Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
Rep Power: 1
Hmm... all these great hints, and no-one mentioned that you can use another motorcycle as a bead breaker? Place the wheel with the tire to be unmounted on flat surface, place the bottom of the kickstand (of another bike - you can't use a bike with one wheel) on the tire right next to the rim, and stand on the tire while pulling the bike toward you (forcing the kickstand down and breaking the bead).
Having said that, I will be using the 2x4 & ratchet strap method next time...
I was really impressed with the frugal guy who posted above who uses WalMart beads and cut-up milk containers for rim protectors and made his own tire irons, but I would suggest that spending about $40 on some Motion Pro rim protectors, 2-3 tire irons, and a valve stem tool would be money well spent. Another thing to remember is that tire shops will often help you if you ask nicely; I have had beads broken on their machines a couple of times and they didn't charge me a penny. They would probably balance a tire for a small fee, too. If you have a set of v-blocks and a set of unsealed bearings to fit your axle (or a wheel truing/building stand), you can probably devise a system to statically balance your tire (let it spin until it rests; the low point is the heaviest, put a weight opposite, spin again). I know a lot of people say high speed vehicle tires should be dynamically balanced but I worked in a bike shop for years and we statically balanced everything and never had a complaint. I have had my 919 up to top speed (235 km/h) on statically balanced tires and never had a problem. I use DynaBeads now but static balancing works fine.
Sport bike tires are relatively easy to change. There is nothing quite like the joy of finishing up a dirt bike tire, wiping the blood off your knuckles, and then inflating the tire - only to find out you pinched the tube when installing it, so now you have to do it all over again (and patch an inner tube, too).
And the standard warnings we gave people when we changed tires in the shop:
- New tire may be slippery for 100 km (less of a problem now, but the mold release agent they used to use was very slippery)
- Pump your brakes before leaving - piston may have been pushed back into caliper
- Do you have a tire pressure gauge in your pocket, and do you use it? If you don't, new tire is a waste of money.