Neduro's Tire Changing Class- Part 2, Street Tires

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by neduro, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,299
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    For those of you who don’t follow the “thumper” forum, Part 1 demonstrates how to change dirt tires, with tubes. The process is very similar, so it’s worth checking out here.

    I've placed Part 2 in "Blood, Sweat, and Gears" as it seemed non-model specific and probably read by a wide audience. But, if this is not the right forum, please feel free to move it, mods.

    The pictures for this round are not as good. I’ll try again next time. But they should still serve to get the general idea across.

    A few words about philosophy:

    1) You are not stronger than the tire. You are (or should be, anyway) smarter than the tire. If you find yourself having to use very much force, the tire is outsmarting you and you need to change your technique. Don’t reach for a longer tire iron: instead, think about what you are trying to do and how to position things so that the force you can exert will be most effective at that task.

    2) The basic problem of changing a tire is that the bead is smaller in circumference than the outside of the rim. However, the inside of the rim is dished, and if you keep the bead opposite where you are working with tire irons down in the dish of the rim, you will find tire changing an easy and quick experience. If the bead is not in the dish, you will not pass go, you will not collect $200. Using more force will result in a broken tire bead, which will result in throwing the tire away.

    3) Changing tires is easy. I changed both tires in the pictures in about an hour, including taking pictures and drinking beer, using nothing more than the kickstand of another bike to break the bead, a couple of tire irons, and an air compressor. Don’t be afraid of this job- just pay attention to the work you are doing, take it easy, and enjoy the satisfaction of not paying a shop to screw your bike up.

    4) The tires being changed are on a BMW R1100 GS, but the same techniques will work for all tubeless tires, from sportbikes on down. I am NOT an expert at preventing rim scratches, so if you care about your paint, you are on your own. I think you can slide some plastic between the tire iron and your rim… if someone wants to add to this with good info on how to prevent scratches, please, fire away.

    I like to change tires using the new (or old) tire as a base. This will keep the sprockets and brake disks out of the dirt, and keeping it low to the floor makes it easy to stand on the opposite side of the tire from where you are working, to keep the bead down in the dish.

    I also like the Motion Pro Tire Irons shown in the pics. They are cheap, and the curve of the tips is good. The length is not important- these same techniques will work just as well with 6" trailside tire irons.

    We’ll assume that you are able to get the wheel off your bike, so we’ll start from that point.

    Without further ado:

    Step 1: Let the air out, by removing the valve core. You want the tire to offer no more resistance than necessary as you break the bead, so simply letting the air out but leaving the core in will not work.

    [​IMG]

    Step 2: Break the tire bead, on both sides. This is the hardest part of the process. You can use a c-clamp, or a motorcycle parked on its sidestand as I am here, or there are any number of commercial bead breakers available.

    [​IMG]

    To protect in the case of a flat, roadgoing wheels usually have a secondary inner lip that prevents the tire from falling into the dish. This second lip is what makes breaking road tires so difficult.

    Use lubricant if need be- I’ve been known to squirt a little WD-40 into the gap between rim and tire. Be patient, and if you aren’t able to get a good bite with one method, try another.

    Here, I’m standing on the peg of my XR to get more weight on the bead.

    [​IMG]

    Once the bead breaks in one spot, it will be easy to push it down the rest of the way around the wheel. In this picture, I’m pushing the bead in by hand:

    [​IMG]

    You can also use the irons to help you:

    [​IMG]

    Once you get the first side, turn the tire over and repeat. Relax, this is the worst part.

    Step 3: Insert tire irons, while pushing down on the opposite side of the tire. Because the tire has spent it’s whole life seated to the outer edge of the rim, it will try to return there as you begin working on it. So, your job is to keep shoving the bead down into the dish.

    The best way I’ve found is to insert 2 tire irons, about 6” apart, and when pulling gently on them, to stand on the opposite side of the tire. The tension created by the tire irons will help force the bead to fall into the center of the rim, as seen here:

    [​IMG]

    (Yes, the picture sucks. But you can still see that the portions of the bead that are not directly hit by the tire irons are way down in the rim, and take my word for it that I’m standing on the opposite edge).

    Step 4: Work off the first side of the tire, placing the tire irons a few inches ahead each time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Step 5: Move the second side of the tire over to the same side of the rim as the first side came off, using the tire iron as shown.

    [​IMG]

    Step 6: Work off the second side of the tire, using a second tire iron to push the bead off. Once you are about 1/3rd of the way around the tire, the rim should simply pull free.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Congratulations, the worst is behind you. Next installment- getting the new rubber on, and seating the bead.
    #1
  2. Lobby

    Lobby Viel Spass, Vato!

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    30,221
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    Wow, Ned. Thanks! :thumb

    Hell, I'm already rating this thread 5 stars!
    #2
  3. NJ_Bob

    NJ_Bob Occasional Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,501
    Location:
    EM12 (DFW)
    My crustacean friend from down south is right on.

    This is awesome, and timely for me as I need to swap out my front tire on my GS.

    :thumb
    #3
  4. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,299
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    So, now we’re ready to install the new rubber. This part is much easier… really!

    Step 7: Line up the new tire on the rim. I have seen the first bead go all the way on without use of a tire iron, but doing so is easier with a better base holding the rim positioned. So, push the tire on as far as you can, and then finish it off with tire irons. Like this:

    [​IMG]

    (yes, I know that’s a dirtbike tire. But it works the same and the photo of the GS tire didn’t come out). Like I said, this needs to be reshot…

    Step 8: Spin the tire until the yellow dot aligns with the valve stem, if you’re so inclined.

    Step 9: Start the second bead down onto the rim with your hands, and then work it on with the tire irons.

    [​IMG]

    Again, I stand on the opposite side of the tire to keep the bead down in the dish- you can see how close the tread is to the rim- that’s because the bead is buried in the middle.

    Step 10: Finish the second bead. Again, if you are keeping track of the opposite side from where you are working, there should be very little force needed.

    [​IMG]

    So, the new tire is on, but you aren’t done yet. Often, the same inner ridges on the rim that made breaking the bead such a PITA, make seating the bead difficult as well.

    Step 11: Reinstall the valve stem and throw some lubricant on the bead of the rim. I’ve used WD-40 and Soapy Water with good success, and Ant Ware recommends KY Jelly. :huh I prefer to get this far 'dry' because it keeps the tire from moving off the rim unintentionally, but again, YMMV.

    What you are aiming for in the next step is getting the bead to pop over the inner ridge and to seat correctly on the outer edge of the rim. Sometimes, it’s as easy as adding a little air. Sometimes, it’s a real b*tch.

    As soon as the bead seats, you’re done, so start by adding air, and then fall back on the techniques further along as needed. This can be very difficult without a compressor, as you need to get some volume of air in there to start. I have done it with a bicycle floor pump, but it takes getting things well lubed and well lined up.

    Step 12: Add air. If the tire starts taking air, just keep adding it (within reason) until the beads seat. If you’ve done a good job of lubing up the rim, it may be just that simple.

    Often, however, if you are using a low-pressure air source, it takes some more doing. What happens is that the tire is not sealing with the rim as the beads are too far from home, so the air leaks out as fast as you push it in, so there is no force to seat the bead of the tire. You can see how this is an open loop that won't get anywhere. If this happens to you, here are a few tricks.

    The tourniquet: Sometimes, you can get the beads to push outward by tightening something around the circumference of the tire.

    [​IMG]

    Here, I’ve simply taken an old strap loosely around the tire, and then wound up a drift in the strap like a tourniquet. You can get quite a lot of force going this way, and if you hold the tourniquet on while adding air, sometimes it will take and the bead will seat.

    The tahr-ihrn: The idea here is to gather up all the ‘slack’ from the tire so that the air can only escape at a single place… as I’ve done below:

    [​IMG]

    Start adding air from a highly charged compressor, then remove the tire iron and use your thumb to roll the edge of the tire up at that point. Sometimes, you can get enough of a seal this way for the tire to start filling, which helps it seat, which helps it fill. YMMV.

    More Lubricant: If you’ve tried all this stuff w/o success, try using more lubricant. Not only will the tire move into position more easily, but the lube might help to fill some little gap that is letting the critical psi of air out.

    Hopefully, before you get this far, the air has taken over and the bead is seated. Deflate (or inflate) to your desired riding PSI, reinstall on the bike, and then impress all your neighbors with the massive slides you unintentionally pulled off on the form release that coated your new tire.

    I think it would be neat to make this into a FAQ type document somewhere, so please feel free to make additions, corrections, suggestions, points that need clarification, and to submit better pictures. I'll get around to the latter someday myself, but since I just put new tires on, it may be a while.

    :thumb
    #4
  5. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,299
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    And Creeper, there's still no Size 6 Stilleto Heels in this thread. Move along. :lol3
    #5
  6. NJ_Bob

    NJ_Bob Occasional Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,501
    Location:
    EM12 (DFW)
    Now that you've done this, do you need to balance the tire? How do you do that?
    #6
  7. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,299
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    People will say that this is wrong. They will tell you that what you are about to hear will send you directly to hell. That has not been my experience... so YMMV.

    I generally don't bother. Friends have static balancers, and I've used them with good success. But a majority of tires that I have installed have remained unbalanced, including the rear tires on this GS for the first 100,000 miles. I have not experienced lessened tirelife as a result, nor have I experienced perceptable vibration.

    But like I said, plenty of folks will disagree. You can buy a static balancer, along with a piece that allows you to do the rear wheel on a single sided swingarm bike, for a few $$.
    #7
  8. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Oddometer:
    17,305
    Location:
    Minneapolis (don't even ask how i end up here.
    the issue that I see here is that the kick stand will tend to move "walk" in a perpenticular way next to the rim generating the risk of scratches and possible damage
    [​IMG]

    I think this is a far better angle since the kick stand can move on a tangent line (not into the rim like on the upper foto) decreasing the risk of damaging the finish of the rim in a big way.
    [​IMG]

    another suggestion is to look for a lower place for the wheel so you can place a piece of wood or something under the rim so the rotors are lifted up from the ground decreasing the risk of them getting bend.
    #8
  9. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,299
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    In general, the sidestand will rest between the tread and the bead of the tire naturally, which prevents it from "walking" into the rim and causing damage. In my experience, anyway... the closer you can get the stand to the bead, the better off you are. But mine always kind of migrates out a bit, and it doesn't seem to hurt.

    On the GS, the rear rotor is protected by the wheel, anyway. The front rotors are not, but they are so H.D. that it hasn't been a problem for me.


    I did, however, manage to bend the kickstand mount on the XR somewhat- at one point, I had the whole bike and my weight balanced on the kickstand, on the tire. Oh well... will get it straightened out tonight.
    #9
  10. AntWare

    AntWare Lost In Translation

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Oddometer:
    16,483
    Another great thread Ned, your next one should be on lubing your chain...did I mention you can use KY for that as well :D

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. Ricardo Kuhn

    Ricardo Kuhn a.k.a. Mr Rico Suave

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2001
    Oddometer:
    17,305
    Location:
    Minneapolis (don't even ask how i end up here.
    Ned i was not trying to be critic,,is just a suggestion call it a "warning" since it can happend,,beleive me i know :eek1

    you work is wonderful and I wish others did the same about what they know,we will have a library the size of the world..

    again i'm very thankful
    #11
  12. lockcrash

    lockcrash Celtic Tiger

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Oddometer:
    68
    Location:
    Cedar Grove, NC USA
    Really appreciate this dude, I've done it once with a friend so I was a little hazy but you really laid it all out nice and clearly,
    Thanks. :thumb
    #12
  13. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,299
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    No worries, Ricky! All good points that you make, as ever... simply giving my "logic".

    :thumb
    #13
  14. neduro

    neduro Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Oddometer:
    12,299
    Location:
    Salida, CO
    Is there anything you can't use KY for, Ant? :lol3
    #14
  15. AntWare

    AntWare Lost In Translation

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Oddometer:
    16,483
    shining the seat on yer sportbike.... DAMHIK

    :lol3
    #15
  16. cjflyfisher

    cjflyfisher cjflyfisher

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    colorado springs CO
    no balance on the new tires??

    I agree, I have not seen too much problem with no balance, I just had a set of tires installed at the dealer, paid way too much IMO and had them balanced. Can't see too much difference either way, but next time I'll save the cash and and do it my self. homemade static balancers can be made quite easily with an old axle and a good set of bearings, seen it, but no experience with it. dynamic balance is the way to go if you are going to balace them anyway
    #16
  17. malsin

    malsin Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    83
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Great pages on changing tires (dirt and street).

    If you decide to balance, this will work most excellently on most wheels but not on single side arm tires (such as your R and my K ... haven't figured this one out yet). I previously used the wheel axle resting on two 5-gallon buckets (upturned) but wondered if the rolling resistance of the bearings was hurting. Here is what I came up with:

    Materials:
    12" section of 0.5" copper water pipe
    2 - 1/2" to 3/4" copper pipe converters (female to female)
    2 - RollerBlade bearings (find a friend who is buying new ones and take two old ones)
    15" section of steel rod that will fit into/through the bearings
    2 - five gallon buckets that are the same height
    2 - grooved wood boards

    Directions:
    - put copper pipe through axle hole in wheel.
    - place both converters on pipe
    - insert a bearing in each converter (fits into the 3/4 end quite nicely)
    - place rod through this assembly
    - rest ends of rod in grooved boards, rest these on overturned buckets.
    - spin wheel very slowly as it will turn for a long time (these bearings have very little resistance)

    If perfection is your goal you will be at it for a long time as the wheel spins, and spins, and spins. For the F650 GS Dakar BMW calls for +/- 5g from perfectly balanced. This is easy to attain witht his setup.
    #17
  18. P. Urquell

    P. Urquell Martini Taste Tester

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Oddometer:
    923
    Yikes! :eek1 No rim protectors?

    I use folded milk bottle plastic to avoid metal to metal contact between the tire irons and rim.
    #18
  19. THE CAT

    THE CAT El Gato-Lifes yet to live

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    154
    Location:
    Denver, Colo.
    Thanks to Neduro for making it more clear to some of us new asses that changing a tire dowes not have to be totally intimidating! Especially for those of us that see running off to out of the way places on our own.

    The valve core observation??

    Most auto tire shops will not replace the core until the tire is seated! The reason for this is that the core severly restricts the inflow of air for the seating process. They will typically have the stem free of the core to allow as much volume to pass into the tire as possible which will facilitate the seating. THEN, when the tire is seated they will replace the core and inflate the tire.

    I have had this experience with small trailer tires, wheelbarrows, etc. NO luck with the core in then take the core back out and bingo! It airs up and seats.
    The "tourniquet" technique is awesome as well.

    Now I will give it a go on the tire changing stuff. It stopped my heart when the dealer told how much they wanted to change tires out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Later,

    Jimbo
    #19
  20. gaspipe

    gaspipe Wandering Soul

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,437
    Location:
    Pickwick Lake, Tennessippi
    For any of you with just one bike, this is a great opportunity to justify the second bike, assuming it is equipped with a kickstand. :thumb

    Great job.

    #20