Tire Changer - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-03-2012, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Changer

I’ve been looking for a “cheap” tire changer for my KLR and NX250 bikes.
Most look quite expensive for occasional use.
I was wondering if anyone has info on availability of changers under or around $100.

I found this one listed on Amazon. Has any one used this tire changer?



Here’s a few others I’ve found listed. Comments, use experience, etc?
http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...d-Breaker.aspx

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...e-Changer.aspx

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2017 Yamaha XT250
1990 Honda NX250 (Green/White)
2011 Kawasaki KLR 650 (Orange & White )

My KLR Page..http://www.powers31.info/2011_KLR650.htm

Mod's to KLR:
Power socket, L.E.D. Battery Indicator, Camera bag holder
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-03-2012, 08:28 PM
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YMMV, but . . . a "changer" doesn't seem to me an especially useful advantage, for KLR650 rims, given adequate hand tools and skill; might add the resources of videos like Bridgestone's "how to" series.

Yet, if you insist . . . Harbor Freight has a low-budget tire changer available with optional accessory MOTORCYCLE TIRE applique. This device, so augmented, might be useful for huge, tubeless Harley Hog or other big cruisers tires; don't know how focused and efficient it might be for KLR650's.

The MotionPro "Bead Buddy" helps keep the bead in the rim drop center when spooning the tire on; don't have one, but Tusk (and others) sells a valve stem snake, a cable to pull the tube valve stem into its hole in the rim; oughta be useful. C-clamps have served as bead-brakers and bead compressers when spooning on; lots of lubricant (e.g., Windex or dish soap) doesn't hurt a thing.

Oh, yes; I'd recommend at least three tire irons, and . . . mind the tube; don't want to pinch and perforate it!

Last edited by LoneRider; 10-03-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-03-2012, 09:24 PM
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+1 with Lonerider,
Three spoons lots of dish soap on the inside and outside of bead, c-clamp to hold the initial spot you tuck the bead onto the rim. Plus watch a few videos on YouTube. The first time I tried to change A rear I picked a Shinko 705, super stiff bead...lets just say it didn't go well...
Had to change out my front, knew the technique and added the c-clamp to hold it (as the bead kept slipping out on my first try without it) and lots of dawn dish soap. Tire popped on like nothing! Have had to change 3 total (including 2 705's) in the past month and got it down to about 20 minutes now. :-)
The YouTube videos can show techniques better than I can describe and I will say, that bead snake Lonerider mentioned would be very useful, but it's not too bad to get the valve through, just wear some gloves maybe if you don't get a snake, back of my hands were bruised to heck the first time I did it.
Btw, shops around here charge 30-60. Free if you buy tire and tube from them, but you still have to bring rim in as well as paying the premium they charge for tires and tubes. Good luck with whatever you choose.


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post #4 of 12 Old 10-04-2012, 12:22 AM
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Since it was mentioned, I'll vouch for the valve stem fishing tool for getting the stem through the hole in the rim. I have a harder time with the front tire valve stem. I recall somebody on here explaining some kind of technique to do so without the cable tool that sounded like it worked well, but I consider mine a vital part of my tool kit: saves me a lot of time and effort.

I never really considered a tire-changer, but it actually would be kind of nice to have something that would elevate and stabilize the tire and wheel. I just lay mine on my workbench or on the ground.

Were I to choose either of the second you linked, larry31, (the Amazon offering won't show up for me) I would definitely choose the one with the bead breaker. It seems like that would be the handiest feature.



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post #5 of 12 Old 10-04-2012, 07:53 AM Thread Starter
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Tire changer

Thanks guys!

All good info. I don't know why the Amazon link won't work. I've tried to link to that changer several ways, to no avail. I'm able to copy and paste the url into an e-mail to myself and get the link to work?? Must be something related to this forum? Other url's work ok, just that changer link on Amazon won't post properly.

If any one is interested in the changer, e-mail me and I'll put the url into my answer to you.

The Amazon changer is listed for around $132 - $139. It looks more like a normal tire changer than some other types that look like round pipe construction. Amazon has an adaptor shown as well. Looks like it is to be used on a regular, auto, tire changer to adapt to motorcycle tires.

The valve stem mentioned above is something I think I'll look into. I did manage to change my rear tire with (3) small irons and my home made tire holder. ( see my KLR web page. The KLR maintenance link just under the first pix on page. http://www.powers31.info/2011_KLR650.htm or go directly to the pdf file here.. http://www.powers31.info/KLR650%20Maintenance.pdf )

I don't know if I can modify the home made holder to the front wheel, but I'll give it a look this winter. No room for the KLR out in the back storage shed, so she'll have to sleep in my basement work shop. That'll give me a chance to "play" with her all winter.

The shops around here also want $30 if you bring in the wheel. That's with balancing. I have 3 bikes, and was hoping to at least do my own changing on 2 of them. ( I don't think I'd tackle the GL1800 with it's radial tires. I watched my guy change them with his professional changer. Even he had a difficult time.)



As for the valve stem snake, could some one post a link to the one's mentioned above. I didn't have much luck searching with the name "Tusk" or " Valve Stem Snake" etc.

Ageing Gracefully



2017 Yamaha XT250
1990 Honda NX250 (Green/White)
2011 Kawasaki KLR 650 (Orange & White )

My KLR Page..http://www.powers31.info/2011_KLR650.htm

Mod's to KLR:
Power socket, L.E.D. Battery Indicator, Camera bag holder
Custom Saddlebag frames .
Louder horns, Firstgear Onyx tail bag.
Custom Aluminum Skid Plate.
Cut down seat with Custom pad.
Go Pro Camera mount.
Doo-Hicky

Last edited by larry31; 10-04-2012 at 08:11 AM.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-04-2012, 08:18 AM
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Having had a tire changer similar tot he Harbor Freight unit but bought in Canada at Princess Auto, I would say, from my experience, that your home made changer would work just as good and probably better. I always had issues with trying to keep the wheel in the changer. I sold it when a friend bought a used changer from a bike shop and set it up in his garage. Now changes go very easy. You get what you pay for IMO.

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-04-2012, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post

Since it was mentioned, I'll vouch for the valve stem fishing tool for getting the stem through the hole in the rim. I have a harder time with the front tire valve stem. I recall somebody on here explaining some kind of technique to do so without the cable tool that sounded like it worked well, but I consider mine a vital part of my tool kit: saves me a lot of time and effort.

....

Me maybe. Tube slightly inflated inside tire. Stand the tire vertical with the stem at the bottom. Set the rim down on the tire inserting the valve stem through the hole and thread the nut on a couple of turns. I work one side of the tire mostly on while vertical and flip it horizontal to get the last bit. Straighten out the valve stem and mount the other side.

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9

Last edited by Spec; 10-04-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-04-2012, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larry31 View Post

...

As for the valve stem snake, could some one post a link to the one's mentioned above. I didn't have much luck searching with the name "Tusk" or " Valve Stem Snake" etc.


Tusk Valve Stem Puller



No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-04-2012, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec View Post
Me maybe. Tube slightly inflated inside tire. Stand the tire vertical with the stem at the bottom. Set the rim down on the tire inserting the valve stem through the hole and thread the nut on a couple of turns. I work one side of the tire mostly on while vertical and flip it horizontal to get the last bit. Straighten out the valve stem and mount the other side.
I thought that was you, Spec. That actually sounds like it would be easier and faster than using the cable tool. I'll have to give it a try.



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post #10 of 12 Old 10-04-2012, 06:02 PM
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For my "tire changer", I use two old car tires stacked one on top of the other, to create a work platform on which to change my bike tires. It puts the work surface just below waist level, and holds the bike rim fairly steady due to the rubber surface. I use two spoons, and have never had any difficulties whatsoever in changing my own tires. This includes not only my current bike, the KLR, but also past bikes such as a Honda VTX 1300, and a Triumph Rocket III. I use silicone aerosol lubricant to make the mounting process easier, but, as mentioned above, there are many other lubes which work well.

In days gone by I once used Dyna Beads to balance all my wheels. I also still have a spin balancer rattling somewhere in my shop. But for my KLR, I no longer fool with balancing the wheels. I find that they perform completely satisfactorily with no balancing media whatsoever. I run Shinko 244s.

To summarize, mount your own tires, use two spoons, silicone spray, two old car tires, and don't bother balancing them.
YMMV
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