Sunday, November 8, 2009


I procrastinate, it's a guy thing, I'll get around to it, maybe later, I want to finish this first, hey what's that?! Okay, a little A.D.D. too, I don't know how anything gets done but it does...eventually. If it's really interesting it gets done as soon as I stumble across it while I am doing something else. I think of it as prioritizing.

I've been meaning to change tires myself since I had the shop change my front tire last spring. I babbled on about doing it myself and managed to put it off until the fall rains. My rear tire on my Triumph should have been changed a couple of thousand miles ago but as long as the roads were dry and I only used the outer edges of the tire I could ride through the summer.

I ordered a rear tire and went online to read up and watch YouTube videos on how to break the bead, remove the tire from the rim and place the new tire on. What a wealth of information that interweb is.

I was ready to save $20.

I built a bead breaker out some scrap angle iron and a wooden 2x2 I had laying around, then lag bolted it to a 4x6 arbor post outside.

But when I got the wheel off my bike I found my cush drive went ka-put and I had to order a new one.

Meh, I have Trobairitz's Ninja to ride in the meantime, this also gave me the rest of the week to remove the old tire and reinstall the new one. Those guys on the interweb videos make things look so easy, they didn't even break a sweat. I strained my milk just trying to break the bead and you wouldn't have wanted to see me wrestle the tire off and wrestle the new one on, it looked so much easier online, but I saved 20 bucks.

Now to set the bead, which turned out to be another adventure all in itself. Everything I've ever known, watched and heard about setting the bead on a tire had me anxiously waiting all the fanfare and revelry of the infamous bead pop. Thinking my little 100psi pancake compressor didn't have the volume to even think about filling a bicycle tire forget setting a bead onto a rim, I hauled the tire into work the next day in the car. I removed the valve core and filled the tire. That's it, the tire filled and held air. I was as disappointed as kid who dropped his ice cream cone in the sand. So I removed the valve core and dumped the air from the tire and tried again...nothing. I checked the tire against the rim, check, good, even, holding air, but set? I just wasn't sure, had this been a car tire I wouldn't have given it a second thought and mounted it. But this is a rear tire of a motorcycle and I could just picture the bead slipping while leaning hard into a turn. After hoping on a couple forums and asking the guys, evidently sometimes a tire will just silently and effortlessly slide right onto the rim.

Now with my bike on the jack I just had to wait for my new rubber damper to come in.

In the meantime I fashioned a wheel balancer from instructions I found online.

Oh boy, another project and the rest of the week to find parts. I had 2x4s kicking around from remodel projects, I just needed some bearings, bolts and some steel flat bar. Off to the store I went in search of supplies. After two days of searching I found bolts and bearings but yet to find any flat bar or angle iron. Evidently scrap steel is quite a commodity, but I eventually found some angle iron from a friend down the street.
I fashioned a stand from 2x4s and attached the brackets and balanced my wheel. Worked pretty darn slick.

I mounted the balancer to some leftover counter top we had from our kitchen remodel and used a bar clamp so I could adjust it for mounting the Ninja tires too.

And as far as setting the bead, my little 100psi pancake compressor set the bead on both the Ninja tires just fine...with all the fanfare and revelry I was expecting the first time.

I have now changed the rear tire on my Triumph and both tires on the Ninja and saved myself $60. Unfortunately, I have three tires in my backyard collecting water that I'll have to eventually recycle, but I'll get to that later.

Now where did I put...hey what's that?


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