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Discussion Starter #1
I have a set of Kenda KD-1s on the way and I called a few motorcycle mechanics in the area and they all seem to be weird about mounting and balancing tires that weren't bought in their shop. They either charge a ridiculous fee to do the work (over $75 per tire) or they refuse to do the work at all. They've all lost my business because of those policies. So I'm curious...

Where do y'all take your bikes to get new tires mounted and balanced? Are there reputable chains of stores that do the work and how much can I typically expect them to charge per tire? I called CycleGear and they will do the work for just over $50 per tire providing I bring them only the wheels.
 

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We have 2 shops that help sponsor the local motorcycle racing club and they have a deal if you bring them the wheels of the bike they will do it for $20 CAD (~$15 USD) a tire with a valid racing license/membership. Not sure if you have any shops that do something like that.

Just make sure to tell them which way is "front" if you only bring the wheels so they don't mount it backwards, happened the first time I went in with the z125 tires and I was about to walk out the shop when I noticed the tread pattern was the wrong way and turned back around.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I found a shop that charges less than $100 to mount & balance - full service - I can just bring the bike in and he does the whole job. Hopefully he does a good job and I'll make sure he knows they're directional tires. CycleGear was charging the same price but I had to bring in only the unmounted wheels (rotors & sprockets removed, etc.) - they weren't "equipped" to remove and reinstall the axles :rolleyes:. Other shops were charging over $200 for full-service. Ridiculous.

I should really learn and gear-up to change my own tires but at $100 to do the whole job once a year might not be too much to ask... time will tell.
 

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I have always mounted and balanced them, you can purchase starter set of equipment for less than what you are talking about paying someone. I have used a scissor jack under a vehicle to break the bead but can be a pain. The bead breaker below works well, with that you'll need some tire irons, can also add a wheel balancer but there's other ways. To balance w/o a balance stand install the wheel/tire leaving the axle loose and no chain or calipers, spin the tire and use stick on weights. If you mount the new tire aligning the balance dot with the valve stem often don't have to balance. There is a significant difference in the stiffness of the sidewall between different manufacturers. The stock tires are easy to break the bead/dismount/mount, the sidewall is flexible, Michelins are usually the easiest, don't know about the Kenda's you purchased. We used to change several sets of tires every year but not so much anymore.


Bead Breaker

Tire Irons

Wheel Balancer

I have this now but usually use the old bead breaker and tire irons.

The guys doing tire changes at the shop or Cycle Gear are often not the brightest, hit or miss on getting the direction correct especially on the front, need to know which side the caliper is on. I can change tires in less time than going somewhere and having them do it and know it's done correctly.

When the kids were riding we changed a lot of tires.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
I admire you guys that change your own tires. I feel comfortable doing the basic maintenance chores on a bike (oil change, bleed brakes, adjust/replace chains and sprockets, etc.) but I don't put enough miles on my bikes each year to warrant gearing up for tire changes. I (might) put 1200-1500 miles a year on each bike so I only really replace tires every 2-3 years or so... sometimes I've gone 4-5 years on the same rubber.

I don't ride too hard on the streets, I don't bomb the canyons every weekend and I don't track the bikes... yet. If I did any of those things on a regular basis I might find myself needing to swap tires more often and then it would make sense to invest in gear and experience. As of now, I'd rather spend the money every few years to have someone with the equipment, experience (and patience) to install a new set on each of my rides. I suspect most riders are a lot like me.

But you never know what the future might hold...
 

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yeah and people who rent having more stuff that you rarely use is a tough thing to invest in. If I had a family of riders maybe... but since its just me I go spend the 30 dollars to do both tires each season.

But if I had the space and time I would definitely agree with Al
 

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I got my tires swapped for $20 a wheel at a local scooter dealer/repair shop in town. All the motorcycle shops wanted at least double that.

Also if there is a motorcycle forum for your area it's a common topic and maybe you'll get lucky with someone close to you with a tire machine.
 

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Just got one of those bike master bead breakers last fall. Only got to use it 3 times so far but it's doing the trick by making (what used to be) the hardest part quite easy. Price is pretty good too.
BeadBreaker.jpg

I haven't got to try it on the Z125 tires yet and I'm wondering if that bolt in the middle is too thick to go through the bearings. Will update when I find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looking forward to your report. I may pick one up and try to learn how to swap my own tires...
 

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Only got to use it 3 times so far but it's doing the trick by making (what used to be) the hardest part quite easy.
View attachment 26467
Wished I'd had one last week. Put knobbies on both bikes last week and the Z' being my first tubeless tire I didn't even realize the inner raised rib on the wheel when I put the Kendas on last year. The OEM tires popped right off in the Vice method, But the Kendas said no way. After a hour trying everything I could I stopped and looked at my Kenda mount pictures and noticed the inner rib. So realizing what needed to happen I came up with a way to pop them right off. I will do a post next time I switch tires again.
Tire spoon placement is the main key
And I use the Zip Tie method and lots of lube (wait for it) :unsure:

2.JPG
 

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Just got one of those bike master bead breakers last fall. Only got to use it 3 times so far but it's doing the trick by making (what used to be) the hardest part quite easy. Price is pretty good too.
View attachment 26467

I haven't got to try it on the Z125 tires yet and I'm wondering if that bolt in the middle is too thick to go through the bearings. Will update when I find out.

I use it w/o the bolt, one hand on the lever and one on the wheel/tire opposite the side the lever is on, sometimes a knee too.
 

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Wished I'd had one last week. Put knobbies on both bikes last week and the Z' being my first tubeless tire I didn't even realize the inner raised rib on the wheel when I put the Kendas on last year. The OEM tires popped right off in the Vice method, But the Kendas said no way. After a hour trying everything I could I stopped and looked at my Kenda mount pictures and noticed the inner rib. So realizing what needed to happen I came up with a way to pop them right off. I will do a post next time I switch tires again.
Tire spoon placement is the main key
And I use the Zip Tie method and lots of lube (wait for it) :unsure:

View attachment 26472

I know a lot of guys that use the zip-tie method with a lot of success. As you mentioned there is a big difference in tires and the ease of dismount/mount.
 

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Wished I'd had one last week. Put knobbies on both bikes last week and the Z' being my first tubeless tire I didn't even realize the inner raised rib on the wheel when I put the Kendas on last year. The OEM tires popped right off in the Vice method, But the Kendas said no way. After a hour trying everything I could I stopped and looked at my Kenda mount pictures and noticed the inner rib. So realizing what needed to happen I came up with a way to pop them right off. I will do a post next time I switch tires again.
Tire spoon placement is the main key
And I use the Zip Tie method and lots of lube (wait for it) :unsure:

View attachment 26472
I had the same issue and while I didn't use the zip tie method you did, what I did had the same net effect.

I take a tie down and wrap it around the center of the tread of the whole tire to push the beads on each side outward and that usually does the trick.

Like you said, lots of soapy water (lube) helps to pop that thing on with greater ease.
 

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I have a local guy who does mount and balance on my motorcycle tires. He charges me $50/Tire on the bike, and $25/tire if I Just bring him the wheels.
He does a great job on my CBR.

As for the Z, I just did them myself.
 
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