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migrant

Do you change your own tires, if so what do you use?

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migrant

Several years ago I bought a tire changer from NoMar, their lower cost model Cycle Hill. I've never had much luck with the rear tires using this machine, they would rotate while mounting the second side. Yesterday I was doing the first swap on my '18 RT and the rear came off OK. Mounted the first side of the new tire OK, then started working the second side. Got about 60% around, then it got tough. Got the opposite side down in the middle of the rim with my knee, used my body to push against the mounting bar, with my right hand on the bar handle keeping the two plastic pegs between the rim and tire, the whole wheel would rotate. Tightened down on the clamps to the point I felt I should stop to avoid cracking the rim, it still would rotate. Then one of the plastic pegs broke off at the tip...I was done fighting. Today, both wheels went to a local shop.

 

...and yes, I had it lubed.

 

Anyway, I'm interested in others' experiences. What are you using, how did it go?

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TEDZ

Their "yellow hand" tool helps.  I also use a big bar clamp to keep the beads on the opposite side in the well area of the wheel.

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dirtrider
30 minutes ago, migrant said:

Several years ago I bought a tire changer from NoMar, their lower cost model Cycle Hill. I've never had much luck with the rear tires using this machine, they would rotate while mounting the second side. Yesterday I was doing the first swap on my '18 RT and the rear came off OK. Mounted the first side of the new tire OK, then started working the second side. Got about 60% around, then it got tough. Got the opposite side down in the middle of the rim with my knee, used my body to push against the mounting bar, with my right hand on the bar handle keeping the two plastic pegs between the rim and tire, the whole wheel would rotate. Tightened down on the clamps to the point I felt I should stop to avoid cracking the rim, it still would rotate. Then one of the plastic pegs broke off at the tip...I was done fighting. Today, both wheels went to a local shop.

 

...and yes, I had it lubed.

 

Anyway, I'm interested in others' experiences. What are you using, how did it go?

 

 

Afternoon migrant

 

I had a NoMar  for a few years until I got a better machine,  it worked OK on dirt bikes, front tires & even BMW, but the REAL TEST is in mounting an old GoldWing rear tire. If a machine will handle that then it will work on about anything motorcycle wise. 

 

On difficult tires I would use a strap on the wheel spoke strapped to the NoMar arm to prevent wheel spinning then use small blocks of wood between the rim & tire bead to keep the bead in the center of the wheel depression as I worked around the tire.  

 

Putting the tire out in the sun on a blacktop driveway to heat up also helped (a lot).

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LittleBriar
3 hours ago, dirtrider said:

 

On difficult tires I would use a strap on the wheel spoke strapped to the NoMar arm to prevent wheel spinning then use small blocks of wood between the rim & tire bead to keep the bead in the center of the wheel depression as I worked around the tire.  

 

I use a ratchet strap also to keep the tire from rotating on my Harbor Freight wheel changer. I use wood clamps to squeeze the tire opposite where I have install tool to keep the bead in the depression of the rim.

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strataj

The Yellow Thing is very good to stop the tire from tuning on the wheel but if the entire wheel is turning then you need to tighten the clamps and your use a strap.  I don't like the No Mar bar for mounting tires (dismounting is good).  The Mojo Bar is great https://www.mojotiretools.com/mojoweb.htm  for mounting.

 

I agree with DR about mounting a GoldWing tire, I wouldn't even try.  The sun is your best friend to heat up a tire, it can make all the difference.

 

 

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MikeB60

I use one of these from Greg Smith equipment in Atlanta. I've had it about 5 years. About 200 more than a No Mar and works a hell of a lot better. Two minutes and done.  Comes in handy for car and trailer tires as well. Used a Harbor Freight manual for years and got fed up with fighting tires.

 

No good options in my area for tires, the local powersports dealer sucks and wont/cant balance BMW rear wheels. Wish I had bought one sooner!

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Bernie

I use a No-Mar unit, that belongs to a friend. I have started to strap down the rims with nylon straps to prevent them from turning.

I also use tire irons to get the last 40% of the tire mounted. 

I get a lot of practice , as tires on the WetHead don't last very long, but it doesn't make it any easier.

Before using the No-Mar unit, I used to mount them on a piece of carpet with a few 4x4 planks and tire irons. 

I can't remember which is easier, but there isn't much difference. Except for breaking the bead, that is lot easier with the No-Mar.

Maybe a longer mounting bar would help. I do know that No-Mar makes different version of mounting bars.

 

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migrant

Thanks to all for the info. After reading your success stories I'm encouraged to improve my technique on the next set of tires and have ordered replacement plastic pegs from NoMar.

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Antimatter

I have an old Harbor Freight set-up, with Mojoblocks and  Mojolever.  Most motorcycle tire changes aren't very difficult, but the rear tire on the Burgman 650 is one of the toughest I've ever dealt with.  The 14" size combined with the stiff sidewall makes it a bear to change.  For that one, there's no substitute for using a pair of tire irons.  I have a set that are plain steel, with no ridges or graphics in them, so they do very little damage to the rim if I slip.  I got them as part of a Tusk dirt bike fender pack, so I couldn't tell you where to get a set.

Most of the times I've had difficulty are when I've had the top, but not the bottom of the opposite bead down in the rim.  I do remember the tires from my R1100RT being a tighter fit than the ones on my Japanese motorcycles, FWIW.

I'd love to get a better machine, but I'm constrained by floor space in my basement.  Any rig I have has to be able to be stowed when not in use, as it sits between my table saw and my chop saw bench, and would be in the way when manipulating long pieces of lumber.

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Lemans

Another endorsement for the Mojo Lever over the bar supplied with the Nomar changer, but I still find it necessary to use wood blocks, a short strap to prevent wheel from rotating in clamps, another strap to keep tire from rotating on wheel, a yellow thing, and a large C-clamp for the rear. Choose a warm and sunny day if possible.

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aggieengineer

I had a NoMar Pro. Here are my thoughts. Customers service is great. The device works well on wheels with a deep drop center. BMW motorcycles don't necessarily fall into that category. Additionally, the brand of tire seems to matter. I've always found Michelins to be the easiest to mount. You may notice that during demonstrations at motorcycle shows, the tires being put on rims have been well-stretched. 

 

I replaced it with a K&L electric/pneumatic machine. Easier by far, but technique still counts for a lot. 

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Hosstage

That is a very good point about the demonstrations at bike shows, and the tires being well stretched. I watched a demo last year at a show, and it went on so easy, it looked like I could have basically pushed it on by hand. Impressive, but I always watch demos with a grain of salt.

I didn't buy the pack of Sham-Wow cloths at the State Fair either...

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catskill

I have been changing tires with spoons for about 40 years. I have tried some of the machines, but find it takes me longer to do, and I have more issues.

 

If done correctly, it should only take about 5 minutes per tire to dismount,  clean, and remount the tire. It it shouldn't be difficult. The key to changing tires, are the little tricks.

 

When remounting the tire, a small amount of lube on the outside bead and rim side is needed. Some people put a little bit of lube on the metal rim. You should be able to push the first side of the tire completely over the rim by hand. Tires with metal ply are harder. On the second side, I start to work around the rim with spoons. When I get about 2/3 of the way done, it gets harder. That is when you need to reach down and pinch the tire beads into the middle of the rim. Then you can finish up the tire fairly easily. Sometimes the last part gets hung up on the rim. In that case, I can generally push the tire over the rim with my thumbs and hand. In that case I roll the tire over the rim.

 

Another important tip: I wash my rear wheel before taking it off the bike. Road grime is one of the causes of small leaks. I also wash the tire well with water to wash off the tire release from the factory, and any lube. That will make the tire stick to the road right away. Your dealer isn't going to do that. But, you should.

 

I also have a sliding hammer to break the tire bead off the rim. Since I also change car tires, truck tires, etc, I use the sliding hammer for all of them. Works well. About $100.

 

I also use (3) spoons instead of (2). I like them to be slightly longer then BMW's spoons. I have larger spoons for car and truck tires, but that is a different story. I change both car and truck tires by hand also. I don't do split rims because I don't have a cage. You can be killed doing split rims. There are no known split rims on motorcycles.

 

Front tires are harder then rear tires. That is because the height of the tire is smaller for front tires.

 

When I inflate the tire to seal the bead, I pull the tire up, and lay the tire flat.  I then inflate it with a 3/8" or 1/2" hose with a 150 psi compressor. 1/4" hoses make sealing the bead much harder. Blow tanks are nice, but not necessary for bikes.

 

If you use ceramic hybrid balancing beads, you need a special needle valve in the valve stem. I like metal valve stems the best. Least likely to fail. Valve stems that are metal steams with rubber plugs have a high failure rate. The metal stems seem to blow out causing an instant flat. Stay away from them. Rubber stems rot and crack, so you need to watch them if you don't ride much each year.

 

As DR mentioned hot tires are easier then cold stiff tires.

 

This is the way I do it. If you have another way to do it, and it works, keep doing it that way. There is more then one way to change a tire.

 

It is hard to explain without you being present. But, I hope this helps someone.

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Whip

I have two No Mar tire changers. One I anchor with a trailer hitch receiver for traveling to events and road rescues,  the other one is anchored to the floor in my shop. 
 

 

Edited by Whip

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Boxflyer

Like Whip said above, having the No-Mar with the optional setup to fit into a 2in receiver hitch is GREAT.

I found that having the restriction of my No-Mar Tire changer firmly bolted to my concrete floor in my garage meant that I always had to return home to do any tire changes.

With this setup, I can take my tire changer to where a friends bike is securely stabilized in his garage, at his peril, and it's not my responsibility while removing tires with the bike balanced on the center stand or similar.

I have also been able to take my No-Mar Tire Changer along with me on extended motorcycle touring when I truck/trailer my R1200RT along with several tires/rims and other spares. This keeps me from the necessity of paying higher prices for tires and shop services when away from home base.  I stabilize it with a jack stand under the tire mounting point and then use a couple of ratchet straps to cinch it tight to the ends of the receiver hitch tube.

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Riderdrumr

I have the classic model and I have had the same experiences as everyone else. Haven't used it with the RT yet, as I just got it in Nov., but I used it with my old Honda ST1100. After changing one set, I vowed a couple things to myself: 1) Always change in the hot months and 2) Never try to install Bridgestones as they reportedly have thicker sidewalls than most other brands. 

 

Back to when I did change, yes, you have to employ a couple tricks to get that last side of the rear tire on. I used HD zip ties to keep the beads in the center of the rim. I also used an extra spoon. Putting the new tire in a black trash bag in the sun before mounting helps to loosen it.

 

I'll be re-reading catskill's post before I try again. :18:

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randy

I have been changing tires since 2003.  Started with a Harbor Freight unit.  Took me two hours to do one tire.  Learned a lot.  Really got good once I purchased Mitch's mount bar.  With the HF unit I did not like having to break the tire bead on the ground.  So I had a summer where I got some extra work, made a few bucks and bought a No Mar unit.  Having the bead breaker at waist height really worked for me.  I have now done 100's of tires over the years.  Anyone in the greater Atlanta area is welcome to use my setup.  I change my street tires, track bike tires and dual sport tires.

 

Warm tires do help, but once you have the technique down you can do any tire in any condition.

 

Keeping the bead in the center is the key.  that was the lesson I learned on the first two or three tires I did with the HF unit.  Luckily I had a second bike at that time and I took the rear tire off and changed it a dozen times to figure out the process.  It really was practice makes perfection

 

A friend purchased the "helping hand" from No mar and gave it to me, I use it religiously, it works great.

 

I HATE wire spoke GS wheels.  the rim is to thick for the helping hand.  And one person has difficulty mounting the rim into the NoMar rim locks.  I purchased the off road NoMar adapters for off road wheels and GS wheels.

 

I use NAPA ruglyde.  I have tried a lot of different lubes, It has been the best by far.

 

I still use Mitch's mount bar.  To be honest I had used it with the HF unit for about 4 years before I got the NoMar and I just did not want to put in the effort to learn the NoMar mount bar :-)  And just as an insurance I bought a second Mitch bar.  But I still have the NoMar as a third option.

 

The reality is, unless you change tires all the time, ( think the Nomar demo person) it is difficult for a casual user to be effective at tire changes.  Chris kinney changes tires on my machine all the time.  His arms are shorter than mine, and he weighs 80 lbs less than me.  I can pop the first side on any tire right on the rim.  Chris can do rear tires sometimes but never the front tire.   With my extra arm length and weight I have leverage he does not.  In addition I can pop on 50% of the top tire before I even need to start using a mount bar.  Experience, technique and leverage does add up.

 

For me the NoMar being at waist height made all the difference.  Having "fought" the HF unit for the first 5 tire changes, and then working out the technique over 4 years, when I got the NoMar I was ready to take advantage of all the extra features.  

 

For me popping the bead was hard, until I again learned the "trick".  I now keep the needle out, use a clamping style air connection and pop the bead.  Then I install the needle and fill the tire back up.  popping a bead with the needle in is not impossible, but with the needle out it always pops on the first try and in seconds.

 

I like changing my own tires, basically because between buying the tires over the internet and changing fees, I save about 25.00 per tire.  In addition I have changed tires many times from 10pm to midnight.  So I change them on my schedule.  I have now had the NoMar for 15 years, and have changed probably 100 of my own tires. At 25.00 per tire savings, that is 2,500.00.  yes it was 550.00 up front cost, and yes supplies cost about 3.00 per tire.  But net savings is still way above 1.5K.  And that does not count all the friends that have come over and changed their tires.   Plus as noted above I can change tires on my schedule.  And I can flip my track tires, which saves me money.

 

 

 

 

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Beech

In general if you take a bike like mine, K1300S, and go to the dealer it will be $550 for new tires and then they may not be the specific brand and type you want. Buy them on line for between 280 & $320 dollars, install them your self and you have saved over 200$. I change tires for folks here, charge 50$ a set on the bike. I remove, change, balance re install the wheels, measure disk thickness and in general look things over. Whole job takes about 2 hours.

 

Coatstiremachine.jpeg

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Limecreek

Three different tire changers over the past 20 years and finally settled on what I should have started with. 😀
 

 

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AndyS

Hi Limecreek,

Do you do tyre changing for a living, or do you live a very long way from a tyre fitting store? That seems a very expensive kit and space consuming kit for hobby usage?

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wichitagreg

I carry my wheels to a local independent motorcycle shop.  I used to do my own with spoons, but after the second or third time on the Honda Valkyrie I gave up.

 

I am now almost 67 years old and there are some things I can afford to no longer do:

 

Sleep on the ground.

Cut my own hair.

Change my own tires.

Change the oil in my F150.

Fry chicken.

 

Y'all ride safe now y'hear.

 

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Limecreek
23 hours ago, AndyS said:

Hi Limecreek,

Do you do tyre changing for a living, or do you live a very long way from a tyre fitting store? That seems a very expensive kit and space consuming kit for hobby usage?

 

Hi Andy - you are looking at a part of my retirement job shop.  It sits in a bay 3 of a 3 car garage, so there is plenty of room.

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AndyS

Nice!

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Dann

 

I remove the two wheel from the bike and bring them to the garage where I get my car fixed.

The mechanic removes the old tyres and mounts the new ones. He also balances the rear wheel which fits on a car balancer. (all for $20)

 

I balance the front myself when I get home with a Marc Parnes manual wheel balancer and put the tyres back on the bike.

At that price it would take over 30yrs to get my money's worth on a tire machine.

 

YMMV

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RecentConvert

I had heard of this zip tie method, then found it on YouTube.

 

 

So I tried it myself.  Makes the front tire incredibly easy.   Bridgestone T31 GT both front and rear.   Rear is more difficult.  Still need a bead breaker and some lube.

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MachineJoe

Is it safe to assume that a car tire changer would not work on a bike tire?

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Antimatter
12 hours ago, MachineJoe said:

Is it safe to assume that a car tire changer would not work on a bike tire?

 

Depends on the set-up.  The problem with many car tire changers is that they use a center-clamping system that won't work on a motorcycle tire, especially one with brake discs.  That's why the HF set-up uses an adapter that clamps onto the outside of the rim.

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Dann

It depends on the machine they use. Some of them leave marks on the rim due to the way they hold the rims.

Like I mentioned earlier, my car mechanic has no issue when mounting my tires. The only thing he cannot do is balance the front wheel. The rear fits on a car tire balancing machine.

 

Not all car mechanics are willing to work on MC wheels

 

 

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Janky59

As RecentConvert posted, the zip tie method works. I’ done it 3-4 times. The main effort is squeezing the beads together and working the zip ties to get them touching each other. An extra set of hands would help but I can never get my wife or teenage girls out in the garage 😊

 

I drifted away from this method and these days stick with tire irons, lube and rim protectors. Many of the points poster Randy makes are spot on, the drop center is your friend!

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Rougarou

Changed the rear GSA tire yesterday.  Removed the wheel, put the new tire and old tire/wheel in the sun while I cut the yard.  Finished yard, laid the wheel on an old seat cushion (prevents sliding, scratching doesn't matter to me), proceeded to use the hand tools, removed old, mounted new (I don't balance rear wheels), back on bike, in maybe ten minutes, add another two or three for removal, and a single tire is about 15 minutes, add balancing for the front, about five minutes, and you can do a tire in as little as 20 minutes (if warm, cold tires, adds time (for me)). 

 

I use this stuff:

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migrant

Ended up buying this from a friend. I used it before buying the NoMar but quickly discovered the Coats was a better machine. Maybe not as good as the upscale NoMar, but I'm happy with old school. 

 

9AEAAA4C-6355-451D-BADA-236216A0FF4B.jpeg

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strataj
47 minutes ago, migrant said:

Ended up buying this from a friend. I used it before buying the NoMar but quickly discovered the Coats was a better machine. Maybe not as good as the upscale NoMar, but I'm happy with old school. 

 

 

I think you are a luck man, that a good machine (Coats no longer sells).  I'd still consider the Mojo bar https://www.mojotiretools.com/mojoweb.htm

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Cap
2 hours ago, migrant said:

Ended up buying this from a friend.

 

Nice machine.  A friend of mine has one.  Before you bolt it to the floor, be sure you check how far the head tilts back.  My friend placed a bumper on his wall so that it doesn't dent the drywall.

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