Monday, February 10, 2014

Detailed Tire Changing Directions: How to change motorcycle dirt bike tires

I found a set of videos on you tube that I think do a great job of describing how to change motorcycle tires by hand. The videos feature Doug Schopinsky from Bridgestone tire and was done by Transworld Motocross. These are older videos, but they are the best I have found!

I put the actual videos at the end of this post and have transcribed some written directions from them. Print this post and watch the videos while you go over the notes. And then watch the videos again until it all makes sense. Then take the notes to the garage and give it a try!

Stuff you will need
  • tire mounting lube (Most use soapy water, I prefer stuff made for the job like this stuff.)
  • 3 tire irons (I like these.)
  • Motion Pro Bead Buddy
  • new tubes (Don't reuse ancient tubes please!)
  • a tire changing stand or a clean but soft place to work. I use a large flattened cardboard box on the lawn.

Tire Removal
  1. Remove valve core and let all the air out. Be careful as the core is under pressure and wants to shoot out and be forever lost.  Be sure to protect your eyes by wearing safety glasses or keeping them out of the line of fire.
  2. Loosen up rim lock to last threads. Make sure it is free and moving.
  3. Use a tire iron to pop the bead down on BOTH sides of the wheel.
  4. Start working on the wheel with the sprocket side down, it's safer that way.
  5. Put 3 tire irons in the wheel opposite the rim lock. These should be close together, each about 2 inches apart.
  6. Push the tire down into the rim's drop center by the rim lock, hold it down (TIP: Use a c-clamp or bead buddy to hold tire down into the drop center) and... 
  7. Flip the three tire irons down to lift the bead over the rim.
  8. Remove middle iron and work your way around the wheel lifting bead over the rim. 
  9. Reach inside the tire and pull out the tube. Put valve core back in valve before you lose it!
  10. Flip the wheel over.
  11. Again, put 3 tire irons in the wheel opposite the rim lock. These should be close together, each about 2 inches apart.
  12. Push tire down into the drop center by the rim lock, hold it down (TIP: Use a c-clamp or bead buddy to hold tire down into the drop center) and...
  13. Flip the three tire irons down to lift the bead over the rim.
  14. Remove middle iron and work your way around the wheel lifting the bead over the rim. 
  15. Now the rim should be inside the tire on both sides.
  16. Put the tire on the ground sinking the rim inside the tire on the bottom side.
  17. Pull the top of the rim out of the tire and continue to completely remove the rim.

Mounting Preparations
  1. Inspect the rim and clean the bead mounting area. I use a bit of non-scratching Scotch Brite.
  2. Replace the rim strip if needed.
  3. Check rim lock for sharp edges or cracks.
  4. Powder tube with unscented baby powder. TIP: Place the tube and baby powder in a plastic bag and shake.
  5. Inflate tube so that it is a nice donut that is somewhat deformed/dented when hanging on a finger.
  6. Some tubes come with two nuts on the valve above the washer that is next to the tube. I leave one nut on the tube, lightly tightened and holding the washer in place. On dirt bikes I discard the second nut. On street bikes I tighten the second nut lightly on the outside of the rim once the tire is mounted.
  7. Inspect and clean inside of new tire. Make sure the bead is not bent.

Tire Mounting
  1. Spray lube on the bead of tire. Wipe with finger to get a consistant layer all around.
  2. Put rim, disk side first, into the tire by the rim lock. Only the sprocket side of tire should be in the rim by the lock. Then place rim on stand with the disk side up and the tire on top. Make sure the tire is over the rim lock and on the proper (far/bottom side) inside of the rim.
  3. Starting 1/3 of the way around from the rim lock use a tire iron to start forcing the bead over the rim.
  4. Continue around the rim, being sure to push the bead down into the drop center at the rim lock.
  5. Once one side is on, be sure to place the tire so the spot is next to the heaviest part of the rim, aligned with the rim lock.
  6. Push the tube into the tire starting at the valve. PERFECT ALIGNMENT OF THE VALVE AND VALVE HOLE IS CRITICAL. It is very hard to fix the alignment after the tire is mounted. Make sure the rim lock in aligned properly with the rim (not crosswise).
  7. Check rim lock is free and properly placed.
  8. Hold the tire verically with the valve on top. Reach in the open side of the tire to finger the valve and use an iron to pull up the bead on the opposite side to make room for the valve to get vertical and then fall back down into the hole.
  9. Verify tube is straight and untwisted and rim lock is free. Check valve alignment.
  10. Lube bead on top side of tire. Consider relubing opposite side if dry.
  11. Start at rim lock. Push rim lock in and lever tire onto rim at rim lock. Use two more tire irons to lever the tire over to either side of rim lock. (On rims with the valve near rim lock, get past the valve.)
  12. Use Bead Buddy to replace one of the tire irons. (On rims with the valve near the rim lock use the bead buddy safely past the valve.) (TIP: It is possible to use a c-clamp hold tire down into the drop center instead of a bead buddy)
  13. Go back opposite the bead buddy and work around the wheel forcing the tire over the bead. Make sure the tire opposite the iron is pushed down into the rim's drop center. Keeping pressure on the tire iron helps hold the tire in the valley.
  14. When you reach the last part of the tire to force over the rim, put a second and possibly a third iron into the rim ahead of time, as the tire gets very tight at the end and it can become impossible to force the iron in later. Flip these last irons over, being careful that the tire is in the drop center as far around the circumference as possible. If these last irons seem too hard to push over, the tire isn't properly placed in the drop center. Don't use too much force or you can damage your rim!
  15. Check the valve and rim lock are free and that there are no signs of a twisted or pinched tube.
  16. Verify the valve is absolutely straight. If it isn't you likely have to remove the tire on one side to readjust it. (It might be possible, with help, to rotate the tire and tube a bit if you lube both beads... but I haven't had much luck with that.)
  17. Inflate the tire to about 20 PSI to seat the bead. Check the edge of the tire is evenly aligned to the rim all the way around on both sides. Most tires have a rib or line to help you be sure the bead is properly mounted.  Deflate and add lube to the bead if you are having trouble getting the bead mounted, don't dangerously over inflate the tire.
  18. Tighten the rim lock lightly.
  19. Optional: At this point I let all the air out of the tire and reinflate to be sure the tube isn't twisted and that the valve remains straight. (Having a perfectly straight valve helps you to to see that tire isn't slipping on the rim when you ride.)
  20. Inflate the tire to the proper specification.
  21. Tighten the rim lock to specification. "Two finger firm", but not too tight! You don't want to crack the rim lock or damage the rim.
  22. Install a good valve cap with a rubber seal. On dirt bikes; if you have a nut for the valve stem, either leave it off, or if you must have it, tighten it up under the valve cap. This way if the tire rotates a bit on the rim the valve isn't torn off immediately. On street bikes; lightly tighten the nut against the rim.
  23. Verify the tire pressure after 24 hours and after the first ride.

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