First DIY tire change, irons only, not so bad... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 6 Old Jul 19th, 2007, 9:56 am Thread Starter
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First DIY tire change, irons only, not so bad...

I performed my first-ever tire swap yesterday - rear tire (WAY overdue, not smart, I'd post a pic, but I'm too embarrassed). The only local guy who'd change a tire without it having been purchased at his shop (I've had the new tire for over a month, BT020) has been unavailable for some time. I got fed up with waiting (must... ride...now...), so I did some research here and went for it.

Because I was in the mood to get it done, and not knowing when such mood might present itself again, I decided to forego the purchase (more waiting) of tire changing equipment. Instead, I picked up three 8" tire irons at the parts store and grabbed a five-gallon bucket (to sit the wheel on) and an almost empty bottle of dishwashing soap.

It turned out to be much easier than I expected. It's definitely a technique-driven process. My bike is a '99, and the wheel isn't exactly pristine, but I wanted to avoid adding to the scratch and dent collection so I was careful about how I applied the irons (couldn't find any empty plastic bottles to cut up for rim protectors - until I was done and realized the dishwashing soap bottle had been right in front of me).

With certain methods I felt like I'd have to use too much force, other ways seemed easier. Trial and error (and this forum) got the tire off without any muscle tears. I used a large c-clamp to break the beads, and one of those trigger-pull type clamps from Sears to hold them in the middle of the wheel while getting the other side over the rim.

Getting the new tire on was even easier. I put about a nickel-sized puddle of dishwashing soap on each bead and spread it around evenly with a little water. The bead became slick, but the soap was thin, no dripping or suds. I put the wheel on a piece of cardboard on the floor of the garage and pressed the first side of the tire on with my knees. Bodyweight did all the work. Knees had to be in just the right spot - bead slid right over. I got about half of the second side on this way, and a few strategic maneuvers with tire irons got the rest of it over.

Anyway, I felt so happy to have gotten it done without ruining anything, I just had to post the experience. I'll still need to get it balanced (or maybe not? - seems to ride fine without), but I'm back on the road. Front tire is coming due...

Wow, long post.

Last edited by JGroves; Jul 19th, 2007 at 10:03 am.
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post #2 of 6 Old Jul 19th, 2007, 10:19 am
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Congratulation JGrove. I hope to make your glorious success story my own in the next few days, except on the front tire. The c-clamp worked pretty well? I've been thinking for some time that's the way to do it, in the absence of a floor-mounted tire machine. I'd love to have the tire machine, but 99.99% of the time it would be just something that's in the way in my shop. Now if there were a collapsible version that stored flat...

Anyway, good going with your endeavor.

Rodney

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post #3 of 6 Old Jul 19th, 2007, 10:44 am
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Way to go Jeff. I got the Harbor Freight changer a few years ago and have been happy with it.

Rodney,check the South Central forum. We are having a brake flush tech session Jun 28 just north of you in Flower Mound. One of the guys may have a changer.


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post #4 of 6 Old Jul 19th, 2007, 10:57 am Thread Starter
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Hey Dan!

I was thinking the front tire may not be as easy with the rotors in the way of things... I'll probably go ahead and get the changer to make things easier in the future. I really went too far with the last tire, mostly because of the hassle of getting it changed around here.

What are your thoughts on balancing? I'm planning to get something to do this with (already made a stand), but everything feels fine without having balanced the wheel. I may have gotten lucky this time around, but I have heard some folks say balancing motorcycle wheels isn't necessary.

Last edited by JGroves; Jul 19th, 2007 at 11:08 am.
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post #5 of 6 Old Jul 19th, 2007, 11:11 am
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Jeff, as long as you find something to set the wheel on that is large enough diameter to go around the rotor,I would keep on going. To get the HF to really work you need to get the No-Mar bar or another like it. $75-80.
Balancing: I picked up the Marc Parnes balancer for $95. Works well. If you do that one make sure you get at least 4-6 sticks of weights at the same time. Mine usually take 25-35 grams to balance. Not sure if it is necessary.

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post #6 of 6 Old Jul 19th, 2007, 11:16 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodneyinmaypearltx
Congratulation JGrove. I hope to make your glorious success story my own in the next few days, except on the front tire. The c-clamp worked pretty well? I've been thinking for some time that's the way to do it, in the absence of a floor-mounted tire machine. I'd love to have the tire machine, but 99.99% of the time it would be just something that's in the way in my shop. Now if there were a collapsible version that stored flat...

Anyway, good going with your endeavor.

Rodney
Rodney, I have tire changer, No-Mar bars, and balancer. Come on up for the Bleedin' Brake Party and bring your tire(s). I'm only 10 minutes from Bo's place, and barely a mile from the Hard 8 where we'll be having lunch!

Tony

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