Failed Changing My Own Tires - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Failed Changing My Own Tires

The local shop wanted $170 to change tires if I left the bike with them or $35 a tire with just the wheels. I figured I'd spend the money on the tools and change my own tires...can't be that hard right?

I propped the bike up on my ABBA stand and commenced to removing the rear wheel without issue. So far so good. I bought a set of Motion Pro Beadpro irons and used a flexible cutting board as a rim protector. I removed the valve and deflated the tire. Lubing up the tire with some Windex, I commenced to breaking the bead. A bit of elbow grease and the tire was off; no problem! I cleaned up my wheel and grabbed the new tire out of the sun.

I lubed up the new tire and pressed it on the wheel. Then I lubed up the other side, set my rim protectors in place and went back and forth with the irons to get the bead over the rim. This is where I hit my problem. The bead would not go over the rim. My irons are on the short side, so I figured it was a leverage issue. I took a break and got some 24" irons from Harbor Freight - nice and sturdy for only $5 a piece. I pulled the tire off and started again but I still couldn't get the bead to go over the rim. I was starting to chew up the bead and decided to bite the bullet and take the wheel up to the shop.

The tech was super cool and took me back in the shop and showed me where I was failing. I wasn't getting the bead low enough on the rim, into the expansion zone, to allow the bead the room required to stretch it past the rim. After reviewing the MC Garage video on the topic, I felt like an idiot, since this was mentioned and I missed it. Topping it off, I was in such a rush to get the wheels in before the shop closed I ended up with a speeding ticket. It was educational but expensive, but I'll be ready next time. Hopefully this will help you out if you decide to tackle this job yourself.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 11:36 AM
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There are several methods for doing this job easily buried on this forum.
From zip ties to machines...the search feature is your friend.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 01:14 PM
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Sounds similar to my first tire change attempt. It took me 2 days of struggling and swearing in the garage till I paid attention to that same detail in all the videos I was watching.

Its a 'practice makes perfect' skill the first ones took forever, and last month I did a rear on the V in 30 mins with irons and a tire stand. That was probably my 10th tire swap, and since I dont live near tons of shops its an invaluable time and $$$ saver for me.

You will get the hang of it with some more swaps. Now its time to go burn down that rubber!
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 01:47 PM
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Try doing it w/ "zip-ties". Here's a link to a thread I did some time ago, but unfortunately the pics are gone (THANKS photobucket... - ), and I can't find them....

BTW - just replaced my rear a few weeks ago - VERY quick w/ "zip-ties".

Ed
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 10:32 PM
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Did you have the rim on the ground or did you put a few blocks of wood under the rim so the tire did not touch the ground-if not- makes it a lot easier--the zip ties also work well

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 10:47 PM
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Here is a demonstration vid showing how to use a stand and a Mojo Lever.

I use a Mojo and a similar stand. Using a Mojo lever is way better than tire irons. You will not scratch or ding the rim this way.

Gotta love this cool Aussie...Alright.

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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 05:12 AM
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I used to swap tires myself and then found out my little country tire shop would swap tires for $5 so I started having them do it until they changed owners.

Now I just trade bikes when it comes time for a new tire.

My Versys Travels:


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 08:38 AM
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I used to swap tires myself and then found out my little country tire shop would swap tires for $5 so I started having them do it until they changed owners.

Now I just trade bikes when it comes time for a new tire.
When I lived in Santa Barbara a riding buddy owns the local shop. He would sell me tires at cost and mount them for free.

After I moved back to Fresno in 2015, boy howdy did I miss that deal on tires. I was getting tires mounted for $20 a wheel but that shop went out of business. Now the going rate is around $40 a wheel plus a buck per wheel weight. Crap, mount and balance two tires and the price tag is almost enough to buy a new tire.

This is why I started doing it myself last year. Now I actually enjoy mounting tires and hear cash registers in my mind as I think about all the green backs I am saving. Have also mounted a few for riding buddies too.

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by motorboy View Post
Did you have the rim on the ground or did you put a few blocks of wood under the rim so the tire did not touch the ground-if not- makes it a lot easier--the zip ties also work well
I started with the wheel on a small 2x4 frame I had made for the job. Then it was on the ground while I stood on the tire. Honestly, everything would have been fine if I had understood that my knees on the tire were for the purpose of pushing that bead done into the expansion channel.

I've watched the zip tie method and it looks like it would be fairly easy, but the time it takes to zip tie 2 tires I would have been done with the bead seated, had I done it correctly. Even so, I'll keep it in my back pocket for next time, just in case.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hawkerjet View Post
Here is a demonstration vid showing how to use a stand and a Mojo Lever.

I use a Mojo and a similar stand. Using a Mojo lever is way better than tire irons. You will not scratch or ding the rim this way.

Gotta love this cool Aussie...Alright.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkkd775BdVk
If I had the room in my garage for a stand, this would be something I might invest in down the road. I have a 2 car garage that houses a Ford Explorer, a couple of work benches, and my bike. All tools and bicycles and supplies have to go vertical on walls and ceiling shelves.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 09:52 AM
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I don't think it's been mentioned but be sure to watch the direction of the arrows on the tires & hubs.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 12:39 PM
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I don't think it's been mentioned but be sure to watch the direction of the arrows on the tires & hubs.
Some sage advice here.

Not an issue on the rear wheel as you can't go wrong with sprocket on one side and a disc on the other.

The front is a different animal however and not all wheels have a direction arrow. I don't remember for sure but I don't think the Versys has a direction arrow.

Whenever I am taking off the front wheel I place a piece of painters tape on the hub and draw a direction arrow before removing the front wheel. This removes any doubt.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Some sage advice here.

Not an issue on the rear wheel as you can't go wrong with sprocket on one side and a disc on the other.

The front is a different animal however and not all wheels have a direction arrow. I don't remember for sure but I don't think the Versys has a direction arrow.

Whenever I am taking off the front wheel I place a piece of painters tape on the hub and draw a direction arrow before removing the front wheel. This removes any doubt.
Stupid newbie question - Why does it matter on the front wheel? I didn't pay super close attention and with rotors on both sides, the wheel looked identical from both sides. I kinda just took the techs work for granted and mounted the wheel according to the tread pattern. So far nothing untoward has happened.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 03:28 PM
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I'VE BEEN TOLD.....that the tire's belts are wound in such a way that they are meant to roll & handle correctly in one direction.

but you know what "THEY SAY", so I just figure the arrows are on them for some reason that I was never meant to understand.

It's just my habit to keep pads, calipers, and rotors as a set from birth to death.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 05:08 PM
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Stupid newbie question - Why does it matter on the front wheel? I didn't pay super close attention and with rotors on both sides, the wheel looked identical from both sides. I kinda just took the techs work for granted and mounted the wheel according to the tread pattern. So far nothing untoward has happened.
The only stupid question is the one you DON'T ask. Don't be ashamed to ask questions cuz that's how you learn. All of us old guys had to learn from somewhere.

Two issues here. One is wheel rotation direction and the other is tire rotation direction.

First the tire. The tire manufacturer designs the tire with a rotational bias ie, it's internal structure was engineered and built to roll one particular direction. This is why motorcycle tires have a direction arrow on the sidewall. Make sure when installing you put the tire on with the arrow pointing in the direction of correct wheel rotation.

Issue two: Wheel rotation direction is really only a factor on a front wheel with 2 brake rotors. It would not be possible to install the rear wheel any way other than the correct way. Chain on one side and brake on the other, so backwards installation is not possible. Same logic apply's to a single rotor front wheel. Rotor goes on the brake caliper side only.

The twin disc front wheel however is usually the same on both sides. Most wheels have a direction arrow on the hub, though they can be somewhat subtle and hard to see. A few wheels however do not have an arrow. I usually mark mine before removing with a piece of painters tape and with a pen draw an arrow.

So why is it important to install the wheel the same way as it came off the bike? There can be very subtle differences from one side of the wheel, rotors and other brake components, to the other side. Turning the wheel around could cause things to not quite fit right like the do when properly installed.

Something else to watch for are wheel spacers. Some bikes like the Versys, the spacers on the front wheel are identical. There are some bikes that do not have identical spacers and reversing these could be disastrous. The recently happened to a buddy's KTM 1190. He took it to the shop for a new front tire and the rookie tech reversed the front wheel spacers when installing the front wheel. When my buddy tried to unload it off his trailer the bike would barely roll. He took it back to the shop where they discovered their error. The had to replace one of the brake rotors which was bent when the rookie tightened the axle nut. Could have a very bad ending if my buddy had tried to ride the bike home.

Theory aside the bottom line regarding maintaining the same wheel rotation direction is to consider it a "best practice" maintenance item.

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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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The only stupid question is the one you DON'T ask. Don't be ashamed to ask questions cuz that's how you learn. All of us old guys had to learn from somewhere.

Two issues here. One is wheel rotation direction and the other is tire rotation direction.

First the tire. The tire manufacturer designs the tire with a rotational bias ie, it's internal structure was engineered and built to roll one particular direction. This is why motorcycle tires have a direction arrow on the sidewall. Make sure when installing you put the tire on with the arrow pointing in the direction of correct wheel rotation.

Issue two: Wheel rotation direction is really only a factor on a front wheel with 2 brake rotors. It would not be possible to install the rear wheel any way other than the correct way. Chain on one side and brake on the other, so backwards installation is not possible. Same logic apply's to a single rotor front wheel. Rotor goes on the brake caliper side only.

The twin disc front wheel however is usually the same on both sides. Most wheels have a direction arrow on the hub, though they can be somewhat subtle and hard to see. A few wheels however do not have an arrow. I usually mark mine before removing with a piece of painters tape and with a pen draw an arrow.

So why is it important to install the wheel the same way as it came off the bike? There can be very subtle differences from one side of the wheel, rotors and other brake components, to the other side. Turning the wheel around could cause things to not quite fit right like the do when properly installed.

Something else to watch for are wheel spacers. Some bikes like the Versys, the spacers on the front wheel are identical. There are some bikes that do not have identical spacers and reversing these could be disastrous. The recently happened to a buddy's KTM 1190. He took it to the shop for a new front tire and the rookie tech reversed the front wheel spacers when installing the front wheel. When my buddy tried to unload it off his trailer the bike would barely roll. He took it back to the shop where they discovered their error. The had to replace one of the brake rotors which was bent when the rookie tightened the axle nut. Could have a very bad ending if my buddy had tried to ride the bike home.

Theory aside the bottom line regarding maintaining the same wheel rotation direction is to consider it a "best practice" maintenance item.
Roger Roger. Tire rotation is a no brainer as is the back wheel. I've riding pedal power long enough to know those things. Good to know on the front wheel and I'll be sure to be more attentive the next time it comes off.
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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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On the plus side I am loving the new rubber. The bike feels like it is glued to the road in the corners and I've been taking it easy until I hit that first 100 miles. Can't wait to find some twisties and tear it up.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 08:30 PM
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I just pay the $25 to Performance Cycle, all I have to worry about is getting the wheel on and off the bike (BTW getting the back wheel back on a Versys is a PITA).
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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 11:44 AM
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Here is a demonstration vid showing how to use a stand and a Mojo Lever.

I use a Mojo and a similar stand. Using a Mojo lever is way better than tire irons. You will not scratch or ding the rim this way.

Gotta love this cool Aussie...Alright.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkkd775BdVk

Love my mojo lever... makes tire changes almost easy.... almost....
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 04:23 PM
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I just pay the $25 to Performance Cycle, all I have to worry about is getting the wheel on and off the bike (BTW getting the back wheel back on a Versys is a PITA).
Years ago I took the REAR wheel from my 'Zuki Bandit to the Dealer in Calgary (45 minutes away) for them to install the new tire they'd got in for me.

When I handed it to the SERVICE REP, I asked "You know which WAY the wheel mounts...?" to which he scoffed "Of course I do! We SELL these bikes...!" so I went to the customer waiting-room for a coffee. When my name was called I went, picked up the wheel and LOOKED at the 'directional-arrow', then TOLD him that they'd mounted it BACKWARDS!

He started to scoff, but I pointed to the sprocket, and said - "It's wrong! Pull it OFF, remount and re-balance it!"

I've done my own tires since that episode!!!

Ed
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