Summer riding means you’ll be wearing out your tires quickly. For your own safety keep an eye on those baloney skins and replace them long before the tread’s wear-bars are showing. Plan ahead – don’t get caught with worn out set of tires the night before you leaving for your next big ride.
Getting a new set of tires used to be a time consuming and costly process. You had two choices: 1.) You could schedule an appointment with the dealer, ride your bike into the shop, and wait while they did the changes and balanced the tires, or 2.) You could remove the wheels, take them to the dealer, and wait while they did the changes and balanced the tires. Either way, you waited, and you paid dearly for that experience. In defense of the dealer, they have to make a living so they charge a fair (but sometimes painful) price for their services.
In these tough economic times we all have to watch our wallets. What if you could get a fresh set of tires at HALF the price you pay the dealer? What if you were able to purchase tires at a discount, then mount and balance them yourself, on your own schedule, and save a substantial amount of coin? Interested? Wanna play?
Of course you’d have to do the work yourself… and there’s the problem. Most riders are leery of changing tires because they think it’s something magical, or mysterious, or somehow dangerous. Well the truth about tire changing is this: it’s not rocket science, anybody can do it, it’s fairly simple, it’s fairly quick, and the satisfaction of doing the job (yourself) is priceless. Did we mention that you’ll save money?
When we say tire changing is “quick”, here’s what one rider wrote, “I have a BMW R1150GS. After the first time I changed my own tires I thought… why haven’t I been doing this all along? Now I can change BOTH tires in under an hour.”
So how do you go about changing your own tires? We’ve put together some suggestions to take the anxiety out of the process, to inform, to educate, and to help you save money.
What will you need to do the job?
A good place to start is to get BestRest’s Motorcycle Tire Changes and Repair DVD
After you’ve viewed the DVD you’ll also need these things:
- A good source for tires at a discount price. Do some websurfing and find one of the companies that ships the tires for FREE when you order two tires at the same time. They’re in Arizona.
- A BestRest Tire Iron BeadBrakR Kit (or other bead breaking device)
- A set of tire irons (the BeadBrakR comes with tire irons)
- A CyclePump (or a source of compressed air)
- An EZ-Air Gauge (or another quality tire pressure gauge)
- Dyna Beads to balance the tires (or another balancing device)
- A few wrenches to match your bike’s axles, pinch bolts, and other tools
- A torque wrench (or good judgment about how much to tighten the bolts)
- A willingness to read directions and try new things
- A couple hours of your time
Tire changing is a bit of an art, with a few tricks thrown in along the way. You’ll get dirty, but you’ll be smiling when you’re done. The following pointers are not the entire story, but they give you an idea of what’s ahead. More information is available from BestRest, and we also have reference materials and instructional DVD’s for sale.