Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Wrestling in the shed

Tonight I changed my 2nd motorcycle tyre - this time the front tyre on the V-Strom.  Overall it was easier than when I did the rear but it's not easy and not my favourite thing to do - I might let the shop do the next one...

Ready to get started
Getting the wheel off is the easy bit although as the stand doesn't quite get the bike up higher enough the front mudguard needs to be removed (or nearly removed with most of the bolts removed) and the brake calipers unbolted and slipped off the discs.

Next up is breaking the bead and removing the tyre.  Breaking the bead on the front tyre was approximately 1,000 (maybe 1,001) times easier than when I did the rear - I just pushed down on the sidewall (after soaping it up) with a piece of 4x2 and Bob was my uncle.

Bead broken and ready to attack it with the spoons
Then it was time to get the tyre off.  Using my new spoons and rim protectors this was pretty easy too.

Now for the hard part...Getting the first side of the tyre over the rim wasn't too bad but when it came to getting the other on I had a few issues.  What you really need is a couple of extra arms and possibly an extra leg as well - juggling three levers and keeping weight on the tyre is fairly entertaining.  I also need to get myself a rubber hammer.  No need to go to the gym tonight either...

But in the end it was on and my compressor soon had the bead set.  I then lowered the pressure back to somewhere around where I run it and re-installed the wheel onto the bike.

Brand spankers Conti Trail Attack
As you can see I've gone for a less aggressive front than the E-07 that I took off.  This is mainly due to price and that I'm now going to put the Vee on the market and go in search of a replacement.  It looks like it'll be a good tyre on the road but not as good off.  Here's what a 9,000km old E-07 (great tyres) looks like:

Even though I'm selling the Vee, I still like it a lot and am looking forward to getting a WOF for it on Saturday and going for a bit of a pootle...


  1. Swapping out tires is truly a matter of experience, technique and proper tools.....there's guys who can swap out tires with just tire irons, and I've done it but didn't have much fun doing it. With proper tools and hardware, easier but still not something one looks forward to....local moto shop will swap tires for $20 each, sometimes I am tempted.

    1. A bead-breaker, rubber hammer and some way to hold the wheel would be handy...

  2. Hey, you managed to get it changed. Hubby said a few bad words with his first few tire changes too. It gets easier especially with help, but ADV tires are always the worst.

    We once changed a tire on his Triumph America cruiser and were back out the door to catch up with a group within 20 minutes. Our current bikes are not so easy to change.

    1. I should have got you guys to help me out...

  3. I continue to do my own but wonder each time if that should be my last one. A few this spring and there should be a couple more before this riding season gets much deeper.

    1. I'm sure the shop does them in a tenth of the time I can do makes my hourly rate pretty pathetic...

  4. Here's a very good web site with a lot of hints for the DIY'er...

    I ended up going in "halves" with my buddy on a Cyclehill brand change set up. We do all our own tires. There's no reasonably priced shop anywhere near me. Not only is the shop rate high, but around here, no one will mount tires if you don't buy them from them. Internet prices can be 1/2 the cost of tires purchased at a local shop!