Monday, November 2, 2009
One of the best improvements you can add to an old bike are new tires. Our CB200 had the original tires which were both dry and cracking. After reading the news groups and scouring the internet I determined that I would use 90/90-18 on the front and 100/90-18 on the back which would still fit inside the stock fenders. The tires I purchased were Duro Cruiser tires.
Dismount & Mount
To mount the tires we pulled the wheels one at a time. First we did the front tire. I put the bike up on the center stand and put a floor jack under the front motor mount. On both wheels just pull the cotter pin on the castle nut and unbolt the axle, slide the axle out and the front tire will roll out. On the rear you'll need to disconnect the brake stay and the brake lever. Take a close up picture of rear of the bike paying attention to the washer stack so you remember how it all goes back together.
Remove the valve stem and deflate the tire then dismount the tire with a set of tire spoons. Some people will use a screw driver for this but you are likely to ding your rims, pinch the tubes and/or hurt yourself. To remove the tire push one side of the tire into the center section of the rim. This will give you the slack you will need to get the tire irons started on the other side. Pull the slack side upward, place a rim protector on the rim in the gap, then insert the bent end of the tire iron into the gap. Peel enough of the tire up to get the second tire iron in and begin peeling the tire off the rim. Insert the second rim protector as soon as it will fit and work around the tire in opposite directions until the top side of the tire pops free. Remove the deflated tube and flip the wheel over and repeat the process.
To install the new tire wet the bead area of the tire with soapy water. Place the tire opening over the edge of the rim and push down firmly. Work the tire down as far as you can, then place the rim protectors on the rim at each edge of the tire-rim overlap. Using the straight end of the tire iron, work the bottom bead past the top edge of the rim. Push the side of the tire that is already on the rim into the rim center to get the slack needed to clear the rim on the far side. The lower tire bead should be on the rim at this point. Put the deflated tube into the tire and feed the valve stem into the rim. Repeat the install process with the top bead. Inflate the tire with compressed air to seat the beads. Once you hear both beads seat, or pop, release the air and replace the valve stem core. Inflate the tire to the manufacture'rs specified pressure in my case this was 40lbs.
To reinstall the front wheel I had to deflate the tire and then it would slide into place. I pressured it back up and its tight but everything cleared perfectly. Since our fender was already out the back tire went right in. The only modification needed for the wider tire was to move the break stay to an outside position on the bracket. We reused the same shoulder bolt but put on and aircraft nut since the cotter pin hole was no longer accessible.
The new tires definitely look and ride much better. The sizes are perfect and we figured out how to reuse the stock rear fender (unmodified) to make a swing arm mounted low fit fender. Stay tuned and we'll get that project underway.