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I have been on the fence for a while as to whether to start mounting my own tires. Now that I have 5 bikes, all with 17" "sport bike" size tires, I am really thinking about it this spring. I have two bikes that will need new tires, so the question: when does it become 'worth it' to mount your own street tires? We're talking 17" alloy wheels, tubeless tires, blah blah blah. Given that it typically costs about $50 locally to mount two tires (off bike), this is becoming a question of economy for me with needing a set of tires mounted every year on my motley crew of motorcycles.

Who mounts their own tires, why, what gear/tools are you using?
 

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Ya know, I've really thought about it. Especially at $40 a tire each time I want to put my track tires on and off. It's just the initial investment coupled with hearing stories both ways (horror and otherwise).
 

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Been doing it for about a decade and all thanks to our very own propforward's handy and informative guide :)
Back then I was just using tyre irons and brute force, but over the years I've bought a cheap bead breaker and tyre balancer thingummy. It can be a bit of a PITA, but nowadays I don't like trusting someone else to do it
 

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In all the years of riding and buying new tyres for my bike I stuck with the same motorcycle tyre shop who always fitted my tyres for free, a few months ago I needed a new tyre for my Thruxton and Rob who owned the tyre shop since the early 80s has sold out and new owners, but I was dumb founded when they were asking $30 fitting on top of the new tyre, I didn't pay and rode off, on the way home I stopped at my Triumph dealer and got the price for the tyre that the other shop had and behold was $10 cheaper and free fitting, booked it in and on the day they fitted the new tyre the sales/workshop office man dropped another $30 off the price when it was finished, must be because of my good lools lol.
Anyway I have also fixed a lot of flats over the time with dirt bikes and road bikes, if you own and ride bikes it one thing everyone should learn to do your own tyres, know how to break the bead and a good set of tyre irons I like using 3 irons myself, once you master tyre fitting its easy and lots of lube for the bead when mounting makes things a lot easier.
Back in the late 70s I put a new tyre on my Norton fitted by the tyre shop and after a few weeks I kept getting a puncher from that tyre every week, I can tell you I got good at fixing punchers but I could never find anything to cause the cube to puncher and after a few months of frustration I took it back to the tyre supplier after a few days they found a split in the inside sidewall of the tyre that was hard to notice which was causing to pinch the cube, they replace my rear tyre for free because of my frustration and I never had anymore problems.
I don't know how a motorcycle tyre shop with a tyre fitting machine can charge $30 to fit a tyre that only takes a few minute to do, but when they fit for free they know you will always be back, but tyres aren't cheap these days.

Ashley
 

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I have never paid to have a motorcycle or ATV to be changed in over 45+ years. When the comes time that I can't do it then it might be time to give up riding. I have bought a few tools to make the process easier but it still comes down to the same fundamentals of tire changing. I do stuff myself and that's the way it will be - nuff said.
 

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I mount mine. If I had easy access to a guy to do it for me for a reasonable price I'd probably do that. But I don't. And if I did .... well, I'm hard-headed and distrustful of others working on my bike, I'd probably do it myself anyways to be honest. But I'd be dumb.

The major tool I use is this, if you read prop's thread above you'll see I suffered from a shitty version for a while, get a good one: Universal Motorcycle Wheel Balancer
 

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Hey thanks Ed

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Was in the biz for 20+ years and have been riding longer than that.

Mounted and balanced more tires than I care to remember.

Have bitter memories mounting 5.10x16 Carlisles on Knuclehead Harleys.

Dirt bike tires... no problem. Most street tires back then weren't much of a challenge with the right Ken-Tool tire irons.

As time went by breaking the beads on tubeless tires were a challenge till you learned the tricks.

Then came alloy wheels and wide, low profile, short sidewall tires on VERY expensive alloy wheels. Luckily along with those came "mechanical assistance" that worked and protected the wheels. Doing those by hand was asking for trouble and maybe an expensive lesson.

As wheel mass and speeds went up static balancing became less desirable and good spin balance machines came along.

I stopped mounting my own tires a ways back. Paying to have the tires mounted and correctly balanced with the shop taking the risk of damaging my wheel seemed more prudent and a lot easier on my old body.

I still don't trust shops to R&R my wheels so I do that myself. They get the naked wheels.
 

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When I need tires mounted, I go to friends garage. He has a tire changing machine. I have offered to buy it, but another friend of his beat me to it.


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Been doing my own tyres for over 40 years and over the years have accumulated the proper tools for the job , even bought kit to change and balance car tyres . Using an air cannon to seat atv and mower tyres is a blast literally . You only blow the wheel across the shed once ! I'm not as fast as a professional tyre fitter always take extra care but very satisfying .👨‍🔧🦔🛠
 

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I mount my own tires i bought a small tire machine years ago and it has more than paid for itself the reason I got mine was I went tubeless on my spoked wheels and I had to remove tires four or five times before i got them sealed up and I have changed lots of tires for my friends a great investment I static balance by using the wheel axle and a pair of jack stands so far never had a problem
 

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I found the bead breaker tool from Harbor Freight to be a great investment.

Anyone have one of those [ I forgot the name ] tire changing bars? Nylon on the ends and made to spin around a wheel holding hoop center to make mount and dismount easy.
I bought a couple of formed metal ends [ Duck Heads or something like that ] to put on a bar and try them next tire change. They have nylon surface areas that ride on the rim lip to protect the surface.
 

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I too have been doing my own, mostly on vintage Brit Iron with 19" and 18" tube tires, but a few "modern" ones as well. On the vintage bikes it's a breeze. On an 800 lb KZ 1300 it can be a bit dicey. My latest (and favorite) ride is a Triumph T120 Bonneville and I'm not sure if I want to continue to do it myself - looks a bit more complicated, at least for the rear. However, I'm sure I'll do the first one myself and see how it goes. I'm in my 60s and that particular task just isn't as much fun anymore. However, I'm also concerned about the economics, and since I already have the tools and experience it seems silly not to utilize them. Maybe I just need to retire and have more time!
 

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I've been doing mine since 2003. I started with a big C-clamp and cheap tire irons, and working on the ground. The initial investment was less than having just one tire mounted locally. I balanced using the bike's axle and some jackstands. Later, I built a table from an old B&D Workmate that included a pretty effective bead breaker. I now use a No-mar classic tire changer, and a Marc Parnes balancer. I do 8-10 tires/year on my own bikes, and also mount tires for friends. The No-mar even works pretty well for car tires, although I don't have a way to balance them.

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I now use a No-mar classic tire changer
I've always coveted one of those. At $600, I really wish I had a friend nearby that would buy one :) The number of tires you change, it pays for itself pretty quick though.

I struggle too much with breaking the bead. I have these word working clamps I use, and work it with the levers. Maybe this March while it warms up I'll put the effort into upping my game there.
 

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I've always coveted one of those. At $600, I really wish I had a friend nearby that would buy one :) The number of tires you change, it pays for itself pretty quick though.

I struggle too much with breaking the bead. I have these word working clamps I use, and work it with the levers. Maybe this March while it warms up I'll put the effort into upping my game there.
Check out the Bead Breaker from Harbor Freight - It works a treat! Think it was around $30 or less.
 

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First bead breaker I had was an old quarry vice , it's still in the shed , probably twice my age still works .
 

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First bead breaker I had was an old quarry vice , it's still in the shed , probably twice my age still works .
Same here. I have a huge C- clamp that i used for a long time - then I found the HF unit and it works even better.
Tools - Love to have them.
 

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No-mar for the win. Makes changing tires quick, safe (no time damage, I’ve slipped tire irons way too often) and easy to do. Go in with a couple people or do them for friends and it pays for itself very quickly.
 

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Not me.
Once tires got to 150 and above it seems you REALLY want a hydraulic machine so I sold off my old manual Coats 220 and go to a local shop.
I do the balancing, though.
 
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