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Discussion Starter #1
****. I really thought I knew what I was doing for a second. Been riding since 2006 and somehow the bikes I buy always have old hockey pucks on the rims. So I was determined to learn the ancient art of tire changing. Read, watch, buy tools, fail, read again, watch again, buy more tools. Each time it seems a bit easier, plus a new wrinkle depending on the tire/rim/bike. Tried all the tricks, came up with a few myself. No genius, just thick-skulled determination.

Got the old Bridgestone stockers off the 650 and have been rolling on Michelin Pilot Sports ever since. Decent tires, but the front is hitting the wear bars now. The rear still has some fight in it, oddly enough. Maybe all that coasting and braking during the commute does it. Not much opportunity to twist the wrist on Toronto's roads. Anyhow, decided to try a new TH01. I'm a pro, right? Off with the old and....****! The Bridgestone fought me every 25.4mm of the way. Three Motion pro levers, homemade stand to protect the rotors, beautiful day and a beer. I was worried it was going to tear the bead right out! Backed off and quadruple checked everything. Sun-warmed tire, recent date on sidewall, clean rims, tons of windex and it still took three hours. Okay, spot of bad luck or bad techinique, right? On to the easy part, setting the bead. Easy.

Three differnent compressors, a bottle of Windex, a ratchet strap and multiple attempts never came close. Just lots of bubbles and sore knees. WHAT THE :confused:? Surely I'm missing something, however small. A tiny mouse of a clue. Something elementary. Are TH01s always this miserable? The Pilots popped into place with a BICYCLE PUMP! Thanks for the help. ladies and gentlemen.
 

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Only thing I can think of is the Windex isn't the greatest of lubricants. I would abandon the Windex in favor of some 75/25 dishsoap and water...much more slippery.

Ed
 

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+1 for what Ed said. You need something a lot more slippery than Windex.
 

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As far as setting the bead did you take the valve stem core out so you get maximum air flow?
 

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Make own DIY tire mount /demount unit from old car tire rim (plenty example in you tube), purchase following No-Mar items from Blue Streak Racing in Embro, On. This will make installing new tire much much easier and very faster.

Visit No-Mar website, plenty good video on how to do, you tube also have many video doing this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm, could be the Windex. I've used soapy water in the past, so I'll give it a go. Keep trying to find Ruglide or something similar, but I've never had luck finding dedicated tire mounting lube. Toronto isn't a very DIY city, despite the freckling of home improvement centres.

I've set tire beads with and without the valve core present, tried both today without luck. With and without a ratchet strap too. I'm leaning towards the TH01 having a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot Sports. Heck, 8 zip ties (no levers), Windex, ratchet strap, valve core in and a bicycle pump made short work of the task.

Let's try soap then. Hang on!
 

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How are you doing with the weird noise?
BTW - Adrian does a flat rate for tire change and balance and no charge for disposal
The rear takes him 90 minutes and he has everything including the lift so don't feel too bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
:sad3: WOW. Almost floating the tire in suds, valve core out, 75psi--and nothing. Can't say I'd be too keen to recommend this tire to anyone.
 

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One trick you can use to set the bead is a strap clamp. You put it around the diametr of the tire and clamp it down which forces the beads out into place. Then put air in, enough to hold it and then release the strap an finish airing up. I have used this trick before with stubborn tires. Actually if you were able tp set a bead with just a bicycle pump then you were really lucky, it usually takes a good compressor.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yup, have the ratchet strap cranked down too, lots of lube and still no love. It's pretty impressive how resistant it it, even if I wasted a weekend trying to get it working. Well, time to call it a night. Thumbs down on the Bridgestone TH01. I definitely know what not to buy when the rear tire wears out. All hail Bibendum!
 

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Yup, have the ratchet strap cranked down too, lots of lube and still no love. It's pretty impressive how resistant it it, even if I wasted a weekend trying to get it working. Well, time to call it a night. Thumbs down on the Bridgestone TH01. I definitely know what not to buy when the rear tire wears out. All hail Bibendum!
Problem not tire but lubricant use for fit and set tire. UAP/Napa auto part sell Ru-Glyde or order super slippery stuff No-Mar sell.

Be careful not damage expensive tire.
 

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I guess at this point, I would take it to a MC shop and pay them the twenty buck to mount it. Be done with it so's you can ride.
 

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Yes the Bridgestones have a pretty stiff sidewall. I can't remember the last time I changed one what I did but I don't recall it being overly difficult. I may have stood the tire up and pressed down on it to seat the bead, valve core out, and shop air pressure (auto mechanic).
 

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I had to use a sawzall to cut my old TH01R off the rear wheel, no way I could get that thing off by hand without risking marring and damage to the wheel. After I cut through one bead it came off easily. No way I could mount the new car tire by hand. Took it to my trusted tire guy whom I've used for 33 years for my cages. Even with tire snot, it refused to set the bead thanks to those retainer ridges in the wheel. He wouldn't try more than 75psi and I didn't blame him at all. Brought it home and did the "unthinkable;" it finally set somewhere between 100 and 120psi ... I don't know exactly where because I was 100 feet away, behind 4 or 5 walls of my house.
 

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One of the things you need to do when dismounting/mounting a tire is to get the tire bead you initially put on into the center of the rim, if it its hanging up on the rim near the seat you'll play heck with trying to get it on or off. My VStrom was the same way but once you got the bead of the tire in the inner part of the rim the tire went on much much easier. Tire lubricant works well on seating just be sure to use a lot of it to keep the tire bead slippery for seating purposes. I use a Harbor Freight tire machine and it makes changing tires much easier proposition, a good investment for $80.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Dunno, maybe my compressor is too weak? Regrouped with more lube and a proper inflator gun. 75psi, dripping in soapy water/pledge. Pretty darn slippery if you ask me. Ratchet strap, core out: nada. Or same results as yesterday. I keep pushing the bead off the rim and retrying, but something is REALLY stuck. My local wrench is a cool guy, he'd probably do it for free, but that's not the point (heck, he's 5 minutes away). It's a tire change, not a shuttle launch. Why won't it work, dear Watsons? Sometimes that's worth a missed ride (or two) in lousy traffic.
 

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To get my darkside tire to set the bead, I put the tire/wheel in a plastic bag and let it sit in the sun until the tire snot was very runny. Maybe the tire got to 90F not much more (this is the northwest after all). That heat and 100+psi was what it wanted, but I was really puckered as I adjusted the regulator on the compressor, thinking about that $120 tire exploding and sending my wheel somewhere over the rainbow.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Jeebus H, those were two of the loudest tire mounting POPS I've ever heard. A mini-wave of lube sprayed out of the tire and across the garage each time. I had switched over to a crummy $10 air gun (blue plastic with angled nozzle), just for the heck of it. I guess it flowed that much more cfm, a sustained 50psi or so. We did it, BUSA!

Man, I am sore.:cool: Time for bed. I'll clean up tomorrow. Bridgestone, you're fired.
 

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That TH01R's bead is steel cable 1/4" in diameter. Pretty impressive.

Forgot to mention that I removed the valve core and used a clamp-on air-inflator fitting from NAPA. I didn't want to be anywhere near that thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Finally got all the pieces back together and went for a test ride. Made sure to use kerosene to wipe down the rotors and tire, removing the lubricant residue. The difference (vs the Michelin) was immediately noticeable. The TH01 seems to lean more readily than the Pilot Sport SC, making things more manoeuvrable. I'll need to get used to it. Traction/tracking seem about the same. Bumps/potholes feel slightly less jarring, not sure why. Used the remaining Pledge to shine up the Galaxy Blue bodywork. The jumping spiders that live on the Burgman found it a bit slippery. :p
 
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