Tire changers are essential tools for garages or individuals regularly involved in tire replacements. They come in various types, some tailored specifically for motorcycles.
Changing tires can be a challenging task, demanding a significant manual effort. The use of a tire changer significantly simplifies and expedites this process.
What is the Function of a Motorcycle Tire Changer?
In straightforward terms, a tire changer is a device employed to remove and install tires. A motorcycle tire changer is specifically crafted to handle the wheel sizes of motorcycles. These machines often have the flexibility to accommodate a range of rim sizes, including off-road, ATVs, and other smaller vehicle tires.
Similar to their counterparts for car tires, motorcycle tire changers vary in design and operational methods. Manual operation is common in basic models, whereas more advanced versions may utilize electrical or pneumatic power.
The key purpose of a motorcycle tire changer is to integrate essential functions, providing a convenient and efficient system for swift tire replacement.
Changing a Motorcycle Tire
Also known as tire spoons or tire levers, a tire iron is a manual tool that provides the leverage needed to remove an old tire from the wheel rim and install a new one. This functionality is akin to the demount bar offered by No-Mar.
These grips secure the tire in position at the correct height, eliminating the need for you to bend over and change the tire at ground level.
Tire lube is employed to minimize friction when removing tires from motorcycle wheels. Its purpose is to prevent damage by facilitating the application of the necessary maximum force during the tire-changing process.
A bead breaker is a tool designed to break the tight seal between the tire and the rim. Over time, the point of contact, known as the tire bead, can stick or rust, making it challenging to break the seal. A bead breaker serves as a mechanical solution to this problem.
It’s important to note that bead breakers are distinct from bead blasters, which utilize compressed air to separate the tire from the wheel.
The Tire Changer
A tire changer is essentially a combination of a tire iron, a bead breaker, and a tire change stand integrated into a single tire machine. The optimal motorcycle tire changers are designed to securely mount and grip the tire, offer a mechanism for breaking the bead, and provide the necessary leverage to pry the tire from the wheel rim.
Benefits of Using a Motorcycle Tire Changer
Whether you need a motorcycle tire changer depends on your situation. If you’re changing one or two tires on your bike annually, it might not be necessary to invest in a tire changer. Most people in this scenario prefer taking their bikes to a local shop for such tasks.
However, for professionals or individuals replacing tires more frequently, a motorcycle tire changer can be a valuable investment, saving time, effort, and money. When considering a tire machine, it’s essential to look for key features and crucial elements.
While we could advocate for a state-of-the-art motorcycle changer in the range of $1300–2500, the decision ultimately depends on the volume of motorcycles your shop handles monthly. Assessing if the investment is worth the benefits is a choice only you can make.
A motorcycle tire changer enables swift completion of the task at hand. Whether you’re a bike tire technician or the owner of a large or small motorcycle service shop, investing in a tire changer is likely to prove highly beneficial and well worth the expense.
One of the key advantages of using a tire changer is the protection it provides to the wheel rim. It is crucial to avoid damaging someone’s costly alloy wheels during tire changes, and using rim protectors becomes essential. Depending solely on non-mechanical tools such as tire irons or tire spoons, which lack precision and support, can lead to unintended harm to the rim or valve stem. High-quality tire machines are designed with dedicated rim protectors to prevent such damage, ensuring a more precise and secure tire-changing process.
A tire changer featuring an adjustable stand enables you to customize the working height to suit your comfort. Performing tasks that involve applying leverage and force while hunched in an unnatural position can strain your body over time. Premium models often come equipped with a power assist arm designed to securely hold tires in place, assisting in exerting the necessary force for tasks like pushing into drop center rims, breaking beads, and prying off stiff sidewall tires.
How to Find the Best Motorcycle Tire Changer
Motorcycle tire changers come in diverse forms, ranging from basic to advanced features. The most suitable motorcycle tire changer for you will depend on your specific needs. Consider the following factors when selecting a tire changer.
A motorcycle tire changer should be robust, durable, and built to withstand prolonged use. Opt for a model constructed from heavy-duty materials, with coated metal—preferably hardened steel—for ample strength and rust resistance.
To safeguard the rim, choose a tire changer with components in contact with the rim featuring rubber feet or equipped with plastic rim guards. This added protection helps prevent damage to the wheel during the tire-changing process.
Installation and Portability
Upon acquiring a tire changer, there might be a need for assembly before it becomes operational. The assembly requirements often align with the complexity of the product. Premium tire changers may necessitate specialized tools for installation and, in certain instances, may require professional setup.
On the other hand, basic and manual tire changers typically require minimal to no assembly. While a portable motorcycle tire changer could be beneficial to some individuals, for most, it might be deemed unnecessary.
Size and Adjustability
The purpose of a specialized motorcycle tire changer is to accommodate the distinct size of motorcycle tires, which differs from those of other vehicles. Typically, these changers can handle wheels with a tire diameter ranging from 16 to 21 inches, though the compatibility extends beyond this range in terms of tire size and width.
Attachments and accessories, such as posi clamps, are available to facilitate the changing of tires for various vehicles, including bike tires and ATV tires. Tire machines with a broader clamping range enable work with wheels ranging from bicycles to light trucks. Some tire changers are equipped to handle both standard inflatable tubes and tires with bib mousse tubes, while others may require modifications to do so.
Height adjustability is not a feature common to all tire changers. It’s crucial to ensure that the chosen machine is of the appropriate size or can be adjusted to meet your preferences.
Additionally, consider the overall size of the tire machine. While extensive options are available for large workshops, those operating in a small garage will require a machine with a compact footprint.
Can You Use a Car Tire Changer for Motorcycle Tires?
Tire changers marketed for motorcycles are typically simplified, often manual adaptations of car tire changers. While certain car tire changers can handle motorcycle tires, achieving optimal results may require modifications.
Various tire changer styles, including manual tire changers, Swing Arm, Leverless, Tilt Back, wheel clamp tire changers, and heavy-duty tire changers, may or may not be suitable for motorcycles. Some of these options could be excessive or entirely unsuitable. Professional users may find value in investing in a higher-tier tire changer. Alternatively, there are combo tire changers or those equipped with adapters for both car and motorcycle tires. Some even assist in balancing the front and rear tires of motorcycles.
The Best Motorcycle Tire Changers
The ideal motorcycle tire changer for you hinges entirely on your individual requirements. Professionals can anticipate a swift return on investment and enhanced work quality. While there are reasonably priced tire changers available, veering away from premium products may result in a lack of some essential qualities and functions you might need.The U-200U Semi-automatic swing arm tire changer for motorcycles, ATV tires with a rim from 10″ to 21″ (max. tire diameter 1040 mm./41″, max. tire width 355mm./14″).
Discovering cost-effective tools is an ongoing pursuit for auto business owners. It’s crucial to thoroughly research and comprehend all specifications to make an informed decision before investing a substantial amount of money in a motorcycle tire changer.