My anxiety shocked me awake. I woke up thinking about all the little things that constitute a successful road trip. First thing on the list: tire change. I've helped change some motorcycle tires before, but hadn't ever changed the rubber on this bike. I did all I could to make the old tires that I had on the bike last through the road portion of my journey. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't think about an old tire blowing out in the desert heat on my way down.
I quickly headed to the lobby and grabbed a quick breakfast. It's amazing to be in a motel lobby in the middle of nowhere and hear tourists speaking foreign tongues. Why the F would someone come from Germany and decide to go to southwestern New Mexico? I mean c'mon-do you really like turquoise that much?
Hotel lot was pretty empty, and I had plenty of space for swapping the tires. It was a beautiful morning, and the heat was building steadily. There was a corvette on the roof, but I wasn't complaining.
I made quick work of taking off the front wheel. I figured that the front tire change would be the hardest since it was a tubeless rim, and I've only changed tubed rear tires before.
So, off comes the front wheel. Easy, done that a few times since I had installed the r100gs front end on the bike. I had watched a few YouTube vids where guys used their center stand to break the bead and off came the tire super easy. How hard could it be?
That was not my experience.
I spent the next 3 hours doing everything in my power to extricate the wheel from the death grip the tire had on it. It seems as though someone had welded the tire bead onto the rim. I started with the tire irons, and the rim just laughed at me. I moved outside and tried to use the centerstand to break the bead. Wow, I was really in for a long morning..
I started this process around 8am. It was later than I wanted to start, but I figured it wouldn't take me all morning to swap both tires..right?
I'm sure it was totally comical to have watched me go in and out of my room dozens of times, carrying a motorcycle wheel, cursing louder each minute..
Finally the centerstand bead break method worked and the tire relented. Dear lord. Thank goodness the carpet in my room wasn't any color other than 'BMW front hub grease gray'.
I mounted up the front D606 with an UHD tube and took a much needed break. I surveyed the scene. It was 11am and my shit was everywhere. I had one hour to pack everything and travel 90 miles, and only the front tire was ready for the trail. Sigh..only one option-HELP! I quickly phoned my friend Ron (one of the two guys who I was meeting at the border) and left a message;
"Ron-it's Seth. Hope all is well with you. What's new on your end? I'm just hanging out at the motel, wallowing in my own self pity. This morning got away from me and I'm trying to get this train back on track. I'm hoping that you get this message and can come to the hotel for moral support. I find I work best when people are making fun of me, so ride on over."
My fear was that my two riding partners would think everything was ok on my end and would just ride to the border crossing and then wait for me. And wait...and wait...and wait.
I wasn't quite sure what the first day of trail riding would be like, and I had a street tire on the rear. I weighed my options and decided that if I was going to cause a delay, it would be more exciting to yard sale on the trail due to a bald rear tire, than force my friends to sit in a hotel parking lot and watch me mount a rear tire. It would make for a much better story anyway..