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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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Daily Rider
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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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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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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...;) )

KM
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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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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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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Did my front tire the other day.
I do have a "Stop and Go" bead breaker. Works better than beating :hitanykey 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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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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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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Crap, I WAS in 5th gear.
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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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Old leather gloves work well as rim protectors. My used ebay tire irons paid for themselves the first time I used them.
 

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Here's one other thought to ponder if deciding to mount your own tire as opposed to taking it to a dealer shop.

The VN750 has cast aluminum wheels. If you break or crack the rim.. You get to eat the price of a new wheel.

If the shop damages it... They get to buy you the new wheel. :)
 

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Once I have the tire/wheel laying on my old piece of carpet I use for such things, I can change a Vulcan front or rear tire in 10-15 minutes, with no problems. I have a cheap bead breaker I got from JC Whitney, I used to break the beads by jumping up and down on them, but it took longer and more effort. Never failed to work though. With or without the bead breaker, I spray the beads with WD-40 once I have deflated the tire. Once you get the bead broken, all you need are a couple of 10" tire irons wrapped in electrical tape, and some more WD-40. Use plenty of it. It is so slippery the tires almost come off the wheels by themselves. I have never needed anything bigger than 10" tire irons. The ones I have are about 30 years old, and I have changed hundreds of tires with them. You just need to retape them once in a while. The new tires go back on as easy as the old tires came off. Again use plenty of WD-40.

This time does not include balancing, something I am VERY picky about. I place the tire/wheel between 2 jackstands, with the axle laying in the cradles on the jackstands, and spin the tires by hand, moving weights around until they are perfect. It often takes over an hour per tire, but it is easy. Just open a can/bottle of your favorite beverage, kick back, and start spinning. When you get it so you can spin it 5 times in a row without it stopping in the same place more than once, it is balanced.

I don't change my own tires to save money, I do it because I want it done right, and I don't trust anybody else, especially a shop, to do it right.
 

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Crap, I WAS in 5th gear.
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Hey Jerry, have you had WD-40 adhere the tire to the rim? I've heard of this happening. I'm torn between the corrosive aspect of dish soap vs WD-40 being so slick initially that the tire spins on the rim.
 

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Once you have the tire on the rim and properly inflated, it's not going anywhere. Some dirt riders use rim locks, to prevent their tires from spinning on the rim and breaking off the tube valve. But they run really low pressures, usually 10 psi or less, and tube type tires that don't grip the rim the way tubeless tires do. After removing a tire some 18,000 miles later, I found no trace of WD-40, and had to use a bead breaker to break the bead loose.

Some people claim WD-40 is hard on rubber, but I have not found this to be true. I have used it to mount tires, I have used it on rubber manifolds and carb boots to help them slip into place, even on rubber side cover grommets. I have coated the inside of carb float bowls with it to protect them from corrosion during storage. I have never found any damage caused by it.
 

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I just remove my wheels, take them to my Kawi dealer. Ther charge about $15 per wheel to mount and dismount. not bad, and hassle free.
 

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I just remove my wheels, take them to my Kawi dealer. Ther charge about $15 per wheel to mount and dismount. not bad, and hassle free.
Absolutly at that price, I think around here about $30 is the least if you take the wheel in and bought the tire from them, and about $40 if you got the tire elsewhere...:doh:...
Have a god one...Old Dog...
 

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Change my rear today at the FT. Rucker Autocraft shop. Guess I'm lucky to have it close by, cost me $3. Putting in 22 years with the Army is good for something these days. :)
 
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