Tech Tip Tuesday: Changing Out A Dirt Bike Tire The Easy Way


Easy Way To Change A Dirt Bike Tire

If it’s your first time changing a tire, there may be no true “easy” way to change a tire on a motorcycle (unless you pay someone else to do it for you). The first couple of times you change a tire, it may be a little frustrating, but if you follow these tips, you’ll be a tire changing whiz in no time. This step by step guide with pictures will show you how to do it yourself in the most painless way possible, so you can spend your cash on more important things, like gasoline.

What you’ll need:

  • Two Good Tire Irons
  • A replacement Tire
  • Tube (in case yours is shot)
  • Soapy Water in a Spray Bottle
  • Wrench or socket/ratchet for rim lock and valve stem (Usually 12mm)
  • Air Pump or Compressor
  • Valve Stem Puller
  1. Remove tire from your bike and place on a stand or table where you can work.
    Tire On Work Bench
  2. Remove valve stem core and loosen rim lock (don’t remove nut from rim lock).
    Remove Valve Stem and Loosen Rim Lock
  3. Break bead by pressing firmly on tire near rim. Use tire irons if necessary to break the tire free. Do this on both sides of the tire.
    Break Tire Bead From Rim
  4. With disc side up, begin prying tire up and over the rim with tire irons. Use one to initially pull tire over rim, while using the other iron to pull the tire over moving a few inches at a time to work it over. Start opposite of the rim lock to make things easier.Pry Dirt Bike Tire Bead Over Rim With Irons
  5. Once one side of the tire is completely off of the rim, carefully remove the tube by pulling it out.Carefully Pull Tube Out of Tire and Rim
  6. Now is a good time to inspect tube for wear (scuffing, cracks, etc.) and replace if necessary.Inspect Tube for Wear
  7. Begin prying the other bead up and over the same side of the rim with the tire irons.Work Remaining Tire Bead Off The Rim
  8. Once you get about 1/3 of the other bead off the rim, you should be able to muscle the rest of the tire off the rim completely by prying on the tire while holding the rim down with your other hand.Remove Tire By Pulling Off Rim
  9. Voila! You now have the tire off. Don’t pat yourself on the back yet though, you now have to get the new tire on the rim.
  10. Take your soapy water mixture as lube and spray it on the entire outside bead of the new tire. This well help the new tire go on easier.Lube Tire Bead With Soapy Water
  11. Begin pushing the lubed side of the tire on by hand and then using tire irons starting at the rim lock.Work New Dirt Bike Tire Onto Rim
  12. Work away from the rim lock and put the tire back on the opposite way you took it off.
  13. Once one side of the tire is on the rim, grab your tube and put the core back in the valve stem.Replace Valve Stem Core In Tube
  14. Air up the tube slightly so that it creases when you hang it from one hand as shown in photo. This will make it easier to work on the tire with the tube in it.Add Small Amount of Air to Dirt Bike Tire Tube
  15. Once the tube is in put the nut back on the valve stem and barely finger tighten.Place Nut Back On Valve Stem
  16. Lube up the bead of the tire that still needs to go on the rim.Spray Lube On Tire Bead
  17. Work the tire over side where rim lock is, while making sure the tire is in between rim and rim lock. (Push bead on opposite side into middle of rim to give extra slack)Position Bead Between Rim Lock and Rim
  18. Work rest of tire bead on rim the opposite way you got it off  using one as an anchor as you move around the rest of the tire and work the bead over the rim in small bites with the other iron.Work Bead Over Rim With Tire Irons
  19. You should be able to push the last few inches of bead on with your hands by pressing on the sidewall.Push Last Few Inches of Bead On With Hand
  20. Once the tire is on all the way, air the tire up to 12-14 psi and check for leaks and that the bead sits flush against the rim all the way around.Air Up Dirt Bike TIre To 12-14 psi
  21. Tighten up valve stem and rim lock snug (do not over tighten or you can damage rim lock and valve stem or bend your rim).Snug Valve Stem Nut and Rim Lock Nut
  22. Bolt the wheel back on your bike and let ‘er rip!

How To Change a Tire the HARD WAY (Don’t Do These!):

  • Use screwdriver and pry bars instead of tire irons
  • Don’t put any air in the tube when putting on the new tire
  • Put tire on dry (no lube)
  • Damage rim by tightening the valve stem and rim lock too tight
  • Using silicone or petroleum based lube on tire that will allow tire to slip on rim
  • Use crappy tire irons
  • Scrape up your knuckles
  • Pinch a hole in your tube with tire irons
  • Use the flat side of the tire irons (not the curved spoon side)

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