While it isn’t hard to change a motorcycle tire, it can get a little tricky the first time around. In this guide, I’ll go over the step-by-step process of changing your motorcycle tires to allow a smoother process. Besides helping you save money, knowing how to change your bike tires allows you to grow more familiar with your motorcycle.
What Are “Own” Motorcycle Tires?
Own spoked motorcycle tires are special tires for bikes with spoke wheels. Their design allows them to provide excellent traction and grip while withstanding the weight of the motorcycle.
Own spoked motorcycle tires have a unique rubber composition that’s resistant to wear and offers better grip, making it a more expensive tire option. Even so, it’s worth the investment if you’re looking for long-lasting motorcycle tires.
The Benefits of Getting Spoked Motorcycle Tires
In the last couple of years, I’ve seen the motorcycle industry go through numerous changes. Specifically, I’ve noticed spoked tires becoming more and more common. That’s because they offer several advantages compared to regular tubeless tires, making them the best choice for most riders. A major benefit is their impeccable durability.
The spokes allow better weight distribution, which lowers the risk of blowouts. They ensure added support to carry heavy loads, which makes them suitable for long distance riding.
Spoke-type tires can easily conform to uneven surfaces. The feature makes them effective for off-road riding that involves rough terrain.
Lastly, they’re much lighter than tubeless tires, allowing better performance. So if you’re looking for durability or speed, spoked tires are your answer.
Changing a Spoked Motorcycle Tire
When you’re dealing with a flat tire on your motorcycle, you have two options. Either change it yourself or take it to a motorcycle shop. Now if you’re a couple of miles a away from the nearest mechanic, it’s good to know how to change a tire. In this case, you need a new tire, a torque wrench, a rim strip, and tire levers. To inflate the new tire, you’ll require an air compressor.
First, you’ll have to remove the tire completely, whether it’s the rear or front wheel, from the motorcycle. This means lifting the bike off the ground and removing the axle so the wheel comes off.
After removing the wheel, deflate it. Ideally, you should remove the valve core from the valve stem. You can remove it from the valve stem using a special valve core tool available at most auto part stores, so don’t try doing this with any other tools.
Breaking the Tire Bead
Next, you have to break the bead holding the tire to its rim. If you’re dealing with a bigger tire, in some cases a special rear tire, you’ll need a special tire bead breaker tool. A bead breaker usually has integrated spoons as well.
Use a tire iron and loosen the lug nuts on your motorcycle wheel. It is important to mention here that there are two types of tire irons. The rod used for loosening the lug nuts is referred to as tire iron by many, but tire irons are different.
To be specific, tire irons are used for dislodging the tire from the rim. You use two of them at once to remove the tire from the motorcycle wheel.
Then, pry off the old tire from the tire bead using tire levers. If it’s glued on, you will have to use a sharp razor blade in addition to the tire iron. After removing the old tire, take off the rim strip and check the inside for any damage.
Make sure you do it carefully and without breaking the valve stem. A broken valve stem could be a huge mistake if you don’t catch it while fixing the tire.
Check the brake rotor and wheel bearings as well. If it looks fine, go ahead and put on the new tire. Just make sure you align the hole in the rim and valve stem. Use tire levers to seat the tire on the edge.
After this, put back the rim strip and tighten the lug nuts with the torque wrench. Use the air compressor to inflate your new tire and you’re all set! Before you hit the road, check the front and rear wheel to make sure that everything’s in order.
Changing a motorcycle tire is a simple process, and practice makes it a lot easier. If you follow these steps, you can replace your old tire in no time.
FAQs About Spoke-Type Motorcycle Tires
In case you’re wondering where the name ‘spoked’ comes from, it refers to wire pokes, which have been in use for many years. Of course, nowadays, you’ll find several kinds of spoked tires on the market. If you’re considering upgrading the tires on your bike, here’s what you should know.
Are there drawbacks of installing spoked tires?
While spoked tires offer plenty of strength, one disadvantage of installing them is that they’re more expensive. As they need more maintenance, you can expect flat tires if you don’t inflate them properly.
How do I choose new spokes for my bike?
When buying a spoke motorcycle tire, keep your riding style in mind, as well as the kind of road you’re riding on. Let’s say you prefer off-road riding. Then, you need good traction, especially on an uneven track. But if you’re riding on regular streets, you’ll prefer something light to enhance performance.
Are tires with spokes stronger than normal ones?
A lot of riders have this question, but there’s no fixed answer. Spoked tires are more flexible, which is a plus when you ride on uneven terrain. Usually, they have a lower air pressure, which reduces the risk of a flat. On the other hand, solid tires have a greater puncture resistance, allowing them to last a longer time. Hence, it all comes down to the rider and what he prefers.
Why do spokes break?
This can happen due to a manufacturing defect, a lack of maintenance, or harsh riding conditions.
How much maintenance do spoked tires need?
One common concern among riders is that spoke tires are more high-maintenance than their solid counterparts. As spokes can come loose over time, you have to tighten them at regular intervals. That being said, they need just as much maintenance as most tires.
Now that you’ve gone over a complete guide on how to change a motorcycle tire, I’m sure you’ll feel more confident when doing it yourself. While it isn’t a difficult process, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Whenever you come across such a situation, remember to take your time and have patience. Remember: riding is about the journey and not just the destination!