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tools for mounting tires?


elkroeger

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Once again, I come to the fountain of knowledge. I love this place!

 

We're looking at new tires later this year. I want to mount them myself. Never done this before, but I've watched it on youtube. It doesn't look like rocket surgery. There are dozens of products out there. What do I really need? Wheel balancer? Rim protectors? Mojo lever? Zip ties? THIS thing?

 

I have some of the cheap little spoons that came with the bikes, and a bigger 16" spoon. I don't have a garage, so I would like to keep my kit small and relatively cheap. A packable kit has some appeal, but really, if I'm on the road, and I need a tire, the credit card is coming out (and purchases will be in this order: tow truck, motel, beer, pizza, more beer, breakfast, tire + mounting...)

 

Also, as far as tool selection goes - does it matter which type of wheels/tires we have? We've got a 650CS and an 11RSL, both with cast alloy wheels of course. But at least one friend rides a harley with tube tires. And I do see some dirt bikes in our future.

 

Thanks guys!

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I tried a Harbor Frieght changer -- you could make it work, but it was poor quality and could easily scratch the rim (rim clamps, bead breaker). Some like it; my opinion is it is junk.

 

I replaced it with a No-Mar classic changer: http://www.nomartirechanger.com/Classic_Model_Tire_Changer_p/tc-classic.htm

 

When I grabbed the link, I noted that it currently is on sale. Not cheap, but a "buy once" thing. I spent enough on gadgets and do-dads trying to make the HF unit work well (including without scratching) to have been better off in the long run by buying the No-Mar first.

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szurszewski

How many sets of tires are you going to go through/how many miles are you going to rack up in Kona? I mean, I get that you're on the "big island"...but I think I'd be lazy and let someone else do it. Or, my personal preference, find someone there with the tools and bring over new tires and beer when the time comes.

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Yeah, well, one trip around the island is like 220 miles. What is that, 5 laps per day for an Iron Butt? :dopeslap:

 

The main thing here is that I want to expand my bag of tricks. And while those HF and similar contraptions are probably worthy, I gotta think "fits in a toolbox" here (give or take). While she was foolish enough to marry me, I don't think I can convince the wife that a glass table top settin' on that No-Mar tire changer counts as a kitchen table.

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szurszewski

The first time I changed a modern, STIFF side-walled, tubeless motorcycle tire by hand, and without anything but levers/spoons and such, I decided I wasn't going to try that again. Like you, if it happens on the road, it'll be a credit card solving the problem, and when it comes time to do it as maintenance, I either take the wheels in to a shop or find someone friendly who has a changer. (As a result, I do KNOW how to use a changer, and they are slick, but I don't have the money to buy one or the space to store one.)

 

If I really *needed* to have the tools and the know how and store it portably, I'd go with that kit that shows up in the back of the BMWMOA ON from time to time - can't find a link right now - but it looks like an erector set and would probably be fun to play with.

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This is my setup. I don't change tires as much as others on this site and this stows away much better than a dedicated tire changer setup.

DSC07516.JPG

 

You will see in the picture a Motion Pro spoons (two smalls and a 16" large) and plastic rim protectors. Additional milk bottle or leather pieces are also handy to protect rims.

You will also see RuGlide (or equivalent) and a spray bottle for applying the stuff.

Rim clamps (I used some wood clamps) of some sort help a LOT.

 

You will need a valve core removal tool (good to have anyway) and spare wheel weights.

Valve stems if you plan to replace.

 

I have a Marc Parnes wheel balancer (not shown).

 

I used a friends HF changer with my last tire change and I won't be getting one. This home made setup works better for me.

 

 

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The bead breaker . . ..

DSC07528.JPG

 

BTW, the wood is rock maple left over from a woodworking project. Don't skip on the wood. It needs to be very strong. I put all my weight on the end of this lever.

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I've used cheap spoons and a MotionPro Bead Popper for years. Tubed and tubeless. Many motorcycle tires. And there are several schools of thought on balancing (sort of like opinions on oil). I've never found balancing necessary.

 

One of the best investments for tire changing was a compressor (a very cheap 5gal in my case). Anything less makes it unbelievably difficult to seat the beads.

 

It is a bit different, on the one hand, hustling to change out a tire in about 30 minutes after getting home from work, to be ready to go for the next morning. Very satisfying.

And on the other hand, taking it easy on a Saturday afternoon was therapeutic. Good, solid, grunt work.

 

I'm afraid my rims take a beating. Not that they look horrible (they don't, really). And I've tried rim-savers, which just don't seem to work for me. But I'll put up with that because I like doing it and to me it's inconvenient and an unnecessary expense to have someone else do it.

 

Maybe when I get that last garage I'll invest in a floor mounted tire changer. Maybe.

 

But that's all about tire changing for necessary tire replacement. If I'm on the road and pick up a nail, unless it's a tubed tire it'll get plugged with the Nealey Kit and aired up with the Slime pump. I also carry a can of Fix-A-Flat if it happens to be a tubed tire.

 

Bye the way, I did an SUV tire with spoons some years back, just to see if I could... I'll pay to have those done.

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Dave_zoom_zoom
The bead breaker . . ..

DSC07528.JPG

 

BTW, the wood is rock maple left over from a woodworking project. Don't skip on the wood. It needs to be very strong. I put all my weight on the end of this lever.

 

 

Good job Eddy!

 

Simple and to the point. Good tips on the type and use of the wood.

 

Thanks

Dave

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I'm cheap.

 

Motion Pro Bead Popper

 

Two short and one long tire spoon.

 

Leaving tires in hot sun, inside a black trash bag, make them easier to install (they get kind of floppy)

 

Many people don't bother to balance tires any more. Many insist you must. And we won't even start a discussion of DynaBeads. :grin:

 

They are like oil brand, filter brand, oil change intervals. It's a religious conviction and no one changes their minds.

 

At least you can keep your "summer air" in your tires year around and not have to change your air twice a year! :rofl:

 

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I use the harbor freight setup and one of Mitch's Mojo levers. I'll bet I've done over 100 tires with that setup and never scratched a rim. I've used it for just about any kind of tire you can think of........car, truck, motorcycle, trailer, and lawn tractors. I did cheat a little though. I put a good solid coat of plastidip on the jaws and the bead breaker lip. Its probably about time to redo the plastidip, but it has held up really well over the years.

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Lighthiker90

I can't speak about Dynabeads but I have good success with RideOn tire sealant and balancer. No affiliation.

 

I struggled with the zip tie method. I won't do that again. I use a large vice as a bead breaker. I just clamp the tire in it and rock the rim. You could probably do the same thing with a giant C clamp.

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I started with the Mojo Lever and switched to the NoMar. Made a frame to hold the wheel and tire assy that mounts into a hitch receiver. It breaks down and takes up very little space.

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I have been changing my own tires for 3 years. Decided to start when my wife got her own bike so there were 2 to 4 tire changes per year. I don't know how you would break the bead on a rear tire if you were on the road as I find it physically quite demanding. I bring mine down to the basement and put it in my big vise. Other than that, I use rim protecters, good sized tire spoons and Dynabeads which I re-use. It all seems to work pretty well for me and I haven't scratched a rim as yet.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I don't know how you would break the bead on a rear tire if you were on the road as I find it physically quite demanding.

 

There are portable bead breakers out there, but for the average street rider, breaking the bead on the road is seldom necessary unless you're intent on patching a flat tire from the inside. Most street riders don't carry a spare tire with them, so if they're replacing one, chances are that they're at a full-service shop anyway.

 

Someone on a GSA crossing remote areas might be interested in carrying a full suite of tire-changing tools (along with a spare tire).

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I don't know how you would break the bead on a rear tire if you were on the road as I find it physically quite demanding.

 

Pretty much what Mitch said.

 

However, there is a method of using your buddies kick stand or if you really are in a pickle like in this video:

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Lone_RT_rider
I don't know how you would break the bead on a rear tire if you were on the road as I find it physically quite demanding.

 

Pretty much what Mitch said.

 

However, there is a method of using your buddies kick stand or if you really are in a pickle like in this video:

 

Mitch will attest that this is one handy thing to have when you are on the road. You don't really need the reamer tool most of the time, but sometimes it helps depending on what has decided to enter your tire. He and I have used this setup many times.

gallery_913_6171_4827.jpg

 

If you have a choice, get the large diameter ropes. It does make a difference. Always use the sealer/glue that comes with it. It's basically rubber cement, but it definitely helps. Also, think about carrying one of these with you....

 

SLIME-40001.jpg

 

I know there are others that say these rope seals are problematic, but they have been really good to me over the years. I have also used almost as many to plug holes in the tires of the my teenagers cars.

 

YMMV. :)

 

Shawn

 

P.S. I rode my SS1000 on a tire with a rope seal in it. :D

 

 

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Mitch will attest that this is one handy thing to have when you are on the road. You don't really need the reamer tool most of the time, but sometimes it helps depending on what has decided to enter your tire. He and I have used this setup many times.

 

If you have a choice, get the large diameter ropes. It does make a difference. Always use the sealer/glue that comes with it. It's basically rubber cement, but it definitely helps. Also, think about carrying one of these with you....

 

 

 

I know there are others that say these rope seals are problematic, but they have been really good to me over the years. I have also used almost as many to plug holes in the tires of the my teenagers cars.

 

YMMV. :)

 

Shawn

 

P.S. I rode my SS1000 on a tire with a rope seal in it. :D

 

 

I totally agree with the above. I used Camel string with a vulcanising glue (really just to aid insertion).

For me, it stays in the tyre till the tyre is worn out. I inspect the repair externally (of limited use of course), and monitor the tyre pressures regularly (as I do anyway), and these repairs are incredibly good, quick and easy. It just needs care on the initial repair to be sure of the direction of the puncture. Often they don't just go straight in, but are at an angle. The repair must follow the same route.

 

I am not advocating ANYONE ELSE make their tyres live out their life with these repairs, but I personally am VERY confident with it on a modern tubless tyre.

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I've plugged many tires with the ropes. Works fine for me.

 

While it's not unrelated, plugging tires is a little off topic. I'd like to keep this focused on what (somewhat minimal) tools do I need to dismount and mount tires on a rim - and the techniques involved. :wave:

 

 

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I'd like to keep this focused on what (somewhat minimal) tools do I need to dismount and mount tires on a rim - and the techniques involved. :wave:

 

 

Here is my minimalist kit....

 

long pry bar (I have like a 6 footer)

several scraps of 2x4, about 2 to 3 feet in length

3 tire irons

soapy water

cheap ratchet strap

2 Tropicana orange juice bottles

 

Lay the tire on a couple of the 2x4 underneath the hitch receiver of your truck. Stick the prior bar in the receiver and use a 2x4 to break the bead. Works every time on every tire.

 

Cut up the Tropicana bottles into pieces for rim protectors. They are the right thickness to protect the rim and not as thin as plastic milk jugs.

 

Wrestle the heck out of the tire on and off with the spoons (plenty of youtubes on the subject). Technique is everything. Again use the 2x4 to keep the rims and brake rotors off the garage floor.

 

Use the cheap ratchet strap if needed around the tire to help set the bead while inflating.

 

Balancing seems to be "optional" these days for motorcycle tires. I never really understood this as it takes about 5 minutes with a cheap static balancer and sticky weights.

 

This is certainly not the easy way.

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...It just needs care on the initial repair to be sure of the direction of the puncture. Often they don't just go straight in, but are at an angle. The repair must follow the same route...

 

This is an important point. When people have trouble inserting a rope there can be several causes, and difficulty following the direction of the puncture is a big one. Other important factors are the thickness of the rope and insertion tool and the need to keep the tire as inflated as possible.

 

Here is a kind of tutorial I did a while back that has worked very well for me over the years:

 

Link

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My setup is a duplicate of EddyQ's except my bead breaker is the truck receiver method ala greiffster. Accessories I own, but have abandoned include a Bead Buddy and Rim Protectors. Both are a waste of space.

 

I'll use whatever tire irons are at the top of the tool pile, but most of the time 2 81/2" tire tools with a single wrap of electric tape is all I need for most motorcycle tires. Having a valve fishing tool is a big plus for tube tires.

 

RT has a 12 volt pump and plug kit for flats. The G650X has two short tire tools, talc, fishing tool, CO2 cartridges and a spare front tube. I also carry a small bottle of Windex as a lubricant.

 

I'll throw in a few observations on technique. First, the way the tire is lubed makes all the difference in the world. Knowing how and where to lube the tire is key to an easy change. Too much lube and the tire will slip off as fast as it's put on. Too little and the rim will end up scared. Second, take small bites an inch or two apart with the tire irons. Finally, it's supposed to be easy. If it's hard, or the rims are getting scratched,something is not right.

 

 

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