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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sick and tired of paying to get my tires changed at the dealer, so I'm looking to invest in a setup to do it myself. I watched a few videos on how to do this, but I wanted to know what tools and balancer you guys would recommend to get this done? Basically, what's the cheapest tools to complete the task at hand without scratching my wheels?馃槵

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You want cheap but high quality so you don't scratch a rim? Just pay the dealer fees.

You need high quality equipment to do mar-free tire changes and that's not cheap. Alternatively you can use good quality equipment and a high degree of skill to achieve the same results. This would be w bit cheaper, but it takes time to develop those skills.

Suggedtion 1: You can checkout no-mar for instance, but it's gonna cost you $400 - $1200 for tire changing stand (the more you spend the better odds of scratch free results) and then another $100 or so for a balancing stand and then another $50 for some wheel weights.

Suggestion 2: Alternative you buy some motionpro bead breaking levers ($100), 2 or 3 regailar curved levers ($60), some ptfe wheel shields so you reduce (not eliminate) potential for scratches/marking when you slip a lever ($50). Then you still need some weights ($50) and a balance stand ($100).

With option 1 above you can reasonably expect to achieve scratch free results so long as you are reasonably skilled ($500 and up).

With option 2 you can potentially achieve scratch free results but it is heavily dependant on your skill level, technique and use of lube or you will break levers and scratch wheels. Also results will vary based on the tire you use, ie q4 side all's are super stiff and pita to mount as compared to the marshmallow like sidewalls of a Pirelli supercorsa (~$300ish). I personally use this option and have been for years with excellent results but still occasionally scrape my wheels. Now, I really don't care about scrapes, they're wheels. I care about a proper mounting with optimal balancing which takes time to achieve.

Dont forget you still need a decent compressor to seat the beads and stand to lay the wheel down so it can be worked on.

Summary: good equipment isn't cheap and cheap equipment will not yield the results you're looking for.

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I just bought one of these changers on the recommendation of a racetrack buddy. I haven't recieved mine yet but buddy has been using his for a while and he says it's well worth the money. I got tired doing the tire spoon method. It's a pile of work and is hard to not chew up the rim.
 

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Couple years ago I opted for Option 2.

I've changed enough to get my tool 'investment' back but man I earned it in sweat. With my technique it's like a wrestling match. Lol.

I'm not that strong and no way I can get a stiff rear tire off with spoons.

There has been some rim scratching.

I did this more out of convenience than to save $$. Mostly I take mine off the bike and run them by the dealer to install for $35 a pop.

Yea it's annoying.
 

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I've got carbon wheels and like to change my own tyres. I understand it's not exactly cheap but I bought one of these ebay tyre changing machines about 8 years ago and I've never had a problem with it. You can even start to charge people $20 a tyre once you know what you're doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the replies! Goin to the dealer anymore is NOT and option, they scratch my wheels EVERY single time!

I have experience using spoons to change tires, I used to change tractor trailer tires with them, so I have the technique down, would just need a little more finesse with these motorcycle wheels. So I'm more or less looking to do this by hand, not with an expensive machine. Can't really see these machines NOT leaving scratches if the damn dealer can't accomplish it with their $10,000 machine!

Also, I've heard/seen ppl not balance their tires at all, or use beads that go inside? Is that an option? As a matter of fact, the last 2 times my tires were changed, there was no weights, or internal beads, just scratches(n) and bike rode fine all the way to top speed.

So what would you guys recommend for spoons and rim protectors, and what should I do about balancing them?
 

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I have experience using spoons to change tires, I used to change tractor trailer tires with them, so I have the technique down, would just need a little more finesse with these motorcycle wheels. So I'm more or less looking to do this by hand, not with an expensive machine. Can't really see these machines NOT leaving scratches if the damn dealer can't accomplish it with their $10,000 machine!
Good luck with that. It's not the machine that scratches the wheels, it's the operator not being careful and probably rushing. When it's your own machine you can take your time and be careful. Like I said, I have carbon fibre wheels. I defintely wouldn't be using a machine if it was going to scratch my wheels.
 

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Minimizing weights can be obtained by lining up the heavy point of the wheel with the light point of the tire. The valve stem is usually the heavy point of the wheel, but not always. On a rare occasion, a wheel will require no weights, but this is not the norm.

A simple dynamic balancer is cheap (under $100) and accurate down to about 1/16th oz.
Something like this: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B016Z022HC/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_K7T7AVXMYY9AVP388C3E?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

I used to break beads with a 2x4, but a buddy introduced me to motion pro bead breakers, and it's amazing how well they work considering they literally take up no space and can even dislodge q4 beads after working then in a few spots. Be forewarned though, they will potentially scratch the bead (inside) area of your wheel.

Rime shields go a long way to help and you can use any slick, dense and flexible plastic such as the gallon milk jugs if 6ou don't wanna spend money on specific made products.

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Dang, these are all expensive options. I did some research and found that I could buy a tire changer from Harbour Freight that would do the trick. Out of the box, it will scratch up your rims badly but there are folks online that sell parts to upgrade them and add nylon rim holders etc (Mojoblocks and Mojolever) Takes me about 10 minutes a tire and you don鈥檛 need a great compressor to set bead, you just need something that will get high enough which is most compressors. I bought a Bikemaster balancer on Amazon and it works great. Do some research and buy a good bar to dismount the tire from the rim.
Lastly, if you buy your tires from the track vendor, usually they mount for free.
 

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I've had the 2 piece HF tire change for years now. The lower car part breaks beads off a rim like a champ. On the top m/c part I added the mojo blocks that hold the rim securely without scratching. I also tossed the HF tire lever and bought a mojo bar to replace it. With correct technique and patience you can change tires relatively easily, without damage to you rims.

Far from the best setup out there, but it works perfectly for the few times I need to change my tires.
 

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All I have is a mojolever bar and a few spoons (highly recommend the bar)
A cheap bead breaker. Trick is to buy some rubber tubing at HD and split that open and put around the top so no scratches ever on your rims. The bead breaker is screwed onto a wooden box so I鈥檓 standing up. Small tire balancer and your good to go. Pretty cheap investment.
 

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Thanks for the replies! Goin to the dealer anymore is NOT and option, they scratch my wheels EVERY single time!

I have experience using spoons to change tires, I used to change tractor trailer tires with them, so I have the technique down, would just need a little more finesse with these motorcycle wheels. So I'm more or less looking to do this by hand, not with an expensive machine. Can't really see these machines NOT leaving scratches if the damn dealer can't accomplish it with their $10,000 machine!

Also, I've heard/seen ppl not balance their tires at all, or use beads that go inside? Is that an option? As a matter of fact, the last 2 times my tires were changed, there was no weights, or internal beads, just scratches(n) and bike rode fine all the way to top speed.

So what would you guys recommend for spoons and rim protectors, and what should I do about balancing them?
1) Spoons are absolutely the cheapest option, and take of the least amount of storage space. I've done multiple types of tires with them... and I hate them every single time!
MotionPro spoons worked fine for me. I never used dedicated rim protectors, but I imagine they would be worthwhile.

2) HarborFreight setup... some modification required. I replaced the center post with a solid bar that would fit through my bearings, added anti-scratch Mojoblocks, and a NoMar bar along with a YelloThing. This setup worked pretty darn well.
Be careful with the bead breaker to not bend your rotors! I mounted my setup on a 4x4 sheet of wood and mounted 2x4s to make sure the wheels never rests on the rotors.

3) NoMar / CycleHill setup. Same basic concept as the HarborFreight one, but better quality in every single way. I just sold my HF setup and bought a used CycleHill machine when my buddy ugpraded to pneumatic.

4) Pneumatic Machine. So simple and easy to use ... but really $$$. I changed 1000's of sets of tires (car/truck) when I worked at a tire shop in college



You can scratch or not scratch wheels with any equipment. It comes down to the operator knowing, paying attention & caring about what they are doing!

I've used weights, beads & nothing in my motorcycle tires in the past. I don't bother balancing motorcycle tires anymore at all and have never noticed a difference. Even wrapped out in 6th gear at the track I've never felt any difference balanced or not. Keep in mind your sprocket/carrier/chain aren't balanced at all.

Car/truck is a different story entirely. Beads were an interesting experiment... they certainly worked but were very temperamental. Sometimes they would take forever to balance out, sometime you'd hit a bump and it would unbalance for a few miles. Plus they sound like a kids rainstick when coming to a stop.
 

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I second the no-mar setup. They're pricey and I've started to see some knock-offs for a bit cheaper but they're by far the safest and cleanest way to do it. Once you get it down and watch their girl do it effortlessly a few times, it makes for a very quick change.

As far as balancing goes, I've been using the gravity balancer system for a few years now and have never had any issues. Also, don't forget to line up the balance dots on the tires with your valve stems, sometimes you can get lucky and the tire balances perfectly without any needs for weights!
 

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I've finally had a chance to use my max2h machine and it works great. I've done a rear dirt bike tire and a set of road tires and I've got no complaints. It's a bit of a learning curve but there's a couple decent videos online to get you started. Just make sure to use lots of lube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I second the no-mar setup. They're pricey and I've started to see some knock-offs for a bit cheaper but they're by far the safest and cleanest way to do it. Once you get it down and watch their girl do it effortlessly a few times, it makes for a very quick change.

As far as balancing goes, I've been using the gravity balancer system for a few years now and have never had any issues. Also, don't forget to line up the balance dots on the tires with your valve stems, sometimes you can get lucky and the tire balances perfectly without any needs for weights!
Which no-mar machine can I get away with? They sell over 10 different models ranging from $150-$1400. On their website, they suggest the Classic HD changer for sport bikes, but why wouldn't the Cycle Hill Hd, HD plus, or even the fully manual one for $150 work for sportbikes?
 

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Has anybody used these?
I've been researching for my own tool/ machine as well. I'd like something I can use on cars/ trucks as well, but having something mobile for stunt shows etc comes in clutch....
 
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