Friday, September 20, 2013

Replacing the Pusher

Friday evenings motorcycle maintenance task was replacing the rear tire. As you can see, it is worn out and near the end of its useful life. I didn't expect it to last as long as it did at almost 4,000 miles. This was also an opportunity to try out the tire levers that I had picked up last winter. The first step after jacking up the bike was removing the left muffler. Supposedly this doesn't need to be done but it makes it much easier to get the wheel off. After removing the wheel, I used the bead breaking setup that I had made up last winter using a couple of 2x4's. Removing the old tire was surprisingly easy and only took a few minutes.
My new rear tire is another Heidenau K60. It has a really stiff sidewall and I expected it to be difficult to get on the rim. The first bead was no problem and after inserting the tube and putting in a little bit of air, I attacked the second bead. With the help of a little water and dish soap, my son, Kyle, and I got the second side on. This is a really stiff tire and it took a lot of weight to get the bead on one side to drop down into the center trough of the rim. But once it did, the rest of the bead popped right on. I was careful to align the paint dot on the tire with the valve stem as it is supposed to mark the heaviest part of the tire. It took about 40 psi to seat the bead with a couple of satisfying "pops" and I aired it down to 38 psi.
I dug out the tire balancer and ended up removing all of the existing weights and adding only ½ oz to the other side. This is a far cry from the 5 oz that the sidecar wheel and tire needed and this is by far a much heavier tire. Once the weights were added, it was a simple matter of reinstalling the wheel on the bike, putting the caliper and muffler back on and bolting everything together again.
The final task of the evening was studding the rear tire. Last winter, I used some screws with hardened heads but they needed to be replaced every couple of hundred miles on the rear tire. This year, I am using carbide GripStuds that I ordered from Aerostitch. I hear that they will last through multiple winters. I installed 52 studs for now and will see how they do. According to the weather guessers, our next snowfall will be on Monday. It probably won't stick but I want to be ready for it. I'm still trying to figure out what to do on the front as there isn't enough rubber on the existing front tire. There is still plenty of tread left but not quite enough for the 11mm studs.

11 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Glad the tire change was easier than expected, always a bonus when dealing with tires. Did you use baby powder or corn starch on the inner tube to ease installation and hopefully prevent pinching?

As to 4k miles on the pusher, that's not bad...I hope to get 6k miles out of my heidenau k37 pusher. Maybe, I should get the next pusher siped?

Steve Williams said...

RichardM and Charlie6: You know you guys are out there right? Corn starch, studded tires. Most of us are perplexed by your hearty adventure and engineering prowess.

Richard: Glad the tire change was smooth. Wrestling with tires is no fun.

Steve Williams
Scooter in the Sticks
ScooterNSticks on Twitter

redlegsrides said...

out there? Steve?

I believe you've been known to put snow tires on your Vespa to go riding in "sub-optimal" traction conditions.....

Are you really, really, really sure Junior can't be somehow trained to sit nicely in a small sidecar, attached to a Vespa or a URAL?

RichardM said...

Yes, I used cornstarch in the tire before the tube went in. I meant to pick up some commercial tire lube but ended up using water and dish washing soap. After hearing all the horror stories on ADVrider about installing the K60, I was expecting the worse.

I hear that siping really helps on ice. I was always concerned about accelerated tire wear. But many commercial long haul drivers swear by it.

RichardM said...

I think that changing your own tires is a skill you'd want to know especially if you plan to venture off the beaten path. Much of Alaska and it's neighbor to the east, the Yukon Territory, sort of fits that description.

Just the fact that Aerostitch sells the studs should suggest that studding motorcycle tires may not be that uncommon. If you look at GripStud's website, they have studs listed for scooters, bicycles and boots.

RichardM said...

I would classify "out there" as the world travelers like traveling in the Himalayas on a Royal Enfield, alone. Or the many traveling around Africa or South America. Everywhere I go there are roads. Today, someone mentioned that I should be looking forward to snow and ice so I don't needlessly wear out the studs with all this bare asphalt...

BMW HACKER said...

Looks like you're ready for snow / ice.
I don't miss the Winter cold when in AZ.
Spent too many years working / playing out in it and just don't like it any more.
I used to balance tires but found that it didn't seem to make a bit of difference for my use. Haven't balanced one in years on any of my bikes. Guess I've been lucky and haven't received any "square" cheepos...lol.

Steve Williams said...

Junior is lying on the floor next to me — I roused him and inquired about the sidecar suggestion. He told me to get a cat....

As far as being out there goes my sub-optimal riding has more to do with temperature than snow and ice. I've been caught in (and on) the stuff but don't tend to venture out in it to the degree the two of you do. So I"ll stand by my out there comment.

A Royal Enfield in the Himalayas isn't out there, that's just plain nuts!

RichardM said...

I think I could do without the snow and ice but that's what we have so may as well make the best of it. The sidecar tire was so out if balance that it took 5 oz (20 of the stick-on weights)! After balancing it, all of the vibration I had with the sidecar installation vanished. When do you move south again?

BMW HACKER said...

WOW...5 oz's. That would defintely cause some vibration.
We're working all over New Mexico for the next 2 months...then to AZ. Likely mid - late November. Working 7 days a week every week so not much time for riding unfortunately.

Unknown said...

Hope my tires last on my URAL this winter after riding in the snow...many miles I hope