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Discussion Starter #1
I have always mounted my own tires on my old dirt bikes. On my street bikes I take the wheels to a shop to have the tires mounted and balanced. I'm considering grabbing my tire irons and putting new tires on my '16 strom and using balancing beads. My concern is, I don't want to damage/ scratch my new rims. Any tips or special tools recommended for the black cast wheels?


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I have always mounted my own tires on my old dirt bikes. On my street bikes I take the wheels to a shop to have the tires mounted and balanced. I'm considering grabbing my tire irons and putting new tires on my '16 strom and using balancing beads. My concern is, I don't want to damage/ scratch my new rims. Any tips or special tools recommended for the black cast wheels?


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You can buy rim protectors, but I didn't like the ones I bought. They were too thick/fat and wouldn't stay on the rim for me. I made my own out of thick plastic jugs. I use pool chemical jugs because I seem to have an unlimited supply. You can make large rim protectors, and have several, and yet they store flat. Mine have seen several uses and little damage. Napa is supposed to have some good tire changing lube.

YMMV
 

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I tried the tire iron thing but really knocked off several chunks of the powercoating. I was mounting K60 Scouts, which might be the hardest ones to do. After that I bought the Harbor Freight M/C tire changer for $80, some Mojo blocks - $30 and a NoScuff tire tool - $90. Now I can change tires pretty easy without damaging the finish on the rims.

Mojoblocks

No-scufftiretool
 

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Rim protectors can be made out of any heavy plastic container like plastic orange juice gallon jugs or laundry detergent jugs. If you do it properly rim protectors are not needed but it does add a layer of protection in case a iron/lever slips.

Your bigger hurdle will be breaking the bead.

Also remember if you are forcing the tire on the rim you are doing something wrong. Typically bead this opposite of the tire the lever/iron is not in the "drop center". If you hear any stretching or ripping sounds coming from the tire when levering it onto the rim stop immediately and re-group. You can easily rig the belts rendering the tire useless.

I have a Nomar and have easily changed over a 150 tires (both tube and tubeless) for myself and friends over the last 4 years of ownership. So I do have a bit of experience. I

If anybody is close to Chambersburg and needs tires changed PM me. For a case of beer and a $20 to cover tire disposal balance beads, I'll change them out for you.
 

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I always read that people say breaking the bead is the hardest part. That's always been the simplest part for me, and I don't even have a bead breaker tool. I use a long crowbar as a lever, a stubby 2x4 on the side of the tire as close to the rim as possible, end of the crowbar under a car.
Hardest part for me is always trying to get that last section of tire over the rim - without scratching the rim up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll try making the plastic jug protectors. I assume it's just a matter of sticking a small piece of plastic between the rim and the tire iron?


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I'll try making the plastic jug protectors. I assume it's just a matter of sticking a small piece of plastic between the rim and the tire iron?
Yeah, that's what I do. The trick is in finding a jug that has a good plastic that resists getting cut through easily. I use brake fluid bottles, they are good. I'm sure a quick review of the material markings would show what kind of plastic you're looking for, but I didn't do that.

Cut brake fluid bottles have worked great for me for years, never a scratch on the rims.

The rim savers probably stay in place better, but it seems that every video i've seen where they are used, they pop off constantly. the bottle plastic works pretty well.
 

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I'll try making the plastic jug protectors. I assume it's just a matter of sticking a small piece of plastic between the rim and the tire iron?


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Yes. I have several for when I drop them on the floor or in the tire.

I agree with the Troopers above, if you feel like you are forcing it, something is wrong. Plenty of YouTube videos showing how to do it, but don't let them trick you into thinking it's easy with couple irons. It's still work. The tire changers make it easier.

I'm probably a sadist. :confused: I only use a Motion Pro Bead Popper, hammer or hatchet, and three 8" tire irons, because that is all I will have on the trail with me if I have problems. I'm not promoting that idea, it's just a consideration. Frankly, if AAA could get me and the bike home, I would rather fix it there.

https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pro-08-0439-Bead-Popper/dp/B001AWM0HS/ref=sr_1_9?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1475522196&sr=1-9&keywords=motion+pro+bead+breaker

https://www.cyclegear.com/accessories/stockton-compact-tire-iron


Edit: I should state that the tires replaced were medium heavy carcass Shinko 705s and 805s, not Heidenaus
 

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stubbytiretools.com
These times a million. They are polymer tire tools. Screw messing with rim strips and any other crap.

Buy those and lever to your heart's content. I use the stubby slims. The ones without grips but longer than the fanny packers. Price is for a set and they are worth every dime.

I use a polymer "bead breaker" as well that's shaped like a wedge and you hit it with a rubber mallet to drive it between the bead and tire to break the bead. Works pretty good.

Once you do cast rims you'll wonder why you waited so long to do them. IMO way easier then dealing with a tube and other BS.


STUBBY TIRE TOOL LINKAGE


 
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These times a million. They are polymer tire tools. Screw messing with rim strips and any other crap.

Buy those and lever to your heart's content. I use the stubby slims. The ones without grips but longer than the fanny packers. Price is for a set and they are worth every dime.

I use a polymer "bead breaker" as well that's shaped like a wedge and you hit it with a rubber mallet to drive it between the bead and tire to break the bead. Works pretty good.

Once you do cast rims you'll wonder why you waited so long to do them. IMO way easier then dealing with a tube and other BS.


STUBBY TIRE TOOL LINKAGE


Agreed!! I used this setup as well. Also the Motion Pro Bead Popper -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLLvsSJQ1SA Use soapy water with it. Ride On for balance and some flat protection and I was all set to go.
:nerd:
 

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You can also use window cleaner (windex, etc.) to lube the rim/bead, but you probably already know that one.
 

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I just changed my tires on my own for the first time. I did scratch up the wheel a little but not anything big. Broke the beads pretty easily with the tire irons after watching a utube totorial. Soap and water was the way to go for lubing. I even balanced the tire by myself
 

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Agreed!! I used this setup as well. Also the Motion Pro Bead Popper -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLLvsSJQ1SA Use soapy water with it. Ride On for balance and some flat protection and I was all set to go.
:nerd:

My bead popper is in my government pack up and MC Superstore was out of the bead popper so I ordered this instead and love it more than the bead popper. Much easier and faster then the popper :)

The bike master bead breaker

BikeMaster Bead Breaker - Motorcycle Superstore
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I opted for the Harbor Freight tire changer. As happens to me sometimes, I created more work than necessary by trying to modify it myself in an effort to save a couple bucks. I installed Mitas e-07 Dakars. They were a bit of a challenge due to the stiff sidewalls. All in all it went well. The tires are mounted and the rims are not damaged (other than a little scratch where the balancing weight was).



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I just went through this process myself. I've changed tires on dirt bikes several times through the years but this was my first street tire. I have to say that it was easier than a dirt bike tire once I figured it out. Used Simple Green as the lube which a local Discount Tire said they use if they have a stubborn bead on a car.

I used an 8" C clamp to squeeze the tire together close to the rim then used a ratchet extension placed on the tire as close to the rim/c clamp as possible then hit it with a rubber mallet. Bead broke instantly.

Used rim savers that had the nylon cord on them. Worked like a champ.

They say to mount the new tire with the colored dot lined up with the valve stem. I checked the rim balance with no tire and the valve stem area was not the heaviest. The heaviest part of the rim was about 90 degrees from the valve stem so I marked the rim and lined the "dot" part of the tire with that part of the rim.

To balance my wheel, I used two saw horses with two straight metal pipes between them. I put the axle through the rim and sat it on the poles. Wish I would have taken a picture. You can easily find the heavy side. Bought some stick on wheel weights from O'Reilly and painted them black. Looks much better than the factory weights.

The only thing that spooked me was seating the bead. I was having a hard time getting the bead to seat so I had to re-center the tire and had to spray a little Simple Green on the stubborn part. Just KEEP YOUR FINGERS AWAY FROM THE BEAD. When the bead did seat it sounded like a gun shot. Scared the crap out of me. They seated at around 35psi. Couldn't imagine if you had your finger between the tire and the bead.

After having done it once, the next one would be much easier. The tire was much simpler to remove and re-install than any dirt bike tire. Plus, you're not messing with a tube, band and rim lock. Good luck!
 

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Dot alignment depends on color. Red=Align with the heavy spot on the rim and yellow=aligns with the valve stem.

Iirc the Strom cast wheel has a cast in circle on one of the spokes to denote the heavy spot on the rim.


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funny how this got posted today. mounted my new front tire yesterday and noticed today when walking away how I have some new nice shiny areas in 4 spots. guess I scraped up the paint even with my rim protectors. oh well, nothing that a brush with black paint cant fix. the rims will be covered in brake dust anyways soon.
 

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Anyone used kickstand trick to break the bead? Zip-tie method for mounting/dismounting tires?

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