Alanf’s blog…
Scattered thoughts

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Still tired…

Author: site admin
Category: Bike Updates

This coming weekend will be another session of fighting with the big, round, black deamon from hell. Yes, its true, no sooner than I got all my tires mounted back in February I walked out one morning to find the front tire on the DRZ was flat.

DRZ-400S tire

Specifically, I found that the last time I rode the DRZ I ripped the valve stem out of the tube in the front tire. I remember that I was practicing stoppies on the dirt road leading to our house but a couple of things still make this flat tire surprising: 1) I was trying to brake hard on a loose dirt road so I’m surprised it generated enough stopping power to slip the tire on the rim and 2) I suck at stoppies so I’m surprised I was able to apply that much braking force without falling down.

Nonetheless, when I went to put air in the flat front tire, I heard the tell-tale sound of air hissing out into the rim rather than filling up an inner tube. This past weekend, I broke the bead on the tire and fished out the tube to find that, sure enough, the valve stem was no longer attached. Now I’ll have to completely remove the tire so that I can extract the stub of the valve stem. While I have the tire off, I’ll see if I can install a rim lock as the front tire on the DRZ400S doesn’t have one (that lack of rim lock no doubt contributed to the ease with which the tire rotated on the rim).

In addition to spending even more time fighting with tire irons I’ll get to add to that pleasure the delicate task of trying not to pinch the inner tube. The one bonus is that when I’m finished installing the new tube and remounting the tire I’ll get to try static balancing the tire on my new Rod Neff tire balancing stand which is shown in the background. (Don’t worry, I’m aware the balancing a dirt bike tire is overkill but I’d like to get some practice before I start doing tires where balancing is important.) I bought the adjustable stand that can also be broken down flat for easy storage. Its a well made unit and, assuming I get around to buying the $BMW$ adaptor for my GS wheel, I should be able to now mount and balance the tires on all the bikes in my garage. My buddy Jeff just bought a motorcycle tire changer from Harbor Frieght which I need to go check out to see if it will fix the problem of trying to juggle three tire irons while holding a tire flat and without bending the expensive brake rotors…as if I don’t have enough toys in the garage!

Ultimately, I’m just trying to find a way to make tire changes more interesting because at the moment I’m tired of fighting with the damned things and summer is just beginning!

[image from my photo collection.]