Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rear Tire - Attempt 2

Following Dom's suggested technique, I screwed a 2x4 scrap to one of the posts in the garage. I then placed a long 2x4 under it and another scrap piece between the long one and the tire. By pushing down on the long 2x4, the tire bead is easily pushed down and loosened from the rim. This is done on both sides of the tire. The smallish tire levers that came in the factory toolkit were barely adequate to remove the bead from the disc brake side of the wheel.

The tube is removed after removing the nut from the valve stem. Removing the other bead from the wheel proved to be more difficult with the two supplied tire levers as I always wished I had at least one more. This is supposed to be the easy side.

I had wanted to try and do this whole process using only the tools provided in the supplied toolkit or at least using what I would be willing to carry. I thought that the most difficult part was going to be breaking the bead and getting the first side started.



  1. It does get easier the more tires you change, I sweat and cussed a blue streak the first time. Now I use two small tire spoons and one large one for leverage. Use lots of soapy water to break the bead and spoon the tire on and off the rim. Don't be shy with the soap ratio either, I use liquid laundry soap as it seems to work better than dish soap.
    I'm surprised to see tubes with those rims, I'd think you could run tubeless. No?

    1. Yep, the snowflake rims are not designed to be tubeless and as there isn't the extra ridge cast into the wheel to help secure the bead. I'll take a picture of the inside of the rim when I get the tire off. The BMW forums are full of people running them with and without tubes and, as you can expect, there are lots of predictions of the world ending if you don't do what the BMW engineers say...

      I had ordered a larger set of tire irons from Amazon but they won't get here for a couple of more days. And I thought that I only needed the soap solution to get the tire onto the rim. Thank you for the suggestions. I figured that I wanted to try this now rather than sitting on the side of the road somewhere in the middle of nowhere. We see to have a lot of that middle of nowhere around here.

  2. Richard

    So if I read things correctly, you've broken the beads on both sides of the tire and the issue now is removing the tire from the wheel?

    Three tire irons are definitely key if not using a tire changer setup and a mojo lever. I have two small spoons as "holders" to prevent the rubber rim from slipping back into the wheel rim and a longer one to do the prying.

    Some points I have learned the hard way.

    1. When working with inner tubed tires, try to not exceed a 90 degree turn angle as you can pinch a tube.

    2. Small bites with the spoons, if you're using great force, you're doing something wrong.

    3. When mounting new tire and you're approaching the last 3-5 inches of tire it'll be very tight....ensure you push the side of the tire opposite the tight portion well down into the wheel well to relieve pressure on the remaking portion to be spooned.

    4. Warm rubber much easier to spoon than cold rubber.

    5. Use dishwasher soap/water mic liberally along the rubber rim, lubrication is key!!!!!!!

    6. With inner tubes, coat liberally with baby powder, corn starch is good substitute before putting inside new tire...inflate slightly so it has form....don't exceed 90 degree angle when using tire irons...small bites.

    7. Tire changer makes things much easier, tire irons only is possible but more effort and technique is key. Larger moto tires are much stiffer and to me, a great Pita which is why I searched for and was fortunate to find the HF tire changer and mojo lever.



    1. Thank you for the suggestions. I've replaced tires thousands of times on a bicycle but never on a vehicle. After my first attempt last Monday, I ordered a set of larger tire levers but they haven't come in yet. The tube suggestions are appreciated as I've heard many stories of punctured tubes during the installation. The cold rubber may be an issue as the garage is right around freezing as evidenced by the mixture of melt water from the cars and ice on the floor.

      I just sent an email to a fellow airhead in town asking if I could use his tire changer, assuming he's still in town. People seem to want to leave AK around this time of year for some odd reason.

      I did check the tube carefully after I removed it and no issues, probably because it still had enough air to retain it's shape. Much harder to pinch. With #6, 90° angle relative to the wheel?

    2. I second #4

      4. Warm rubber much easier to spoon than cold rubber.

    3. Things aren't looking too good for this weekend though as they are predicting it to drop below -50 tomorrow. Probably won't happen but if it does, it's a good reason to stay indoors..

  3. Vespa p200 comes with spare wheel and split rims. All changed with the spark plug tool.

    1. Split rims. There's a term I haven't heard of for years. But they really do simplify tire changes. I'm looking forward to more stories of the p200.

  4. Richard:

    I think with split rims, even I could change a tire. I just hope that if I ever get a flat, that there is cellphone coverage

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. Cell phone coverage is still an issue around here as there are long sections of major roads with no cell phone coverage. That's why I wanted to figure out this tire changing thing....

  5. Lots of good suggestions here Richard from everyone.

    I'm an HF changer/Mojo lever user as well.

    Heat helps a lot, if you shop isn't warm, I take the old tire/rim and new tire in the house.

    I've got a gallon of Camel tire changing lubricant it helps to unmount (seems to help breaking the bead) and mount, lasts a long time, even for me.

    Agree strongly with a bit of air in the tube to help keep its shape.

    I do tube and tubeless; really helps to have a big compressor for bead seating.

    With all the m/c tires I've changed, the worst by far are my scooter tires. I bought the HF mini-changer and it's made life much better.

    I carry a can of sealant for my tube machines and a plug kit for the tubeless, my air pump when I'm heading further from home. My last flat was on the Helix down in the middle of Iowa on a gravel road. Red Worms and glue weren't enough, made it home with my can of sealant......I was desperate and it worked.

    1. The tire is unmounted now and the new tire is sitting on top of the boiler to warm up a bit. Later this evening I'll see if I can get it on the rim. Maybe I should just work in the utility room and warm up the rim as well. I do have a reasonable sized compressor to reseat the tire beads.

      Unfortunately HF no longer sells the tire changer and even if they did, they refuse to ship to Alaska anyway.