Mounting a Tire on Your Harley

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Cost Savings

A rider who can mount his own tires will save a lot if money by not having to rely on a dealership or local shop. There is not much needed to accomplish mounting a tire manually. You will need a bead breaker tool/mount, tire spoons, rim protectors, a needle nose pliers, and a spray bottle of soapy water.

The Process

  • When mounting a tire, begin by safety mounting the rim and orientating yourself with the correct direction of rotation for your wheel. Most tires are directional and will have an arrow that dictates correct rotation.
  • Most wheels also have a balance dot that should be aligned with the valve stem.
  • Most spoked rims have tubes and a rim strap. They are a little more challenging than a tubeless tire. Install the rim strap first. This protects the tube from being pierced from any sharp edges of the spoke ends or nipples.
  • Wet the bead of the new tire with a soap and water solution. This is a very important installation aid.
  • Position the tire over the rim and push the first edge over the flange of the rim.
  • Now, correctly orientate the tube into the tire. You can, carefully, use a needle nose pliers to insert the valve stem into the rim.
  • Work the tire into the drop center portion of the wheel. Don’t forget your soapy solution. You can reapply as needed.
  • At this point, you will most likely need to use wheel spoons and rim protectors to complete the installation. Take your time and make sure you have a second set of hands to help. This is, typically, the most challenging point of a tire installation.
  • Finally, you can tighten the valve stem nut and, with the shrader valve removed, inflate the tire until all sides are beaded.
  • With the tire correctly seated, you can install the shrader valve and correctly fill the tire to its proper spec.
  • Balance
  • Take the dealer cost out of your motorcycle maintenance by mounting a tire on your Harley.

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