Wheels & Tires Installation

Instructions are general instructions that will guide you through removing the wheels, removing and installing tires and balancing rims.

For exact instructions please refer to your owners manual. The reason for this is that there are many different types of ways of securing the motorcycle axles, brakes and the drive systems.

The best thing to do is to lay out a clean rag next to the motorcycle and as you take off all parts simply place them in the order you took them off.
Step 1: Get the bike in a position such that the rear wheel is off the ground. This can be done by purchasing a center-stand. Make sure the motorcycle is stable.
Step 2: If your motorcycle has disk brakes you might have to remove the calipers first by removing the caliper bolts. Let the caliper hang off to the side.
Step 3: Loosen the axle nut. But, before you do that mark the position of the adjuster so you can place the axel back in it's original position.
Step 4: Remove the chain or belt by sliding the wheel forward.

Step 5: Loosen the motorcycle axle nut. Some axels may have additional support in place by the use of pinch bolts. If so, just remove them as well.
Step 6: Slide the motorcycle axel out.
Step 7: Make sure you keep and store in a safe contained location all the spacers, nuts, washers and bearings. They have to be placed back in the same place back on the motorcycle so the wheel does not wobble after replacement.

Removing the front motorcycle wheel is even easier than the rear.

Step 1: Remove the speedometer cable.
Step 2: Remove the axle by removing the end caps on the bottom of the forks.
Step 3: Once you finish step 2 the wheel should just drop to the ground.
Tip: Some motorcycles might require you to remove the axel all together by sliding it out after removal of the axel bolts.

Remove the wheel from the bike.
Deflate the tire by removing the valve stem core with the proper tool.
Break the bead of the tire away from the rim using either your bead breaker or a gluing clamp.
Position the wheel on a holding device such as a twenty gallon drum or tire changing stand.
Pull the tire as far to one side as possible by pushing the two tire beads on the opposite side together and making them go down into the narrowest part of the rim.
Pry the bead over the near edge of the rim. By inserting one of the tire irons between the near bead and the rim on the "loose" side of the tire and insert another iron under the bead three or four inches from the first and roll the bead over the edge of the rim. Pull the first iron out and move it to the other side of the second or if you have a third iron place it three to four inches from the second iron and roll more of the bead over the rim. Keep going until you work your way completely around the tire. Repeat the process to pull the other bead off the rim.
Remove the inner tube if there is one. On tubeless tires remove the valve stem.
Clean the bead area and the valve stem hole. Remove any rust or rubber where the bead seals.
Clean the inside of the rim.
Inspect the bearings, wheel etc. This is a good time to check the run in of your wheel & disk rotor.
Install a new tube or valve stem depending on the type of tire you are working with. If you are working with spoke wheels install a new rim strip and check for spokes sticking through the nipples.

Lubricate both beads of the tire with wheel mounting fluid. Use mounting fluid not soap.
Determine the correct rotation of the tire. Find the arrows marking on the tire that indicate which way the tire should rotate.
Install the valve stem if you are working with a tubeless tire.
Locate the yellow dot on the tire. This is the lightest part of the tire. The yellow spot should line up with the valve stem. Starting at the valve stem push as much of the bottom bead over the wheel as you can without using the irons. Carefully pry the rest of the bead over the edge of the rim. If you are working with a tube type tire install the tube. Put a very small amount of air in the tube. Make sure the tube isn't twisted.
Repeat the operation with the other bead starting 180 degrees from the valve stem. NOTE: Be careful that you don't pinch the tube.
Place your bead strap around the tire, tighten it enough to spread the bead.
Add air while releasing the bead strap until the bead of the tire seats completely. I recommend about 45 PSI.
Check the distance between the locator line molded into the tire and your rim, making sure that the distance between the line and the rim is even all the way around the tire.
Check for a good seal with a soapy water solution.

Here is a properly mounted tire on Art's (Demon's VP) Softail. (Before pic)

Here is the same Softail after a 60mph head-on collision. As you can see properly mounted tire is still inflated and intcact, unlike the rest of the bike. (After collision)

You will need some weights, masking tape, a piece of chalk, some alcohol or contact cleaner and the balancer. It is probably helpful to mention that most tire makers mark the lightest spot on their tires with a paint mark on the sidewall. Metzler, as an example, uses 2 little red dots. When you install your tire try to get the paint mark as near as you can to the heaviest spot on the wheel. It will save weight later. If you haven't previously marked the heavy spot on your wheel you will want to do that before mounting the tire. To find the heavy spot remove any old weights, clean the wheel and install the tire valve and cap. Mount the bare wheel on the balancer. Give it a slight spin and allow it to settle. The spot that settles at the bottom is the heavy spot. Permanently mark it in such a way that you'll be able to find it each time you mount a new tire. It usually takes about 5-10 minutes per wheel balance including mounting the wheel on the balancer.
1. Remove any old weights from the wheel and clean it thoroughly. Make sure the valve stem and cap are installed.
2. Mount the wheel on the balancer and place it between your equally tall supports so the wheel can spin freely.
3. Give the wheel a VERY slight spin. The wheel will stop with its lightest point at the top. You might want to give it another spin to verify that it stops in the same place. Remember it only needs to spin once or twice so no need to get it up to 50mph
4. Once you've verified the lightest spot, mark it with chalk on the tire.
5. Take a couple of weights and tape them to the inside of the rim at the chalk-marked spot.
6. At this point some guys will re-spin the wheel but I found that with an ultra-low friction setup this isn't necessary and only wastes time. I take the weighted area and put it at the 3 or 9 o'clock position. If the weight is too heavy the wheel will start turning and end up with the weighted spot at the bottom. Conversely if the weight is too light the weighted area will end up at the top.
7. Adjust the weight by adding or removing weights until the wheel can be placed in the 2, 4, 8, 10 o'clock positions without moving. Sometimes you will get a very slight movement. Since the balancer has so little friction you can make yourself crazy trying to get it perfect. The next step is to attach the weights to the wheel while still mounted on the balancer. Try to position the weights as close to the center of the rim as possible. If there is a ridge in the middle then try and divide the weights equally across the face of the rim. Clean the area where you are going to put the weights with alcohol or contact cleaner to insure that its free of oil residue. Peel the backing from the weights and stick them on.
8. Re-check the balance and once you're satisfied ur done.
9. Have a great day, ride safe!

Have fun! Your Demon's cycle inc. crew