Been looking through and searching Wheels and Tires folder here, and finding very little information on changing your own tires.
When my VS 650 had 13k miles I had the local Yamaha dealer put new tires on it. Replaced the OEM Bridgstone Exedras with Dunlop 404s. The OEMs were considerably more expensive, but still it cost me $460 for them to do both wheels with the Dunlops.
The Dunlop on the back wheel only lasted 8k miles. I have changed and fixed tires on dirt bikes and 175 street bikes, so I got the OEM Bridgestone for the back wheel and changed it myself.
4k miles later I changed the front wheel with the matching Exedra.
The two tires cost me $260 from Bike Bandit online, installing them cost me nothing.
One thing that surprised me, when I did the math and figured out how much those dealer purchased and installed Dunlop tires cost me, and the fact that Im normally getting 58 to 60mpg on my 650, the tires were literally costing me as much as fuel. Tank for tire the rubber is being consumed at the same rate per dollar as the gas.
Most of the threads I have found here seem to think that breaking the bead and then getting the tire on and off the bike is a feat of strength and determination.
If I was going to change motorcycle tires for the next 40 years I might get a HF tire changer, but I have always been of the mindset if you cant fix your bike with the tools in your tool box, whats the point?
There is some really nutso crap on ewetube about breaking the bead and getting the tire off your MC wheel.
All I needed was a large C clamp, crush the tire (with no air) on the side opposite the valve steam, and one or both beads WILL come off the wheel. Take a crow bar or giant screw driver and work the bead off another several inches and the rest falls off on that side.
If only one side pops off with the C clamp, work it loose all the way, then put the clamp back on with a piece of 1/4" plywood about a foot long on the side that is already loose, so the clamp is now pushing against the side of the tire that is still locked in the bead, against the tire and the wheel rim on the other side, covering at least a foot of the rim. It pushes right off.
I saw on clown on ewetube who managed to get the beads loose, but then could not get the tire off the rim. He took some cutting tool and cut the tire in half! Seriously? this guy is posting videos on how to change your tire?
There is a thing about getting the tire off the rim. One side of the tire must be squeezed together and pushed into the center of the rim, while you pry the lip off on the other side of the wheel. A motorcycle tire is stiff enough, even when flat, that it will try to seat itself back into the bead lip. There is a steel cable/belt in the bead that keeps it from blowing off the wheel, and if the far side is not pushed into the center of the U shaped wheel, there is no way you are getting the lip over the wheel. I saw a guy on the side of a bike path trying to get a bike tire off his wheel, same deal. He was prying and cussing and bent his screwdriver. I pushed the tire together on the opposite side into the center of the wheel, then pulled the loose end off with my fingers. He thought I was a bicycle god!
To make it easier put the C clamp on the tire and squish it together so it wont fight you, then push it into the center of the U shape, while you pry the lip off the other side.
Its really not that hard. If it seems impossible you are doing something wrong.
The last step, putting the new tire on, you have to inflate it to get the bead to pop into the rim, so its fully seated. Lots of tire lube (its mostly soap) and air pressure is what you need. My compressor is designed for an airbrush, and maxes out at 50psi. I had no problem popping the back wheel onto the rim to seat last summer, but last week the second side of the front tire would not seat.
I googled this and found a few mechanics that said you may have to hit it with up to 90psi to get a stiff heavy tire like the Bridgestone Exedra's to pop in. They were right. Took my wheel to a guy with a real compressor... popped in around 75psi.
I did find one thread here on the forum where someone changed their front tire and could not get the bead to pop in. The poster said "its holding air so I guess its OK" !!!!!!!
Are we allowed to swear on this website because holy *!&&@#^^#($&*&*(&@[email protected]
#@. The post was a couple years old so I did not reply to it, but your tire MUST seat the beads on both sides or it will likely spin off the wheel the first time you get on the brakes.
If there was a bike shop in my area that would change the tire on a carry-in for $10 to $20... I might take it in. But saving $200 by buying both tires online and doing them myself.... well... when I was a kid and something was broken and I was upset, my grandfather use to tell me: "Its ok. If it was made on this planet, you can fix it."
Big C clamp, a piece of plywood, tire irons, very soapy water. Its a good feeling knowing you can get a tire off your bike and back on with stuff you can find in just about anyone's garage.
And BTW, the Bridgestone OEMs vs Dunlop 404's. When the Dunlops were put on the bike seemed a lot looser, easier to turn. And I could no longer ride hands free. I though maybe it was because the old tires were worn into an odd shape.
But last week when I put a new OEM Bridgestone back on the front wheel, the bike became really tight again. The bridgstone must be a much heavier tire on the thread, because the difference in the gyroscopic effect is very noticeable. And like magic, I can take my hands off the grips again and the bike tracks straight, solid as can be. Never going back to cheap/light tires again!