Learning how to change a dirt bike tire all by yourself might sound intimidating, but with the right tools and some basic skills, you should be able to do so in minutes!
You don’t even need to call for the help of a professional mechanic. You can just learn the skill by yourself and potentially save tons of cash in the long run.
In this guide, we’ll go through all of the steps involved in a dirt bike tire change as well as the tools that you need.
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Steps to Change Dirt Bike Tires
Before you replace a dirt bike tire, you should first prepare the following tools:
- Wrench set – You’ll need this tool for the rim lock and valve stem nuts. Ideally, go for a set that comes with ratcheting close ends. This will make it easier to work in tight spaces.
- Valve core remover – This removal tool is designed to remove the rubber and spring valve that you can find in the valve stem.
- Tire irons – Ideally, you’ll want tire irons with spoons as their shape lets you slide them between the rim and tire without getting caught in the inner tube.
- Tire lubricant – Simply use a lubricant approved for use on tire mounting. Never use petroleum-based lubes and antifreeze, as they can only cause damage.
Once you have prepared all of the necessary tools, it’s time to start changing your dirt bike tire at home. Here are the steps you should follow:
Step 1: Remove the old tire
Start by putting your bike on a tire-changing stand so that you can have one of the wheels off the ground.
Then, completely deflate the tire you want to replace using your valve core remover. Make sure there’s no air remaining inside the inner tube.
Afterward, remove the valve stem nut, followed by the rim lock nut. Make sure to push it down the tire so you can remove it from the rim of your bike.
Step 2: Break the beads
After that, you want to break the beads, which keep the wheel and tire connected to each other. It can take a bit of effort to do this, which is why you’ll need a tire iron for this.
However, if your changing stand has a bead breaker, then it would make the process a lot easier.
Start with the first bead and repeat until the rim is completely unseated. Flip the wheel and repeat the same step on the other side.
At this point, you want to spray some tire lube around the beads to make it even easier to take a tire off the rim.
Apply it around the area between the rim and the tire.
Step 3: Lift the tire over the rim
This is by far the trickiest part of the process. While the tire lube will help make it easier, it still requires a bit of elbow grease.
- Begin by placing a tire iron just a few inches away from where the rim lock is but to the opposite side of where the valve stem is.
Make sure the convex side of the spoon is toward the tire. You can make do without spoons, but we don’t recommend them as you can potentially damage the beads instead.
- Place another tire iron about four inches away from the first one, then press both of them downward to pop the tire. Work your way around the tire by working on small areas at once.
- Simply repeat the process, placing another tire iron several inches away from the last one until you manage to get a tire off the rim completely.
Just keep in mind that the inner tube is still in there. So, make sure that your tire irons are only touching the beads to avoid puncturing the inner tube.
Step 4: Remove the inner tube
Once the tire is off the rim, you can then proceed to remove the inner tube. Make sure to carefully remove the valve stem, then slowly and carefully remove the inner tube.
You have to do this by hand to avoid puncturing the tube unless, of course, you want to replace it as well. Remove the rim lock afterward.
Step 5: Remove bike tire
You can then proceed to remove the tire.
- Use your tire iron to lever the second bead. This time, instead of pushing it downward, you’ll want to push it forward to unseat it from the rim.
- After the tire is around a third of the way, you can just pull it off from the rim using your hands.
- At this point, the tire should now be removed completely off the rim. You can then proceed to clean the rim with some soap and water. Also, don’t forget to inspect the rim strip for any signs of damage.
Replace it with a new one if necessary. You can then reinstall the rim lock, with the rim lock either under the strip or through it.
Step 6: Install the new tire
Now, it’s time to install the dirt bike tire replacement.
- Make sure you lubricate both beads on the new tire to make it easier to install. A little bit of baby powder can help as well.
- Then, mount the first bead and hook it behind the rim lock.
- On the side opposite to the rim lock, start levering the first bead using your tire irons until it’s properly seated on the rim.
- Install your inner tube afterward. If you plan to use the old one, don’t forget to reattach the valve core. Inflate the tube just a little bit before you insert it into the tire.
- Then, make sure that the valve stem is installed through the rim. Slowly and carefully insert the tube, making sure it won’t get twisted while doing so.
Step 7: Mount the second bead
- Apply some lubricant to the second bead before you mount it.
- Then, lever the second bead opposite the rim lock. This time, pull the tire irons toward you, making sure that they’re positioned a few inches apart from each other.
Similar to what you did when unseating the beads, make sure that the tip of the tire irons is only touching the second bead.
As you’re getting close to mounting the second bead, things will start getting harder. Just make sure not to apply too much force to avoid damaging your bead.
- Once you’re close to the rim lock, push it slightly toward the inner tube so the bead can slide under it.
At this point, you now have successfully installed the new tire. Just ensure that the valve stem and rim lock can move freely.
With this guide, you should know now how to change a dirt bike tire all by yourself.
While the easiest way would be to call for a professional mechanic, it’s still worth learning in case you want to figure out and try something new or can’t seem to afford their services.