Changing tires - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Changing tires

I noticed today that I have just started to wear throught my rear tire in the center, so I guess I should start working on getting it replaced. With a little over 9k miles I'm pretty happy with how the stock tire held up.

I've been changing dirt bike tires since I was a kid and when we raced moto I was putting new tires on or turning them around for the next race on a weekly basis. Changed hundreds of tires, but never delt with a street bike tire.

So I'm wondering is tire swapping on the V a DIY project similar to dirt tires? Or is this better left to a shop with tire changing equiptment?

Thanks
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 09:54 PM
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If you can do dirt bike tires, you can easily do Street tires. I have been doing mine since I started riding again in 2003. I use the HF tire changer, mostly to just hold the wheel. Then I use Tire irons, and Rim savers. Then Balance with the Marc Parnes balancer. I have at my disposal 2 Automatic changers and still prefer to do it manually.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 10:11 PM
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Yeah it's about as easy as it was on my WR426... I preheat the tires first in the sauna, then only need tire irons. I also balance it by hand.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 10:29 PM
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I have done it twice so far.

I am using a rim breaker built out of 2x4.

Once the bead is broken I use tire irons and stripes of plastic (laundry detergent bottle) to protect my rims.

I am balancing the wheels with my rear axle on a support with 4 roller bearing.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 11:11 PM
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According to Kawasaki, ďThe tires cannot be removed with hand tools because they fit the rims too tightlyĒ, so I bought a Cycle Hill Tire Changer.

Iím not sorry that I got it because it really does work great, it makes the job super easy and I go thru a lot of tires (5 so far this season) but after feeling the tire/rim fitment, Iím certain that it would be pretty easy to do with just tire irons & rim protectors too.

I should note that Iím talking street tires (Michelin Pilot Road 2ís) and Iíd guess that some of the dual-use & off-road tires might be stiffer & a bit more difficult but I know that at least one guy in here (JDRocks) does those by hand.
.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 11:19 PM
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I use a spray furniture wax for lube such as Pledge. No worries about water left in the rim. Lemony scent, too!
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:44 AM
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I use this as well. Works a treat. Getting the bead to seat on the rim can be fun. We found it works best to leave the valve out of the stem and use a blower tip on the air compressor to quickly fill the tire with air. I would practice mounting your old tire back on your rim if using spoons. Pretty easy to **** up a new tire.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 06:26 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for letting me know it can be done.

I've run into some tough moto tires to mount over the years and learned alot of tricks.
Never used pledge though.

I had a WR400 that would eat a rear in a day on the coal hills, so tire changing was a common happening.

I did like the sauna idea... I normally lay them in the sun for awhile in the summer or park them close to the wood stove in the winter.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 09:30 AM
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Same as your dirt bike tires. Except easier in that there is no tube to pinch. I personally have no problems seating the bead just using a bicycle pump. Not once. I quit worrying about scratching the rim w/the tire irons [no protector]and just use a plastic spray can lid to [scoop]transfer Dyna beads from old tire to new. I accidently spilled the beads last time and ran it w/o them......can barely tell the difference. [no rim weights either] I align the yellow dot w/the valve stem. Like Invader, I like to heat the tire up. In summer I just let it sit in the sun for awhile. In winter I'll point my torpedo at the tire for a few minutes. For lubing the bead I use whatever is handy. WD-40, dish soap, whatever. Oh yeah. I also break the bead just using the three tire irons. the two outside irons one direction the inside iron the other. I have some difficulty doing it this way but usually succeed w/in a few minutes. Last time I used a C clamp and that method worked OK too. Some things to consider.... sprockets are durable, brake discs are not. And you can always pull the sprocket out w/the cush bumpers. Always make the change w/the other tire under the one your spooning on or two pcs of 2x4 or whatever. Work w/the tire irons the opposite side of the tire you are sitting on. Pump it up w/enough pressure to seat the bead and use the same tire gauge every time to adj the pressure.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 09:57 AM
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Good details... Sauna works well but stinks up of rubber. Tire does get nice and piping hot at over 200 degrees. I burn my fingers if work gloves have holes... The bead is stuck on good but comes off well in a large vise, then the other side with the rim on some wood in the vise. I also sit the rim up on wood for protection when using the tire irons. I grease up the axle and twist it back and forth a bit to find the heavy spot, then determine proper weight to even it out, opposite of heavy point. I can then also isolate a secondary slight heavy spot, if any. I went from the stock 20 gram weight, ground down to about 7 gram with rear Conti Trail Attack. Front Avon Distanzia just needed a relocation of the stock 20 gram weight.

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 09:57 AM
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regarding balancing, have any of you ever done the airsoft pellet in the tire trick?

i change all my own auto tires manually. it's a PITA but it saves a bunch of money for the moto fund i always balance with heavyweight non-biodegradable airsoft pellets. works great with the notoriously difficult to balance super swamper off road tires i run on my jeep. works great on my wife's minivan as well.

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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 10:00 AM
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I change all my bike tires with just spoons and bead breaker , heres a link for you to check out http://www.jakewilson.com/videos.do?videoId=83


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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 10:02 AM
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I have read on hear that some people use the dyna beads or something like that. What is the big difference between the cycle hill tire changer that cost almost $400 and the tire changer you can get from harborfreight with the motorcycle wheel attachment for around $100?
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-12-2010, 04:20 PM
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I bought the bead breaker that Whitehorse Gear sells for around $60. Works on 160/60 tires, and worked fine for me changing BOTH tires. I balance with Dyna Beads, 1 oz front, 1.5 oz rear.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-13-2010, 03:24 PM
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Do it yourself!

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindWalker View Post
I noticed today that I have just started to wear throught my rear tire in the center, so I guess I should start working on getting it replaced. With a little over 9k miles I'm pretty happy with how the stock tire held up.

I've been changing dirt bike tires since I was a kid and when we raced moto I was putting new tires on or turning them around for the next race on a weekly basis. Changed hundreds of tires, but never delt with a street bike tire.

So I'm wondering is tire swapping on the V a DIY project similar to dirt tires? Or is this better left to a shop with tire changing equiptment?

Thanks
I have done this four times now. I got a static balancer with some stick on weights. My bead breaker is a long length of 2 x 4 hinged to a shorter length of 2 x 4 to apply pressure. I use a little charcoal starter to help loosen the tire bead. I do rest the tire on top of two pieces of wood in the grass. Leveraging against the car frame I can get the tire off pretty easily.


Cheers!


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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-19-2010, 07:04 PM
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Bead breakers!

Hey, has any one had any experience with the Motorcycle Tire Bead Breaker listed at http://www.stopngo.com/products/motorcycle/4000.asp ?

It says it will not fit most street tires, but it also says it'll fit tires size 160 and below, which I believe is the size of the versys rear.

I would rather have something more compact for possible on the road or dorm room tire changes than a bunch of wood.

I have access to an automotive tire machine, which has a suitable bead breaker for at home use. Although the tire changing portion of the machine isn't very suitable for bike wheels as it has dog paw grips, that'll mar a painted surface.
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-21-2010, 01:37 PM
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Hey, has any one had any experience with the Motorcycle Tire Bead Breaker listed at http://www.stopngo.com/products/motorcycle/4000.asp ?
Looks just like the one I got from Whitehorse Gear - works fine!

Ed
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