Review: Rabaconda Tire Changer

Review: Rabaconda Tire Changer

Changing motorcycle tires by hand, especially with big street and touring bikes, is a challenging and o en expletive-laden task that tests both your patience and physical resilience. You could swing by the local motorcycle shop and have them do it for you, but that will set you back up to $120 per tire (on average). When you go through a few sets per season, that adds up quickly, and tires aren’t getting any cheaper these days either. How can you economize on tire changes without subjecting yourself to self-inflicted injuries?

I remember one evening from my college days, changing tires in the living room of my apartment before a big ride the next day. With my wheel propped up on two ammo cans, I pinched two tubes and busted my knuckles over several hours of wrestling. Oh, what I would have given to have a Rabaconda tire changer back then.

Our Prayers Have Been Answered

Rabaconda tire-changing machines have gained significant traction in the riding community in recent years. They provide riders with an affordable and painless method to change their own tires. The kit packs up into an easy-to-carry travel case, which you can store out of sight when not in use. When it’s time to change tires, simply set up the device and get to work.

The Street Bike Tire Changer works with both cast and spoked wheels from 12 to 21 inches in diameter. This kit is designed specifically for street bikes, with plastic mounting heads to avoid scratching and dinging the rims. The kits are customizable and you can select components based on your needs, from rim adapters and tire irons to plastic protectors and tire lube. Pricing starts at $589 and, depending on the optional components, can reach a maximum of $844. Even at that cost, you’ll have the kit paid off after five or so tire changes.

How Easy Is It, Really?

Rabaconda’s Street Bike Tire Changer employs a ratcheting system, which makes changing tires a breeze. It works similarly to how a hydraulic machine locks onto the rim and rotates the tire off of the wheel. Don’t fret about breaking the bead of the tire—the long lever-action bead breaker makes quick work of it with only a moderate amount of pressure. This is the hardest part of the whole job and it’s still easy.

The only downside to the kit is the lack of a tire balancer. However, a stand balancer is fairly cheap on its own and Rabaconda plans to release its own balancing stand in the near future. Until then, pick up a BikeMaster stand and call it a day.

It takes a few tries to get the hang of the machine and remember each step, but once you get the process down, you’ll wonder how you ever changed tires any other way. And the best part? The skin on your hands, as well as your dignity, remains intact.

Rabaconda Street Bike Tire Changer