As most of you have seen in my Back in the Garage videos, I do all of my own motorcycle maintenance and repairs. If you’re new to motorcycle maintenance or interested in learning how to work on your bike, the best place to start is with a basic mechanics tool set like the Craftsman set I have listed below. For about $100 (or an hour of labor at most shops) you’ll get a decent selection of the most common sockets, 3 different size ratchets (1/4, 3/8 & ½ inch), some common size wrenches, hex key set and a handful of other tools. A kit like this will be a good base to start building your tool collection. I would also suggest supplementing it with some sort of screwdriver set as well.
In this post, I wanted to go over a few tools that’ll help make tire maintenance and tire changes a bit easier. This isn’t an all-inclusive list of everything you need to change a motorcycle tire but instead a few tools I’ve found useful over the years. All of the tools I’ll be discussing are made by Motion Pro. They make some of the best motorcycle tools at a very fair price and I’ve let to be disappointed by any of their tools yet.
Tools for Changing Tires
It’s important to keep your tires properly inflated for both safety and the longevity of the tire. I like using the Motion Pro Fill Air Chuck when adding air to my tires. While there are cheaper chucks available, I like the pivoting angled head design of this one. I’ve had trouble especially on smaller motorcycle wheels and bikes with large brake rotors getting a standard chuck to properly seat on the valve stem. The Motion Pro unit works well on all size motorcycle and even automobile wheels. With its bright blue anodized finish, not only does it look trick, it’s easy to see on the work bench or garage floor for those times when you “misplace” it. Please note, you will need to add your own hose fitting to the chuck.
If you’re planning to change your own tires (street or dirt) you’ll need a valve core remover. While they can be picked up at just about any auto parts store, most of the ones sold today are a 4-way tool making it difficult to remove the valve core on spoke wheels since the deflation needle comes in contact with the spokes each partial rotation. For that reason, I like the Motion Pro Valve Core Remover. Its compact design allows for the quick removal of the valve core on any type of motorcycle wheel.
These days I use a No-Mar Tire Changer for changing my street tires but still have to rely on spoons when changing tires on the dirt bikes. Motion Pro makes a few different spoons which all have held up great over the years I’ve been using them. Also, don’t forget to pick up a set of Rim Savers to keep from scratching up those painted or anodized rims.
Finally when it comes to tires, specifically dirt bike tires, I like using the Motion Pro Bead Buddy II. Simply hook it over the spoke on the side opposite from the tire irons and it’ll help keep the tire bead down into the drop center of the rim. It’s like having an extra hand!
I hope you learned something new in today’s post and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. While I enjoy making my Back in the Garage videos, I thought it might be beneficial to write some posts as well sharing some additional tips/tricks I’ve learned over the years as well as letting you know what tools I personally like to use.