It was time for tires! Sadly I have to admit I neglected the fundamental maintenance point of replacing tires on Margaret’s bike. We kind of glanced at them a few times but never really lifted the bike up to get a good look at the rear tire. The front was almost in the red for changing so I suppose for whatever reason I let the back one go. I decided to be honest about my neglect and post about it even though it muddies my face. All is good though, there were no incidents, and we got them changed.
This time we decided to remove the tires and take them to Swifty’s to have them mounted and balanced. In the past I would take the bike in and let them do all of the work but this time I was feeling adventurous. It seemed a good time to make a video of the entire process for both the front and rear tire replacement. This isn’t something everyone will want to do so I kind of held off on making a video of the process. It requires a bit more time, lifting the bike, and leaving it suspended while you take the wheels in to have a new tire mounted and balanced. You won’t save all that much doing it yourself either so it might be something most people will just avoid.
When you consider the time and effort involved to do tires yourself you really have to determine if its worth what your going to save over just taking the bike in and having your local independent motorcycle shop do the work for you. Labor will run you about .5 hours for the front tire removal and installation, rear wheel will run about 1.5 hours, so 2 hours total in labor. Depending on the rate your looking at just over $200 in labor. Mounting and balancing will run another $70 to $100 total for both tires. So call it $300 in the end to avoid having to do what is shown in the picture above. If however you decide on doing it all, I would arguably still take the wheels to your local shop to have them professionally mounted and balanced. There are some videos of “shortcuts” of different methods of mounting and balancing but its my personal opinion they are not good ideas.
Once I removed the wheels we took them to Swifty’s in Fort Worth, TX where we purchased the new tires and had them mounted and balanced. Eric was kind enough to do a video on the pros and cons of self mounting and balancing and even took us into the shop so we could photo and video the proper process. We hope the video will give a better insight into why you should let a shop do this part professionally instead of using some of the mickey mouse techniques I’ve seen online which could lead to issues. Not only did we compile a couple of fantastic information videos, we had a great time at their shop and made a fun video as well. Not only will your local independent motorcycle shop professionally install your tires, they will be more competitively priced than a Harley dealership, and you will be supporting local business.
We also had them adjust the spokes while they had the tires off the wheel. This is called truing and is really an art in itself. The process also requires specialized equipment to do properly. Spoked wheels should be checked every 5k miles and trued every time you need a new tire. It is an extra cost but, that’s what you get if you want to have spokes! We did a video on the pros and cons of trueing a wheel yourself as well. It will be a couple of weeks before I get that one published though so keep a look out for it.
This process provided a lot of video opportunities for us to share with you in regards to motorcycle wheels. I’ll be publishing them over the next month so make sure your subscribed to my You Tube channel and for a small fee I will also be putting them with more detail on my Ride It Wrench It SkillShare channel. For now though here are a couple of videos I have already published. Enjoy!