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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a heck of battle changing the rear tire to a (190/50zr17) Bridgestone S22. I noticed after I was done that in the service manual it says do to the tightness of the bead it can not be change with hand tools. I wish I had read that.

anyway…got tire off, difficult but did it, took long time to walk bead back off tire (scratched the inside of the rim up). But the real problem was with seating the beads. The tire would always try to seat on one side first, and then the last spot would be stretched and distorted and pulled down into the well of the rim…no amount of air pressure or lube (used many things..armor all was best) at that point could get the bead up and out of the well, on top, over the hump in the seat. It was like it was hitting a wall..well it was Hitting a wall.

I eventually got the idea to wrap a thick cotton rope around the rim between the lip of the tire and rim, keeping the tire from seating and this not able to pull one side into the well of the rim. This did it, allowed the tire to evenly get up on the hump…then let the air out (had valve stem out) pulled rope out and then everything fully seated with air the second time. (Well the hundredth time by that point). I also had left tire out in sun for 2 hours…but that did not help until the rope trick.

If that had not worked, I was ready to drive the 70 miles to the nearest motorcycle shop and throw them all the money they wanted to do the job. Any rate….pretty sure next time I will leave the tire changes to the professionals. I will pay them what ever they want for the tires, and install.

Is it the low sidewall, the stiff tire, made super tight by design for the power? Are other motorcycle tires this tuff?
The front tire was much easier…but still left me and my wheel bruised.
 
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Sorry to hear. You might consider calling auto tire shops. I use one occasionally. They are cheaper than MC dealers and do a great job. The guy who does it knows how to Mount MC tires. It has to be off the bike and they can’t balance it. But that does not sound like an issue for you.
 

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I feel for you. First of all, good job.

I believe it's all of the above. I've found that Michelin tires were easier to deal with as far as this process goes. Dunlop? Not so much.

This does get easier, with practice. It really is a skill more than it appears. I'm not saying that like I have it figured out.

Never fun. I don't even know how many tire irons and rim protectors I have. My best rim protectors are made from the 1 gallon milk jugs.

For stubborn beads, use lots of lubrication. I use a ratchet strap around the tire. Squish the strap as tight as you can. That usually does it to where you can get 10-15 psi in the tire. Not too much or the strap explodes.

I have a cheap bead breaker. That's a must have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tried the strap…I lost my patience with it as I thought that was just to help get a seal and air in the tire. I had no problem with that, just could not get it to pop up on over the bead or the rim evenly…with The frustration I gave up on that approach. The good thing is I never got mad, or angry through the process.even with the skinned knuckles, bruised wrist no knees etc.

Either-way…If I try it again, I will pull out all the stops. Do every trick that I have learned so far. But hopefully I will call round to tire shops and see if a local tire shop will do it. I have two tires for my other bike…higher profile tires, skinnier tires, but pretty stiff rubber. Continental sport attack 3…I guess I will call around next week…they look tough.
 

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I guess I've been fortunate or Bridgestones are harder to do than Michelin's or Dunlops. I second the car tire shop idea. One of our VFR guys was a Costco Car tire shop worker. Take him your wheels and tires and he'd do them on his break. Their balancer didn't work for bike tires but I just did that at home. He'd sit and chat with you and seem to pay hardly any attention to what he was doing but they always came out perfect.

I'm always impressed with the shop guys who do this for a living and know what they're doing. Even with the right equipment it takes me 10 times as long and I have to concentrate to get things done right. Even then I sometimes run into that stubborn tire that won't reseat. Glad you got'er done without losing any fingers or ruining the tire.
 
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I think larger diameter tires are easier to deal with.

I believe I tend to forget how miserable the experience is since I'm not doing this very often. I would invest in more equipment if I had to do it more often. The Pirelli AGT's were easy to work with as well. Even with the stiff, light truck series I used on the Concours 14. Way easier than the Dunlop Q3+.
 

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I try to support my local dealer. They treat me great and their head mechanic is very talented. I gladly pay them their $49 off the bike. Heck lots of shop woun't mount tires unless they sell them to you!
 

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If I supported my local dealer, tires are 500-600 , per set. I can do them myself for 325.00....and support a dealer.

When I order the tires, I am supporting a dealer. A dealer who was able to evolve with modern times and not paint himself into a spot where he had to sell tires for twice as much as the online people do.

The dealer I order from is Rocky Mountain ATV. They are about 50 miles south of where I live. They were never given any special breaks, free money, or any unfair advantage over my local dealer.
 
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Ditto. 2019 summer, 2 sets of RS3s, did it myself for $332. Got a chance to go to AK later in the year so I did a quick trip to the Kawi dealer: $489. Doing this twice a year it just hits the budget a little too hard. Besides, all the tires I've changed on my Ninjas I've never once broken the swing-arm! :( He'll just have to make enough from the $1k services he gets to do.
 

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I try to support my local dealer. They treat me great and their head mechanic is very talented. I gladly pay them their $49 off the bike. Heck lots of shop woun't mount tires unless they sell them to you!
I try to support my dealer also. But twice in the past several months they were $50 high on a tire. I buy 10 or more tires a year. I’m not interested in paying $500 a year more for tires. I know the General Manager and have a good relationship with him. He will work with me. But he has several new employees and I think they must not be good at looking at different sources for tires.

I do a fair amount of business with them, and will always maintain a good relationship with them. I live in a small town and they are the only dealer. It’s 60 miles to the next closest dealer,
 

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Adrexco, I understand what you are saying. When you say you support your local dealer, how much extra do you pay for this support? For me, I would be looking at 450.00 , minimum. That would be Shinko brand and a 180 series rear.

Cycle gear is a reasonable option. They are more expensive, but not to an insane level.

I have to admit I enjoy balancing the tires. I have a cheap balancer. I upgraded the bearings, and it's fun to work with.
 

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I try to support my local dealer. They treat me great and their head mechanic is very talented. I gladly pay them their $49 off the bike. Heck lots of shop woun't mount tires unless they sell them to you!
Which shop? since I have to travel from Lancaster to somewhere might as well be a shop with a good reference.
 

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When I did my Dunlop Tire exchange, I did it in February. It was so cold my tire irons were covered in ice. Ok, not that bad, but it was cold.

That won't happen again. I'll do my tire changes in 90 degree weather, or I'll buy new rims.

1hr, next time you do this. And you will. Our brains tend to minimize trauma, given enough time. You know how murder victims end up forgiving their killer? It's like that. See if something from Michelin will suit your needs. I think you might be saying "This wasn't so bad" if you had used the Michelin brand.

Michelin also builds perfect balanced motorcycle tires. If your rim is even halfway balanced, you can throw the tire on in any random position and be ok.
 

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I wanted to chime in on this. I have owned many motorcycles over the years, and every time I had my bike serviced by someone changing my tires for me with a machine, they would always mark up my rims and damage the lip of the rim..Small damage or big damage. It was always gonna happen.

So, when I purchased my Kawasaki ZX6R (636) I said enough was enough!! When the factory S22’s were bald I’d be ready to change/balance them (MYSELF) Kawasaki installed the tires building it, without destroying the wheels. SO I CAN TOO LOl!!

I prepared my self in advance and ordered some pry bars, mechanical tire balancer with a bubble level, weights, valve stem core remover, pro motion II rim protectors, motorcycles stands front and rear, and large zip ties, and a bicycle pump, digital pressure gauge.

I removed my rear wheel, and then removed the bald factory S22 tires. Cleaned my rim and sprockets up nicely. Then I zip tied the new tire in several places to make mounting on the rim easier. I then mounted it to the rim. I cut the zip ties off after mounting and then sealed the bead with a bike pump by pumping it up. The tire popped both times letting me know it was good to go, and the beads were sealed!! I threw the wheel on a perfectly level mechanical balancer, and balanced it to perfection. It was almost perfect as it was, merely by lining up the light spot of the tire with the heavy portion of the wheel.

My wheels have ZERO scratches and zero damage. And I could not be happier with the result. It rides ridiculously smooth at high speeds, better than new even. And I will never pay someone to change my tires again.

I changed my front tire, and my rear tire!! I’m not gonna lie, there were brief times where you had to struggle a little. But it is changing a tire after all. The fact is, it went smoothly for me. I used a torque wrench when reinstalling everything, axles, calipers, etc, and I cleaned and re-greased the axles as well.

I made a quick demonstration video below.


Wheel Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting
Tire Fuel tank Automotive fuel system Wheel Automotive lighting

Tire Wheel Vehicle Fuel tank Automotive fuel system

Tire Wheel Bicycle tire Automotive tire Light

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Hood Tread

Automotive tire Wheel Alloy wheel Rim Crankset

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Locking hubs Tread
 

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I had attempted the same a couple years ago for the first time. Feeling empowered by Ari Henning on YouTube, I ordered a set of Motion Pro Bead Pro levers and rim protectors and set out to put S22s on in the August heat in the driveway. I struggled for hours and I felt like a bruised up turd for a week after. I think I could do it again knowing what I know now, but a month later I found a sweet deal on a used No Mar tire changer and it was worth every penny. No wheel damage with one of these.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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TPS, that's an excellent post and and the perfect way to introduce yourself. Welcome.

I like your idea of combining the zip ty method with tire irons. I've never used zip tys, but I'll try it.

For me, the most difficult part of the whole process is breaking the bead. What did you guys use for that? I have a cheap, Pit Posse bead breaker. It works, barely, but it's a POS. I'll spend some money. I've saved enough to buy a tire machine as mail order tires are cheap and the lack of mount/balance costs.

Over the years I have bought every rim protector I've ever looked at. I still have not found one that works as well as the white plastic milk containers. The 1 quart size, specifically. I cut them to where they are a similar shape to our blue Motion Pro protectors. They are not as durable, but they are super thin and easy to work with. Stronger than you would expect.
 
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A friend (who has since passed) used to let me use his No Mar tire changer. It was pretty easy to change tires using that tool. That was back in my track day years when I went through several sets of tires a year. Having something like that makes changing tires pretty easy.

Now, I just bring the wheels in to Cycle Gear and let them change them. I don't go through tires fast enough to worry about saving a few bucks on changing them.
 

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TPS, that's an excellent post and and the perfect way to introduce yourself. Welcome.

I like your idea of combining the zip ty method with tire irons. I've never used zip tys, but I'll try it.

For me, the most difficult part of the whole process is breaking the bead. What did you guys use for that? I have a cheap, Pit Posse bead breaker. It works, barely, but it's a POS. I'll spend some money. I've saved enough to buy a tire machine as mail order tires are cheap and the lack of mount/balance costs.

Over the years I have bought every rim protector I've ever looked at. I still have not found one that works as well as the white plastic milk containers. The 1 quart size, specifically. I cut them to where they are a similar shape to our blue Motion Pro protectors. They are not as durable, but they are super thin and easy to work with. Stronger than you would expect.
Honestly, I take a razor blade and slice the tire down the center all the way around the whole diameter making it a 2 piece tire lol. This makes braking the bead super easy. You can lay a rim protector down, and step on the 2 piece tire and done!

This will take one of those cheapo razor blades. One blade per tire. Or flip the razor blade around on the next tire.


The left over tire halves make a great working station for future tire changing. It keeps your rotors elevated off the ground.

Tire Automotive tire Synthetic rubber Tread Wood

Tire Automotive tire Material property Rim Font
 

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That's a good idea. It's not like a museum is waiting for the old tire, is it? I'll have to try that.

I tried cutting across one tire and that was a mistake. It left @ 1 million sharp wires exposed. I didn't even think about trying your method.

Maybe my idea of cutting across was a success as the blood helped lubricate the bead?
 

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That's a good idea. It's not like a museum is waiting for the old tire, is it? I'll have to try that.

I tried cutting across one tire and that was a mistake. It left @ 1 million sharp wires exposed. I didn't even think about trying your method.

Maybe my idea of cutting across was a success as the blood helped lubricate the bead?
Cutting long ways parallel with the tire is easy because the wires also go in the same direction. Cutting the tire across or side ways goes against the steel wires/belts and makes it all difficult work that’s nearly Impossible.

It’s not hard at all slicing around the tire. once you get that blade in, just push down on the blade, and keep
rotating that tire until you’ve made it almost all the way around. This does destroy a razor blade in a matter of seconds. Honestly, a sharp high quality pocket knife would be far better!

And no blood loss. This is about as easy as it gets. Unless you want to purchase one of those nice mechanical bead breaker machines.
 
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