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Back To Basics - How To Change A Rear Tire

Andie's Garage: The How To's for Basic Maintenance On Your Motorcycle

Photos and Text by Andie Gaskins, from Fast Andie Racing.
11/21/2013


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Hi, I am Fast Andie with Fast Andie Racing.
 
The articles I plan to write will be for you ladies! I’m not writing with the intention that you think you need to work on your own motorcycle. If you choose to do that, awesome! If not, join the many men that choose not to work on their own either. The truth of the matter is Harley dealers have a service department for a reason.  I want to share with you the basics of repairs so you can decide if you want to tackle it yourself, or just simply know what happens when you take it to someone else to get repaired. As women, we are entitled to educate ourselves the same way we educate ourselves on the car we drive every day. If you haven’t done that yet, now is a great time to make changes!
 
This is an important task for myself and my crew at Fast Andie Racing! I like to smoke tires, not drugs! The down side to this addictive behavior? Always replacing rear tires!
 
Not only do I complete a burnout before each and every pass I make on the drag strip, I like to do them for fun! My latest burnout took place at The Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground during the 2013 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I like to bring drag bikes out and have it out with the guys! This year the burnouts aired on CMT’s Biker Battle Episode. Always a good time and in good company! There is nothing like going head to head in a burnout with legends Kurt Peterson of Lil’ Evil Inkorpor8ted and James Patience of Ground Zero Customs!
 
The first thing I do is put the motorcycle on a small jack.
 
Jacks are relatively inexpensive and very handy for almost everything you do. Use t-handled allen wrenches or a socket and ratchet to remove the rear brake caliper. Mark the tensioner:
 
This might be a chain tensioner or a belt tensioner depending on your motorcycle.
You can use a tape measure or a digital caliper, pictured below:
 
 
 
 
Before removing the tire, also take note of any spacers used.
 
 
Andie's Note: Good idea: take a picture of all the spacers and their order before disassembly so you don’t miss anything.
 
 
 
Remove axle nut until it is flush with the end of the axle and tap axle out with a rubber mallet. Support tire to avoid axle binding on the way out. Remove chain off sprocket or belt. Some motorcycles may require removing chain or belt guard first. My chain guard is fairly simple to deal with, therefore, removal is not necessary for me. 
 
 
 
 
Then I take a new drag tire and the rear wheel with the old tire still in place to my mechanic to swap the tires for me. He uses a tire machine. Since my drag bikes usually have blown out rear tires, and it’s not legal to drive them anywhere, having someone replace my rear tires is very convenient for me!! 
 
With the tire off and out of the way, this is a great time to inspect the sprocket, chain or belt, brake rotor and brake pads. If anything needs to be replaced or repaired, it is best to do this now.
 
Once I get the rear tire back (usually takes about 15 minutes to break the bead on my old tire and set the new tire on the wheel), I begin reinstalling the rear tire so I can melt it off again!
 
~Just a side note, burning them off is an expensive habit!
 
I apply anti-seize lube on the rear axle before anything else. I make sure I have the chain lined up, proper alignment on chain tensioners, all spacers are in the same order, (refer to that picture to be sure you have the correct order!) and then slide the rear axle through the chain, all spacers and the rear tire (of course!).
 
 
 
Then start your axle nut. Make sure you check your manufacture specs on chain or belt tension. Mine requires ½” “play” on the chain.  
 
 
Last I reinstall the brake caliper and snug bolts tight with again either t-handled allen wrench or socket on a ratchet.
 
 
 
Remove Jack.
And you are done!
 
 
So what do I do with all these burnout tires? Recycle of course! A few have been given away as gifts to sponsors. But the burnout tire that was televised at The Legendary Buffalo Chip is now hanging up at their office. Next year at Sturgis, go to the Chip and check it out:
 
 
 
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Reader Comments


Very useful! Thanks

Dottie Rankin
GIllette, WY
Saturday, November 23, 2013

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