What a day! Sorry I wasn’t around yesterday Hive but I had a terrible case of heat exhaustion.
I’ve been riding motorcycles and mini-bikes since I was about 10 years old. I usually work on my own bikes and rarely take them to the shop. I’ve always changed and balanced my own tires. It’s generally not that hard and you save yourself A LOT of money.
We finally had some great weather yesterday so I decided it was time to get rid of that balding back tire. Frankly, I liked the idea of spending the day in the yard working on the motorcycle.
The DR still has the stock tires on it. The front one was still in pretty decent shape, but the back one was getting dangerously bald, especially for off-roading. I decided to swap out both with a matching pair of Shinko SR244’s. I’ve been running these on my motorcycles since I was a kid. Well, at least any enduro’s and off-road motorcycles. Street tires are almost always Dunlop for me. but that’s just because they’re produced locally.
IMHO the Shinko 244s are perfect for my riding style and I also love the price. They ride great on-road and pretty decent off-road. I’m not sure exactly how these tires rate, but I’d call them a decent 50/50. 50% off-road 50% on-road. They’re sort of knobbies 🙂 but not. I’m comfortable riding with them on pavement, and they hold their own off-road. The only thing they’re terrible with is wet, sloppy, mud. I’m talking about riding through a muddy corn field that is just soaked and your tires sink in the ground the second they hit it. I rarely ride in those conditions. In extreme mud the Shinko 244’s suck. IMHO however, they are perfect for my riding style and most other riding conditions. They can handle road, rain, snow, and work more than sufficiently off-road.
So I started with the front tire. It actually went incredibly smooth! I did poke a hole in the tube with my tire spoon. Not a big deal though, I was debating new tubes anyhow. So I took a ride down to the local motorcycle shop and bought 2 brand new tubes. Got back from the shop and had the front tire replaced, with new tube, balanced and mounted in under an hour! Happy days! At this rate, I’ll be back on the road by late afternoon and maybe even hit some off-road trails to see how these tires handle on the DR… Yeah, things rarely work out this way for me. 🤣
Words can’t describe the nightmare that was the back tire. Removing the tire from the DR wasn’t very difficult at all. Once the tire was removed I set out to break down the tire. Here you must break the tire bead that holds it to the rim. Generally, once you remove the air, you can simply stand on the tire while the rim lies on the ground and the bead will break.
Nope, not today!
Maybe I can jump up and down on it…
Nope. that didn’t work. Sweat now pouring off my forehead, and swearing like an angry truck driver in a traffic jam.
I then did what every backyard mechanic does and Presearched “Remove rear tire from DR650”. I thought, maybe there was a trick or some new security feature was holding the tire in place. That search pulled up a few posts and it turns out a lot of DR owners have this problem with the back tire. Yeah! Lucky me. I’m not a moron and there is no special trick. The tire bead on that particular stock tire is just VERY difficult to break. Alrighty then.
I now spend the next several hours doing everything and anything I could think of to get this tire off the rim.
I bounced it up and down on the ground.
That didn’t work. More sweating, more swearing.
I positioned my tire spoons 100 different ways, none worked. In the meantime, I’m doing this on one of the first 80° days we’ve had. Sweat is pouring off me. At this point it’s personal, and I’m NOT giving up. Although, the thought crossed my mind several times.
Finally I came across a guy on the internet who used a crowbar and his tire spoons to successfully break the tire bead. I didn’t have a crowbar but I used the claw of a hammer with my tire spoons and the guys technique and finally the bead broke!
If you found this post looking for a solution, this isn’t a “how to” but basically you work your two tire spoons between the rim and tire about 2 inches apart like you normally would. Then work the hammer claw in the space between the two spoons. Then push the handle of the hammer forward as if you were pulling out a nail. This should give you a small gap along the bead, work you’re tire spoon into that gap and pull forward like you normally do, in a couple tries you should be able to break the bead. (Sorry I didn’t get a picture of this.)
You could imagine my relief when I finally broke that bead, but my story doesn’t end here. Oh no… There’s still more. 😁
Usually once you break one bead, the other bead is much easier to break. NOPE, not today! I had to flip the tire over and complete the process all over again on the other side.
In the meantime, the hot sun was beating down on me. I wasn’t drinking water. By the time I finished the other side I was tired, dizzy, and feeling a bit nauseous. I took a break and tried to regain my strength. I drank several glasses of water and ate some fruit to stabilize my blood sugar. That kind of worked. I was completely exhausted though.
After about a 20 minute break I continued on. The hard part was over. The sun was getting ready to set soon. I got the new tire and tube on, balanced it and mounted it within another hour. At this point I could barely hold up the tire when I was mounting it. A neighbor helped me guide it in place.
I’ve done my own motorcycle tires my entire life. I’m in my 50s now and I’ve NEVER had a tire bead so stubborn in my life. I pray to the gods I never do again! What a nightmare.
When I finally finished I didn’t even put away my tools. I just piled them up in the garage and literally stumbled into the house like a drunk person. I ALWAYS PUT MY TOOLS AWAY AND LOCK THEM UP. I put a fan in the window and let the cool air blow on me as the sun set. I was too nauseous to eat. I did manage to eat some tangerines, while I sipped water. Finally I passed out.
When I awoke around 2AM I ate a couple pieces of cold chicken I had in the fridge. This morning I put away my tools and cleaned up the garage. I still felt a little hungover. I wasn’t drinking alcohol, but it’s the best way to describe the feeling I had. I thought maybe Chipotle for a high calorie lunch would straighten me out… Yes, I’m dieting but felt that may have added to my exhaustion. Plus Chipotle is mostly healthy ingredients. I felt much better after my lunch.
This was probably the worst case of heat exhaustion I’ve ever suffered. I’m no stranger to heat exhaustion from my rave days and music festivals. This was the worst ever! I’ll never allow myself to do that again! I almost thought about going to the hospital. It was really bad. I Presearched it and had just about every symptom but the headache.
I was going to do a 3Speak / Youtube about changing the DR650 tires, but things went so badly, I immediately scratched that idea. Honestly though, there are enough of those videos online already. I’ll definitely do a video review of the tires soon though.
I road around a bit today trying out the new tires and I love them. It’s another hot one though and I figured being out in the sun all day was probably a bad idea. I ate my lunch, ran a couple more errands, then headed home to relax and continue recovering.
The great news is if I had attempted this last year I’d be bed ridden the following day with terrible back pain. My entire body aches right now, I can feel almost every muscle in my body, but NO backpain! I can’t believe it! Forget pain pills, I’m all about the weed now! What a blessing. For the record, I didn’t smoke all day until I was done. IMHO this is the new Miller time!
The good news is, those new tires look pretty badass! I can’t wait to get them off-road. Those stock DR tires were the worst! Well, at least the summer weather has finally arrived!
Cheers! From sunny Buffalo NY!