DIY tire change? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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DIY tire change?

Wondering how difficult it is to change tire on the Vulcan! Do you need a machine to change tires or can it be done at home? Is there a DIY tire change video or instructions on here? Thanks in advance for your help.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 10:22 AM
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Well cayman, I do my own tire changes but it can be a pain. worst part is getting the beads broke loose from the wheel. I use c clamps to break the beads loose. you need to get a pair of rim protectors and tire irons to do it your self. Also a spray bottle with a soapy solution, makes the tire go off and on much easier.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 11:53 AM
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Well I have done both tires. Getting the front one off is a pain (3 tire irons method and two people stomping on it to break the bead) and the back was slightly less a pain. The big thing though- I went with the same size as OEM and I couldn't get the bead seated for the life of me. Even throwing all the tricks at it (except the starter fluid method, but you can youtube that one). I had to take them both to a shop. It is a lot cheaper though that way.

You can forgo getting those dopey rim protector things by using cut up plastic OJ containers. Use 2 of em if you want to be extra careful per iron if you want.

I used the write up on how to lube the splines for the rear wheel and used the service manual for removing the front wheel (took only 10 minutes or so. Rear was longer.)
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 12:54 PM
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The local dealer here charges $30 to change your tire, balance it and dispose of the old tire.....if you just bring in the wheel. Totally worth it to me.

If I still had all the required tools, not sure I'd do it myself anyway. Now if I owned more than 4 bikes I'd likely invest in a tire changer and the needed accessories. (because that would mean I'm rich enough to have all those bikes I could afford a nice tire change machine... )


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 07:48 PM
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Somebody here described his improvised bead breaker using his pick-up truck bumper, an 8 foot long 2X4 or 4X4 and a shorter piece of 2X4.

Lay the tire/wheel on the ground about a foot from the bumper, put the end of the short 2X4 against the tire sidewall next to the rim and press down against other end using the long 4X4 as a lever wedged under the bumper.


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 09:00 PM
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I usually change my own ,like others i use the c-clamps and tire irons and pay 10 buck's for balancing at the Honda shop,The last set I bought from them and they mounted and balanced them for me for $40 ,couldn't pass that one up.But I am going to build a truing and balancing stand and go back to doing it the way I used to,works just as good only takes a little patience and time to get them right.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-11-2012, 09:06 PM
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Did my front tire the other day.
I do have a "Stop and Go" bead breaker. Works better than beating on the tire and skinning the rim.

Got a 3 iron set of tire tools. You can put the first part of the tire on without using any tools. Just slick that puppy up, give it a little twist and it will go on easy.

Tire soap makes it all much easier. Slick that puppy up before you start putting the new tire on.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:30 AM
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I thought about having the local shop change mine but they charge $45 per wheel if you buy the tire from them. I think it's $50 if you have the tire already. Guess I been with my wife to long, LOL cause I'm enough of a tight wad I won't spend that much.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2012, 11:00 PM
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You also need to be pretty careful on the front so that you don't damage a brake rotor. If you have doubt, you might want to remove the rotor. I use a car wheel as a base to assist in tire changes. There are lots of DIY guides out there in both text and video. Look around. Worth your time. First time it seems like a SOB, but it gets easier.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2012, 11:01 AM
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I use a Harbor Freight tire changer withthe motorcycle adaptor. I drilled three inserts into my patio so I can bolt the device down and remove it when I'm done. I've seen people bolt these to a 4x8 piece of plywood, however, but that seemed kind of expensive to me. As far as balancing, I use the rod that came with the changer and a couple of milk crates-- computerized balancers aren't necessarily better, just faster in a shop environment. Many motorcycle shops will give you stick on weights, but they are cheap to buy on line. I've had the changer for over ten years, and it still hasn't paid for itself, but I HATE having other people touch my equipment. About the only thing I will let someone else do is repair an auto transmission, but I have changed solenoid packs myself. When changing a tire, cut up thick gallon containers, like bleach bottles, and use everywhere the rim touches ANYTHING, tire irons included (if you can.)
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