Change a Tire with Zip Ties: DIY Motorcycle Maintenance

Triumph Scrambler on Jack MotoADVRBack in December I replaced the worn Shinko 705 rear tire on the Scrambler with a Heidenau K60 Scout. Expecting an especially stiff sidewall, I wanted to avoid the labor intensive “traditional” tire change method, so I decided to give the “zip tie method” a shot. Many of you may have already seen videos of moto-wrenchers installing a new tire with zip ties, however I have yet to see it done with a tube type tire. This weekend I decided to spoon on a new Shinko 805 knobby on Rosie the Scrambler, so I figured I’d publish a few photos and short tips; I promise, it sure beats pinching a tube with an iron right as you get the last bead seated…
Motorcycle Tire Change Tools MotoADVRI’m going to call this the “abridged” version, as I assume most folks attempting this already know how to get the bike on the jack, and remove the appropriate wheel. I will also say that there are surplus of YouTube videos available on changing motorcycle tires, which are likely far more eloquent than my two-cents here.



Once the wheel is off the bike, the biggest part of the job here is breaking the bead. I admit I’m still doing this “the hard way”, with soap, tire irons, possibly a C-clamp… Breaking The Bead Motorcycle Tire MotoADVRbut mostly brute force. Up until this stubborn Anakee 3, the previous Shinko and Continental tires have been relatively easy to break loose with a little extra “oomph”,Removing Tire from Motorcycle Rim MotoADVR but this Michelin was an absolute bear. So much so I can potentially see myself paying for a dedicated bead breaker. Insult to injury, getting the last bead off the rim was also particularly difficult; I loved that Michelin tire, but the pain of removing it will probably stick with me for a long time.
Stuff Tube into Motorcycle Tire MotoADVROnce the old tire is off the rim, I begin prepping the new tire by putting a fresh tube down inside the tire. When doing this, make sure that you place the tube valve stem opposite the “heavy” mark on the tire (if it has one).

ZipTie Tire Shut MotoADVRWith the tube gently placed inside the tire, I begin installing zip ties at equally spaced points around the tire. I don’t cinch them tight at first, that way I can still press the tube completely inside the tire before “zipping” it shut.

Confirm Tire Shut MotoADVROnce 8-10 zip ties are in place, I begin cinching down each one, being sure to press the tube inside the tire as not to be pinched between the beads. The goal is to get the beads “closed” and in contact with one another so you can push both beads over the rim at the same time.

Lube New Tire Bead Before Mounting MotoADVRWith the tire zipped shut, I use soapy water to lubricate both the rim (top side), and the beads of the tire.

Installing New Tire MotoADVRWith suds on the new tire beads, I push the tire down over the rim to seat about 40% of the tire if I can. With a rim protector and my 24” iron, I carefully pull the tire over the rim until about 60% of the tire is seated.

From there, it’s mostly knees and elbows pushing the tire on. When I installed the Heidenau in December, I only used the iron one time, this time around, I needed to give the tire a little more help when it was about 80% mounted, from there it was all elbow grease.
Once the tire is completely on the rim, I cut the zip ties adjacent to where the valve stem was tucked inside the tire.Cutting ZipTies MotoADVR I wiggle the tire carefully to line up the valve stem with the hole in the rim. With the two beads located in the trough, it’s usually pretty easy to thread the valve stem through the hole, but you may need to use the valve stem tool to fight a stubborn tube. Once the valve stem is threaded and secured with the threaded nut, I begin snipping the rest of the zip ties and removing them, carefully to not snag the new tube.

With the zip ties all removed, there’s nothing left but to inflate the tube until both beads seat, check the air pressure, balance, and remount the tire.


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6 Responses to Change a Tire with Zip Ties: DIY Motorcycle Maintenance

  1. Great write-up! I have not tried the zip-tie method, though I will keep some zip-ties on the bike during travels in case I need to change a tire or repair a flat. I would also just point out that I have also read that the paint dot you refer to as the heavy point on the tire is also listed as the lightest point of some tires as well! So I’m not sure if that is a manufacturer specific thing?? Also, I wanted to suggest a helpful tool that makes fishing the valve stem through the valve stem hole much easier: – I’m sure there are cheaper alternatives too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Changing a tyre is painful and this looks like it would make things a lot less trouble. Thanks for posting…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bob says:

    Interesting! Never saw it done. Thanks for the info!

    Liked by 1 person

    • MotoADVR says:

      Thanks for reading Bob! Like I said, many others have covered it but it seemed like a lot of folks still had questions; figured I’d share some photos. Cheers!


  4. Pingback: Tried and True Dual Sport Tires: Shoe Shopping with Rosie the Scrambler | Moto Adventurer

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