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I recently bought a 2013 DL650 from a friend, which stock tires are pretty much at the end of their life (or a little beyond, in the case of the rear). After reading many posts in this forum, I decided to buy a center stand, which is on its way—it doesn't look like I'll have any trouble installing that. A nearby Cycle Gear will fit new tires for $25/wheel if I buy from them, and as it seems that's the least desirable maintenance task on any bike, I'm inclined to pay them for the trouble. All that remains for me will be removing the wheels and hauling them over to the shop for the refit—and, of course, reattaching them.

Now, having read the very brief section in the owner's manual on removing the wheels, and stared at my bike for a while, I think I'd like to hear how other people have done this, instead of relying on my ability to get myself into trouble. Does the order matter (front before rear, or vice versa)? Should I avoid resting either wheel-less end on the ground by using my car's jack or some cinder blocks? Do I actually need the special axle removal tool (mentioned in the owner's manual) for the front wheel? If so, where should I get it? If not, what can I use instead?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience.

N.B.: I do my own brakes and other routine maintenance on my car, and I'm mostly through a clutch rebuild on a simpler bike, but that's about the extent of my mechanical self-training. Bike maintenance is all new to me!
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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Make sure to tie the center stand cross member to something forward on the bike so it can't accidentally fold up with wheels off. You can take both off, typically the rear first. It will take some careful blocking to get both off. I hung my bike from the garage rafters when I took both wheels off. It helped to have a motorcycle table lift for the process. I learned to be especially careful years ago when my BMW R90S with both wheels off wound up sitting on its oil pan.
 

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Loosen both axle bolts before taking the wheels off and maybe put some blocking under the bike to add balance and stability. when I had a skid plate I blocked it under the plate, now I just have a cowling so not sure where I would block it next time I need to change both tires. The front axle bolt is just a larger hex which I bought from Rick at Adventure tech you may have one large enough in a set you already own.
 

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FORUM GODFATHER.....R.I.P. PAT
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The front axle tool is a 12mm hex key. Remove the ABS sensors before taking anything else off. They are expensive and easy to damage if still attached when wrestling with big stuff.
 

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If you have a skid plate or a bike like my FZ6 with the headers under the engine, you can put some 2x4's or scrap pieces of wood underneath there to balance it so both wheels are off the floor.

If not:
Loosen axles.
Put bike on center stand.
Put something heavy in the top case or passenger seat to keep the front wheel off the floor.
Remove front wheel.
Put the axle back in, set a jackstand with a cushioning rag under the axle.
Remove the weight, lower the front axle onto the jackstand to raise rear wheel.
Remove rear wheel.
I would put another jackstand under the rear axle to prevent it from getting tipped backwards.
 

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Swing arm spindles helps with maintenance of rear end.
I've fabricated rear stand some time ago. I use it for everything.
I even used rear stand with floor jack to lift front end to remove front tire and rebuild forks on my previous bike.
It worked quite well.
 

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IMPORTANT: It was mentioned in Greywolf's first post but I want to make sure you're paying attention ;). Use a ratchet strap to hold the bottom of the center stand forward to prevent it from retracting as the bike shifts forward.
 

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Second the idea to loosen everything BEFORE you balance the bike, while it is most stable. AND that includes dropping at least one brake caliper. Reefing hard on a bolt or axle when it's teetering is . . . well . . . . educational.
 
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