A bad attitude is like a flat tyre; you can’t go anywhere until you change it.
Changing a tyre is the last thing a motorcyclist would love to do, no matter how easy it is. It’s more so when you have to do it in the middle of your trip. But replacing motorcycle tyres is an art, a test of how fast and accurately you can do it. It’s also definitely something that you can’t shirk. Situations like regular punctures, swollen, sloppy and twisted tyres, losing grips or flat-spotted are warning signs that you need to finally replace your motorcycle tyre.
Regardless of the type of bike you own, you’d need the following tools to carry out the operation of changing a motorcycle tyre.
1. Wheel balancer
2. Bead breaker
3. Silicone lubricant
4. Tyre levers
5. Breezer tyre tool
6. Valve tool
7. Rim protector
8. Compressed air pump
These are some of the basic tools that you must keep handy. They are easily available in all motorcycle parts stores.
Utilization of the correct method at the time of changing a motorcycle tyre is extremely important. An improperly installed tyre not only damages the tyre or at worst the motorcycle, but also puts the rider at grievous risk of an accident. So, it is compulsory that you follow the right technique on replacing your motorcycle tyre so that you save your valuable time, money and most importantly enjoy complete safety on road.
Most modern motorcycle tyres have in-built tread wear indicators by which motorcyclists can check the tread depth at regular intervals. Using these indicators, you’ll come to know whether your tyres have crossed the recommended replacement threshold, and it’s time for a replacement. Based on the quality of tyres you use and extent you use them, you must possess a good knowledge of how long they last and when is the right time to change them.
Cool-looking and monstrous superbikes like Ducati, VFR, Harley Davidson V-Rod and Triumph with single-sided swingarms require greater efforts than bikes with smaller cc when it comes to changing tyres. You probably need some assistance while mounting the wheel on a balancer or to hold the wheel on the stand in a wall-pivoted bead breaker. This is especially so if you’re changing the tyres for the first time in this class of motorcycles.
Equally worth considering here is how you go about changing tyres equipped with Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) or Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) sensors. If the tyre change is not done in a proper fashion, the sensor can sustain damage, which will only add to your repairing/replacement costs. Therefore, unless you’re certain that you’ve a fair knowledge of handling tyres that come with such systems, it’d be better off to let trained mechanics do the job.
It would be enlightening to know that in some countries it is illegal for any authorized dealer or repair stations for motorcycles (or any other vehicle for that matter) to knowingly not re-install a working TPMS system if the motorcycle arrived at the said facility with a working TPMS system. As a motorcycle enthusiast, you can confirm whether this is sometimes the case with you when you are doing a tyre change in such a facility, because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Changing your motorcycle’s tyres at the right time and in the right way is a small yet significant part of standard maintenance. It is about ensuring that your tyres are in good condition no matter where you go. You may be wondering why you should take the troubles when a professional mechanic can do all of this for you. Sometimes you’re not accessible to those mechanics, for instance when you’re stranded on a deserted highway. So, there’s nothing wrong in upskilling yourself and doing it yourself without waiting for someone else. Again, this will save you your hard-earned money as well as precious time.