Saturday, November 16, 2013

Scooter tire opportunities

While at first, this was a very troublesome opportunity, it turned out Great in the long run.

On Veteran's day left Cottonwood, AZ and went to Prescott, AZ for a "short" afternoon trip.  This trip was to engorge myself on a free meal, due to Veteran's day, since quite a few restaurants offer free meals to Veteran's.

Took a very nice scenic road, with quite a few twisties, on way to Prescott.  Eventually came up behind someone that led me through the twisties "gracefully", in that couldn't goose the throttle much, if any.  In a way this was somewhat helpful as the turns were sharp, going uphill, and sometimes sun was blaring straight ahead.  While on this road, 89A from Jerome, AZ, saw a place where two people careened off side of the road.  Was serene and glad I was being led through at that moment.  But, just looking at the twisties on the map caused the heart to flutter.  Reached an elevation of 7,023 feet!  Some of the views were amazing!  YAY

Red Robin was my choice.  They're pretty much all the same throughout the country so far, same decor, same food, though different people.  Nothing stuck out about this experience, so had my burger and left, making sure to leave a good tip.

While on the way back had to pull off side of the road to, err, admire the sights a little.  Just after mounting scoot and continuing on, the back end started feeling funky, a feeling have felt before.  So pulled over here and examined it.  Turns out was totally flat.  As this was a parking area of sorts pushed it out of the way.

Had a can of Emergency Slime and tried using it, with limited success.  As was filling the tire with the stuff the compressed gas was just leaking out the puncture area, until rotated tire manually and it plugged the hole.  It did look super gross though and was surprised at how big the hole was.  After the hole was sealed, lowered bike from center stand, and continued on, not for very far.  Felt tire go flat again.  It leaked all air out again 30 seconds later, so managed to get to on-ramp of I-17 and stopped on side of road.

At this moment, am all out of the Emergency Slime and can't think of other options, so set about to call AMA as have Emergency Road service through them.  Didn't have my AMA card with me and couldn't find the phone number on the website, even after logging in and looking at my account.  I have yet to follow up with them but really am not pleased.  DEFINITELY NOT PLEASED.  However, was able to find phone number for the Canadian AMA from Alberta Province, but it routed me to AAA (Automobile Association of America) and they couldn't help me the two times I tried. Did attempt to link to their website, but there is no generic site (tries to give state specific site, which IMHO is super crappy design).

Was attempting to hold off on calling the next people, but had no choice.  Called Good Sam Roadside Assistance (had their card with me. Also, notice on their website there is a number in top right corner, TAKE THAT AMA, #@(*&%@).  Called and was surprised, but not really surprised, that Allstate handles this service for them.  Long story short, was on phone with them for Fifty minutes (yes, 50) and they finally dispatched a truck.  I must say, that without this app, GPS Share, they would have gone to the wrong spot and also I would've had to pay an extra $100 to get dropped off at the campground.  Anyways, got picked up, decent service all said and done, and got back to RV (YAY).

One thing must comment on, is that I talked with a sheriff while waiting for tow truck, and not that they're supposed to be nice as part of their job, I could tell this one particular sheriff was awesome!  He had that good energy about him.  Granted, didn't experience him during a bad time otherwise it would've been different, but this is the type of guy we need in law enforcement all over the country!

Ordered some new tires from American Motorcycle Tire, which had among the best deals.  They carry a highly rated tire, a Metzeler FeelFree, in my size, for a decent price, with free shipping (though had to pay sales tax).  Received it day after they shipped, so thanks to them (and FedEx).

Was expecting worst from the install as have done it before, but this just goes to show how great lubrication is when it works!  Definitely lubricate tire during removal in same manner I show below.

First off, when removing tire from scooter, everything went to plan mostly, but was missing my 24mm socket to remove main nut which holds the wheel on.  Luckily have a 15/16" which is a close fit, but not perfect, though it worked.

Also was missing one of the C-clamps I normally use to break the bead, which really bummed me out.  Remember watching a video of another way to do it and was able to get it to work. While this isn't the original video I saw, it shows the process.  Had to do it once per side.

 The rim itself has seen better days, but it is only cosmetic.  In times prior was not real careful about where I changed the tire.  It got all scratched up from a concrete pad..  ooops.  Can't change the past so always look forward to the future!

 As mentioned, lubrication is key to anything worthwhile, especially so in this case.  My lubrication of choice, only because had it lying around, is Coconut Oil.  Any brand will do but had this stuff when first tried.  Was in a pinch, so to speak, and it worked great, so now it's what I use.  Don't really need to use a lot, a little goes a long way.  People use a variety of other things, from window cleaner (in aerosol can) to soapy water, to coconut oil.

All that has to be done, is take a little glob of it and start rubbing it around, on the tire of course.  When first put the tire on I only do the side shown, all around.  In the picture will see where it's shiny, that's what I do.  Put it on liberally but not so it's dripping off, and repeatedly get more little globs as needed.  Finger heat will melt it as spread it around so don't worry.  Make sure to get it on the little edge too, that helps immensely later on setting the bead.

It's somewhat hard to see in this picture, but was able to slide most of the tire down without using any tools, and only use tools for this section here, so maybe the last 1/5 of the tire.  It really slid on without anything, like a hot knife through butter, was in heaven.

Here is also the last bit of the first side going on.  It really was super easy, thanks to the lubrication.  Reason picked coconut oil is was trying to do this without lubrication the first time, then tried soapy water, and just so happened to try coconut oil as a last resort.  Haven't noticed any rubber degradation yet.

For balancing, I use the cheap version of DynaBeads, BB's.  Dynabeads is supposed to dynamically balance the tire, after get up to about 30 mph, by using tiny spheres (ceramic I think) that go into uneven spots of tires as going down the road.  The cheap version of this is to use regular old BB's, as shot from BB Guns.  I don't endorse shooting them or doing anything with them, just have it for my tires. Slid them into the tire after got the first side on.

Somewhat related to balancing, notice how there is a little orange dot on the tire.  I didn't look this up this time, and always forget, but the dot identifies the heavy (or light) point of the tire.  I chose heavy.  So, in this case, it's generally recommended to put it opposite the tire stem which is what tried to do, or pretty close anyways.

As am working the other side on, I made sure to lubricate both the top and bottom of the tire.  The bottom is in relation to the side which will be forced over the rim, while the top is the side, after tire inflation, that will be pressing against the outside rim.  Just make sure to lubricate everything like last time, allowing coconut oil to melt with finger heat as rubbing it around.  Sounds more decadent than it really is, at least in this application.

My first couple times doing this, when got to this stage, was always fighting with the tire, putting in too much force to get it over the rim.  Figured out the last couple times changed, and it's hard to see, but if push the tire down (that's already on and farthest away from where working), and keep it down, this actually relieves some pressure and makes it much easier.  The section I pushed down is at bottom of the tire, to the left of my knee a little

All ready!
After using the this trick, this last section, which is typically the hardest, just slid over and on.  Was amazing!  Very very happy at this point!

The finished tire ready to be inflated and the bead set!
Strap in place

Typically, when setting the bead, have to make sure no air escapes.  I've typically done this using a tie down strap, so set about to do that this time, as shown.  However, first try and air kept escaping.  Curious, I removed the strap and tried again, and it worked great this time!  Was baffled but very pleased!

Kept inflating, and shortly after I heard the two beads pop right into place.  Went to let air out and take a measurement and was astonished, it took less than 20 pounds of pressure..  All Hail Lubrication!  Never ever ever had it set with that little pressure.

Filled it up and took last reading and then out for a ride!

Overall this tire change process was the easiest yet, no choice words and most everything went smooth as can be, totally surprising.

The first ride, albeit being a little windy, was marvelous, glorious, and felt like was floating on air, it was that good.  It was a little bumpy to start with, but that was due to road surface.  Soon as got to a good road surface it was smooth as glass, literally.  Had good tires before, but this is far and above the best ride.  Well worth the extra couple bucks.

No comments:

Post a Comment