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Trevor Underwood
06 Nov
Rear tire change

Does anyone know how to change a rear tire. I've got a Harley sportster that needs it's rear tire changed but because it doesn't match the front tire no-one will swap them out for me. can anyone help me with this matter?

3 109
  • James Nov 06 17:45 GTM
    1. Jack up the bike and tie it down. You are going to be wrenching on stuff with a lot of force so you want the bike really secure. Also, place another jack under the rear tire if you have one. It makes the rest of the process easier though it can be done using blocks of wood stacked
    2. Now, take off both lower shock/spring bolts. They are a T50 Torx.
    3. Now with the jack under the tire jack up the bike to where the axle can slide out over the rear exhaust pipe. Note, if you do not have stock pipes you may not have to jack the tire up into the fender. (sorry for the crappy image here. That is about the height it will be at. The axle slides out to the right of course though. I removed the clip that is on the end of the axle already. Remember to do that. Just take a 1/8in flat screwdriver and pop it out. You are supposed to buy a new one but I reuse it. It doesn't matter anyway.
    4. Loosen the alignment screws to make it easier to slide out the axle. Note, you don't HAVE to do this, but it is very very hard to re install the axle with the belt tensioned. Use ONLY a rubber mallet or soft steel hammer to pound on the axle if needed. Much force shouldn't be needed, but if you use a steel hammer you can stress and crack the axle.
    5. Pull the axle out and place the spacers on it in the correct order so you don't forget where they go.

    If you are smart you will now take your tire to someone who can mount it and balance it as taking it off and putting a new one on is a pain in the ass.

    But since I am not smart...here it goes.

    If you want to mount and dismount tires as well as balance them you need

    1. Some type of tire spoons
    2. A C clamp or preferably a bead breaker to break the bead
    3. A tire balancer. (50 bucks or so at Harbor Freight)
    4. Rim protectors

    Then you will want to make a frame like this for the wheel to sit in so you don't destroy your rotor and pulley.
    6. Let the air out of the tire by removing the valve stem with a valve stem removal tool.
    Now here is the difficult part. I could not get pictures of the process because it is more of a video necessary thing. That being said there are tons of videos on Youtube to show you how to get a tire on and off. Basically it is a combination of swearing, prying, and WD40 and eventually you'll get it off and the new one on. Note, make sure to line up the barcode on the bead of the tire to match the location of the valve stem. (Sometimes it is a dot on the bead of the tire as well) This aligns the lightest part of the tire to the heaviest part of the rim so you don't have to balance the tire with as much weight. And to be honest, Dave 63 said he didn't ever balance his tires at all so take that for what its worth too...
    After that you need to set the bead of the tire. You need a good air compressor, more WD40 and more swear words as well as a Normally Open air chalk. what that is is an attachment that allows you to force air into the tire faster because you don't have to have the valve stem in to use it.
    • Martin Gusto Nov 06 17:49 GTM Replied to James
      Very useful information!
      • James Nov 06 17:56 GTM Replied to Martin Gusto
        I'll create a whole post about it on my Moto blog so other people can find it
        ,I hope it will be useful for others
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