Changing A Dirt Bike Tire
If you’re a seasoned rider, you probably know how to change your tires fairly quickly when they’ve gone flat, popped, or become worn out. However, if you’re a part-time or occasional rider, you may not be entirely familiar with how to change your tires. It’s crucial that you have the right tools for this, so check to see if you have them. Otherwise, you’ll need to go out to buy them or take your tires to a professional shop. Everyone has different methods and tools they swear by. The ones you’ll need no matter what are:
- Tire spoons
- A tire stand (so you aren’t working on the floor)
- Work gloves
- A 12mm wrench or socket
- A valve stem remover
- Tire lube
- Tire paste
- Bead Buddy
- Tire pressure gauge
Once you’ve got these tools, you’re ready to get started. Take the wheel off your bike and have all your items within arm’s reach to make the process as painless as possible. Here is a step-by-step guide to getting the job done.
- Set the tire sprocket side up on your tire stand. Remove the valve core to empty the air from the tube.
- Take your wrench and loosen the wheel’s rim lock, but don’t totally unscrew it off. Leave it barely hanging on.
- Get your tire spoons and insert one into the tire to break the bead from the edge of the rim. The bend in the spoon should be facing down. Leave it in and repeat with the second and third spoons an inch or two apart. Now, move around the tire alternating the spoons until the bead is totally broken from the rim.
- Now, do the other side of the tire in the same fashion. Keep pressure on it by leaning against it as your work around the rim. Once done, push down on the tire to make sure the bead is all the way broken.
- Push the nut on the top of the lock bolt to force the rim lock into the tire well.
- Now that the bead is broken, you can work the tire over the rim using the tire spoons. Use one hand to hold the tire bead down and the other to slide a tire spoon into the tire to lever it over the rim. Push the spoon far enough in so it stays in place while you do the same with your other two spoons.
- Once one side of the tire off the rim, take the valve out of it and pull the tube from out of the tire. Be sure to put the valve core back on so it’s ready to go.
- Remove the tire from the other side and, from there, you’ll be able to push the tire down and off the rim altogether. You should only do this if your tire stand is sturdy. Otherwise, pry it off on the ground and then put it back on your stand.
- Ensure the rim is in completely good condition before moving on. Sharp edges and debris could damage the tube.
- Grab your new tire and coat it with your tire lube or another option like talc baby powder.
- Put the rim disc side up on your stand and drop the new tire over it. Place the tube inside the tire as straight as you can. Try to not twist it.
- Fill the tube up with a very minimal amount of air so it fills out the tire.
- Apply tire paste with a sponge around the inside of the bead of the tire on both sides.
- Insert the valve stem back into the rim with the nut to hold it in place. Pop the rim lock in place as well.
- Now we can begin working the new tire on. Using the tire spoons, take small “bites” (one to two inches apart) and work around the rim. If you’re having trouble with the rim lock, slide two spoons on either side of it and slowly bring the tire up and over it. This should work with a little effort. Make sure the tube is above the rim lock.
- Flip your tire back to the disc side and re-apply the tire paste. Grab your Bead Buddy and insert it into the tire to keep it off the bead.
- Use one hand to push down on the opposite side of the tire you’re working on. With a tire spoon, start working around the tire to finish getting the tire into the rim. Make sure the tire stays off the bead as you do this. As you get closer to the Bead Buddy, work the spoon it lightly.
- On the last “bite,” slide the spoon in and take your Bead Buddy out. Ensure the tire is completely off the bead before moving on.
- Fill the tube up with the correct PSI (should be 12-14 PSI).
- Install the valve cap and tighten the rim lock nut. Be careful to not overtighten these!
And there you have it! This process will seem time-consuming and potentially arduous, but it will save you money by doing it yourself.