Cycle Hill Tire Changer:
Motorcycle Tire Changing Made Easy
by Brian A. Hopkins

 

One of the things I knew I wanted in my new shop was a tire changer. Iíd had more than my fill of crawling around on my hands and knees in my garage, wrestling with tire irons, busting knuckles, doing all manner of crazy shit just to break the stinking bead, and generally practicing and expanding that portion of my vocabulary which I canít use in polite company. I donít regret all those difficult tire changing sessions Ö well, okay, really I do Ö but they were necessary to build the skills required to change a tire anytime, anywhere, which is pretty damn important given the places my buddies and I often ride. (I mean, you donít think Danny and I could have hauled along a tire changing machine to Alaska, do ya?)

Having used the machine now, I can say that tire changing absolutely should not be this freakiní easy. The motorcycle police are surely on their way to arrest me. This sort of thing simply canít be tolerated. I never broke a sweat. Used not a single tire iron. Never had to mess with silly little plastic do-dads to protect my wheels (in fact, I never once even worried about scratching the rims on my CBR1000RR or ZZR1200). Time spent on my knees was minimal ó damn near zero, in fact.

The machine I bought is from Cycle Hill. Iíd heard too many bad things about the Harbor Freight model everyone buys because itís inexpensive (read that as cheap). The one everyone raves about is the NoMar Tire Changer, but itís like $500+. But wait, believe it or not, the Cycle Hill model appears to actually be made by NoMar and itís damn near the same unit. And Iím here to tell you that the damn thing absolutely works, exactly as advertised. Check out the videos on their website. They arenít exaggerated. It was just that easy for me, first time out of the box.

Here are some photos.

Cycle Hill Tire Changer awaiting its first use.

 

First order of business: get the CBR1000RR to levitate, so that we can remove the front wheel.

 

Remove that pesky valve core.

 

Break the bead on the tire. This was oh-so-easy, even though that's the OEM tire on the CBR -- never been off the wheel before. And this is the only time I was on my knees.

 

Mount the wheel on the changer.

 

Give the tire a couple quick squirts of lube.

 

Use the handy clamp contraption to tuck one side of the tire down in the deep part of the wheel (a job previously performed by my poor, complaining knee), insert the nylon (no scratch!) tip of your bar and run it around one quick time. Voila! Repeat the process for the lower edge of the tire and that puppy is off in like two seconds -- I kid you not!

 

Now for the new tire. Another quick squirt of lube. Then another handy, hands-free device tucks a bit of tire onto the rim, while the clever design at the other end of the bar is run around the rim, seating the tire in much less time than it's taken me to type this photo caption.

 

Re-install the valve core. A little air and that exciting double-POP! that tells you everything's okay, and the wheel's ready to go back on the bike. Quickest and easiest tire change I have ever done! As I've always said, there ain't nothing sexier than brand new rubber.

 

Just to prove it wasn't a fluke, I also changed the front tire on my ZZR1200.

 

If anything, the second time was even easier...

 

On and off in a snap!

Couldn't be simpler. In fact, it's so easy, it ought to be illegal! :)

Brian A. Hopkins
at Road's End, Oklahoma
25 April 2010


Copyright © 2011 Brian A. Hopkins, 2011-08-03 18:49, www.bahwolf.com