Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easy Tire Installation

Does it seem like I'm always working on the rig to keep it on the road? Sometimes it does. Today marks the official end of Winter as I removed the studded Heidenau K60 tires on both the pusher and the front. Changing tires especially putting on tires has been a real challenge for me. While I was visiting Dom in Denver, he mentioned an introductory sale price on the Baja Tools No Pinch tire tool so I jumped on line and ordered one immediately. I had seen a video of a similar product made somewhere in Europe and this one was half the price and no international shipping!

I did end up going back to the site and ordering the 17mm axle shaft since that was the size I needed for my bike instead of the included 20mm shaft. After getting the tire bead started, you simply place the end of the geared shaft against the bead and pull on the geared handle to push the bead onto the wheel. The tool is anchored with a shaft the same size as the axle going into the wheel. Getting the bead seated, even with the stiff sidewall of the K60 was a snap. As in about a minute with very little physical effort. It took me longer to do just about every other task than installing the tire. What a difference! An incredible tool for anyone who changes their own tires. Absolutely no risk of pinching the tube with the tire irons.

Since I had both wheels off, I thought that it may be a good idea to grease the wheel bearings. George Rahn, the BMW guru of Fairbanks, said that the non-sealed tapered roller bearings on my bike will probably last forever as long as they are regularly greased. He had this nifty tool that you simply insert into the wheel and pump grease into the zerk fitting on the end. Grease comes out of a hole in the middle of the shaft and is forced into the bearings at each end. He said to just keep pumping in grease until it starts to come out at either end. It works pretty slick and I may need to pick one up. He suggested greasing the bearings every time the tires are changed.

I reused my old Heidenau K60 that I took off last Fall on the front as there is still plenty of tread left even though it has something like 12K miles. For the rear, I'm trying out a sidecar specific tire. The Heidenau K28 has a square profile for more rubber on the road and a stiff sidewall to handle the lateral loads and is available in the correct inch size for my bike, 4.00x18. It went on very easily with the new tool and it took much longer to loosen the bead on the old tire than putting the new one on. Both wheels took less than an oz of weight to balance.

Of course, I had to try out the new tires and was amazed how much quieter the ride was. The studs do make quite a bit of noise. One more task done and the studded tires still have plenty of life left and will be re-installed next October. My winter commuting only totaled a couple of thousand miles.

11 comments:

redlegsrides said...

Glad you liked the tool RichardM though now I must remember to checked the wheels on the Ural to make sure I don't need the additional part.

RichardM said...

Yes, I do like the tool! Thank you for mentioning it! I had a heck of a time finding the axle diameter online and if I was home, I probably would have just pulled the axle and measured it. But Duane Ausherman mentioned the axle diameter on his Airhead site.

Andrew Thomson said...

Neat looking bit of kit!

SonjaM said...

A couple of thousand miles winter commuting "only"? I know folks who do not ride more than that amount in a year. I'd say, well done, Richard.

RichardM said...

And works really well. It's definitely a part of my on board toolkit.

RichardM said...

Thanks, though just riding back and forth on the same road gets boring. I needed some other trips thrown in. Maybe next year.

Troubadour said...

Great little tool, never heard of them before but I may have to give it a try.

RichardM said...

Weighs under 2 lbs and incredibly easy to pop the tire on. No effort at all. The original tool is at Kaurit-Moto and has more steel parts. They have a better video.

Unknown said...

Richard:

Neat tool. I've seen them before and wondered how they were better. I have to see it in action as to how it doesn't pinch inner tubes.

'only' a couple of thousand miles, is a couple of thousand miles more than I've moved my bike this winter. For you, where you are, the sidecar was the best thing you ever did

bob
A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

Pretty cool the way they work. The Kaurit-moto site has a pretty good video showing how easily the tire goes on and how tools never go anywhere near the tube.

And, yes, I would heartily agree that the addition of the sidecar was the best think I could do for my winter riding "fix".

Unknown said...

Richard:

and like DOM, another R100 to use as a spare and to get that "leaning" action during the summer

bob
A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast