Your Sport Touring Motorbike Fix

Brian WringerApr 4, 20203 CommentsShare

FTC disclosure tour-de-force here. The following article was last updated on Dec 15, 2021 ...

Safe, Efficient Tire Bead Breaking

You can break any motorcycle tire bead quickly with three short tire irons, with no damage to the tire or rim, no excessive force, no jumping and no farting around with kickstands, giant levers, titanic forces or disaster. This works on any tire, tubed or tubeless, car or motorcycle.

Let's Break A Tire Bead!

1) Deflate tire completely, if that hasn't already been handled for you by, uh ... external factors.

2) Stick the small curved tip of one tire iron between the tire bead and the rim with the curve at the tip facing UP. Wiggle and weasel it in there until the tip is touching the rim, or as close as you can get.

3) About two inches away, do the same with tire iron #2.

4) With one hand, push DOWN on both tire irons.

5) Take tire iron #3 in your other hand, turn the tip so it's facing DOWN. then weasel it into the middle between the other two tire irons. Yes, this is a little awkward.

Tusk Ultra Lite Tire Iron

6) Work the tip of the third tire iron in as far as you can. The idea is to use the tip to dig into the rubber a bit to push the tire bead down by pulling UP on this tire iron while pushing DOWN on the other two.

7) After some pushing and wiggling, you'll get a little motion but you normally won't completely break the tire bead on the first push.

8) Move a few inches to one side and repeat the procedure and you'll get a little more motion.

9) If the tire bead hasn't broken at that point, move a few inches to the other side of your original tire bead attack spot and try a third time.

10) Enjoy the astonished looks all around.

It's In The Details

Once you get a little experience with this trick, it's faster than just about anything else. It's also possible to damage the inside of the rim slightly the first few run-throughs by weaseling too enthusiastically, so take it easy and don't get in a hurry. Move a few inches and repeat.

Even the crustiest, most stuck-on tire bead will start moving.

The tire irons I prefer are sold under a few different names. The ones I have are marketed by Rocky Mountain ATV/MC under the Tusk name and are extremely strong and slim. The tips are nice and smooth, so they don't damage rims or tires. You can change any tire with three of these.

The Motion Pro tool works on the exact same principle but it costs more and is more bulky and heavy than three short tire irons.

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What Motorcycle Tire Change Tricks Do You Employ?

There are a number of known techniques for changing a motorcycle tire. Which ones do you prefer? What do you like about each and why? Your input is invited. Leave a comment!

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Brian Wringer

About Brian Wringer

Brian Wringer is a big idea guy, wordsmith, branding expert and vintage motorcycle enthusiast. He's led countless rides and is a GS Resources "Super Site Supporter".


Trevor Hall says:

I appreciate you explaining that the more you do this trick, the faster it will get. My brother is trying to change his own tires this week and he wants to learn more about the process. I'll try to share your article with him so that he knows where to get started.

Jonathan Wright says:

It works! I have to admit, the first time I tried this method, I was beyond frustrated. Then I came back to it a few months later with a better temperament, and it was so easy! This is how I'll be breaking beads from now on. No more hi-lift or driving on tires.

Thanks so much!

Jerry says:

Was struggling with and came upon this article. Like others have said, it took me several minutes and a few attempts to get a feel for this method...but once it clicked, it was a real game changer for me!

Thank you!

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