Dirt Bike Tire Removal & Installation Procedures on 4Strokes.com
4Strokes.com Technical: Dirt Bike Tire Removal & Installation Procedures
Page Jump Links: Tire Removal
| Tire Install | Install
by XR4DEZ | Install by RideRed | R&R
by RJT | Tips by Zeniac | Yours
- Lay the rear wheel sprocket side down and the front wheel brake side
- Remove the valve core and loosen the rim locks.
- Stand the wheel up and use the flat side of a tire iron to push the
rim locks down, breaking them loose from the tire bead.
- Lay the wheel down again and stand on the tire sidewalls with your
feet pushing to break the beads loose from the rim. Sometimes a little
soapy water at the tire/rim junction helps loosen the beads.
- With the brake side of the wheel up, use the spooned end of your tire
irons and insert them between the bead and rim. Insert them on one side
of the valve stem or the other. Lever one at a time, working your way
around the tire in small increments.
- After the first side is removed, push the valve stem into the rim
and pull the tube all the way out.
- If your wheel has rim locks, remove them before beginning removal
of the second bead.
- Remove the second bead by inserting a tire iron under the bead of
the brake side of the wheel, then lever the tire bead over the rim and
push it off.
- Clean the bead area of the rim. Check the rim locks, rubber rim strip
or tape covering the spoke nipples for damage.
- Before installing, set the tire out in the sun for an hour to make
it more pliable.
- Install one rim lock, lube one bead of the tire. Push down on the
top of the tire and insert one side of the wheel and the rim lock into
the bottom part of the tire. Begin levering the first bead on.
- Insert the second rim lock if your wheel uses two. Before installing
the tube, inflate it to make sure there was no damage done during removal.
Check the nut at stem area for tightness and look for cracks in the
stem. Leave just enough air in the tube for installing so the tube holds
- Apply baby powder to the outside of the tube and inside the tire.
This prevents the tube from chafing while in use.
- Install the tube in the tire carefully. Starting at the valve stem
holes, evenly place the tube inside. Be sure the tube is not bunched
up in any area or caught under the rim locks.
- Lube the bead with a mild soap and water solution and push a small
section of it under the rim near the stem area. Insert one tire iron
and start levering the tire bead on, taking very small bites with each
iron. Stick the iron in just far enough past the rim edge being careful
not to catch the tube.
- With each bite, check that the bead of both sides of the tire is as
far down in the well of the rim as possible.
- After the final bead area is installed, be sure the rim locks and
valve stem move freely.
- Inflate the tire and seat both beads. Should the beads not seat properly,
do not over-inflate. Re-lube the bead areas with soapy solution and
re-inflate until seated properly.
- After the tire is fully inflated, let the air out again then re-inflate.
This allows the tube to settle inside the tire.
- Tighten the rim locks and adjust the tire pressure.
- Removal of the valve stem nut at the end is optional. If the tire
does go low and the rim lock is loose, not having a nut on the valve
stem will him it move (inside the rim) instead of wanting to be torn
Tire Installation Procedure by XR4DEZ
- Put the tube in the new tire and add 5 lbs air.
- Place rim lock on rim and hand tighten so rimlock in against rim.
- Soap tire bead 50/50 mix.
- Line up valve stem and tire with hole in rim.
- Push tire down till stem is through hole in rim and hand tighten nut.
- Work bottom bead of tire onto rim (ZipTy irons are the best I've seen).
- Pry tire up to reveal rim lock, loosen and allow rim lock up over
- Little more soap.
- Pry top bead of tire onto rim to where it stays without holding it
on with tire iron.
- Slip on a pair of vise grips to hold tire down (I'm way past scratches).
- Some like the bead buddy.
- Pry the tire on.
- Make sure rim lock is seated properly.
- Little more soap and inflate to about 40lbs.
- Make sure bead is seated.
- Tighten rim lock.
- Set air pressure.
Probably would be better if I could get this to a 12 step process.
Work with the rotor side up and the wheel at waist level. I put a rod into my
table vise to act like an axle, this holds the wheel securely. Soap and good
tools are the trick.
Tire Installation Procedure by RideRed
I follow the basics but what really helps besides using a warm
tire is a set of full-size tire irons for leverage. I also have a tool called
a Stem-Eze, which is made by a buddy of mine, that I use to pull the valve stem
through the rim instead of fighting with it.
Here are my tuner's tips:
- I let my tires sit in the good 'ole Arizona sun for at least
an hour before trying to install them.
- Sprinkle baby powder liberally inside the tire.
- Spray the beads with WD40.
- Place the tube inside the tire.
- Attach the Stem-Eze to the valve.
- Place the rim over the tire and thread the Stem-Eze through the valve
stem hole in the rim.
- Work around with the tire irons taking a small section at a time.
This has worked great for tires with little give like the Bridgestone
M22 and IRC M5B and I can usually do the job myself in under 30 minutes.
Tire Removal & Installation Procedure by RJT
Removal: Pull left bead off left side, right bead off right side.
Rim drops to middle of tire and can now be easily removed.
Reinstall: Set rim lock loose, light pressure in tube, stem through
rim, 3 tire irons (two to hold rim, one to install). Rim in center of tire (reverse
order of removal). Left bead over left side, right bead over right side. A little
soap where required. Do not use WD-40 or other oils as you will end up with
a greasy mess.
Tips from Zeniac
- Tire Lube: My father had a garage when I was growing
up and we always used Ru-glide when mounting and dismounting tires. It it
designed to provide "the slide" and dries with a bit of "stickiness"
to help prevent slippage afterwards. It works great. A gallon jug costs about
$6.00 and will last you for years.
- Tire Irons: I also use slim irons with only a small 'hook'
at the end that barely cling on to the rim. I can't remember where I bought
them but they are available all over the place. I use 3 of them, the extra
one to assist with holding the bead from running out on me, there are little
devices available to do this now, but I have tire changing down to a science
and can remove and replace a tire and tube in about 20 minutes without a lot
- Tire Balancer: I have also rigged up a homemade balancer
by using 2 five gallon pails and a axle rod. It is crude but surprisingly
- Pull Tires & Inspect: For those that have the tires
changed in the shop, I find that pulling the wheels off the bike gives me
a chance to do a close inspection of brake components, rims, spokes, chain
and sprockets and check nut and bolt torques. I like to pull the chain off
the bike and clean it real well and re-lubricate. If time allows I also do
a good cleaning of the suspension components and inspect for wear. I also
will pull the front forks off, replace fluids, check the head bearings and
- DIY: Taking the time to learn to change your tires will
provide you with an ideal time to also check your other components and provides
that additional comfort of knowing the job was done right.
Do you have another version that works well for you, or some tips?
Email it to us and we'll add it here.
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