Is It Worth It to Change Your Own Motorcycle Tires?

There are several different types of routine maintenance that you need to do if you own a motorcycle. One of which is changing your tires at the right time.

When is the right time to change your motorcycle tires is beyond the scope of this article, however, we will be discussing a common question among many owners.


Is changing your own motorcycle tires worth it? It is worth changing your own motorcycle tires if you are interested in learning how to do it and willing to invest in the necessary tools. Learning how to change your motorcycle tires is not too hard, but it is time-consuming, so it may not be worth it for everyone.

Changing your own motorcycle tires is often seen as a very intimidating task to do. However, it may sound worse than it actually is. Continue reading below. I share with you more inside information going in-depth at what you can expect to happen if you do decide to change your motorcycle tires.

Can you change your motorcycle tires by yourself?

It is not uncommon for owners to be met with many questions and disbelief if they state their willingness to change the tires on their motorcycle on their own.

But this is not as difficult a task as it may seem.

You can change and balance your motorcycle tires by yourself. The process is not too difficult and requires some specialized tools, some physical work, and time. Nonetheless, anyone can change and balance their own motorcycle tires.

How long does it take to change your motorcycle tires?

When you are changing your motorcycle tires for the first time, it can literally take hours and easily turn into a week-long project. There are little mistakes that many owners can make simply due to inexperience. However, the more you do it, the better you get at doing it and the easier it gets.

With a little experience, you can expect changing your motorcycle tires to take between 30 minutes up to 3 hours.

How long it takes to change your motorcycle tires depends on different factors like the type of motorcycle, tires, tools, and overall experience.

A mechanic changing a motorcycle tire

How much does it cost to change your motorcycle tires? (DIY vs. shop)

When it comes to costs, things can get a little tricky.

While you will save some money from paying certain fees like labor fees, you will have to make other expenses.

Riders who change their motorcycle for the first time can get surprised at how expensive, in certain instances, having their motorcycle tires changed at a local shop can be.

Costs of changing motorcycle tires at a local shop

The average cost of having motorcycle tires changed is about $50 per tire, but it can vary a lot. In fact, having your motorcycle tires changed can cost anywhere between $20 up to $125 per tire depending on a number of different factors like whether it is a carry-in service or a ride-in service, where you are located, and the type and model of the motorcycle and the tires.

Furthermore, these prices do not include the cost of the tires. Usually, these fees include the cost of labor (the removing, mounting, and balancing of the tires) and disposal fees.

And motorcycle tires can be very expensive, depending on many different factors. So when we factor in the cost of the tires, which can vary anywhere between $60 and $500 per tire, having your motorcycle tires changed can get very expensive.

In certain cases, shops can charge you between $500 to over $1,000 every time.

Cost of changing your own motorcycle tires

Changing your own tires does not come free from any expenses. But it can be a great way to save money in the long run. If you have the right tools and are sufficiently handy, this method will only cost you the price for the tires and a few hours of your time.

First, you will have to get some tools and equipment. All these tools can end up costing between $200 to $500 depending on what you already own and where you buy from.

However, owning these tools can be good for future projects.

On the other hand, you will also need to obtain the tires first and get them transported to your place. Some people may have the tires delivered to them or go and buy them from a local shop. Regardless of the individual situation of most people, this means that there will be some additional transportation costs.

Costs can be particularly high if you need to have the tires delivered to you since they not only take a lot of space, but motorcycle tires can weigh a lot, too, further increasing the delivery fees.

Next, you have to consider that you will be using your own free time. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage. Some owners will enjoy the time working on their motorcycle, finding it very relaxing and meditative, while others can get frustrated and feel like they are wasting their time that can be put to something more productive.

This means that after adding in the cost of motorcycle tires, you can expect to pay between $260 up to $1,000 the first time you change your own motorcycle tires. But the second time you do it cost will be associated only with the motorcycle tires.

Pros of changing your own motorcycle tires

There are definitely some advantages to changing your own motorcycle tires.

You learn a good skill

One of the best things about changing your own tires is that you will learn a new skill that may come in handy in the future.

You get a first-hand experience

The benefits that come from working on your own motorcycle should not be underestimated. Even if your goal is to change your tires, this does not prevent you from inspecting other parts of the motorcycle and ensuring everything is in good working condition.

You can save money in the long run

You will be spending a good deal of money on tools and other gadgets, but you will be saving money in the long run since you will not be paying any labor fees.

Cons of changing your own motorcycle tires

Several things can make changing your own tires not worth it.

It’s hard

Owners that are not very handy and mechanically inclined may find changing their tires very complex and difficult.

On top of that, motorcycle tires wear out faster than tires on cars. This means that you will have to do it more often.

You need tools

To change your own motorcycle tires, you will generally need a motorcycle lift and jack, a wheel balancer, wheel weights, an axle wrench, an Allen socket, valve core remover, tire irons, rim protectors, and compressed air.

Possibility of error

While changing your tires, it is also possible to scratch the rims, put the tires in the wrong direction, not align them properly, or not center them correctly.

Pinching the tubes is also a very real possibility and should be kept in mind with tubed tires.

Is it worth learning how to change and balance your motorcycle tires?

Many people tend to be worried and intimidated by the fact that they have to lift the motorcycle and take the front and rear axels off the motorcycle.

However, removing the wheels is usually fairly straightforward, while taking the tires off the rims is usually somewhat laborious and time-consuming and often the hardest and most frustrating part of the whole project. 

There can be a lot of physical work involved, and this should not be underestimated.

Overall, changing your motorcycle tires on your own is not easy, but not that hard either. 

After changing their own tires, many owners can tell you that they would never want to do it again and will never recommend it to anyone.

However, it does get easier over time. So it is worth doing it at least two or three times before completely giving up. Many riders will find that it is not as difficult for them to change their tires the second time around.

Learning how to change and balance your own tires is worth doing if you are interested in learning more about your motorcycle and enjoy working on it. It is a good skill to have, and in the long run, you will be saving money. However, people who are not handy or do not want to do much physical labor will not find it worthwhile.

Alternatives to changing your own motorcycle tires

A good middle ground is to opt in for carry-in service at your local shop.

In this case, you can take the wheels off and load them up in your car and take them to the shop. You can buy your new tires from them and have them installed and balanced. 

When deciding what to do, you should also consider what shops and dealers you have in your area too. Some places may not charge you anything in terms of labor costs if you buy the tires from them and bring only the wheels. This means that there may not be any incentive to do all the work by yourself when it comes to costs and expenses.

Keep in mind. Usually, you will be quoted a higher price if you bring your whole motorcycle or if you buy your own tires and have the shop install them for you.

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