Installing my own tires..??.. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Installing my own tires..??..

I am new to bikes but I have some mechanical background. With the right instruction is changing tires something a guy can do himself? Or better taking them to the shop? I am replacing both the front and the rear. Special tools?? How do you balance them if needed?? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by jkcmerg View Post
I am new to bikes but I have some mechanical background. With the right instruction is changing tires something a guy can do himself? Or better taking them to the shop? I am replacing both the front and the rear. Special tools?? How do you balance them if needed?? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
Unless you have the right equipment to mount and balance, take them to a shop. You only have 2; a problem with just 1 could be disastrous.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2011, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkcmerg View Post
I am new to bikes but I have some mechanical background. With the right instruction is changing tires something a guy can do himself? Or better taking them to the shop? I am replacing both the front and the rear. Special tools?? How do you balance them if needed?? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
Absolutely.


There are a number of good threads & how-tos on the net. If you have some mechanical background, some common sense, and a bit of stubbornness, you should be good to go.

I've never paid a shop yet to change my, or any of my friends tires. Zero prior experience and 7 sets of tires later, there's no way I'd go back...

That said, I do have a 20 to hydraulic press in the basement which makes breaking beads child's play, but I didn't for the first few sets and it was just as worth doing then as it is now. Get yourself some tire spoons/irons, do some homework on the research and give it a whirl. You might swear a little during the process, but you'll pay yourself on the back when it's over.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 01:23 AM
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It's definitely doable. That said I thought I was stubborn enough to handle the task last year. I ended up takin em to a shop. Found one that would mount and balance each for about $25 a piece.

After swearing for quite a few hours it was worth it to me. Peace of mind too I guess.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 07:11 AM
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My advice is take the wheels off yourself.... And take them to a shop to have the tires mounted (and balanced)

If you lack the proper tools and have zero experience don't do it yourself.

I have changed a few tires myself... But nowadays I let the dealer do it. Why?

The Vulcan , and my FJR , both have aluminum cast wheels. These are easy to chip, crack, or break if you are not carefull.

If I mess up a wheel, a new one comes out of my wallet.

If the shop fksup the wheel... THEY buy me a new one.

This with the time it takes to do the job, along with balancing the wheel... Just makes more sense to me. Most dealers- bike shops charge 25-35 bucks per wheel to do all this....and their is an implied guaranty for their work.

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 09:05 AM
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I've changed seven bike tires so far, and balanced the last three myself. One tip to protect the rims is use old leather gloves (as suggested in my Clymer service manual) between the rim and tire irons. Commercial rim protectors are also available. If you have a large enough vise, it can make breaking the bead easier. Lots of tire breaking and balancing tips on the internet. Just changed out some 16 year old tires, and they were extremely stiff. After lifting the bead, I used bolt cutters and a hack saw to cut through the steel rings in the lip, which made the rest of the removal a piece of cake. You can balance the tires with some weights, a couple of jack stands, and a little patience. I believe you can do a better job than the bike shop will do. I've saved several hundred bucks doing it myself.

Adding Ride-On tire sealant (http://www.ride-on.com/) to a balanced tire will fine tune the balance and protect against flats. I pulled a sheet metal screw out of my first rear tire on the Vulcan and had no air loss thanks to the Ride-On.

IMO, if you don't mind the time invested in the learning curve, it's well worth it.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 09:30 AM
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I change my own tires myself,Like FC says it isn't hard I use two large C-clamps to break mine down,More patience is required than skill ,really.




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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 09:57 AM
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my advice is take the wheels off yourself.... And take them to a shop to have the tires mounted (and balanced)
^^ x2 ^^
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 07:27 PM
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If you have a Cycle Gear store nearby, they will match any online tire price and mount/balance the tires for ~ $ 25/pc. Just roll your wheels in.

For a once every so often task, I let someone else do it. Now I just rebuilt the rear end in my 02 Camaro SS, but that saved me over $ 1000.

Jon

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2011, 08:57 PM
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I bought my own tire irons and nylon rim protectors. Use large c clamps to break the beads loose, and have a spray bottle with soapy water in it. The suds make the tire come off so much easier.

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