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I have a Arizona bike vacation planned in a month and I thought it would be an ideal time to swap out the stock dunlop tires for some new ME880's. After reading the posts on tire changing, I decided to become a DYI tire changer (I love independence). So I ordered the tires, no-mar bar, "yellow thing", dynabeads off the internet and I proceeded down to my local Colorado Springs Harbor Freight store to buy the tire changer. After the 30 mile trip, I found out that they only had the bottom portion of the tire changer in stock. :evil: Hey No Problem! Having a month before I leave for Arizona, I ordered the tire changer from the Harbor Freight website. About a week later, I took a look on my credit card statement and saw that HF only charged me for half of my order.

After calling their automated order status line, I got the word that the upper motorcycle tire changer was back ordered and wouldn't ship until February 28th. :evil: NO PROBLEM!. I figured that some Harbor Freight along the front range would have one of these changers. I made a call to every store in Pueblo and Denver and none of them had one in stock.

THIS IS A PROBLEM. After investing in about $250 worth of tire changing supplies, I went to my local motorcycle dealer and dropped off the wheels for them to change out the tires. Damn! So much for my ROI.

Sorry for the long writeup. In short, Harbor Freight does not notify you when the item you are ordering is not in stock. And to ship the lower tire changer when the upper portion is backordered 2 months is a bad business practice. It appears that the HF factory in China is in the process of retooling from Christmas toys to tools and there is a serious backlog of these changers. But run on down to your local HF, because the motorcycle tire changer is on sale for $49.99 (if you can get one). :dontknow:
 

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Yeah,same here.

I seriously thought about buying the changer.....and $110 is cheap...(main changer part and the additional bike tire changer part) if youconsider tire changes over time. Not to mention that every time Istep foot in the dealer where I go to have my tires changed I end up spending at least $50 in "other"stuff....LOL

But the dealer here does it for $24 and that is spin balanced.

Only thing I worry a bit about is scratches to the rims....you know that no one will ever care as much as you when they are your rims...but is the manual changer they sell good enough that damage can be prevented?
 

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Yeah,same here.

I seriously thought about buying the changer.....and $110 is cheap...(main changer part and the additional bike tire changer part) if youconsider tire changes over time. Not to mention that every time Istep foot in the dealer where I go to have my tires changed I end up spending at least $50 in "other"stuff....LOL

But the dealer here does it for $24 and that is spin balanced.

Only thing I worry a bit about is scratches to the rims....you know that no one will ever care as much as you when they are your rims...but is the manual changer they sell good enough that damage can be prevented?
To do that you will need a couple of mods:


http://www.st-owners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29957


http://home.comcast.net/~prestondrake/mojoblocks.htm


http://no-scufftiretool.com/
 

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Old Goat
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Ive thought about getting the HF changer and mojo stuff, but as mentioned could get to be a PITA, but I too would worry about scratches, Ive been lucky Ive got new rims with tires on them so I havent had to have any changed -------------yet. have a good one
 

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Yep, same thing happened to me. I was able to purchase the car tire changer, and found out that they were out of the MC tire changer, until Feb 28th. I checked the local HF here in Columbia SC, Augusta Ga, Charlotte NC, Pineview NC, Dillion SC, and all were on back order. I had already started making mods to the car changer so I was stuck with it, if it was'nt for that I would of took it back. I call'd the HF in Florence SC, and to my supprise they had 3 in stock. This was last Sat. So, I made a trip to Florence and picked 1 up for the on sale price of $49.99. I also went to NAPA and picked up some Tire Change Lube, and now after all the running around and getting everything, I'm now ready to attemp a tire change maybe this Sat. A local MC shop stated that they would do the front for $25.00 plus balancing, and also added that they would'nt be responsible if they scrached the rims. Besides the scrach thing I thought it was'nt really to bad a price, and alot cheaper than all the equipment/tools I purchashed. The main thing I wanted was for me to learn to do it myself. Wish me luck.
 

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Just for information purposes, the store in Springdale, AR is also out of the wanted motorcycle changer.
 

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Had the HF tire changer and took it back. You have to bolt that sucker into the floor and worry about scratching your rims. The sidewalls on our tires are pretty stiff and need a lot of lube to keep the bar moving. That lead to another problem of using the dyna beads,as I did not want them to get all messed up by the lube when installing the tire. 25-30.00 I let my local guy worry about it.
 

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Had the HF tire changer and took it back. You have to bolt that sucker into the floor and worry about scratching your rims. The sidewalls on our tires are pretty stiff and need a lot of lube to keep the bar moving. That lead to another problem of using the dyna beads,as I did not want them to get all messed up by the lube when installing the tire. 25-30.00 I let my local guy worry about it.
:agree: I had contemplated the changer......I like to do anything I can do myself.....and the bolting thing is a pain but there are workarounds.....

But, at $24 per tire change, including spin balance, its cheap enough that I dont want to take the chance of messing up my own rims.....

I guess if I could practice for a while on one of these units and see if it was that hard or not, maybe.

I do worry about scratching at the garage.....will be even more so this time around due to the chroming....but I am not sure if there is more chance for scratching with the dealer doing it, who uses a powered changer and (in theory) experienced techs, or me doing it, with a hand-operated changer and absolutely no experience.....

The guy chroming my wheels said that he suggests running 4-6 layers of electrical tape around the rim of the wheel to help ward off scratches from the equipment because "things do happen".
 

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Old Goat
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When I was a kid (damn thats a long time ago) I use to change my own wheels as to not scratch them , I would mount them from the back but since we cant do that with a mc rim :dontknow:I read on here that some use the door edge guards to prevent scratching, I really would like to get the changer as mentioned I like to do as much as I can. My thoughts on bolting the changer to the floor was to put the base in the area I park my truck and when I need it just move the truck and set the unit up. .02 have a good one.
 

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NO need to worry at all about scratches with a couple of cheap mods along with the right tire tool,such as the mojo lever , No-Mar or the one I wish I had got: http://no-scufftiretool.com/ . You will have to do a couple of things to the changer to protect the rim.........I used the mojo blocks.I started to make something,but took the easy way out : http://home.comcast.net/~prestondrake/mojoblocks.htm
You will also have to cover the bead breaking device & surface to prevent scratching during bead breaking.Make sure to recess all bolt heads to keep them off the rim.I cut the angle piece off the base area as it looked to be a rim scratcher and used silicone to glue a piece of old plastic cutting board over this base. I use a two foot section of 2X4 to lay the wheel on & keep the rotor off the floor(painted it red) here are some pics:










......................:D Rod​
 
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