How to Change Motorcycle Tires

If you have a motorcycle, you must encounter a common issue; namely “Change the tires”. Changing the tires for the first time could be a little bit hard. Don’t worry, we all have been there. It’s not a very sophisticated job on condition that you have the correct knowledge & tools to do it.

You can always go to the shop, pay the bill & get the job done. But if you are someone, who loves to maintain own bike or want to save some time & money, this piece is written for you. Let’s get a little bit smarter on – How to change motorcycle tires.


Types of the tires of a motorcycle may vary depending on your purpose. For example, if you use your motorcycle frequently to go on and off the road with ease, you may need a matching pair of Dual sports tires for motorcycle to conquer tough terrain conditions.

Whether you like it or not, you need to change your motorcycle tires once in a while. That’s why I prepared this handbook.

Required Tools & machines

  1. A tire stand

  2. A tire pressure gauge

  3. Three tire irons

  4. An air compressor

  5. A valve core remover

  6. A 12 mm ratcheting wrench

  7. Some rim protectors

Remove the tires

You’ve already got your replacement tire, right? Let’s start by removing the tires of the motorcycle. Either jack it up or get your bike on a stand. You need to make sure that the bike is stable & the wheels are off the ground.

Let’s start with the front tire as it is typically easier than the rear. Detach any cables, nuts & bolts clasping it to the front pork. Two tire rods should be sufficient for the front tire. For the rear one, you may need three tire rods because of its thicker sidewall.

As a lubricant, prepare a 50/50 solution of warm water & dish soap. You can spray it on the tire & rim at the beginning of each step.

1. Remove the valve core & valve stem nut

Now, put the wheel & tire horizontally with the rotor facing earthward & remove the valve core & valve stem nut. If the tire contains tubes, let the air flow out completely.

2. Lift the tire off the rim

Slide the rim protectors onto your rim and then slide one of the tire irons delicately between itself and the tire with the spooned side of the iron facing the rim. Push down on the handle to break the bead. Move the iron and the rim protector away over a few inches. Do this until the bead of the tire is free from the rim. Turn over the tire and repeat.

Now that all are loosened up, turn over the tire iron & make the spooned side facing away from the rim. Slide it back between your tire and rim and shove the handle so that it bites into the tire enough to raise it over the rim of the wheel.

If you have tubes in the tires, ensure not to pinch it. Keep the tire iron propped with either your knee or the brake rotor so that the tire doesn’t slide back down.

3. Pull the tire off the wheel

Pull the valve stem out of the rim. Keep a hold of it while you pull the tire away enough to slip a tire iron between it and the other side of the rim. Push down on the handle. With a bit of force, the tire should come completely away from the rim.

With the tire off, remove the tube (if there is any). Inner tubes are a little bit delicate so handle it gently. Make sure that the valve is pushed inside the wheel before trying to reach inside for the inner tube.

Check out the wheel for any broken spokes or cracks. Restore the valve core into the valve stem.

Install the new tire

Okay, it’s time to install the new one. Most new tires havean indication on the sidewall that marks the direction they’re meant to run.

Also, check out for one or two small colorful dots that are supposed to guide you when installing the tire. These dots not only help you find the direction of rotation on the wheel, but also play a significant role in signifying the heaviest part on the tire.

Just do the reverse of the entire process of removing the tire. Remember, if you’re dealing with a tire that requires a tube, always be sure to replace the tube as well as the tire as they tend to stretch and warp with the old tire. You should inflate the tube with an air compressor until it takes shape.

Finally, inflate the tire with the air compressor. Adjust the tire pressure to the recommended PSI. Before inflating the tire, you may replace the valve. Fit the tire back onto your axel on the reverse direction that you took it off while making sure that the tire, wheel and rotor are all facing the right direction.

Check whether the new tire is perfectly balanced & reinstalled properly in its position.

One thing I would like to add is that if you are a beginner, invite a mechanic to your garage or a friend with good working knowledge on motorbikes and do the demonstration under his supervision. As we all know, safety is our priority.

To sum up

Congrats! You’ve changed a tire without having to visit to a shop. As a parting thought, stay calm if this is the first time you are getting to know: How to change motorcycle tires. Even experts face some common issues like beads don’t seat, tires don’t fit into the rims etc. So, don’t get mad in the middle.

Follow the steps patiently, install the new pair & go for a ride!