Change a Harley-Davidson Tire
Harley-Davidson’s motorcycles are famous for their ability to be ridden for long distances. During these long trips, the motorcycle’s tires will wear away and require eventual replacement. While most Harley-Davidson owners delegate the task to a mechanic, changing the tire yourself is a rewarding and money-saving endeavor. If you are willing to take the time to do the job yourself, make the investment in a sturdy motorcycle lift that will support your Harley-Davidson while you remove the wheels and tires.
1. Place the motorcycle on a motorcycle-specific stand or lift to raise the affected tire off the ground.
2. Using an Allen socket, remove the front brake caliper’s bolts and slide the caliper off the front brake rotor. Loosen the front axle lock nut using a socket wrench. Tap the front axle out of the front fork and wheel using a rubber mallet. Lower the wheel to the ground and roll it away from the motorcycle.
3. Remove the rear axle lock nut using a socket wrench. Loosen the rear wheel adjusters using a wrench. Push the rear wheel forward to loosen the drive belt. Pull the belt off of the rear wheel’s pulley. Tap the rear axle out of the rear swing arm and wheel using a rubber mallet. Lower the wheel to the ground and roll it away from the motorcycle.
Changing the Tire
4. Lay the wheel on a pair of wooden blocks with the brake rotor facing up. Unscrew the valve stem using a valve core tool and allow the tire to deflate. Push the tire downward to create a gap between the wheel’s rim and the tire.
5. Slip a tire iron between the tire and the rim, placing the tire iron in the 12 o’clock position. Slip a second tire iron into place at the 2 o’clock position. Press both tire irons toward the center of the wheel to stretch a portion of the tire over the rim.
6. Remove the second tire tire iron and replace it in the 4 o’clock position. Maintain your grip on the first tire iron. Press down on the second tire iron to pull more of the tire over the rim. Repeat until the entire upper edge of the tire has been stretched over the rim.
7. Pull out the inner tube from the tire. Pull the remaining edge of the tire closer to the top of the wheel’s rim. Lift the wheel onto its side and insert a tire iron between the tire and the edge of the rim. Pull the tire iron upward to force the tire off the rim.
8. Place a new tire onto the wheel, hooking the lower edge of the tire over the upper edge of the wheel’s rim. Press down firmly on the tire to force its lower edge completely onto the rim.
9. Inflate the inner tube partially with an air compressor. Insert the inner tube into the tire and pull the valve stem through the hole in the rim. Press the tire downward to bring the remaining edge of the tire closer to the wheel’s rim.
10. Place a tire iron between the tire and the rim. Press down on the tire iron to lever the tire over the rim. Work your way around the wheel, stretching small portions of the tire onto the rim until it is completely mounted on the wheel.
11. Inflate the inner tube completely with compressed air to seat the tire on the wheel. Reinstall the wheel onto the motorcycle.