Changed my own tires for the first time ever - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 16 Old 08-02-2016, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Changed my own tires for the first time ever

Stupid thread, I know, but I just wanted to make some observations:

I thought it would be easy, because they're tube type tires right? Figured there wouldn't be too terribly much of a bead seat, wouldn't be too much tension getting em on. WRONG!

So it's a huge pain in the butt, and I'm sure tubeless are even harder, and god help you if you actually give a damn about how the rims look (good thing it's a KLR -- I wouldn't be happy to have done this damage to my Concours or CB750!).

But above that, my number 1 observation is that shops overcharge for tire mounting. The hardest part of the operation was the rear wheel, and specifically breaking the bead; I ran over the tire with my truck and it still wouldn't break. So I took it to the local shop that has the tools for the job (shop rate $100/hr!) and they charged me $5. With the right tools, removing a tire takes about the same amount of time as breaking a bead, and installing a tire and tube takes maybe twice as long. So $20, right? I had this shop do my Concours wheels last year: $60 a piece, OFF the bike!

Oh well, what're ya gonna do. It was a pain in the ass, and it took 5 hours all in (including a couple trips for supplies at walmart, beer breaks, frustration breaks, and the trip to the shop), but it's pretty rewarding to have done it myself. I'll probably still cough up the dough for the shop to change the tires on my other bikes, but I hear the shop across the city only charges $20 a wheel...
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-02-2016, 07:11 PM
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Good grief. I was planning on doing this in the next couple months. Were they the stock tires? I've never done it either. But last time I paid a bunch on my cb1000r and they scratched the heck out of the rim and used dyno beads to balance it. The bike never felt the same as it hummed and was plagued with vibration. Figured I'd try to tackle tires.
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post #3 of 16 Old 08-02-2016, 07:34 PM
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You can't watch too many, "How To Change Motorcycle Tires" videos, IMHO!
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post #4 of 16 Old 08-02-2016, 07:53 PM
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It's 90% technique and 10% tools......watch some videos and learn. I've never had a bead on a motorcycle I couldn't break with my boot or a mallet. ....I hate changing tires, even though I've done it dozens of times. I don't use any fancy benches or holders figuring it'd make me soft for when I need to do it beside the trail! ;-)



Dave
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post #5 of 16 Old 08-02-2016, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Tires were Maxxis something...never heard of em, figured they were a cheapie even compared to the shinkos that replaced em.

That said, the shinkos bead on the rear went on with a fair pop on one side, so I'm sure that won't be easy to remove next time either.

I love garage time though, and it's not like I have anything to get away from either -- I live alone -- I just like to be outside with a beer and my bikes, no matter how much I'm sweating and cursing.
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-02-2016, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
It's 90% technique and 10% tools......watch some videos and learn. I've never had a bead on a motorcycle I couldn't break with my boot or a mallet. ....I hate changing tires, even though I've done it dozens of times. I don't use any fancy benches or holders figuring it'd make me soft for when I need to do it beside the trail! ;-)



Dave
I'm sure I could've broken one rear bead to fix a flat if I really had to (especially if I carried a c clamp...if I kept at it with that I'd have got it I'm sure) tools are a big help though. Tire spoons might cost more than irons, but I didnt even come close to pinching a tube. Worth every penny.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-02-2016, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by drumstyx View Post
I'm sure I could've broken one rear bead to fix a flat if I really had to (especially if I carried a c clamp...if I kept at it with that I'd have got it I'm sure) tools are a big help though. Tire spoons might cost more than irons, but I didnt even come close to pinching a tube. Worth every penny.
drumstyx,
If you don't break both sides of the tire bead from the rim, you just increased your degree of 'difficulty' x 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If one is working in the home garage, set your wheel on top of a spare car wheel and tire. Support the bike WHEEL or spokes. Gain 6-12 inches of altitude for the old knees. Stop the 'rollie-pollie' effect and prevent the possibility of a BENT brake disc. Working with the disc 'down' in the car wheel leaves more room for knuckles and tire irons.

Real dirt bikes have the rear sprocket rigidly mounted on the left, put the Sprocket down into the car wheel. A smooth edged brake disc is kinder to the knuckles than 'pointy' sprocket teeth!

Keep the side which is opposite of your tire irons compressed into the 'drop-center' of the rim with your knees or "Motion Pro Bead Buddy or two (2) Trail Bead Buddies".

ps, SIX members viewing this thread!!!
That is the most activity I have seen in 6 months!!! Go klrforum.com!!!!

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Last edited by pdwestman; 08-02-2016 at 08:40 PM. Reason: ps added
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-03-2016, 09:57 AM
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I had the same issue with a Maxxis rear tire last year. I had a hell of a time breaking the bead first of all and then getting it off the rim was just as hard, all while having sat in 85 degree weather in the sun to soften it up.

I replaced it with a K270 Kenda and I think it is much softer. I am waiting on the replacement for that tire right now but I did get the bead broken and the tire off with much greater ease (although it was 95 degrees out this time).

The front was no big deal.

Waiting for my new Kenda....was hoping to ride this weekend but looks like that's not going to happen-supposed to be perfect weather too..
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post #9 of 16 Old 08-03-2016, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
drumstyx,
If you don't break both sides of the tire bead from the rim, you just increased your degree of 'difficulty' x 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If one is working in the home garage, set your wheel on top of a spare car wheel and tire. Support the bike WHEEL or spokes. Gain 6-12 inches of altitude for the old knees. Stop the 'rollie-pollie' effect and prevent the possibility of a BENT brake disc. Working with the disc 'down' in the car wheel leaves more room for knuckles and tire irons.

Real dirt bikes have the rear sprocket rigidly mounted on the left, put the Sprocket down into the car wheel. A smooth edged brake disc is kinder to the knuckles than 'pointy' sprocket teeth!

Keep the side which is opposite of your tire irons compressed into the 'drop-center' of the rim with your knees or "Motion Pro Bead Buddy or two (2) Trail Bead Buddies".

ps, SIX members viewing this thread!!!
That is the most activity I have seen in 6 months!!! Go klrforum.com!!!!
Good post Paul. :-)

Dave
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-03-2016, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
including a couple trips for supplies at walmart, beer breaks, frustration breaks, and the trip to the shop
On the plus side you didn't need a trip to the hospital so it's all good. You'll get progressively better at it.
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