By the title of this blog, one might think I am speaking of being tired of the sleepy variety. While it is true for some that when a certain age is reached, sleep and rest might be things that one misses and strives for. As for myself, that is not the case. To the dismay of many in my family, I have been blessed with the ability to fall asleep at the drop of a hat and in any circumstance. While it has not been tested, there are those in my family who believe that I could fall asleep on command (not through Hypnosis either). So, how about taking a combat nap (15 seconds or less) while at a traffic light? Falling asleep standing up against a wall? Drifting off rapidly into la-la-land within seconds of my head hitting the pillow? All me.
Does this mean I’m not tired? No, I am. All the time. Because while I do sleep like a stone, I don’t sleep enough, 4 to 5 hours at best does not a sufficient rest make. Couple that with my belief that sleep is a waste of productive time, I begrudgingly go to bed each night, after midnight. I contend, imagine all I could accomplish if I didn’t have to sleep. Probably not a lot. Apparently there are laws about using power tools at 3 a.m. and it would seem neighbors might adopt a lower opinion of you should you do so.
So what does this have to do with Motorcycles?
At the moment, my now running Heritage is lacking one front tire. Only one shoe and that is because at some point I ran over a screw or nail or something and it is lodged in me rubber. So this left me with a few options, all of which came with a price tag…. as does anything with that starts with the word “Motorcycle”.
Option #1: Take the whole bike to my favorite Harley Davidson dealer handle it for me and spend at least $300 to have the one tire replaced.
Option #2: Buy a tire from my favorite on-line tire retailer, take the wheel off the bike and bring it to HD with the new rubber and have them put it on and balance it. That would have cost me nearly $150 USD.
Option #3: Buy the tire from said On-line retailer, remove the existing wheel from the bike and do it all myself. The cost would be about $100 not including the tire.
Because I am not a man of great financial means, Option #2 and #3 were neck and neck for a while. Then I thought, well, I’m going to need the back tire done as well. If HD does just the tire swap, that could still cost me $300.
We have a winner. Option #3.
Like opening up my engine and replacing the cam chain tensioners, taking off a wheel, taking the rubber off the rim and replacing it falls into the same category of “Things I have never done”. So I pondered this notion of just doing it all myself came into my head. Well, I figured, I just got done doing the most extensive repair on anything I’ve ever done, surely changing a tire should be a cakewalk. I just need the right tools to do the job.
I dove headlong into the research isle in the Ted Shed, shuffled through hours of Videos on the Tube of You, flipped page after page in the manual of service. At which point I said to myself “Self, we need tools and stuff”.
Tire irons, rim protectors, Valve core tool, wheel balancing rig, scissor lifty thing, weights, new valve stems from Harley, windex, big rubber hammer, bead breaker thingy, case of Coke Zero, pretzels. Done.
Naturally, the Tube of You guys make it look like brushing your teeth. I watched one video and the dude had the tire off the rim and replaced using nothing but hand tools and spit and got it done in less that 20 minutes. Yeah…. right. My turn…. and……. GO!
One hour and forty minutes later… Wheel is off the bike and tire removed from the rim. I was sweating like a pig on a hot summer’s day.
I still have to clean up the rim, a lot, to get all the rust and pitting off. Install the new Valve stem and then I can put the new rubber on. That, is going to be fun and I suspect there will be much more pig sweat flowing during that fiasco.
I suspect, doing the back tire is going to be a whole heard of pigs.