How to Change a Motorcycle Tire

How to Change a Motorcycle Tire

If you want to know how to change a motorcycle tire yourself we can help. Keep reading to find out answers to the most frequently asked questions about changing a motorcycle tire as well as a step-by-step guide on how to change to change a motorcycle tire. Whether you are fixing up a motorcycle  and currently have a flat/old motorcycle tire that needs changing, or you are simply reading up for future reference, learning how to change a motorcycle tire yourself is a great skill to have.

How to Change a Motorcycle Tire in Three Steps

Here is a list of steps to changing a motorcycle tire.

Step One – Lift the Motorcycle

The first step to working on the motorcycle’s tires is to lift the motorcycle. You can use stands or some type of jack, all that matters is that the motorcycle is stable and lifted off of the ground. Motorcycle accessories like a motorcycle jack or a motorcycle lock can be purchased at automotive stores and online.

Step Two – The Old Tire

The first step to changing an old tire is to remove the tire that is already on the motorcycle. Before you start working with the old tire you should let some of the air out of it. This makes it a lot easier to work with.

Using a lot of silicone lubricant and a bead breaker tool to remove the old tire from the rim. It may take a while to remove all of the beads from the edge of the rim and if you are having difficulty, you can try letting even more air out of the tires. If you do not have a bead breaker tool you can use your body weight to step on the tire to try to remove it from the rim.

When you remove the old tire it is important that you mark the rotation so that you do not forget. This is important if you do not want to accidentally have to change the tire twice because you installed it going in the wrong direction. The wheels of the motorcycle should turn in the direction that the motorcycle is going in.

After you remove the old tire you can take this old tire with you to the store to pick out new motorcycle tires if you do not know what kind you need. The staff can look at the old tire and tell you which replacements would probably be best for your motorcycle.

Step Three – Installing a New Motorcycle Tire

When working with a new tire you are going to want to use a lot of the same silicone lubricant you used to remove the old tire, or alternatively you can use Windex as a replacement. Another DIY lubricant for motorcycle tires is a mixture of half and half warm water and degreasing dish soap. As you continue to work with the new motorcycle tire to get it over the rim you will want to be regularly applying this lubricant to the inside of the tire.

Work the new tire over the rim in small sections while using as much lubricant as you need. Having the right tools to change your tire will make this step go a lot faster and easier. You will definitely need some tire irons among other tools. If you don’t have the tire irons that you need some people recommend using zip ties to change your motorcycle tire.

Make sure that your fingers are not anywhere near the rim as you put the new tire on because it could seriously hurt your fingers when the new tire snaps into place. After the new tire is in place on the rim you can inflate it at a gas station or with a pump at your house. One way you can check for leaks around the rim is to spray the lubricant/detergent mixture on the tires and look for bubbling from the leaks.

How to Change a Motorcycle Tire

What Tools Do You Need to Change a Motorcycle Tire?

Keep reading to find out if you can change a motorcycle tire with zip ties. Here is a list of supplies and tools that you may need to change a motorcycle tire yourself:

  1. Lubricant – you can use a silicone automotive lubricant or substitute windex or a 50/50 mix of dish soap and water
  2. Tire irons – if you don’t have tire irons some people recommend using zip ties
  3. Jacks – you need to jack the motorcycle off of the ground to work on it
  4. Bead breaker – this is a tool that you use to break the old tire off of the rim
  5. Rim protector – rim protectors keep your rims from getting scratched while you change the tire

How to Change a Motorcycle Tire

Frequently Asked Questions About Changing a Motorcycle Tire

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about changing a motorcycle tire:

What should I do with my old motorcycle tire?

You are responsible for disposing of your old motorcycle tire responsibly. After you remove the old motorcycle tire you should take it to a recycling center to be properly recycled. Throwing your tire in the trash means it ends up in a landfill, but if you recycle it can be made into new products.

Can you use zip ties to change a motorcycle tire?

Using zip ties is an effective way to change motorcycle tires although it requires a bit more muscle. For the best results we recommend using appropriate heavy-duty motorcycle tire changing tools, but in a pinch you can definitely use zip ties to change a motorcycle tire. You need zip ties that are at least 20 inches long for it to work.

To use zip ties for a tire installation you want to feed the zip ties around the tire in a star formation until you have the zip ties all around the rim. After putting the new tire over the rim you can cut the zip ties and inflate the tire and it will snap into place.


Some motorcycle products such as motorcycle tires or motorcycle batteries come with a warranty that protects your purchase for a certain amount of time after the sale. This is why it is recommended that even simple tire changes be left up to professional mechanics in order to not accidentally void any warranties that are on the parts of the vehicle. However, if you are in a bind this motorcycle tire changing guide can help you change a motorcycle tire yourself. Thanks for reading, and be sure to stay safe while changing your motorcycle tire by wearing the proper safety gear.