Did you know that you can change and balance your Triumph Bonneville tires yourself? Dealers and shops can charge up to $30-$40 per tire for this service. Obviously you can save some serious money over time.
Tire and Inner Tube Removal or Repair
I purchased this tool from Harbor Freight Tools that does the hardest part of the process… breaking the bead between the tire and rim.
Once the bead is broken, you need a few “tire spoons” or “tire irons” to help you pry the tire off of the rim without damaging the tube. I purchased 16″ “spoons” similar to this one through my local Triumph dealer.
Putting the new tire and/or inner tube on is essentially the reverse process. I put the tire on as far as I could by hand aided by the spoons, and then used the “bead breaker” tool for the last final press to pop the tire back on the rim.
What the dealer does on their “balancing machine” is spin the tire/wheel to find the heavy spots. You can do the same thing and just as effectively with an inexpensive balancing stand at a low speed. Here’s a great article on the process.
I purchased this inexpensive balancing stand from Harbor Freight Tools.
Harbor Freight also sells various sizes of lead weights.
Update on September 5, 2012
I follow the Dunlop Racing Tires Facebook Page and recently saw this photo and caption:
Tire Tip: It is essential that tire/wheel assemblies be balanced before use and rebalanced each time the tire is removed or replaced
You can see this technician is using a balancing stand similar to the one I have above, and he is marking the sidewalls oposite the heavy section of the wheel assembly to know where to locate the weights.