Best home motorcycle tyre changing kit

Save money by changing your own tyres – with these tools

Changing the tyres on a KTM 1290 Super Duke R

by Jim Blackstock |

One of the inescapable tasks that comes with running a motorcycle is the need to occasionally change your bike’s tyres.

But where major servicing, involving perhaps adjusting valve clearances, is a highly-skilled and daunting job in most cases requiring taking your machine to a dealer’s workshop (if only to avoid invalidating your warranty), a tyre change can be done at home – and by so doing, save you £££s.

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

Related: Best motorcycle puncture repair kits

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 tools, if only to avoid damaging your bike.

You’ll need 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.

Sealey MS500 Tyre Lever

Sealey MS500 Tyre Lever
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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 youu2019re 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

Con:

More expensive than some

Bike-It Tyre Bead Breaker Tool

Bike-It Tyre Bead Breaker Tool

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Ask any experienced or professional motorcycle tyre fitter about the tricky aspects of their job and theyu2019ll often say u2018breaking the beadu2019 of the old tyre which is to be removed u2013 or breaking it away from the rim u2013 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

Con:

Not the cheapest

Draper 450mm Tyre Levers

Draper 450mm Tyre Levers
Amazon

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Good tyre levers may be a vital investment if planning on changing your tyres at home, but most will tell you itu2019s 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

Con:

Needs protectors

Ryde Rim Protectors

Ryde Rim Protectors
Amazon

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Yes, thatu2019s right, theyu2019re 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 bikeu2019s tyres u2013 just ask anyone whou2019s ham-fistedly scarred their bikeu2019s 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

Con:

May need replacing over time

Provac Tyre Fitting Cream

Provac Tyre Fitting Cream
Amazon

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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 u2018slideu2019 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

Con:

Can be a little messy

Draper Twin Cylinder Footpump

Draper Twin Cylinder Footpump
Amazon

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Thereu2019s no point fitting a tyre if you canu2019t 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

Con:

Requires physical effort!

Dr Roc Tyre Changing Kit

Dr Roc Tyre Changing Kit
Amazon

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If youu2019ve got a dirt bike or motocrosser youu2019re even more likely to regularly want to change your own tyres which is where this all-in-one kit makes a tempting buy. It comes with three tyre-changing u2018spoonsu2019 (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

Con:

Best suited to dirt bikes

Bike-It Adhesive Wheel Weights

Bike-It Adhesive Wheel Weights

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The final u2013 but vital u2013 task whenever fitting new motorcycle tyres is balancing the wheel (and newly-fitted) tyre so doesnu2019t 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

Con:

Tricky to get ‘just right’

Portable Wheel Balancer

Portable Wheel Balancer

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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

Sealey TC965 Tyre Changer

Sealey TC965 Tyre Changer
Amazon

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If moneyu2019s no object, you plan on doing lots of tyres regularly u2013 for your biking mates perhaps u2013 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

Con:

A sizeable investment

What to read next:

Best sports touring motorcycle tyres

Best motorcycle wheel and tyre accessories

Best cool motorcycle tyre valve caps

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