I've never been against describing my somewhat foolish escapades for the amusement of others, so I bring you the story of getting new tires.
I've only had the versys for a little over a year, and it's the first motorcycle I've owned. I actually went straight from the safety training course to the DMV to get the endorsement on my license, and bought the bike the next morning (after a somewhat intimidating test ride which was my very first time riding a bike on the street). I wore out my first set of tires in about 6 months, and took the easy way out of dropping the bike off at the dealer and having them changed.
A few days ago, it was once again time for a new tire. I looked at the bike parked in the garage, read a few of the threads here, and decided that taking the wheel off myself wasn't really all that hard. I went slowly, staring at things a bit to make sure I wasn't breaking anything, but even with that had a loose wheel on the garage floor in about 20 minutes. Sure enough, the only real skill you need to take a wheel off is to know which direction to turn to loosen a bolt.
For some reason, it hadn't occurred to me that the sprocket and disk would still be connected to the wheel - that certainly doesn't happen on my car (and yes - I know that my car doesn't even have a sprocket). I wasn't sure if I should take them off or not, so I decided to compromise by throwing both the wheel and some tools in the back of the car. That way if they did need to be removed, I could do it right there in the parking lot. I was however fully expecting to get the sad, disappointed look when I showed up with them still on the wheel that only male mechanics seem to have mastered giving to women.
Sure enough, when I got there, the guy at the counter told me that they couldn't balance the wheel with the sprocket on. I was about to carry the wheel back to the car to take it off, but he quickly walked around the counter, laid the wheel down on the floor, and proceeded to pull on the sprocket.
I was thinking - OK - even I'm not silly enough to try to pull off a sprocket without taking out the bolts. I was therefore quite surprised when the sprocket came off in his hands. He put it in a bag, handed it to me to keep, and carried the wheel back to garage.
Who knew that there was a rubber mount between the sprocket and the wheel. I've always wondered how the chain could possibly deal with the stress of being directly connected to the wheel
Anyway - there is a happy ending. The wheel is back on and I had a very nice ride this evening. Next time, maybe I'll try changing the tire too.