Tech Tips - Fitting tubeless tyres by hand

Published: 10:19AM Apr 27th, 2012

Since the advent of tubeless rims for classic scooters, there has been much debate about where to get tyres fitted without damaging the rims or wrecking the tyre. So we decided to see how hard – or easy – it is to fit tubeless scooter tyres by hand.

Tech Tips - Fitting tubeless tyres by hand

Before you start make sure you are about to fit the tyre the right way round!

Some motorcycle tyre-fitting machines will not accommodate 10 inch rims, while a number of bike shops and even scooter shops who do fit tyres that small can be reluctant to try, even if they can hold the rim in their machine. It’s not because of some antiquated scooter prejudice, they simply do not want to be held responsible for gouging your nice new wheel rims to bits. It’s not unheard of for the sidewall of the tyre to get ripped too, if enough care and attention is not taken during the procedure.

For those who don’t know, these tyre fitting machines work by rotating the rim while a fixed ‘lever’ forces the edge of the tyre off over the rim. On larger wheels it’s quite a straightforward process but with our small wheels there isn’t as much flexibility in the tyre or depth inside the rim so it’s constantly trying to escape the machine, so the fitter invariably has to get the levers out to lend a hand and that’s when damage can occur. I have heard of people fitting tyres at home by putting them in boiling water prior to levering them over the rim, but personally I don’t like the sound of that. I don’t know what, if any, damage boiling water will do to a tyre but it’s not something I fancy trying.

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