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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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youtube have some videos about replacing tires. by my experience :)doh:), had more trouble replacing the front tire (removing from wheel only one bead separated). took longer doing the tire that have taken to do a car or truck tire (manually with tire irons). rear one took to the shop, and for $25 they replace and balance the tire, and save a hard/frustation time. then, life have been really good.
 

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I live in an apartment and don't have the space for major bike work. Also, I wanted Metzeler's and the prices locally are all too high. So, I purchased the tires from JakeWilson.com (Metzeler ME880s) at a great price (I posted another thread on that). Then had the dealer mount them and lube the spines while the rear tire for a flat rate of $90. They did the work in less than an hour (would have taken me all day) and even washed the bike. Still saved a bundle, got the ME880's, lubed splines, a clean bike and I spent the rest of the day breaking the tires in (not cursing with a tire iron).
 

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I bought a HF changer with the motorcycle attachment a year ago and finally did the do a couple weeks ago. I replaced the rear on the VN with an oversized Metzeler 880, and the front and back on the KLR. Never did it before but figured if I'm gonna ride the KLR off road I should know how to change out or patch a tube in the wilderness of the Pinelands. I found the tubeless ME880 was easier than the set of tubed Shinkos. I just watched the videos and took my time. Still ended up pinching and snake biting a new tube that I patched and reused on the KLR. I ended up simply using the tire changer to lock the wheel in place and muscled the tires off using three irons. Just returned from Americade and have put 1K on the Metzeler without problems. Didn't balance it, yet, just matched the tire dot to the valve. No vibration or anything, but I think I'll add the dyna beads when I get around to it. Bottom line...at least I now know how to do it, I know I can do it, and, the 3 tire changes done at home paid for the equipment I bought.
 

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Just got a new rear tire from Jake Wilson last week. Took the wheel off and to a small, privately owned shop. 20 bucks to change tires and balance it too. Probably could have done it myself, but the neighbors kids don't learn any new words this way. ;)
 
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