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Motorcycle wheels and tires. Login/Join 
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Picture of ridewv
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Compared to cars some frustrating things in riding motorcycles are the relative frequent and expensive tire replacements and the effort that's generally involved in removing the wheels. Replacing 4 tires on my Corolla may cost $400 installed and last 50,000 miles. Replacing 2 tires on my Moto Guzzi V7 cost $300 [I]not[/] installed and may last 6,000-7,000 miles. On a car you get the jack out, jack up the car, unscrew 5 lug bolts and remove wheel. On a motorcycle it's generally not so simple (rears on some single sided swing arm bikes such as many BMW's excepted).

I've been putting off the chore for a couple weeks but last evening I decided to pull the rear wheel off the Guzzi and mount the new tire I had bought. Fortunately this bike has tubeless wheels so if I were to get a puncture out on the road it could be plugged from the outside then puffed back up. But many have spoke wheels which require an inner tube, so a flat on one of those requires the wheel to be removed and one side of the tire pulled off to access the tube to patch or replace. Imagine being on a trip and somehow having to deal with doing this on the side of the road!

Roll bike on the lift, clamp and strap down the front. Put jack under bike and lift the rear. Remove both mufflers and the left lower shock bolt to allow shock to swing away (I remove both shocks this time as I have new ones to put on). Remove axle nut and loosen clamp bolt. Remove brake fixing pin. Run jack up high to gain enough clearance for the wheel to roll out under the rear fender. Note the various washers and spacers then pull out axle allowing brake caliper to fall out and the washers and spacers to fall and roll off the lift on to the floor. Spend 10 minutes finding all them. Now the wheel is still pressed into the splines so tug the wheel off and roll it out. Rubber cush drive blocks fall out of the wheel hub while doing this. Break the bead, remove old tire, clean wheel and balance it (I do this the first removal and these weights stay on), mount new tire and balance it.
Now the fun part, roll wheel under rear fender, lower jack so swingarm and wheel holes align, start sliding axle in from the left while steading the wheel. Squeeze fingers in and insert rubber cush drive blocks...1....2.....3....4....5....6....7.... wait there were only 6? Damn as each one is inserted the previous one had fallen out. Start over, this time applying a dab of grease to each one to hold them in place. This trick helps, now only a couple keep falling out. Knuckles are getting sore from trying to reach in the wheel hub and my hands and wrists are covered in grease but after 20 minutes I get the last one allowing the wheel to be pressed on the rear drive. Now tie the wheel onto the drive hub so it can't come off spilling out the damn cush drive blocks again then remove axle. Insert axle again, this time through the brake caliper bracket and inserting the washers and spacers. I was smart enough to have taken a pic to be sure they all went back in the same order. Whew drink a beer. Then get the torque wrench out and torque the various axle, clamp, shock, and brake bolts. Another beer, a shower, then to bed to dream about the joy of motorcycling.


No car is as much fun to drive, as any motorcycle is to ride.
 
Posts: 5247 | Location: Northern WV | Registered: January 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
All the time
Picture of Gear.Up
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quote:
Imagine being on a trip and somehow having to deal with doing this on the side of the road!



One reason why I joined BMW MOA is for their roadside assistance plans.
 
Posts: 2313 | Location: East TN | Registered: July 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of P250UA5
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We'll be doing the front tire on the Scout this month (pending arrival). Will be much easier than the rear.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 8267 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Last time I putted into the BMW shop, they delighted in telling me that both tires were worn out. 3800 miles on them! Eek


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 10671 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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feel your pain. been there/done that / got the tee shirt. got tired of replacing rear tire every 6000 miles. after 3 changes did the unthinkable and went "Darkside". for the unwashed that is replacing rear motorcycle tire with performance rated car tire. Factory size 180/55/18 bike tire and replaced with 215/45/18 on a Honda VTX 1800 F2. Double darkside is when front tire replaced also. Actual mileage 3x or better. Numerous people tried to say was getting a flat tire but due to the low profile it appeared as such. If i had been so inclined would be able to drag they footpegs in the twistees with the crotch rockets. Plus better traction on wet/dry roads during hard braking/ hard acceleration. Plus the cost of the car tire was less than a motorcycle tire..... August 2016 lost bike due to a major flood event (41 inches water in garage).......................... drill sgt.
 
Posts: 294 | Location: denham springs , la | Registered: October 19, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
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1. Call my favorite indie shop, tell him to order me a pair of Michelin Pilot Road 5's.

2. When he calls to tell me they're in, ride bike to said shop.

3. Stand around and bullshit about guns with him while his tire guy changes tires on the motorcycle-specific tire machine and balances them.

4. Write him a BIG fucking check and grin all the way home. Last time, a pair of PR4's installed didn't leave enough from $500 to bother stopping at Mickey D's.

Worth every penny.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 12668 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PHPaul:
1. Call my favorite indie shop, tell him to order me a pair of Michelin Pilot Road 5's.

2. When he calls to tell me they're in, ride bike to said shop.

3. Stand around and bullshit about guns with him while his tire guy changes tires on the motorcycle-specific tire machine and balances them.

4. Write him a BIG fucking check and grin all the way home. Last time, a pair of PR4's installed didn't leave enough from $500 to bother stopping at Mickey D's.

Worth every penny.


Haha, those are great tires. They're expensive and don't last for shit though. I did most of my own maintenance, but I was always happy to pay someone to change my tires.




"The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did," said Ford, "it is."
"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn't sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don't the people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn't occur to them. They've all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they've voted in more or less approximates the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards."
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn't vote for a lizard, then the wrong lizard might get in."
 
Posts: 2787 | Location: Two blocks from the Center of the Universe | Registered: December 30, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of P250UA5
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quote:
Originally posted by Perception:
quote:
Originally posted by PHPaul:
SNIP


Haha, those are great tires. They're expensive and don't last for shit though. I did most of my own maintenance, but I was always happy to pay someone to change my tires.


Road 4s on the Vulcan S, Getting more confident in getting them leaned over, lots of grip.

Metzler R/Dunlop F on the Scout. A comfortable, but much less sport-oriented combo.
Local Indian shop wanted an exorbitant amount to mount/balance a tire. >$300 (with the wheel already removed from the bike).
Different shop a bit further away was only $25 (IIRC) for mount/balance.




The Enemy's gate is down.
 
Posts: 8267 | Location: Spring, TX | Registered: July 11, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
"The deals you miss don’t hurt you”-B.D. Raney Sr.
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I feel your pain.

Put tires on the NC700 last year. 3rd set in 20k miles.

Put tires on the HD Roadster a few weeks ago. 3rd set in 12k miles.

I swear, between trucks, tractors, lawnmowers and MCs...tires and batteries are gonna break me.

But man, those first miles on new tires with no flat spot in the middle....
Worth it.
 
Posts: 5909 | Location: East Texas | Registered: February 20, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Cruising the
Highway to Hell
Picture of 95flhr
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Yep, I just did both tires on the old Road King. What a pain in the butt.




“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”
― Ronald Reagan

The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the positions, strategies or opinions of my employer.
 
Posts: 6079 | Location: Near the Beaverdam in VA | Registered: February 13, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
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quote:
Originally posted by Perception:

Haha, those are great tires. They're expensive and don't last for shit though. I did most of my own maintenance, but I was always happy to pay someone to change my tires.


About 8600 miles on the 4's and the rear is getting pretty skinny. Not down to the wear bars yet, but you can see them pretty clearly. Got just under 8000 from the Dunlops it came on. The difference was REALLY noticeable when I rode away on the Michelins. There'll be a set of 5's going on this Fall. Maybe sooner if the inspector doesn't like the rear. Due this month.

Around here, most shops will charge you out the wazoo for a mount and balance if you don't buy the tires from them. I can sort of understand that.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 12668 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ridewv
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quote:
Originally posted by hudr:
I feel your pain.

Put tires on the NC700 last year. 3rd set in 20k miles.

Put tires on the HD Roadster a few weeks ago. 3rd set in 12k miles.

I swear, between trucks, tractors, lawnmowers and MCs...tires and batteries are gonna break me.

But man, those first miles on new tires with no flat spot in the middle....
Worth it.


How true, nothing like having brand new tires on a motorcycle. I did the front this morning and it was a breeze. I generally replace them at the same time even if there's some remaining on one. The exception is on dirt and dual sport bikes where you can often get away only replacing the front with every other rear.



quote:
Originally posted by 95flhr:
Yep, I just did both tires on the old Road King. What a pain in the butt.


Yep Harley Tourers are just as bad as the Moto Guzzi and my Road King is due now. Frown

Contrast this with a BMW where you just lift it up on it's center stand, remove 4 (or 5) lug bolts, pull out wheel.


No car is as much fun to drive, as any motorcycle is to ride.
 
Posts: 5247 | Location: Northern WV | Registered: January 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Posts: 15444 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Prefontaine
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I’m lucky to get 1800 miles on my rear on the R1. Double that for the front. It’s also a PITA because of the underslung Brembo caliper. Removal and installation of the wheel without scratching anything takes lots of patience and breaks. Tires are so stiff that I don’t even bother with it anymore. I carry the wheels and new tires up to the shop where they have a Coats machine. Was $80, then $90, now I think it’s $105. I do get my tires cheap so it’s about $300 a swap front and rear.



lex talionis
 
Posts: 10234 | Registered: January 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ridewv
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Damn that Wing rider ran his rear tire completely bald!
I had a 2001 Gold Wing 1800 and recall changing them, my biggest issue was how stiff they were.

Prefontaine I don't blame you.
My friend has a NoMar tire machine which makes it a bit easier but I've been doing them on the floor by hand for 35 years and now am too old to invest in a tire machine. In all honesty in most cases it takes me longer to remove and reinstall the wheel than change the tires. I need to go to the Guzzi dealer to pick up a part so I'll try to remember to ask them how much labor is saved by bringing in the rear wheel vs having them remove and reinstall it.


No car is as much fun to drive, as any motorcycle is to ride.
 
Posts: 5247 | Location: Northern WV | Registered: January 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
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Many HD dealers won't change tires without selling you the tire, generally I've bought enough stuff at the local dealer they'll do it, recent labor turnovers make it challenging as the old guard is gone bringing in tires to mount.

Current bike has Air pressure sensors, so you have to be careful when changing them.

Rear tire for a full size HD bagger is over $300 for the tire alone.



 
Posts: 15444 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of ridewv
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quote:
Originally posted by HRK:
Many HD dealers won't change tires without selling you the tire, generally I've bought enough stuff at the local dealer they'll do it, recent labor turnovers make it challenging as the old guard is gone bringing in tires to mount.


I don't really blame them they can't make much off labor only changing tires yet they have the potential to loose quite a bit. The local Japanese dealership reluctantly used to change tires for people who brought in their wheels and tires. I was there when the guy who'd had them install his tire the rear wheel of his Ducati 748 and he was throwing a fit about a tiny scratch he claimed they did on his $1,100 wheel. I could barely see it and it wouldn't bother me but he was waiting for the owner to arrive. I thought to myself the dealership didn't get to make money selling the tire so they might have made $15 on a $30 tire mount after paying their employee, there goes this place changing tires that people buy elsewhere.



quote:
Current bike has Air pressure sensors, so you have to be careful when changing them.

Rear tire for a full size HD bagger is over $300 for the tire alone.



I'd say more like just don't be careless, they're right at the valve so you know where they are located. On wheels with sensors I would definitely balance the wheel alone before installing the tire and leave those weights there permanently because those sensors are heavy requiring a lot of weights to offset them.
Ouch.... I just checked, $248 for Dunlop American Elite for my Road King (which needs tires now) at Rocky MT ATV The good thing is they last over 10,000 miles.


No car is as much fun to drive, as any motorcycle is to ride.
 
Posts: 5247 | Location: Northern WV | Registered: January 17, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Kenda Challengers on one of my old Sportsters. $58 bucks for the front, $63 for the rear. Big Grin
 
Posts: 1764 | Location: WI | Registered: December 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I recently bought a KTM 890 Duke R that came with Michelin Powercup 2 tires. They are rated 90 percent track and 10 percent street. They are super sticky and probably won't last 1500 miles. I don't care though because the bike performs amazingly. Removing the wheels doesn't seem to be as much as a pain as your Moto Guzzi. I actually like working on my bike because it is relaxing.
 
Posts: 3038 | Location: MD | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Or you could be like me and ride about 200 miles a yearFrown. Mine should last forever.
 
Posts: 484 | Registered: February 20, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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