How to Change a Dirt Bike Tire

How to Change a Dirt Bike Tire
How to Change a Dirt Bike Tire

How to Change a Dirt Bike Tire – It is one thing to know how to choose dirt bike tires and when to replace them. It is another thing to know how to change them. Knowing when to change tires, whether to balance them, the importance of rim locks, and associated costs is crucial. Typically, tires should be replaced if they’re over a year old or show signs of wear.

The cost of replacement varies depending on the bike and tire type. Using a rim lock is necessary, and wheel balancing is advisable. Since dirt bike tires require frequent replacement, timing is vital to avoid unnecessary expenses or potential damage. Being aware of costs helps riders budget and plan for timely tire changes, ensuring their bikes perform well and last longer.

The Tools You’ll Need

Before we dive into how to change a dirt bike tire, you will need to have the proper tools to smoothen the process:

  • Tire Irons: Use Spoon Type Tire Irons with a spoon-shaped design for smooth sliding between the tire and rim, preventing catching on the inner tube and facilitating tire installation.
  • Tire Lube: Opt for an approved tire mounting lubricant for best results. Avoid antifreeze, silicones, or petroleum-based lubricants to prevent damage. Some riders suggest mild vegetable oil or a mild soap solution as alternatives.
  • Valve Core Remover: This tool is crucial for deflating the inner tube by removing the rubber and spring valve from the valve stem, preventing pinching with the tire iron.
  • Wrench Set: Though not dirt bike-specific, a wrench set is crucial for valve stem and rim lock nuts. Choose a set with ratcheting closed ends for easier handling in tight spaces.

How to Change a Dirt Bike Tire: The Process

Unmounting The Wheel:

To start changing your dirt bike tire, lift the front wheel off the ground using a stand. Remove the axle nut and loosen the four axle pinch bolts. Use a T-wrench or ratchet extension to push the axle through the fork lugs.

Disconnecting The Inner Tube (And Rim Lock):

Place the disconnected wheel on a tire stand or sturdy surface. Use the valve core tool to remove the valve core and take out the valve stem nut. If there’s a rim lock, loosen the nut without removing it. Press down on the rim lock to ensure it moves freely.

Breaking The Tire Bead From The Rim:

Pop the tire off its bead, aiming to drop it into the center of the rim. If the tire sticks, use tire lube to facilitate the process.

Lifting The Tire Over The Rim:

Spray tire lube on both the tire and rim. Start at the rim lock section, use tire irons about four inches apart, and work small areas at a time to lift the tire over the rim.

Pull The Wheel Through The Tire:

Flip the tire over and repeat the process. Once both sides are outside the wheel, push the wheel down into the tire, then pull it out through the loosened tire.

Inspection Time:

Check the rim tape’s condition. Consider replacing the inner tube with each tire change to prevent wear.

Inner Tube and Tire Prep:

For a new or reused tire, add baby powder for lubrication. Pull the valve stem through the rim hole, tighten the valve stem nut, and re-insert the valve stem core.

Placing The Inner Tube On The Wheel:

Use tire irons to set the tire bead between the rim lock and the rim. Work the tire onto the wheel, lifting the last section over the rim.

Mounting The Rest Of The Tire:

Start at the rim lock, push the tire into the wheel’s drop center, and work it around with tire irons. Use lube and be patient.

Inflate Your Inner Tube To Set The Bead:

Tighten the valve stem, over-inflate the tire slightly to set the bead, then deflate to 12-15 psi. Tighten the rim lock.

Mounting The Wheel:

Re-mount the wheel to the bike. Spread brake pads with a flat-head screwdriver to prevent the fork from spinning while aligning the brake disk.

Additional Notes

When changing a dirt bike tire, whether on your own or with help, expect common challenges like loosening the tire bead, installing the inner tube or mousse, fitting the tire around the rim, seating the bead, placing the air valve correctly, and avoiding pinched inner tubes. To tackle these issues, use specific tools such as tire spoons or irons, two Bead Buddies, lubrication (like soapy water or spray lubricant), and a tire stand. The lubrication helps the tire slip onto the rim, and the spoons, Bead Buddies, and stand act as extra hands, simplifying the entire process.

There are several things to learn about maintaining dirt bike tires. For example, you can learn how to maintain the tire pressure and tighten the spokes. Aside from this, you can check out other tire options like colored tires. You can also check out other maintenance tips like how to bleed your bike brakes. Or if you want to learn more about dirt bike wheels, you can learn the difference between alloy and spoke wheels.

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