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Old 09-17-2006, 02:40 AM   #78
Beastly Adventurer
Mike955i's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Oddometer: 1,005
Success the first time!

Well, after hearing all the horror stories about breaking the bead on the mighty 950 I was nervous about trying to install my new TKC's (and Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Duty tubes) in preparation for Creel. But time was slipping away so my BIL and I got together today for a tire/tube changing experiment. Aside from my 950's hoops we also had to put new DOT's on an XR650R, new UHD tubes in BIL's KLR and new UHD's in my 525EXC's tires. Quite the agenda.

An important point to make is that both BIL and I have attempted a tire/tube change before with no luck but we read Neduro's tire tips thread and I had read all the 950 discussions so we felt ready to try again. Plus, we had to know if we could do the deed in the middle of Mexico. We started with the XR's tire changes and after a little trouble getting started we had the first tube out and were working the front tire off. It was a bitch but came off with some damage to the old tire.

Before fitting the new tire we used some tire changing lube (purchased from Napa) and it was significantly easier to install the new tire. Keep the tire bead in the center of the rim and it goes on pretty easy. The last section is always the hardest but totally doable if you go slow and take small sections at a time. The rear was even tougher but the tire lube made it easy and it was done in no time. Confidence was growing.

Next up, the 9-fiddy! We jammed some lube into the gap using a tire iron and then tried to use just irons to break the bead - no joy. Next, I tried a prybar another user swore by but it just damaged the rim. We decided to try the sidestand trick using the KLR, wedging the tire under the stand and pushing down. I was expecting a fight but a little pressure and the bead popped right off. It was too f*n easy - what the hell? We pulled the tube and now needed to pop the bead on the other side. Sidestand to the rescue - POP! The tire pulled right off (Tire lube - buy some today!) and installing the TKC was just as easy; pop the tire on the rim, slip in the tube, inflate tube for structure, lube the tire again and lever the loose side onto the rim. Truth be told, we found wheels with rim locks harder to deal with than the 950 but all are do-able. The lube makes a HUGE difference in effort equired, although I'm sure more experienced guys dont need it at all.

So, that's it - the 950 was actually very easy to deal with and now we know we can do the deed in the field. I hope this is useful to those approaching the task for the first time. It is definitly easier with 2 people but the secret is real tire lube, get some today!

Just another Dharma Bum, drifting in the void
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