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So my tires (stockers, going on 5k miles) are in need of replacement. The best shop price I found here in NW IN for the Michelin Pilot Activs I want is a total of $279 w/ tax. That's with free mounting (for buying the tires via their parts dept), and a 10% off discount coupon I found in the yellow pages. It's 223 for the tires (w/ shipping) 13 in tax, free mounting and 32.50 each for spin balancing (then -10%).

While I appreciate the discounts given, I'm always looking to save a buck where I reasonably can.

Given that I've never taken the wheels off or anything short of a bicycle, and I do not have anything but my centerstand to get the wheels off the ground, would it be unreasonably difficult for me to try changing them myself if I were to order the tires from bikebandit or the like?

If you think it's within reason, can you link me to or post a "how-to". I browsed the site here, and couldn't find a tire change 'how to' article.
 

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My brother just got his motorcycle tires changed yesterday. From the research that he did, he found that it was cheaper to buy both tires online, and then pay the shop to mount and balance them. He decided to have the shop take the old tire off the rim and mount the new one. He asked several of his friends that own bikes and was given a unanimous vote that it's best to pay to have the shop do it. See what other people have to say about it, but this is what I have heard and what I will probably end up doing.
 

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I've always taken my wheels into the shop so that they could remove my old and mount and balance my new tires. It's not too difficult to get your wheels on and off and make sure everything's lined up-- there's quite a few write ups on this site about how to make sure your forks are aligned and such.
Word to the wise, most shop manuals suggest that you loosen the chain adjusters-- although I haven't taken my Ninja's wheels off yet, I've found it's not necessary to do so and will only create more work for yourself in the end.
Doing it myself, I enjoy two things: a significantly lower price (I normally only pay about 30 bucks a wheel to have tires mounted and balanced) and the joy of doing it myself.
With your center stand, you can get your rear wheel off the ground-- so that's obvious how to change. To do the front, you can either put the rear back on when the shop is done, or use a jack stand to support the rear, then attach a motorcycle tie-down to the grab bar and pull towards a stationary object (and secure, of course) to lift the front up. I've done this on my CB360 countless times with tons of success.
So to kinda sum up, I'm saying you should take the wheels in and have them do the work of mounting and balancing-- you shouldn't try and remove the tires and install new ones yourself unless your arms are as big around as tree-trunks. Besides, you should really have a pro balance them on a spin machine anyway.
I hope that's clear. Good luck.
 

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One other factor to consider:

You take them to a shop. They scratch your wheels - they fix your wheels. Done.

You do them at home. You use what tools you have, and your big screwdriver scratches the paint. Now you go buy paint to try and match and end up painting your wheels. You saved $30/wheel for mounting, but did you really?

Not that you can't do it carefully and be fine, just keep it in the back of your mind. It's called "factoring risk" :p.
 

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I have access to a tire mounting machine that I could use to change my own tires, but what about balancing? How important is balancing a tire?
 

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estrada42 said:
I have access to a tire mounting machine that I could use to change my own tires, but what about balancing? How important is balancing a tire?
kinda important. the weights required (if any) won't nearly be as much as a car. in many cases, you could just find out where it's heaviest, de-mount it, rotate it to compensate and you should be good to go. i know may track day riders and racers alike don't even bother with adding weight. if there is really bad wobble, then i'd take the tire back cuz there's obviously something wrong with the construction!

you can make a homemade balancer out of 2x4 wood or angle iron and your axle. cut, assemble, notch the tops and level the stand, slide the axle through the wheel and let gravity do the work.
 

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I have never had a tire shop mount my tires,ever. I always do it my self. I once took one of my front tires to have it balanced because I was getting a little headshake. I took it down to the local tire shop and he stuck it on their spin balancer and said it was fine,it didn't even need any weight. So I went home and did the string thing tire alinement and that fixed the problem of the headshake. One thing I was always told when mounting the tire and haven't seen said here is that the tire usually has(most of them do that I ever ran across) a yellow or blue spot,about the diameter of a pen on the sidewall of the tire down by the bead. You line up that spot with your valve stem and your good to go. No need to have the tire balanced,unless your rim is damaged in some way. I've never had a problem with a tire being out of balance,even on my old 900 that reached speeds of over 150 quite often.
 
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