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Discussion Starter #1
I bought two 24" tire irons to change tires...it seems like it takes so much pressure to remove the tire from the rim that the irons damage them. Am i doing something wrong?
 

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Another old dirt bike guy
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566 Posts
Take smaller bites, I have changed tires for years with 12" and shorter tire irons and never hurt a rim yet. Well I will admit when I was a kid I probably scratched a rim or two.

Also, try using some WD40 on the tire bead when you mount them up. The WD40 will make the bead slick for easier install but evaporates fairly quick so you will have no ill effects from it. I have used this method for many years and it works better than soap!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you think that i need 12" irons maybe the 24" are meant more for cars? This is the first time that i've tried to use irons to change a motorcycle tire i guess it takes a little experience to get the hang of it...Thanks Griff
 

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Another old dirt bike guy
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24" is a pretty big tire tool, but it should work just fine. Find an old wheel and just practice, you WILL get the hang of it, it just takes practice.
 

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Tree Magnet
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make sure you break the bead. if you don't, you'll have a hell of a time. remove the valve from the stem and use a bead breaker if you have one. if not, step on the tire near the bead until you feel it give away from the rim. Do this around the tire on both sides - you may ned to really stomp if the tire has been on for a long time. once the bead is awat from the rim, it should spoon right off.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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15,810 Posts
I use a c-clamp to squeeze the tire to get the bead to come off. The length of the irons shouldn't matter beyond that. Just like a bicycle tire, take small bites around the tire. Definitely use something to get the new bead to seat. I just use soapy water, but you need something to help it slide on.
 

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OPEN ROAD IS CALLING
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131 Posts
Also very important to keep pushing the tire bead down on both
sides as your getting close to getting the tire off. This will give
more tire, less pressure needed with the irons. After one side of
tire is off, I will put a small block on each side of the valve stem
and the bead lock to hold the tire out from the rim. When you do
that, you need to have an iron on the bottom side holding that
side of the tire from comming up. This gives you a lot more room
to get your hand in there. Takes practice. My 19 year old son still
struggles. I can take one completly off and put a new one on in
15-20 min.
Good luck!8)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the tips...i will put some rubber hose on the irons and might cut them in half to see if it makes it any easier :)
 

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Another old dirt bike guy
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Thanks for the tips...i will put some rubber hose on the irons and might cut them in half to see if it makes it any easier :)
You do not need to cut up your tire irons, they will work just fine. They don't cost that much anyway so if you want shorter irons just buy another set and save your nice long irons for a really stubborn tire sometime.

Use the tips that have been posted in this thread and as I mentioned before, try to find an old junk wheel that you can pick up for little to nothing ($) and just practice removing and installing the tire. In fact old tires are much tougher than a fresh new tires, so it will be great practice for you. Remove and install the tire about ten times and you will be a pro.:D
 

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Premium Member
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1,239 Posts
Also very important to keep pushing the tire bead down on both
sides as your getting close to getting the tire off. This will give
more tire, less pressure needed with the irons. After one side of
tire is off, I will put a small block on each side of the valve stem
and the bead lock to hold the tire out from the rim. When you do
that, you need to have an iron on the bottom side holding that
side of the tire from comming up. This gives you a lot more room
to get your hand in there. Takes practice. My 19 year old son still
struggles. I can take one completly off and put a new one on in
15-20 min.
Good luck!8)
...and good point here...the most important thing to remember (so that you will not need to use so much pressure) is to keep the bead down (on the opposite side)in the center pert of the rim!.

You will get the hang of it
 

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You have been given lots of good advice and here's the technical details:
Most motorcycle and automotive rims/wheels are known as "drop center" rims. You have to break the bead of the tire loose from the outer flange of the rim and allow it to "drop" down into the smaller diameter portion in the center of the rim. Then you can use a tire tool to pry the bead over the flange directly opposite from where it has dropped into the center.
Additionally- on tube type tires (most motorcycles) you have to be extremely care not to pinch the tube with your tire tool. The best way to protect the tube is to remove the valve core and suck the remaining non-pressurized air out of the tube which causes the tube to collapse. You can use a suction type air nozzle solvent srayer (slip the vinyl tubing over the valve stem) to vacuum out the air but if you don't have one of those you can suck it out with your own lungs (no pornographic images implied or intended). I can guarantee that you will pinch the tube and puncture it if you're not extremely careful.
 

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The purpose of keeping the bead down towards the center of the rim is because of the smaller diameter of the center section of the rim. This lets the rim drop away from the side you are working with the tire irons. This is what most people aren't doing when they are having a bunch of trouble. And like was said, use a lube. Simple Green works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I've got at least 6 tires to work on from the parts bikes that i've bought. That's why i need to learn to change them myself and save the expense of a shop doing it...on 2 of the tires i will probably try and swap the rims out with the hubs on my 93 kx125 because the front and rear rims have cracks...that will be another post later on :biggrin:

I bought a 98 klx300 yesterday that i'm going to part out over the next 6 months. Along with the 89 yz125...and keep working on getting my 93 kx125 running by spring :-D
 

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yes definately break the bead all the way around first (both sides) before doing anything else. also I have cut up ice cream container lids (any thick plastic will do) into small rectangles and shove them between the iron and rim to protect the rims as the tire is levered off. Its good for one tire change so keep a pile handy. My first tire change took over 2 hours!! but half that time now.
 

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MX. Dad and Racer.
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207 Posts
get a 5 gallon pail to work on the tire it makes it much easier to do it .
put it in disc down in the pail so you dont damage it.
windex is a great lube.
make sure you get the tire in the centre part of the rim that way you have more play to remove the tire and also get it on.
it should take about 20 min to do a tire .
take your time and dont force it .
good luck
 
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