If you own a motorcycle, there are certain necessary repair work you ought to know. For instance, replacing the engine oil & oil filter, changing its tires, tightening the chain/belt drive, adjusting the breaks, and more.
This article will focus on how one can change a motorcycle tire on their own. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to take your motorcycle to a mechanic to change its tires. Changing the tires of a motorcycle isn’t hard provided you have the right knowledge and tools to get the job done.
This article will explain in detail the 4 steps involved in changing the motorcycle tires. We will also discuss the tools you need to have to get the job done.
Let’s get going:
4 Steps to Change a Motorcycle Tire
When it comes to changing tires, the basic procedure remains the same whether the tires are tubeless or not. The only difference is that you will have to break the beads if you work on tubeless tires.
Step 1: Remove the Schrader Valve
Schrader Valve, also known as American valve, is the component used to fill air into the tire. Before you remove the Schrader Valve, it is advised to deflate the tire using a valve core tool. Most Schrader Valves are universal so you won't have trouble finding the right tool to get it out.
Carefully remove the Schrader Valve from the rim using the valve tube. Ideally, you should replace the Schrader Valve every time you change a motorcycle tire.
Step 2: Break the Beads
Follow this step if your motorcycle has tubeless tires on it. If you have seen a tubeless tire, you would know that they are held onto place by the continuous ribs moulded integrally into the bead of the tire. When the tire is inflated, the air-pressure forces these ribs to seal with the flanges of the wheel’s rim.
To get the tire out, you would first have to deflate it and then break the beads. This is where having the right tools can come in handy.
You will need a dedicated motorcycle tire bead breaker or tire iron to break the beads. If you don’t have access to these tools, you can try pushing down on the sidewall of the tire with your heel or use a heavy object to loosen up the beads.
Step 3: Lifting the Tire of the Rim
Now that you have removed the beads from the rim, next comes the dreaded part, lifting the tires off the wheel. Lifting the tire of the rim can get a bit tricky, if you are working alone.
There are two ways to get the job done.
- Using a Tire Wrench
- Using Zip Ties
Lifting the tire using a tire wrench
Tire wrenches are the most commonly used tool to lift the tire of the rim. It is important to note that you need to place a few rim protectors to avoid the risk of rims deforming. Not all rims need rim protectors, but you will need to use them if the wheel on your bike is made of soft metal alloy rims.
Rims made of soft metal alloys cannot bear intense pressure, so you need to be extra careful while working with them. Place the rim protectors at the spots you intend to place the tire irons against the rim. Then spray a lot of tire fitting soap on to the tire to lubricate it and make your work easier.
You would need at least two tire wrenches. Start by inserting a wrench between the tire and the rim at the location of the Schrader Valve.
Ensure that the wrench lifts a portion of the tire off the rim and slowly move it towards the centre. Insert the second wrench at a small distance from the first one and lift the tire off the rim.
Keep repeating the process until the tire is completely off the rim. Remove the tube from the tire (if it is a tubed tire)
Lifting the tire using zip ties
This is the easiest method to get the tire off the rim, but you would need more muscle and a pack of heavy-duty zip ties more than 20 inches in length.
Once you have broken the tire beads, snake a zip tie between the tire’s bottom lip and the rim. Push the zip tie in until you can catch it from the other end. Tighten the zip tie until both sides of the tire’s sidewall are touching.
Slowly work your way forward until you can push the tire over the lip of the rim.
The same method can be used while refitting the tire. It’s just that you would first have to tighten the new tire using the zip ties and loosen it so that it fits on to the rim.
Step 4: Refit the Tires
Here comes the final part, refitting the tires. Before you fix your tires look for the Direction of Rotation (DOR) marked on the tire and one or two small dots that represents the heavier side of the tire. Ensure that the heaviest side comes precisely opposite to the valve.
As said, you can use a tire wrench or zip ties to refit the tires.
What are the tools needed to change a motorcycle tire?
Now that you have a basic understanding about replacing a motorcycle tire, here is the list of tools needed to get the job done.
- Tire Wrench
- Valve core tool
- Air Compressor/pump
- Rim Protector
Having the right tools for the job can help you save a lot of time & get the job done with perfection. Get the best products from No-Mar Enterprises, your one-stop destination for tire changing tools and equipment.
Replacing the tires can get tricky at times, but you can master it with practice. We hope that this article could help you better understand the different ways to change your motorcycle tires.