Changing your own tires can save big bucks over the years, with dealers routinely charging $25-$40 per hoop. This self-serve option also allows you to avoid scheduling hassles, waiting in the queue at your local shop, and the time/expense of traveling back and forth. But, tire changing can be one of the most onerous do-it-yourself motorcycle projects–a major pain, literally and figuratively.
Compared to a shop’s hydraulic machinery, simple hand tools leave a lot to be desired. Levering rubber on and off your wheels can be quite sweat-intensive, and leave you tending to a strained lower-back the next day. One part of the problem is holding the wheel still while you apply pressure with tire irons; another is the awkwardness of doing everything with the wheel on the floor. The latter means you’ll be squatting or bent over, and you’ll have to keep those precious brake rotors from getting bent or nicked in the process.
Using the new tire as a support while you pry off the old one (and vice-versa) helps keep rotors safe, but provides little stabilization and no significant change in the demands placed on your knees and spine. Amidst the groaning and cursing, those shop charges can start to look pretty worthwhile.
Well, don’t pay them yet. Consider Redline Engineering’s Pit Posse Tire Changing Stand. This sturdily built, powder-coated steel unit makes a huge difference in the two main areas of difficulty just mentioned. Any normal-sized dirt or street wheel is supported on a rubber-sheathed ring that can be adjusted easily from 28 to 36 inches off the ground. At the higher settings, work can be done without any back strain. And, in those cases when you need a third hand to hold down one tire iron as you work the next two, the lowest setting makes it easy to hook a leg over the iron that would otherwise be very difficult to secure. (Of course, care must be taken to preserve your child-bearing capabilities; lodge that iron right behind your knee.)
Wheel stabilization is handled by a large wing-nut on a threaded rod that protrudes through the wheel’s axle hole, effectively clamping the wheel to the stand. The stand itself is reasonably stable on four wide-spread legs. However, it’s sometimes necessary to step on one of the legs and use your weight to hold it down as you apply pressure above. For maximum stability, the legs are pre-drilled for bolting to the floor, though this is certainly not required.
We found the Pit Posse Tire Changing Stand to simplify the process enough to eliminate second-guessing about surrendering those shop fees, and paid for itself with several tire changes.
Redline Engineering Pit Posse Tire Changing Stand; $139.99
1849 Yellow Dog Rd.
Senatobia, MS 38668