Motorcycle tires are incredibly strong and resilient. Dirt bikes can ride over sharp rocks and dirt paths for years without needing a tire change. Street bikes can often ride over glass and potholes for just as long. However, when a tire does eventually go flat, it can be an ordeal to get it fixed on the road without the necessary supplies and knowledge. Rather than being stranded by that inevitable flat tire, learn how to change your motorcycle's inner tube and get back on the road quickly.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Inner tube
- Tire Levers
- Basic tool set
- Portable air pump
Set the motorcycle on its centre stand and balance the bike so the flat tire elevated off the ground. If you don't have a centre stand on your motorcycle, prop your bike up on a sturdy object nearby so that you can work.
Remove the flat wheel with the flat tire by loosening the axle nut and sliding the axle out of the fork or swingarm. The wheel should fall out of the fork legs or swingarm freely.
Wedge a tire lever in between the tire and rim and pull the lever down toward the hub of the wheel. This will open a gap in the tire bead. Insert a second tire lever into this gap and slide it along the rim to dismount the tire from the rim. Remove the flat inner tube from inside the tire.
Inflate the new inner tube slightly using a hand-pump or other portable air pump. This will help to prevent pinch-flats while mounting the tire bead on the rim. Insert the valve of the tube into the valve hole of the rim and push the inner tube all the way up into the tire.
Push the tire back onto the rim starting at the valve. Use your hands to push as much of the tire bead over the rim as possible. When it gets too difficult to push the tire onto the rim, wedge a tire lever in between the tire and the rim and pull up away from the hub of the wheel to seat the tire.
Slide the wheel back into place in the swingarm or fork legs and insert the axle. Tighten the axle nut firmly to hold the wheel in place. If the flat tire was on the rear wheel, check the tension of the chain and adjust your chain tensioners as necessary. The chain should have about a half-inch of play in both directions.
Air the tire up to the recommended pressure printed on the tire sidewall using a hand pump or other portable air pump. Screw on the valve cap, and you're ready to ride.
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