Changing a Dirt Bike Tire
Changing a dirt bike tire is something all off-road riders should know how to do because AAA services doesn't normally travel off the beaten path. Regardless which bike you're riding or its condition, the tires on all makes and models will take a beating and your best bet is to learn how to change a dirt bike tire in the comfort of your garage. Changing a dirt bike tire isn't all that difficult if you have the proper tools and a bit of patience. It's not a fun job, but it's it's better to learn tire-changing basics at home first rather than having to learn out in the middle of nowhere.
How to change a tire DVD: Changing a dirt bike tire isn't difficult, but it's not something you can learn well from reading an article so if you have absolutely no experience about how to change a dirt bike tire, watch some videos. The Achievable Dream Series has a tire changing DVD and in the video the tires don't come off or go back on easily, which is much better than showing an easy installation. The dual-sport tubeless tire he (Grant Johnson, founder of the Achievable Dream series) changes on a beautiful knoll in Switzerland gave him a fight coming off and an even bigger fight going back on. The video segment shows how important it is to have the proper tools (including a small air compressor) when changing a tire in the middle of nowhere. Johnson used six CO2 cartridges when trying to inflate the new tire, and the tire still would not inflate. A tire compressor finally came to the rescue.
Tire changing tools: Tire spoons are inexpensive, don't take up much space, and make the job much easier so they're at the top of the list. Motion Pro makes a very inexpensive set of tire spoons that will fit in most fanny packs. In a pinch you can use screwdrivers in place of the tire spoons, but it's a good idea to either tape the ends of the screwdrivers or wrap them in a t-shirt so they're not quite as sharp. A bead breaker isn't an absolute necessity, but it's another inexpensive tool that makes an unpleasant job a bit easier. Both are and are available at Amazon. You might also want to carry a puncture repair kit, spare valve stems, valve stem remover, tire pressure gauge, and some kind of lubricant (although soap works okay).
There are tire changing kits on the market, but they can be expensive and may include items you don't want, or not include items you do want, so see what's included before buying the kit. This Pit Posse kit includes basic tire changing tools, and this BeadBuster kit includes a small compressor, but it's much more expensive. If you're buying a kit check whether it's for tubed or tubeless tires. A small tire compressor can be worth it's weight (especially for dual-sport journeys) and isn't crazy expensive for the peace of mind it will bring. You won't always be changing a tire on a beautiful knoll in Switzerland with the sun shining brightly and cows grazing peacefully in the background. It'll more likely be freezing cold, rainy, and pitch-dark, so anything that gets you up and running that much faster is worth the cost and space.
Getting a flat tire is a bit like a dead battery - when your car won't start due to a dead battery, you can usually find someone willing to give you a jump, but not everyone carries jumper cables. If you get a flat tire on your dirt bike you can usually find someone willing to help change the tire, but they probably won't be carrying tire irons or a bead breaker in their back pocket. Tools rule!
How to change a dirt bike tire video: There are quite a few videos about how to change a dirt bike tire, but many of them utilize a tire changing stand which isn't much help out on the trails so we found two videos that use only basic tools. The first video shown below covers how to change a rear tire on a dirt bike and is about as straightforward as it gets. The video also offers some good tips and tricks. The second vid is from Puget Sound Safety and is titled "Changing a Motorcycle Tire on the Road", which is slightly misleading because he actually changes the tire on a BMW F800 GS in his garage, but he does it without the aid of a tire changing stand and he goes over the process step by step as if he really were on the side of the road.