DIY Motorcycle Tire Changer For All
Again, this is a post that doesn't necessarily relate Cone Training and relates to bike maintenance instead and it's another product that I think very highly of.
Whether out of necessity or because we prefer to, many of us perform our own maintenance on our bikes. One task that is typically out of reach for most of us is putting a new tire on. Most of us will remove the wheel(s) and deliver it to a mechanic, bike shop or tire shop because they have the tools and experience to make this an easy process. Well, that changes as of now.
Rabaconda has provided us with the main tool to make motorcycle tire changes a breeze. While it may help to have done this a few times before, experience is not required. Rabaconda's Street Bike Tire Changer comes with all of the instruction you will need. If you have done tire changes before, you likely have the smaller tools you'll need (tire spoons, drop-center tools, bead lube, etc.). If you don't, you can find all of those on their website too. You can even order the bundle that has it all combined. These smaller tools can also be found on Amazon, Harbor Freight, Rural King, Pep Boys, Advance Auto or anywhere you can find common tools.
The Rabaconda machine is very simple and it works so well. It assembles and disassembles in minutes. It packs in its own duffle bag. It's portable. It works on almost any size wheel (adapters may be purchased to fit larger wheels). Best of all, it's easy to use.
I used mine, in my living room, to replace a rear tire on my motorcycle. The process took me about 30 minutes in total (if you disregard the time I spent reading instructions and figuring out some problems specific to my tire). Now that I've done it once and have my process figured out, I'm confident that the next times will be very quick and easy. I'd still say it will take 30 minutes or less to remove and replace a tire. I will put a video here of the machine in use and you can see how easy the process is.
Because it's portable and it packs up into a duffle bag, you could literally take it anywhere, as evidenced by its location in my living room for that video. You can help another rider out or you could make a side gig out of it if you wanted to. You could easily do 6 tire changes in a day if you traveled or many more if they were brought to you. You could also share the cost of the machine between other friends who ride. The machine, at the time of this writing, is around $600 (which is steep for a lot of us). If three friends were to chip in on one unit and share it whenever there is a need, it's a bargain and will pay for itself after a couple of tire changes for each of you. The convenience of it is priceless. No making an appointment. No waiting for it to get finished. No motorcycle down-time just because you ran over a nail or discovered a leak. If you have another tire ready, you just pop off the wheel and change the tire. Within an hour you'd be back in the wind.
I highly recommend this tire changer for anyone who prefers to do their own maintenance, doesn't trust others to work on their bikes or thinks that the cost for a tire change is too high. It's an amazing little machine and I am actually looking forward to my next tire change.
If you are saying to yourself "That's great for changing a tire, but you still have to balance it." You are correct, but I will refer you to a previous blog post about another one of my favorite products – Ride-On Tire Sealant. It's a dynamic balancing gel and it instantly seals center-tread punctures with no loss of air pressure. I've been using it since 2010 and I've never had to have a tire balanced since.
As mentioned, I am attaching a video here. This video was requested of me by Rabaconda when they discovered I wanted to use this machine to mount a car tire to my motorcycle's rear wheel (commonly called Darkside on a motorcycle). They had been asked many times by potential customers if their machines could do specifically this and they didn't have a definitive answer. I provided them with that definitive answer and I video'd the entire process. While this video is aimed at the Darksiders, it still demonstrates the ease of changing a motorcycle tire. When changing a motorcycle tire, you will not likely need as many drop-center tools as I used toward the end of the video. You may not need any if you have a helping hand. Anyway, the video is below and if you are interested in purchasing one of these for your garage or for your training fleet, you can find your own at the link below. It's not an affiliate link. I do not benefit at all from your purchase. I just like to promote the products that I believe are quality and ones that actually follow through on their claims. This Rabaconda machine is definitely one I wish I had many years ago and one I love using now.