The question “when” is entirely up to you, but the question “why” determines how safe you’ll be riding the trails.
If you haven’t noticed, many tires usually give you a hint or an indicator for the tire’s usability.
Once the groove has gone deeper than you first bought the tire, then the tire is no longer special.
Once your groove goes even deeper to the point where it can be seen easily, the tire should be immediately changed.
Another method you can use to determine whether your tire needs changing or not is checking the knobs if they’ve been sliced in the front.
Although, it still depends on your riding style, but if you experience that, then your tire needs replacing.
You will also notice the tire loses grip force when it needs replacing. In other words, you’ll notice a difference in how the tire tracks in mud, snow, or other soft terrains.
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How to change a dirt bike tire
Most riders avoid this step, they’d rather pay someone to do the job for them.
However, changing your dirt bike tires at home will only take you about 20 minutes, but when using the right tools.
If you haven’t done this before, you’ll see that it’s pretty joyful working on your own bike yourself.
I have been trying to do this in a lot of ways, and so far, I’ve accumulated what’s really necessary to get the job done.
After doing this over and over again, I started using a tire stem puller, a tire changing lube, and a dedicated tire stand.
You’ll also need some extra items such as a Rim Strip Tape, Baby Powder, and tire mounting lube.
Either use black spray for mounting lube in a pinch, a mounting lube specific for use on tires, or a window cleaner.
However, it’s important to note that a window cleaner evaporates quick and it can also dry up on you.
First step of changing a dirt bike tire is unmounting your current one.
For a more convenient experience, put the bike on a stand or a motorcycle lift, because you’ll need to lift the front wheel off the ground for unmounting it.
After you’ve done that, remove the axle nut and then loosen the 4 axle pinch bolts. You can either use a T-wrench or a ratchet extension to remove the axle.
DISCONNECT THE INNER TUBE AND RIM LOCK
Once you’ve set up the wheel on a tire stand, make sure you deflate the tire and disconnect the inner tube and rim lock.
To do that, you can use the valve core tool to pull out the valve core. Also, make sure to keep it out after until the unmounting is finished.
By taking out the core, the inner tube compresses completely. I do this because if I would just deflate the tire, the inner tube would still be filled with some air. Thus, it would be the unmounting process harder than it should.
After you take the core out, make sure you remove the valve stem nut. When it comes to the rim lock, you won’t have to remove it but just back the nut off a bit.
Loosen it up, and press down on the rim lock after to see if it moves freely.
SEPARATE THE TIRE BEAM FROM THE RIM
If you’ve reached this step, then you’re ready to unmount the tire.
First, make sure you pop the tire off the bead. I don’t know how accurately I can put it in words, but try to drop the bead of the tire into the center of the rim.
In practice, the rim has a U-shape, so after you drop the bead into the center, the tire will still be able to move. Therefore, you will have more room to pull the bead over to the outside of the wheel.
Loosen up the tire near the rim lock, and make sure to hold the rim lockdown in order for the tire to drop behind it.
If your tire is sticking, you can use tire lube spray on it and you’ll be good to go.
LIFT THE TIRE OVER THE RIM
When it comes to changing your dirt bike tire, this is the hardest thing you’re going to do.
For this, make sure you use enough tire lube and don’t rush the process. Take your time and work on small sections until you feel like it’s ready.
Make sure you spray the tire and rim with tire lube at all areas, afterward start at the section of the tire at the rim lock.
Next, what you’ll have to do is to insert the tire irons, but set them apart by 4-inches from each other and make sure to work on a small section at a time.
To do the first section of the tire will be the hardest, but after that, the tire will slide right over.
PULL THE WHEEL THROUGH THE TIRE
One side is off right? What you want to do is flip the tire over and repeat that.
Make sure you pull both sides of the tire to the outer part of the wheel. Once both sides are outside of the wheel, push down the wheel into the tire and pull the wheel, but through the middle of the tire.
INSPECT INNER TUBE, RIM TAPE, AND RIM LOCK
Just to be sure, check if the rim tape is in good shape, it can’t be broken in any spot. This is something important because anything can get in if it’s broken, dirt and dust will make the tire act like sandpaper on the inner tube when you’re out riding on the trails.
What I’d recommend is that you replace the inner tube each time you replace your tires, of course, if you have standard tubes. If you have heavy-duty inner tubes, they can withstand a lot of changes until they wear thin.
INNER TUBE AND TIRE PREPARATION
You’re going to want to clean off the inner tube, and yet again, make sure the tire doesn’t contain any sand or other debris in it. Depending on whether you’re putting on a new tire or re-using an old one, I would recommend you put baby powder into the tire before adding the inner tube.
It’s basically a dry lubricant between the two, and if you added some, rotate the tire to make sure it’s spread equally around.
What you’ll notice next is a mark, and it’s going to show which side is the light side of the tire. This side is best put on near the valve stem and rim lock.
SETTING THE INNER TUBE ON WHEEL
This process changes depending on the size of your wheel, and that’s how you’re going to determine whether you need to use a valve stem puller or not.
The valve stem puller will help getting the valve stem through the hole in the rim.
Either way, once you’ve got the valve stem in place, make sure tighten the nut enough so it’s able to hold the tube in place.
Lastly, you’ll have to re-insert the valve stem core.
SET THE TIRE ON THE WHEEL
First, you have to know that mounting is not the same as unmounting.
Set the tire between the rim lock and the rim to allow the tire bead to sit in the lower drop center.
To not use any additional tools, you can hold the tire down using your knee without having to put it in a tire stand.
While you’re holding it, reach through the curved end of the tire iron, and lift it over the rim.
MOUNTING THE REST OF THE TIRE
For this, I’d recommend using a bead buddy and a set of tire irons. They really make the process easier and quicker.
First the rim lock, you’ll have to push the tire down into the drop center of the wheel.
The rim lock has to be out of the way now, if it is, hold the tire down with the bead buddy that I mentioned.
Next, work on smaller sections at a time and work the tire around. After you’ve done all of that, inflate the inner tube to set the bead.
Although, for this you will have to over-inflate to get the bead to “pop. After the bead is in place, I recommend deflating the tire to approximately 12-15 psi and tighten the rim lock.
MOUNT THE WHEEL
If you’ve reached this step, then you’re all good to go. The last step is pretty straight forward, and I’m sure you already know how to mount the wheel on your dirt bike.
Nevertheless, I’d suggest you use a flat blade screwdriver, that way you spread the brake pads, and the fork won’t spin when you try to get the brake disk lined up.