Tire changing is probably the most unbearable part of riding a motorcycle. It takes time away from other things in life, but it needs to be done. Some riders put it off until the tire turns seriously dangerous to ride, they make use of every millimeter of tread on the tire profile, but that's not a good plan. We want to help you get better at changing tires. It doesn't have to be that bad. And learning how to get better at changing a tire is a bit limited to the owners of smaller motorcycles.
With all mechanical things involving your motorcycle it's important to not loose your cool. So smile a lot. The first good tool to own is a valve core remover, which makes life more wonderful. Once you've used that valve core removal tool to let all the air out, you can use your quality tire iron to break the bead on the tire. It's easier than trying to push on it with your hands.
Don't remove the nut all the way off your rim lock, just back it off like this and then push in. This will make removing the tire easier. Trust us, we know what we are doing... we think. So, you've got the bead off and the disc brake side. Good job. Now flip the wheel over and remove the bead on the sprocket side. This will allow the rim to slide into the tire and tube. Now you can run your tire iron like this and slide both the tube and the tire as one off the wheel. Front tires are even easier to do than this. Pretty cool. We had not to much toys growing up, so we learned to bounce around on tires. Sitting on the tire helps to open ip the space for the tube. Some people even stuff a tuber in the tire the night before and air it up to help spread the tire.
Flip your wheel so the disc is up. You don't want to bash you knuckles into the sprocket. Set you new tire on the wheel and put the tube in. Reinstall your valve core and put a little pressure in the tube to give it some shape. You don't want to put much are in at all, not even enough to register on a quality tire gauge.
Use some sort of lube to help get the tire on the rim. We can suggest tire soap, a liquid soap from the kitchen. Use plenty, it will dry. Don't use any petrol based lubricants. Before you start using tire levers and getting crazy, put the valve core through the hole and hold it in place with the lock nut. IT seems weird if you have never done it this way, but it works. Once you've done that, start to push the tire onto the rim as far as you can, then use your tire irons.
The reason you put a little air in the tube is this: It keeps the tube in the tire and out of the way of the tire irons.
Don't worry about the rim lock, just work the first bead and and then flip the tire over. You'll probably see that it is not that easy, and you can fix it by using two tire irons to lift the bead, and then push the rim lock in. You are doing just fine. Now you can work the other bead on. Most of the time you can use your hands to push on the last section of bead it it is too tight to get a tire iron under the bead.
Always, and we mean always, run a valve cap. They serve much more of a purpose than most of us realize. Valve caps, even the cheap looking plastic ones, have a rubber O-ring at the top that helps seal air in, while the metal good ones have a better O-ring. Valve caps keep debris from clogging up the valve. The lock net is not to hold your valve stem straight. Do not tighten it against the rim. It would be better to leave it off completely than to tighten it against the rim. If you lock your valve stem to the rim and your tire happens to spin a little on the rim, your tube will rip off the valve stem. Lock it up again the valve steam and save yourself some headaches.
In Thailand, most shops who sell you the tires for your motorcycle will also change the tires for free or at a modest rate... If you have no experience with tires we would recommend that you let the professionals do the job. We recommend that you check if the tire changing professional is putting your tire on in the right rolling direction, the rolling direction is often indicated by an arrow on the tire side wall.