January 22, 2013
As with most bike maintenance, rather than having a motorcycle shop do the work for me, I prefer to remove and re-install the wheels myself. There are several reasons for it. The most important is knowing that the job is done right. Because, in a very real sense, I trust my life to my bike. Another is just a matter of convenience: if a tire is flat, I would hate to have to go through the hassle of borrowing a pickup truck and loading the bike in the bed, just to be able to bring it over to the shop so they can change a tire. So, without further ado…
Tools and equipment:
Use both a front and a rear stand for stability. I have a set of el-cheapo PSR stands. Boy do they suck. Flimsy construction, bad welds, and clearance issues that constantly have to be worked around. I wish I had a set of Pit Bull stands. When I got the PSR’s, I thought “what the hell, a motorcycle stand is a motorcycle stand”. But it didn’t quite turn out that way. This is a piece of equipment where you get what you pay for.
Two pieces of thin rope, or zip ties, or pieces of wire to secure calipers. I used a couple of old shoelaces, each one 4 or 5 feet in length.
I also needed a three inch 1/2″ socket extension and a 22mm (7/8″) open ended wrench because my socket wrench wasn’t clearing the front stand when turning the axle bolt. You may not need these if you have a stand that doesn’t present clearance issues.