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Discussion Starter #1
I have decided I have taken my last motorcycle tire to the shop to be mounted. I have a balancing/truing rack and weights coming in this week from Amazon. I already have a good set of spoons wheel protectors on hand. My theory is simple, if the job is screwed up, you don't have far to go to bitch. Just wondering how many on this site do their own tires.............
 

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I've been changing my own tyres for decades. When I had plastic fantastics I used to take the front wheels to a dealer for balancing but I've never bothered doing so with my more recent bikes. Sometimes however, my rear tyres wear unevenly so I'm now thinking of buying a balancing frame and balancing my wheels from now on.
 

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Been fitting my own tyres for years , started when I was about 12 years old on dirt bikes with pre chewed rims . Only recently started doing my own balancing on a static rig . And yes you don't have to go far to curse the fitter .
 

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I have never in over 50 years taken a tire / wheel to the shop for replace or repair. Remove, install or balance - easy peasy.

You will learn from your mistakes. You will get a few skinned knuckles. You will pinch a tube or two. You will swear that they sent you a tire that is not the right size and there is no way it's going to fit the rim. Then you will take a break and it will all work out like its supposed to.

Few tips.
Put tire in the sun to warm & soften
Wear gloves.
Use spray bottle of liquid dish soap - some people use talcum powder.
Get some plastic rim protects and good 3 long tire tools.
The little bracket that hooks a spoke and holds the tire rip down on the opposite side you are working.
I use knee cups and thick piece of foam cut out in the middle.
I use my knees to push the tire down into the bead as you work tire on.

I have a tire changing rack that I have yet to use but everyone says they are great.

Good luck. The satisfaction is nice that you do your own work and no one else has messed with your stuff:wink2:
 

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I started with spoons and such and now have a NoMar(expensive) manual changer and a Marc Parnes balancing setup. I changed the tires on my Chevy HHR with the NoMar as well. The tooling will never pay for itself, but the convenience made it worthwhile for me. I don't ride enough miles to really warrant doing my own tires, but I don't have to travel anywhere.
 

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Here too; have a home-made bead breaker, air comp, two spoons and soap solution lube. I use small pieces of cardboard to prevent alloy rim damage. Balancing needs no tools; just put the wheel loosely on the front/rear axle, let the heavy part go to the bottom and add stick-on weights from a car parts store as needed. I do car tires too with a home-made balancer and can easily replace TPMS senders; break the bead only on the valve stem side to make access.

It's nice too, to be able to do this stuff not only to save a few bucks but to do it in less time than it takes to drive to and from somewhere and wait for others to do the work.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Been there

I have changed a number of tires on the many project bikes that have come through my garage and I too have pinched a tube or two. I found when I purchased a good set of long handle spoons, with good flat curved heads, this stopped. I am due for tires on my MG California Touring before spring, that should be the real test for me. Big tubeless mothers.........
 

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My son and I change our own tires and use a static balancing rig. You can purchase tire mounting lube at the usual auto supply stores and it's well worth it. It's not as messy as soap/water solutions and is a very good lube which makes the mounting go very easily. Once the beads are broken down, you can also use the lube to help with the dismount as well.

Trouble with getting the beads over the rim usually result from not having the rest of the tire down in the drop-center portion of the wheel. Make sure it's down in there and the mounting goes easily.
 

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I always change my own. In my past life I showed lots of guys how to do it on their dirt bikes.
Lately I have taken them to the bike shop for balancing, and tell them it is a $10- job just for me.
If a tube is being used, I suggest putting some air in it until it just takes a round shape. That keeps it away from the tyre irons.
I wrap my irons with tape where they contact the rims. On the wheels with spokes, we used to wrap a short length of solder around a spoke or two.
To break the bead from the rim, a one foot length of 4 X 2 placed vertical on the edge of the tyre, and a long lever will bust it free. The short end of the lever can go under a vehicle bumper. I have a solid upright post with an anchor point, that I use.

UK
 

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I find it's not the act of mounting and balancing the tire, but the act of removal of the tires from the bike that is the hardest part of the job. I have been changing my tires for years and have saved alot of money not to mention the satisfaction of working on my own bikes. With the right tools a comfortable garage space any one can do it. All you safe can go to buying more gas and more riding.
 

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I always did my own (by hand) but on my last set thought I'd try the local Triumph shop.
I was quoted a price but when it was finished I was charged more.

I questioned it and was told that they added in weights, charging by the ounce. How petty.

Never went back.


Maybe I should add pencil charges to my design work.
 

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Further to useful equipment for fitting I have used aerosol polish ( Mr Sheen ) as an alternative to soap to seat the beads when soap was not available . And stick on weights can be reused with suitable double sided tape ( servo tape from radio control car ) not that I'm tight/cheap or anything .
 

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I've watched a video of a tire being mounted use large plastic wire ties; the new tire was "tied" in 5 or so areas around the circumference of the tire, pulling both beads together. The tire was lubed and force onto the rim as if it were a solid piece, not one with 2 sides, so to speak. The ties were then cut off, the beads seated and the tire filled with air. I've never tried this method, but look for a video of it. The ones doing the video claim that this method also will work with tubed tires as long as you protect the valve stem and have it oriented properly to the hole in the rim.

Just a thought on the subject: Jim
 

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I was quoted $430.00 for 2 tires and mounting. I know they must make a profit but that is to rich for my blood. I would have to stop riding if I needed to use a dealer for everything. Like I stated in my last post, it's not the mounting the tire to the rim, it's the mounting the tire and rim to the bike. That's what takes the time.
 

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Do my own as well, the bigger the bike the bigger the tire the bigger the job.
The Thunderbird Commander is some work.

I have a manual tire changer I purchased form Harbor freight, took me two seasons to modify it to my liking.
Also have a Mojo Lever, nice piece of kit. and a balancer.

Last mount I used Ride On tire sealant in the tubeless Avons.
Three reasons, no balancing, tire puncture protection and cooler running longer tire life.

It' doesn't appear the tire life will be extended by the looks of the wear. However the balancing with the product was great.
 

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Do my own as well, the bigger the bike the bigger the tire the bigger the job.
The Thunderbird Commander is some work.

I have a manual tire changer I purchased form Harbor freight, took me two seasons to modify it to my liking.
Also have a Mojo Lever, nice piece of kit. and a balancer.

Last mount I used Ride On tire sealant in the tubeless Avons.
Three reasons, no balancing, tire puncture protection and cooler running longer tire life.

It' doesn't appear the tire life will be extended by the looks of the wear. However the balancing with the product was great.

Where did you purchase the MoJo lever. I tried to make one but had trouble getting a phenolic / nylon end for the remount to hold up to the leverage.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Did the TBS today

Installed and balanced front and rear tires on my Thunderbird Sport today. No issues at all, other than some effort to break the beads during dismounting. Before attempting the Rocket 3 or Goose Touring, I am going to be looking at a bead breaker and maybe the Harbor Freight set up. Regardless, my spoons and balancer paid for themselves this afternoon.....
 

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Installed and balanced front and rear tires on my Thunderbird Sport today. No issues at all, other than some effort to break the beads during dismounting. Before attempting the Rocket 3 or Goose Touring, I am going to be looking at a bead breaker and maybe the Harbor Freight set up. Regardless, my spoons and balancer paid for themselves this afternoon.....
I'm not sure you can do the Rocket tire change with the HF manual set up. That's a big ole low profile tire with a stiff bead.
 
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