No-Mar Classic Tire Changer
Change it myself?  What happens if the wheels fall out?

No-Mar Classic Tire Changer

Hitch mount.

[Sunday - July 13, 2008]

Because I received my new set of Pirelli Scorpion Sync last Monday, because I've put on at least 8.5K on the current Conti Road Attacks (It's awfully flat at the center from so many Fwy rides), and because the Captain has received and setup a tire changer in his garage, it's time to run over to his place and swap out tires.  What can I say, the universe is agreeing with me.

My buddy, the Captain, and I are tired of paying over priced non caring people to slap rubber on our wheels and declaring it safely done.  The last time I took my bike to the dealer for a tire change, they told me I had to pay an extra $30 fee for bringing in my own set of rubber.  WTF!  The Captain would bring his wheels to a bike shop to have tires changed out.  When he gets the wheels back, there are new dents and scrapes to ponder about.  To make a long story short, the Captain and I are tired of such unnecessary drama and have decided to join funds to purchase a tire changer.  We have decided on the No-Mar name because they've been known as a good brand for motorcycle tire changers.

Surprise surprise, there are no instructions with the tire changer.  This is horrible?  Did they forget to include a manual?  Hardly.  Instead, you get on the Internet and go to the No-Mar website ( and watch the numerous videos they have on how to change a motorcycle tire.  They have video instructions for a generic tire change in addition to specific motorcycle manufacturer's tire change.  The Captain and I watched and watched.  We studied the video 4, 5, or more times.  We observe where to apply the spray on lubricant, where to apply the tire grease, what pegs to use when breaking the bead, etc.  We studied the video so much that by the time we're ready to change tires, we can recall the steps by memory instead of having to look at the videos.  This is good because the Captain's garage doesn't have an internet connection.  I'm sure he can set it up if he wanted to, but there is no need for such luxuries.

I have never changed out tires for a motorcycle before.  The original thought of doing such a thing has me thinking, "Can I change it myself?  What happens if the wheels fall out in the middle of a ride?  I'm sure to at least do the superman if that's the case."  All these thoughts and fears are quickly quieted when I'm finally pull the from wheel's axle after securing the two front break calipers to the Telelever with two pieces of nylon twine, but I'm getting ahead of myself here.

A jack and a block of wood is as good as any fancy front fork jack.

That little silver thing on the cardboard is the valve stem core removing tool.

The first order of business is to put the bike on the center stand and jack the bike up so that the front tire is off of the ground.  Next we remove the tire valve cores from the tire valve stems.  The front and rear tires both whistle in relief.  Next we remove the front left and right break calipers.  Following the instructions in the owner's manual, I rock the calipers ever so gently to make enough clearance for the calipers to be pulled clear of the rim.  The calipers are then stress relieved by tying some nylon twine to the Telelever and then to the break calipers.  Yup, there is no stress on the break line itself.  We then remove the front axle and out comes the front wheel.  I don't' recall seeing explicit instructions in the owner's manual of the '05 R12GS on how to remove the wheels.  However, the R12R's owner's manual does show the procedure and even gives torque values.  Very nice.  Thanks BMW.  For once I'm not forced into purchasing the repair manual just to learn how to take my wheels off.

Special BMW front axle removal tool (22mm).

Check out the high tech break caliper stress relief mechanism.

I hear this from practically everybody I've talked to, they all say it's near impossible to break the bead on a tubeless tire.  I don't know, maybe it's this tool.  When I put the front wheel on the No-Mar tire changer and use the bead breaking tool, the bead of the tire pops off with relative ease.  Interesting.  I finish breaking the bead on both sides of the tire.  I then use three of the plastic clamps to depress the tire and expose the rim for clamping.  I flip the wheel over and clamp the rim to the tire changer.  The three clamps are then removed in preparation for the tire's removal.  I spray some lubricant on the tire to allow the tire removing rod to move without snag.  The tire removing rod is inserted at approximately 8 o'clock location of the tire.  The center rod (leverage rod) goes down.  With a push of the rod against the center rod, the top half of the tire pops right off.  Cool!  I then pull the tire up and insert the rod once more at 8 o'clock.  Again, a push of the tire removal rod against the center rod and the entire tire pops off.  That was remarkably easy.  It is just like how they described it in the video on the website.  No surprises here.

Breaking the bead.  It's way easy.

One side is done.  Now for the other side.

We then clean up the rim and remove all the existing weights.  Here's an additional step we do that doesn't appear in the video.  We go ahead and put the rim on the balancer.  This tells us what part of the rim is lightest and what part is the heaviest.  Because we know what part is the heaviest, we know to put the tire on so that the lightest part of the tire matches up with the heaviest part of the rim (e.g. the two red dots).  We put a little sticker to indicate where the heavy part resides.  The rim goes back into the tire changer.  This time around we grease the inside of the rim, the inside of the tire, and the outside of the rim from the 10-2 o'clock range.  The first half of the tire slides right in with a little coercion.  Now we use the yellow bead holding clamp to prevent the tire from slipping while still holding the tire down.  This time around we insert the tire mounting tool onto the tire.  It goes OK but we ended up hitting a snag.  We didn't put down enough grease.  The Captain adds a little more grease to the inside of the tire from the 10-2 o'clock position and we continue the installation.  Sure enough, the tire goes right on in.  The final inspection shows that we have the tire mounted in the correct direction of travel.  We take the tire off and inflate the tire until the beads are set.  "Pop! Pop!"  That's both sides of the front.  We've set the bead.  Wow!  That's no too bad at all.  I'm getting to like this tire installation process.  Next we put the tire back on the balancer and finish off the balancing process.  4 1/2 7 gram weights later, we're completely balanced.  Now we put the valve stem core back in and inflate the front tire to 35 PSI.  That wasn't hard nor bad at all.  Of course we reverse the procedure for taking the front wheel off, but we made sure to grease the axle before installing it.  The last thing to do here is to give the break a couple of pumps to reset the break pads and make sure the breaks work.  Again, having the torque specs in the owner's manual helps tremendously.

Everything is back on.  Now if I can just put the ABS wire back in without damaging it ...

The rear wheel is not all that different from the front.  Aside from the need to swivel the muffler to one side, the rear wheel is much easier.  This is because the wheel mounts to a hub on the Paralever.  There are no considerations for break calipers, etc. because all that stuff is on the other side of the hub.  I only have to worry about removing the wheel from the hub.  We did pretty much the same step as above to unmount, installed new valve stem, balance, mount, set the bead, and final balance of the wheel.  It's all good.  I did put an ever so little and very minor scuff mark on the rim when we tried to unmount the second half of the tire.  We're learning so it's OK.  We torqued everything back in at the specs given in the owner's manual.  We inserted the valve stem core back in and inflated the tire to 40 PSI.  We reseated the muffler and tighten down the clamp where the muffler slips on.  All done.  That wasn't half bad.  No we spend time cleaning up the Captain's garage before setting off for lunch.

From today's exploits, I'm happy to report that the No-Mar Classic Tire Changer works as advertised.  We were able to do all this by studying their tire changing videos.  Additionally, the No-Mar static balancer also works as advertised.  Both of these tools make a complete set and allows any Joe, like me, to change out tires without perturbation.  From a scale of 1-5, I rate the Classic a 5+.  The Captain and I are super happy to own this wonderful piece of equipment.  I'm simply delighted to know that I can change treads at any time I desire.

[ Monday - July 21, 2008 ] - Update!

It's been a little more than a week on the new set of rubbers.  Can I tell the difference between the semi-aggressive tread pattern of the Pirelli Scorpion Sync as opposed to the more slick like Conti Road Attack?  Nope.  All I can tell is, these tires are as smooth as silk and they stick like fly paper.  I think I get a little more vibration, but it's all in my head.  After approxiamtely 60 miles worth of break in, I'm cranking the bike over to feel that sweet lean angle.  You got it folks, I'm working that chicken strip to the bone.

As for the fact these tires have been installed using the No-Mar tire changer, it's still a sweet deal!  The ease at which I can install my own tires gives me a major mechanical skills boost in confidence.  No ego mind you, just a boost in confidence.

Written on: July 13, 2008
Last modified: July 21, 2008