Rear Tire Change - Exhaust Clearance - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

  • 1 Post By StevenE
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-19-2020, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Posts: 44
Rear Tire Change - Exhaust Clearance

Howdy, I just switched my rear tire from a Kenda 601 to a Mitas E07+. When mounting the tire I noticed that there was only a very small gap between the tire and lower part of the exhaust - like maybe 1/8" an inch. So I put some washers under my exhaust mounting bolts to move it out a bit. So maybe know I have a 1/4". This seems close to me.

Could I overheat the tire or melt the tire? What is the recommended distance of separation from the tire to the exhaust? Heck, maybe it was this close before the tire change, because I never looked!

On another note I went thru a life transformative experience in figure out how to mount those Mitas tires!!!!!!! Holy mother of god are those tires stiff. Normal mounting techniques, even if you have theoretical frictionless mounting lube, will not work. To make a very long and sad story short, I bought some big zip ties after watching some Youtube videos and that is the trick. My procedure is as follows:

1. Get one bead over the rim (with these Mitas tires that is a chore!!).
2. Insert tube (well coated in baby powder) and get the value thru the rim. I inflated my tube to better set it in place and then deflated it by taking out the stem.
3. Use 5 or 6 zip ties to pinch the beads closer together on the side with the valve stem. It is difficult to feed the zip ties under the tube and fish them out the other side, but with practice it is not hard. Important note!! Do no tighten any of the zip ties until all ties have been feed under the tire!
5. Use your knee to compress the tire as much as possible and get those zip ties tight!
6. Start spooning on the the side with the zip ties. I just used Windex as a lube. The first 3/4s of the tire goes really easy. Because the sidewalls are compressed the tire finds the center of the rim on its own, giving you that extra 1-2 inches that makes getting the bead over the rim at the end EASY.
7. As slipping the bead under the rims becomes more difficult use LOTs of Windex. The bead of the Mitas is so thick and hard that they can be bent or deformed by the spoons. I found that there was a critical 1-2" where I had 3 spoons going and looked like I was playing Twister from my youth.
8. Once I had the tire mounted I went around the tire with one tire iron and pushed the bead down and sprayed in a lot of Windex. I did this on both sides of the tire before inflating to 40 psi to set the bead.

I ended up mounting these tires 3 times because on the first 2 attempts I had pinched flats! But now I have confidence that if I am in the boonies that I can do a tire repair on the side of the road.

IMHO everyone should experiment with zip ties. Even with normal tires it will make mounting a snap.

Cheers, Yukon Pete
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-19-2020, 01:14 PM
1st Gear
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Liberty, SC
Posts: 76
Do you mean that , at rest, your tire is less than 1 inch from the exhaust? If so, you have bigger problems.

If they just pass by each other when the suspension compresses, as long as they don't hit, I'd say you're good. And that depends on how thick the rock or stick is that gets kicked up and tries to pass between them as it compresses. But those are several factors that all have to happen at the same time to be an issue.

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post #3 of 6 Old 05-19-2020, 03:43 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,858
yep, as long as you have any clearance, it should be fine.......even light touching wouldn't cause a big problem except removal of the paint off the silencer.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-19-2020, 06:35 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Canada's Nortwest
Posts: 181
I had to trim the knobs on the Metzeler Karoo 3 I installed as it was lightly touching them muffler.
There is about 1/8" clearance now.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-20-2020, 09:21 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Chaska MN
Posts: 24
Yup no better way to make love to your bike than installing a new knobbie on the rear. I have decent tire irons (spoons - mine are not really like spoons but I have seen those) I now realize that mine are a bit short for the job, so a nice heavy duty vice grips on the one where you need to pull that last 2 inches and the bead is like a banjo string - the vice grips on the end was my cheater bar and it popped home.

now that I think about it, I could use a decent cheater bar . . . but the vice grip worked.

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-20-2020, 11:27 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Chaska MN
Posts: 24
regarding pinch flats, although I have experienced it once before, I use a version of "son of a gun" called 301 protectant - great on your tonneau cover too. give the new tube a real soaking. then stuff the tube in and finish the tire install avoiding contact with the tube. When the tire is now on the rim give a good inspection along the bead to look for tube stuck between rim and bead. tuck the tube in best you can if you see tube in between. Then with the valve core removed (I always use the metal dust caps with the core removal tool on the top) run in some compressed air just enough to start to move the tire, -NOT enough for a HARD TIRE. then remove the air and let the air out. repeat 4 or 5 times, filling and releasing. this should enable the lubed up tube to gradually find its way home. gradually increase the tire pressure each time then release. when you think its good go ahead and fill to pop the beads home. I might even release again just to be safe. Obviously this method applies where you have compressed air handy. then install the valve core and air it up to 34 psi or whatever you prefer. probably not more than that. some guys air down for off road, but thats another thread on here somewhere. good luck

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exhaust clearance, mitas, mounting, zip ties

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