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How to Change a Motorcycle Tire

Changing a motorcycle tire is more complicated than an automobile tire. Why? You need to exert more physical effort in removing the tire. We'll get to the steps later, but I just wanted to set your expectations about it.

I have both a car and a motorcycle that I use for quick errands. Honestly, I have more difficulty changing the motorcycle tire than my car's tire. I always ask one of my neighbors to help me out.

You'll also learn that you need more tools in replacing a motorcycle tire. There was a time when I had to remove a nail in my tire and I didn't have the proper tools, much less a spare tire with me. Motorcycle owners would have to agree that the main challenge to owning a motorcycle is access to tools. Unless you have a big carrier box mounted on your motorcycle for the tools and spare tire, you are lucky. Good thing I was just a few meters away from the gas station when that happened, so I didn't have to walk far.

Your best bet would be to bring your bike to a mechanic and have them replace it. However, it is best that you know how to change a motorcycle tire for emergency purposes.

What You Need
Before you get started, ensure that you have all the basic tools and materials needed for a hassle-free tire replacement. In addition, tire replacement is different than tire repair. In this case, we are replacing the flat tire with a new one.

Here are the basic necessities:
  • Spray-on silicone lubricant such as Windex or WD-40
  • Tire irons
  • Breezer tire tool
  • Valve core tool
  • Bead breaker or two C-clamps (in mechanic's shops, they have a machine that makes this easier)
  • Compressed air pump
  • Tire pressure gauge
What to Do
Let's proceed to the steps on how to change a motorcycle tire. Keep in mind that you have to be in a garage or safe area when you do this. As you notice, there are plenty of tools and materials involved, so you don't want to risk injury or damage. You may also need someone to give you a hand in removing the tire.

Step 1:
Using the valve core tool, let all the air out from the tire that needs to be replaced. The air pressure will be strong so hold on to the core valve tool tightly. Deflating the tire loosens the tensions and makes it easier to remove.

Step 2:
Before taking out the tire, get a pencil and mark the spin direction of the wheel. This is helpful in putting back the wheel so you can be sure that the wheel spins in the right direction.

Step 3:
Using a bead breaker tool or a screwdriver, remove the tire from the bead by carefully inserting the tool between the metal rim and the wheel. You'll hear a pop when the bead is loosened, this means that you can detach the wheel from the rim. Continue to separate all edges of the rim. If you find it difficult to do so, you may need to release more air from the tire.

Step 4:
As you expose the bead, spray some Windex or lubricant so it will be easier to detach. This action prevents the wheel from sticking back into the bead.

Step 5:
If you have access to C-clamps, it will be much easier to detach the wheels from the bead. Otherwise, you just need to rely on an a helper to exert more pressure and hold on to the other end while you pry the wheel away.

Step 6:
Remove the tire and place it away for safekeeping. Don't forget to bring it to a mechanic for repair. If it is badly damaged, purchase another wheel for emergency purposes.

Step 7:
Spray on some WD-40 to lubricate the metal rim. The WD-40 also prevents rust and corrosion from forming in the metal rim.

Step 8:
Looking at the marker that you placed, install the replacement tire in the right direction.You will also find a red dot next to the valve stem that marks the correct placement.

Step 9:
Using an air compressor, pump enough air into the tire until you hear a pop. This pop signals that the bead is in place. You can also use a Breezer tire tool while inflating if you don't hear the pop. If you still don't hear the pop, let some air out and then re-inflate.

Step 10:
Apply some ceramic dust to the tire valve. The ceramic dust keeps the tire balanced. Next, place the valve stem back. Use a tire pressure gauge to check the tire pressure. Inflate more air as needed. Don't forget to put away the tools that you used.

Safety Reminders
When working on any vehicle, even a motorcycle, always ensure that you practice safety measures to avoid damage or physical injury.
  1. Do not work near open flames or combustible materials. Lubricant sprays may be flammable or toxic.
  2. Wear protective gloves to keep your hands cushioned and prevent cuts.
  3. Keep your tools in one place to avoid people from tripping over them.
  4. Clean your work area right after. Put away the tools in their proper place so you can easily find them later on.
  5. If your old tire is worn out, buy a replacement right away and properly dispose of the damaged tire.
Now that you have learned about the steps on changing a motorcycle tire, why not practice now? It does seem a bit difficult considering that you need to exert strength and pressure to remove the tire. If you can't do it on your own, ask a friend or family member to help you out.

If you have tips to share and suggestions, we'd love to hear them. You can also share your feedback on the tips above. If you are a motorcycle owner, why don't you share this with your biker friends, too? Keep safe and enjoy the ride!

Author Bio : David is not just a car enthusiast but is also into motorcycles. He has plenty of experiences in motorcycle and car repair. Please visit his blog here.


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