New Tires and Grips

Mileage: 27,992

Today’s Maintenance:

  • Installed and Balanced New Front/Rear Tires:  Shinko 712’s
    • Front:  100/90H-19, Inflated to 28 psi
    • Rear: 130/90H-16, Inflated to 36 psi
  • Replaced Brake Stopper Arm Cotter pin
  • Adjusted rear brake
  • Replaced Grips:  ProGrip 714’s

Today the bike got new tires,  Shinko 712’s. The Shinko’s, while  inexpensive, come highly rated.  Shinko bought the motorcycle tire division from Yokohama.

Changing tires is a pain.  I’d like to think that it’s because the tires are old and stiff — not me.  On the rear I managed to get one side off, but for the other side I finally ended up cutting part of the outer tire away with a Sawzall so that I could get at the bead wires with a bolt cutter.

I used the “2×4 method” to break the tires.  That was easy.  For my pivot point I just C-clamped a 2′ length of 2×4 to a 4×6 post supporting my deck.

After getting the new tires on, which wasn’t too bad, I couldn’t get the front tire bead to seal and seat. Nothing worked.  I tried removing the stem core, a shorter air hose, a strap around the tire, thicker soap, bouncing the tire, zip ties and various combinations of the above.

Unwilling to use explosives to seat a motorcycle tire, I took the wheel to a custom tire shop.  The shop’s larger air compressor didn’t work either, but they had a “Cheatah”, or bead seater.  You can buy these things for $50 on eBay, delivered.  You can also build one using a propane, or similar tank.   All they are is a 5-gallon air tank with a 1.5-2″ valve and pipe.  You fill the tank and then quickly open the valve while filling the tire with air.  Fast and easy.  It’s too bad I couldn’t justify buying one of these, it turns out they can also be turned into potato guns.  The tire shop only charged me $10.

After balancing the tires, I installed them on the bike.  I discovered that  Shinko rear is a bit wider than the Metzler it replaces.  I know this because I had to deflate the tire to get it past the final drive.  I didn’t have to do that with the Metzler.

Balancing the rear tire

Before mounting the tires I put the wheels on the balancer to find and mark the rim’s heavy spot.  Unfortunately, after mounting the tire on the front wheel I discovered a stick-on weight that I had missed;  I had removed the spline weights.  Not wanting to remove the tire, I removed the errant weight and just aligned the tire’s light mark with the stem, the way they do at the dealer.

On the rear, the heavy side was almost on the opposite side of the tire from the stem, so that’s where I aligned the tire’s light mark. The front wheel took 20 grams to balance, 15 grams for the rear.  If I had aligned the mark on the tire with the rear stem, it would have taken a lot more weight to balance.

I couldn’t re-use the weights that clip over the wheel spline — too heavy.  At some point, for aesthetics, I may replace the silver weights I installed with black ones.  All I had were silver.

When I ordered the tires, I also ordered new grips for $10.  The grips that were on the bike were ProGrip 714’s.  I like these gel grips, but the left one was damaged on the end.  I used compressed air to blow the old grips off, and again to blow the new grips on, though I guess I’m technically pushing them on as the air is trying to blow them off.  Very fast and easy, no soap, alcohol or hairspray.