New Tires, Install myself or not?

Hi guys, My local dealer has a deal where if you order the tires through them. They will give you 1/2 off the tire mounting costs. Is it worth it? Or should I order the $8.00 buck tire irons and do it myself? Is it easy to scratch my rims up when doing this?

Do you guys mount your own tires?

-Justin <font color="orange">

yep. you should learn how to do it yourself. i go through rear tires every 4 rides, so that's pretty much a new rear tire every two weeks. if i paid a dealer to do it i'd be a poor man.

anyway, one of these days you are gonna find yourself on a trail with a flat far from help.

best to do it in your garage a couple of times before you have to do it trail side.

here's a couple of points:

1. buy longer tire irons for the gargage and have a set of shorter irons for your toolkit for rides.

2. set the new tires out in the sun for a couple of hours before you change them. this will soften them up.

3. get an oil/fuel barrel from your local gas station and run duck tape around the edges several times. this makes for an appropriate stand in your garage.

4. do the front wheel first since it is the easier of the two to do. you can do your learning on the front.

5. don't worry about scratching your rims. you don't want to sound like the pansies on the moto forumns who like to dress their bikes like barbie dolls, do you? :)

6. remove the valve stem from your old tube.

7. force all of the air out of the tire. use manpower and a mallet to pound the bead lose.

8. break the bead with tire irons, one at a time all the way around the tire.

9. don't reuse your tube! replace it with a heavy duty tube from bridgestone or moose. don't worry about added weight, you ride a xr.

10. struggle to get the old tire off. opinions differ on getting it past the rimlock, find what works best for you.

11. use baby powder and lube up the bead of the new tire with dish washing soap.

i hate changing tires. i hate it i hate it i hate it. but after doing it long enough i think it's something every rider should do. now i only trust myself and my father to touch my wheels.

here are a couple more points:

1. dunlop D739 A/T Desert (make sure it's the A/T Desert and not the regular d739)

2. Bridgestone Heavy Duty InnerTubes. Pay a little more and buy Bridgestone or Moose, don't try to save money and buy Cheng Shin, they suck. You have to run Heavy Duty Inner Tubes.

3. Take your old inner tube and cut a slit right down the middle. Cut out the valve stem. Put this "shell" over the heavy duty tube and install.

4. Use liberal amounts of baby powder on the tube and inside the rim. The baby poweder helps the tube slide a bit and avoids snake bite flats.

5. Drill out another hole for a second rim lock. directly across from the 1st. Purchase second rim lock and install. this will help hold your tire in place if you get a flat so you can ride it out.

6. Run 18-19 lbs of pressure in the rear.

Tires are less complicated on the 650L because the rims don't have locks, and changing tires is a skill that every motorcyclist should know, but it is the worst ball busting job on a bike and if I can avoid it I do.

Ask your dealer to let you watch the process and learn. Do your own the next time.

Front tires are easy to change.

Six ply rear tires are a big pain. :)

You will need at least two heavy duty long levers (more than 8") to work a six ply tire into place. One or two 8" tire irons would be useful in addition to the long ones.

Take a plastic jug (milk or similar) and cut out 3"x5" sections. Use them to protect to rims.

Good luck.

Learning to change a tire can be expensive and frustrating. During the process I have ruined many tubes over the years, busted my knuckles and even had the tire iron come out from under the sprocket and nail me in the shin. I now take my tires in to the shop.

I agree with secretatlas - changing a tire is a skill every off-roader needs to have. If you're riding your L on the street and don't venture off-road, it's probably not something you'll need to learn - I never changed a tire on my F2's. It's still good to know, though. Try giving the front a shot, it's really pretty easy and you've been given really good instructions.


Having the same question, I want to say thanks for posting it. I know its going to be a pain to do it, but I must side with 'every dirt rider should know how to do it'. I like taking long rides and I would hate to be in the middle of 'no man's land' and doing it for the first time.

there is one big trick to changing tires...i'm suprised no one has mentioned order to get that first iron in and the tire bead over the rim ya gotta stomp on the opposite side bead and get it down off the rim into the middle portion of the rim...otherwise it will be one bear of a job gettin it over the rim...and i mean a bear. once you do that the rest is cake. :)

Thanks Guys for all the great info and suggestions!

I have 2 more tire changing tips.

1) Use CORN STARCH instead of Baby Powder. Baby Powder is made with Talc which is crushed rock and can damage the rubber, and Corn Starch is cheaper.

2) When installing the tube put just enough air in it to make it hold it's shape. This will help prevent getting a fold in it and pinching it with the irons getting the second bead on the rim. (Yes it does make getting the stem through the hole more of a challange)

It's worth the 8 bucks or so to have a shop with a tire changing machine do it for you. The only reason I say this is because they will have plastic rim guards, and the change will only take a couple of minutes per tire, and you will be on your way. . Or you can spend all afternoon tearing up a tire bead and your rims. Not worth it to me, even though I have changed my own many times, but believe me, it's very difficult. If you are just the average weekend rider, like I am, then spending a whole Saturday afternoon changing a tire so you can get underway is a huge waste of time. Find a shop with a tire changing machine which is similar to the type they use for car tires. Trust me on this one man. Sure it's good to learn to change a tire, but it's a serious pain and you will no doubt tear up a few tire beads, tubes, and without a doubt mess up the rim with the tire irons. Sorry, but I for one don't like dinged up rims from tire irons. IF you do change your own, then buy some plastic rim guards to protect the rim.

Try $30.00 a tire - it's still worth it.

A whole afternoon? Granted changing a rear tire is not the most fun, but it's a two beer job, tops. A front tire shouldn't take more than 15 minutes, with a piss break.

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