80/20 frame to support it.... That gizmo works great!
They say "hind sight" is 20/20... In my humble opinion, this HF thing is a bit of a P.O.S. first of all you will need a rod going through the bearings of the wheel, that isn't supplied with the unit, then it might need to be a different rod diam. Depending the size of your bearings. Not only that but it is also difficult to clamp the edge of the rim and hold the wheel concentric with the hole of the HF device. The movable pin adjustment suck. It doesn't allow for a concentric adjustment. It invariably ends-up too far or too close. The only positive thing about this thing is the price.... :)
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They say "hind sight" is 20/20... In my humble opinion, this HF thing is a bit of a P.O.S. first of all you will need a rod going through the bearings of the wheel, that isn't supplied with the unit, then it might need to be a different rod diam. Depending the size of your bearings. Not only that but it is also difficult to clamp the edge of the rim and hold the wheel concentric with the hole of the HF device. The movable pin adjustment suck. It doesn't allow for a concentric adjustment. It invariably ends-up too far or too close. The only positive thing about this thing is the price.... :)
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I too struggled with the HF changer.

I got the Mojo blocks and lever that took care of gouging the rims.

I use mine a bit differently then you though. I did get a steel rod (3/8 maybe) but I don't use the top piece to center the rod. That part is not installed on mine.

I set the wheel down insert the rod and move the 2 pinned blocks against the rim keeping the axle hole centered. Then screw down the moveable block. That way the wheel stays centered. Also I use a tie down strap around one of the wheel spokes and an arm of the changer. That keeps the wheel from rotating while working on it. Mine is mounted on a sheet of plywood also.

Kind of a kludge I admit but so much easier then sitting on the ground with tire irons and way cheaper than comparable changing stands.
 

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I too struggled with the HF changer.

I got the Mojo blocks and lever that took care of gouging the rims.

I use mine a bit differently then you though. I did get a steel rod (3/8 maybe) but I don't use the top piece to center the rod. That part is not installed on mine.

I set the wheel down insert the rod and move the 2 pinned blocks against the rim keeping the axle hole centered. Then screw down the moveable block. That way the wheel stays centered. Also I use a tie down strap around one of the wheel spokes and an arm of the changer. That keeps the wheel from rotating while working on it. Mine is mounted on a sheet of plywood also.

Kind of a kludge I admit but so much easier then sitting on the ground with tire irons and way cheaper than comparable changing stands.
 

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Yes I also use a tie down strap for the wheel not to rotate when dismounting the tire. What made my problem worse is that I did weld the tree arms to the center hub piece, nice and co-planar, but that made the concentricity adjustment problem worse, because before these arms could swing a little in and out around their mounting bolts to kind of give or take the difference.
The thread title is "the best tool to mount new tires" so I don't know if the HF takes the cake, but if we change the thread to "the cheapest "stand" to mount new tires" maybe.... :)
 
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