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Bead won't seat

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I've put some street tires (with tubes) on my DRZ400E, and I can't get part of the bead to seat in one 10" area. I think it may be because there's some ragged duct tape in the area of the place it won't seat. I think I may know the answer to this in my heart, but since it takes me so long to change a tire, I'll ask: can I ride on it like this, or do I need to take it off & solve the problem?

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you could ride on it.....but the question is, for how long. the tire will wobble and you could increase the chances of tire and tube failure. :cry:

Try spraying liberal amounts of WD-40 between the bead and the wheel. and inflate. this should seat the bead very well. :cry:

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I was afraid of that. I was hoping that riding on it may encourage the bead to seat. It's the front tire, if that matters.

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you could ride on it.....but the question is, for how long. the tire will wobble and you could increase the chances of tire and tube failure. :cry:

Try spraying liberal amounts of WD-40 between the bead and the wheel. and inflate. this should seat the bead very well. :cry:

What wolf said. Remember it might take 80-90 psi to get the tire to seat. :cry: Don't chance the failure. fix it.

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I can't put a gauge on it because I've got the valve core out, but I'm putting the most air I can get into it at the gas station. I don't know how high those machines are set for, but it makes my tire look great, with the ridge going on evenly around the rim. Then when I let the air out, the bead just falls off the rim in the same spot every time.

Thanks for all the replies--I'll take the tire off and retape the rim.

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The bead needs to be seated all the way around on both side (especially for street use) or the tire WILL come off and you WILL destroy the tire (don't ask me how I know :cry: ).

Let all the air out of the tire, break the bead, and then pull the tire back a bit in the area where the bead won't seat to see if there is in fact some tape in that area. Be carefull you don't pinch a tube while you're looking.

If there is tape in the area you might be able to trim it with an xacto knife, being carefull not to slice anything that's not tape.

If the duct tape isn't the problem, spray some wd40 or some soapy water all around the bead on both sides of the tire. Pump the tire up, and the bead should seat. I try not to go above 60psi or so. After the bead seats, let the extra air out of the tire, and wash the tire with simple green and hot water. The last thing you need on a street tire is lubricant on the tread :cry:

If you do end up taking the tire off, I always put the tire over a heater vent (or up on the roof in the summer) for an hour or so. The warmth softens the tire a bit and makes it easier to work with. Good luck!

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Well, I cut away the extra tape with the tire on, and it still wouldn't seat. It always looks great with air in it, but separates when I let the air out. I took the tire off, removed all of the duct tape, cleaned out the inside of the rim, and reinstalled, and the bead still won't seat with repeated attempts at 80 psi.

It's still a little slick with WD-40--I was under the impression that that would help it seat. Should I let that dry before putting air in?

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when you say "let the air out" do you mean all of it? Why are you doing that? Inflate it WITH THE VALVE STEM IN, then decrease the pressure to the desired PSI/BAR.

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It could very possibly be because I don't really know what I'm doing.

I thought I was supposed to put high pressure in with the valve stem out, so that the bead could seat. Each time I let all the air out, the bead comes away from the rim. If I put in high pressure, then let it out to operating pressure, how will I know if the bead has seated? I would love to stop there.

At least I'm much faster at changing a tire now than I was a couple of days ago--In the course of changing two tires, I've put one on backward, changed it again, punctured a tube, changed it again, and finally decided I needed to clean a rim, so changed it again. I had to lever on five tires to get two changed.

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Where are you located?

If you are going to ride the bike on the street with trucks and cars, you need to have the tire seated. A little lube, such as some soapy water can often do the trick. I'm wondering if you don't have the tube pinched or folded.

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I live and ride in L.A. I'm pretty sure I don't have the tube pinched or folded--I've even taken the tire off, cleaned everything off, and then put it all back on. There are no obstructions where the bead is off: it looks good when there's air in it, then when I let all the air out, part of the tire comes away from the rim easily.

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Easy fix: Don't let all of the air out. Fill it 'till the bead seats and then bleed it down to the correct pressure.

I think someone already said that.

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I took that advice. I'm tired of taking the tire off and putting it back on! The bead looks perfect when it's inflated.

I'll still be nervous for a while, though, since they're street tires without rim locks. Thanks everyone.

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'Sounds like a clear case of the motorcycle revolting! It's embarassed to be wearing street tires!

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If it is always in the same 10" area, I would suspect a bent/warped rim and make sure you torque the spokes according to spec. The torque may be way off flexing the rim...with the tire off the rim..mount up the rim on the axle and tighten it down. Give it a spin and see what it's doing..

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When I have that problem I let all the air out of the tire, spray WD40 on the area that won't seat only, air the tire up to no more than 60psi. Seldom does the tire not seat. If it still needs a little more persuation, I take a dead blow hammer and strike the tire sidewall starting at the outside points of the area that is not seated and work my way in (I don't strike very hard, just a bunch of easy strikes). It works every time. Don't ride the bike with a tire that is not seated. In corners the bead will roll under and into the center of the rim giving the bike a very strange wobble feel.

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It seems from this thread that some people consider the bead seated if it pops into the right place, and others only consider it seated if it will stick to the rim with the air out of the tire. Mine meets the first condition, but not the second. :cry:

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