Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Raider Motorcycle Doesn't Have Reverse... But...

The truth is... I decided I needed to back up a bit. Just a step or two.

The tires on my Raider have proven to be the only, uh, point I have of any friction with this machine. Now, that ain't the bikes fault... but... when you call a shop in a Local area you're in, and are needful of a new tire... and you get one of two responses, as a routine thing, you know there's some sort of issue.

Response #1, when I've Called YAMAHA dealers in Western Arizona, Northern Utah... and a couple other places was... What's a Raider? ... Seriously??? my answer; A motorcycle? Question by the Yamaha parts guy on the phone; Who makes it? ... uhhhh... YOU do? ... Seriously!

I know there aren't a lot of these awesome machines around after several years of production... which I truly don't understand, since A Star Raider is an attention getting, awesome machine... but... still being pretty unique out there is really pretty cool! But still, you work for Yamaha... and you get around so little within your own company that you haven't even heard of it?

Response #2, when I've called different Local "Non Make-specific" shops looking for a tire. My question; "Do you have any 210/40 R 18 tires? Their answer; That's a Weird size!

Sheesh! Some shops must exist in the dark ages I guess. Maybe they don't have the market to make it worthwhile stocking that size... but to not even have hardly heard of it? and you're in the Motorcycle Service business?

So... with my recent difficulty with this Metzler tire... and the grumblings about possible... Issues... with Metzler quality/consistency, especially it seems with the tires coming from their Brazil plant, as well as running across way too many places that seem to have a shortage of Motorcycle Education... I got to wanting to take a lil' more control of my tire situation.

With that in mind I started hunting around to acquire the tools and equipment to do my own Motorcycle Tire servicing myself. I came pretty close to pulling the trigger on all of it too...

... but... some little voice in the back of my head kept whispering to me to hold off... a bit.

So... along with the standard oil/air filter maintenance routine I will be doing the wheel dismounting and remounting chores myself... but... for the time being I've chosen to leave the tire dismounting/mounting and balancing chores to a local shop in the area I happen to be in.

The fact that I live on the road in a Fifth Wheel had a big impact on that decision. Maybe if I still had a big shop where I was living I'd just go ahead and put in the equipment... but... my rig is already stuffed to busting with all the bits and pieces of living. I already still have to find a location to store that motorcycle jack I've added to allow me to lift the bike and pull the wheels.

... Not sure where I could hide a Motorcycle Tire Changer and a Wheel balancing stand in the sucker! :)

Maybe... as I get a lil' more comfortable going back to doing all my own maintenance... and not paying a shop to do it - I've gotten lazy the past few years ;)  - I may revisit this...

That and winning the lottery to allow me to move up to a LOT bigger rig with the storage space to carry all the needful tools! ;)

In the mean time... My new motorcycle jack is sitting out there waiting while I wait on the arrival of a pair of Avon Cobra tires I mail ordered, since there was nothing available in the city of Tucson ... at least at an outfit I was willing to do business with.

I've found a shop here in Tucson that will mount the tires on the wheels and spin balance them for me at a reasonable price...

The back tire alone was $40 cheaper plus free shipping than any tire I've ever bought for it... and add on the elimination of the labor $$$ for removing and re-installing the wheels... and even without doing the tire swap work myself I'm quite a few dollars ahead... So maybe not reverse... just a bit behind where I was thinking I'd go. ;)

Grab Your Handles and Ride!

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Erik R said...

Brian, you can mount tires with less than a big changer. check out the youtube videos here...

I have the no-scuff tire tool, but Im still learning to use it . It looks so easy in the video, but it takes a bit of practice.
If you look at you will see some interesting ways of building your own tire changer.

One last thing, don't try to balance your tires with coins. Bite the bullet and buy 1/4 ounce lead weight strips with self stick back. I don't know about you, but I'm not running with duct tape on my wheels!

Erik R said...

There's also some good info here....

Brian said...

Thanks Eric! Actually... that's kind of the direction my mind (such that it is) is going...

The thing is... that 21" 120 front wheel won't be much of a problem I think... It's that 210 or 240 rear tire that's gonna take some experience and practice to wrassle with... so... I'll dive into it one step at a time ;) thanks for the links! I'd seen one of 'em somewhere... and that actually helped make this decision... cuz I got to thinking... when I get back to a friends shop with a welder... I've got an idea or two for building a portable changer like they show... that would lock into the hitch receiver... yeah I know... always schemin'! :)