Best home motorcycle tyre changing kit

Best home motorcycle tyre changing kit
Best home motorcycle tyre changing kit
6

Where major motorcycle servicing is a highly-skilled and daunting job in most cases requiring taking your machine to a dealer’s workshop, fresh rubber can be fitted at home with a little tyre changing kit – and by so doing, save you £££s.

That said, although within the abilities of a home mechanic, tyre changing shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Whereas you might have been able to swap the tyres on your childhood pushbike using some dessert spoons and forks and a bit of spit, successful modern motorcycle tyre changes require some special tyre changing kit, if only to avoid damaging your bike.

Tyre changing kit includes quality tyre levers, rim guards to protect from damaging your alloy wheels, a pump and a pressure gauge at the very least.

Some lubrication is a good idea, you’ll need proper stands for your bike (if you haven’t got them already) and if you’re considering regularly changing your hoops, a bespoke tyre-changing stand is worth considering, too.

Here’s our pick of some of the best equipment around.

Rrp: £29.99

Price: £22.72

Yes, there are cheaper tyre levers and most tyre levers need to be little more than a metal bar with a hooked end to get under the bead of the tyre. But if you're going to be doing it a lot, you might as well get a good one.

This Sealey item stands out for not only being made out of tough chrome vanadium steel and being an extra-long 500mm long for easy use, but also for having a hard plastic moulding along the length of its underside, which is designed to reduce the risk of damage to your bike’s wheel rims when removing or fitting the tyre.

Pros

  • Premium brand
  • Protective feature
  • Long length

Cons

  • More expensive than some

Ask any experienced or professional motorcycle tyre fitter about the tricky aspects of their job and they'll often say 'breaking the bead' of the old tyre which is to be removed, or breaking it away from the rim, can be one of the most difficult to do without damaging the wheel.

Which is where this purpose-designed, long-handled (for leverage) bead-breaking tool comes in. It’s not cheap but it’s strong, simple to use and absolutely vital with particularly reluctant tyres!

Pros

  • Works well
  • Avoids damaging rim
  • Quality brand

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
Price: £23.98

Good tyre levers may be a vital investment if planning on changing your tyres at home, but most will tell you it's even more important to have two levers, to be used together.

With that in mind, quality tool brand Draper produces this handy twin pack of decent quality levers at an affordable price. They’re both 450mm long for plenty of leverage and are made from hot-forged EN8 steel which is also hardened, tempered and zinc plated for extra long life.

Pros

  • Buy two at once
  • Trusted brand
  • Quality build

Cons

  • Needs protectors

Yes, that's right, they're under five quid for a set and are little more than bits of shaped rubber, but wheel-rim protectors can be invaluable when it comes to changing your bike's tyres, just ask anyone who's ham-fistedly scarred their bike's alloy rims when trying to change their tyres without them.

They’re simple to use – just place on the rim where you’re using your lever – cheap, easy to replace and a must-have when changing your tyres.

Pros

  • Bargain price
  • Does the job
  • Comes as a set

Cons

  • May need replacing over time

When fitting a new tyre (after removing the old), one of the biggest inhibitors to getting the new tyre smoothly on the rim is the natural grip of the tyre rubber on the dry metal rim making it reluctant to easily 'slide' into position.

This is where purpose-made tyre fitting ‘creams’, such as this one from Provac, come in. It’s a purpose-made, white, non-toxic lubricant specifically formulated for fitting tyres.

You apply it to the bead of the tyre to lubricate it, allowing easy fitment. But it’s quick-drying to prevent tyre rotation on the rim afterwards and also keeps the flexibility of the rubber.

Pros

  • Does what it says
  • Quality reputation
  • As used by pros

Cons

  • Can be a little messy
Price: £19.47

There's no point fitting a tyre if you can't pump it up afterwards and although there are plenty of options out there, including more basic pumps or electric or even petrol compressors, this robust foot pump with built-in gauge from reputable tool brand Draper is one of the best options.

Suitable for all kinds of tyres from bikes to cars, it’s idiot-proof, dependable, good value and is highly rated – to the extent of being an award winner.

Pros

  • Trusted brand
  • Award-winning reputation
  • Ease of use

Cons

  • Requires physical effort!

Rrp: £16.93

Price: £15.88
If you've got a dirt bike or motocrosser you're even more likely to regularly want to change your own tyres which is where this Dr Roc all-in-one kit makes a tempting buy. It comes with three tyre-changing 'spoons' (like levers but designed more for dirt bikes), two rim protectors and also a valve stem set with accompanying tools all in a durable fabric bag.

Keep it all together in your van or garage and you’re sorted, although it’s not necessarily all you need for road-bike tyres.

Pros

  • Comes as a kit
  • Self-contained bag
  • Lots of features

Cons

  • Best suited to dirt bikes

The final, but vital, task whenever fitting new motorcycle tyres is balancing the wheel (and newly-fitted) tyre so doesn't vibrate when riding. This is done by counter-balancing any natural imbalances with wheel weights on the rim opposite any heavy spots and for this you need a variety of wheel weights, usually made of lead.

These are typical, usefully self-adhesive, come in a combination of weights and are so cheap you’d simply be daft not to.

Pros

  • Finishes the job
  • Great value
  • Self-adhesive

Cons

  • Tricky to get 'just right'

While balancing the wheel with its new tyre fitted relies on stick-on weights to ensure there are no heavy spots, finding the right location to add those weights is essential and this portable balancer will help to do that.

Simply ‘hang’ the wheel on the two pivots and it will settle with the heaviest spot at the bottom. Add weights opposite and continue until there are no heavy sport and hence, no vibrations on the bike.

Pros

  • Essential for balancing wheels
  • Proper kit
  • Portable so can carry in van

Cons

  • A significant investment
Price: £231.52

If money's no object, you plan on doing lots of tyres regularly, for your biking mates perhaps, or simply want the ultimate in-home tyre-changing kit, then how about getting a proper, semi-pro standard tyre changing stand?

Designed for mini cars and motorcycles, it makes bead-breaking and tyre removal not just easy but a workshop joy and also reduces the likelihood of damage to your wheels – or yourself!

Pros

  • Fabulously effective
  • Easy and pleasing to use
  • Reputable brand

Cons

  • A sizeable investment

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.