If you normally change motorcycle tires and inner tubes yourself then Zip-Ty Racing Products has some tools to make your life a little easier. We were fortunate enough to get to evaluate the Zip-Ty Tire Changer along with their Mighty and Ultimate Tire Irons.
The Zip-Ty Tire Changer is a stand designed to hold a wheel assembly for the purpose of changing tires and inner tubes. The Tire Changer holds the wheel assembly up off the ground and solidly supports it via the spokes and wheel bearings. This prevents damage to the brake disc rotor or sprocket and makes it much easier to break the tire bead. Working a tire on and off a rim is much easier when the wheel is solidly supported as opposed to wrestling with everything on the ground without a stand. If you use foam-type inner tubes then the Zip-Ty Tire Changer is an absolute necessity.
The Zip-Ty Tire Changer comes with two interchangeable center posts (9/16” and 3/4” diameters), an anti-rotation pin, and an instructional video. The top ring of the Tire Changer is 17" in diameter which should allow wheel sizes from 17" on up. The stand itself is 6" tall, not counting the center post and anti-rotation pin.
To use the Zip-Ty Tire Changer select the center post that fits the wheel bearings. Then simply set the wheel onto the Tire Changer by sliding the wheel bearings down over the center post. Zip-Ty recommends setting rear wheels on the Tire Changer with the sprocket-side down to protect your hands from the sprocket teeth. The anti-rotation pin fits between the spokes and prevents the wheel assembly from turning while working a tire or tube on or off the rim. There is a cutout in the top ring of the Tire Changer to allow the use of a tire iron or pry bar on the rim lock. The instructional video features Ty Davis himself showing how to install and remove a tire with a foam-type inner tube on the Zip-Ty Tire Changer.
Zip-Ty recommends fastening the Tire Changer down to a piece of plywood that is at least 30" square. Although not shown, some hardware/lumber stores sell pre-cut round plywood blanks for making tables and such -- this would be perfect. We added a couple metal clips to the plywood to hold the accessories for storage.
Other items you will need with the Zip-Ty Tire Changer will be a good set of tire irons. If you are working with foam-type inner tubes then we would suggest the Zip-Ty 17" Mighty Tire Iron. The Mighty Tire Iron is made more for working with foam-type inner tubes. For standard inflatable-type inner tubes we would highly recommend the Zip-Ty 10" Ultimate Tire Iron (not shown). The Ultimate Tire Iron has a large ergonomically shaped red plastic handle that fits great in your hand and makes it a pleasure to use. Both types feature rounded and smoothed over tips.
At the time of this review, retail price was as follows: Zip-Ty Tire Changer $100, Zip-Ty 17" Mighty Tire Iron $29.95, Zip-Ty 10" Ultimate Tire Iron $14.95. Zip-Ty Racing Products are available directly from Zip-Ty Racing or check with your local retailer.
4Strokes.com Rating - 1 2 3 4½ 5
The Zip-Ty Racing Products Tire Changer and tire irons are all very high quality items designed to ease the chore of changing motorcycle tires and inner tubes, especially foam-type inner tubes. If we had to rate the three items individually, it would go something like this: Tire Changer 4½, 17" Mighty Tire Iron 4½, 10" Ultimate Tire Iron 5. Overall rating is 4½.
Credits: Evaluation performed and review written by Mr. Alan K. and edited by 4Strokes.com. Originally published on or about 1/22/2003.
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