How To Change a Tire with Zip Ties

06/10/2014 @ 4:39 pm, by Jensen Beeler16 COMMENTS


ADV riders and how-to junkies take note, the following is a video on how to MacGyver a motorcycle tire on and off a wheel, while using only zip ties — it might be the most impressive thing we’ve seen in a long while.

If you already own a set of tire irons, or even better a full-blown tire-changing machine, you can feel comfortable in your purchase-making decision, because they are by far the easier solution.

But for our readers who are on a budget or do a bit of touring, the following could keep you from being stuck on the side of the road, all for the tidy sum of $1 at your local hardware store.

If you are already familiar on how to deflate and break the beads on a tire, skip to the 6:00 mark for the zip tie instruction. And no, nothing is new under the sun, and the aforementioned technique is really not that different from the “strap method” some riders might already be familiar with.

However, it is a cheap and more compact version of that thought, and we think knowing how to use God’s greatest invention for motorcyclists, the zip tie, is an invaluable piece of knowledge to have between your ears, while also being an important item for your motorcycle touring kit. Be sure to stock on some zip ties before your next long ride.

Taking off the tire with zip ties:

Putting on the tire with zip ties:

Source: Red Raider (YouTube) via

  • Conrice

    That’s what I have to do because no one will mount my tire onto a car rim

  • Arclite

    That’s a good trick…would be a little difficult with tube-type tires if you don’t have a valve stem puller.

  • a tom

    Arclite: Simple, multiple interlocked zip ties! :-P

  • Doug

    It costs $20 if you take the wheel and tire in to a shop. I think I’ll continue to splurge and have a dealer do the work for me. Save the hour it would take to do this. And repair a sport bike tire with a hole in it instead of replace it? He lost all credibility when he said that.

  • Spamtasticus

    This was almost painful to watch. How on earth is taking a tire off over a period of an hour make more sense than taking it to a local tire shop to have it done in minutes for a few bucks. Life is too valuable to waste doimg something like this regularly. In an apocalypse, with no access to machinery, maybe.

  • Because sometimes you’re no where near a dealership or tire-changing machine.

  • paulus

    … running Enduro, it is often necessary to fix a flat in the middle of nowhere.
    It’s easier to carry zip-ties than tyre irons :)

  • Not to mention tire irons don’t really have more than one use, whereas zip ties…

  • stud

    It is so much easier to just carry 4x tyre irons than to carry that many large zip ties. Easier to use as well.

  • “How To Change a Tire with Zip Ties”. And a bead breaker. Seriously, if you’ve got a bead breaker in the garage, why haven’t you got a full set of tyre changing devices?

    Now how about “a big C Clamp, a piece of wood and some zip ties”? You could use an SUV to break the bead, but then you could also use the SUV to take the wheel to the shop.

    What he doesn’t show, which is possibly the hardest part, is how to seat the bead on the rim with only a foot pump.

  • Are kidding me? Did you see his biceps? I bet he got those guns from setting the bead with a hand pump! LOL

  • meatspin

    whats more ingenious is seeing those off roaders who use fire to inflate and seat the bead.

    I have no problems using patched tires. They all seem to pick up nails or other things in them. I do like this guy does and patch them from the inside. I use a mushroom plug and reinforce it with another patch on the inside.

  • smiler

    Bit of Harley tech. Repairing sportsbike tyres like that seems like a very bad idea.

    However for enduro riders I suppose this is useful.

  • PeteN95

    First, he did use a single tire iron in addition to the zip ties. Second, please let me know where I can buy a half dozen of those giant zip ties for a $1?!? Third, fat, tubless rear street bike tires are easy, lets see him do a 21″ front knobby!?

  • Bruce Monighan

    To echo the comments, lots of work, mostly unnecessary and will not work on many tires

    For the record I have changed 60/40 tires (stiff side wall on-road/off-road – Hideneaus) by hand with a packable Motion Pro Bead Breaker (highly recommended) and one additional tire iron. I also have a big bead breaker in the garage and big tire irons but I wanted to know I could change a tire in the field on my adventure bike with a minimal amount of tools (weight and size) I know it took me less time with the packable MP breaker and tire iron than he spent, even on very stiff sidewall tires.

    I don’t see the value of being in the garage and having a bead breaker and not using or having tire irons. As noted he did use a lug wrench to lever the tire off. Now if he had skipped the bead breaker he might have been making a point. By he way I have used my truck to break a bead by rolling over the motorcycle tire, dicey but it works. I have have also seen a kick stand used to apply pressure at the bead and break it

  • R.E.Stannard

    I don’t see how he should lose credibility for
    suggesting that a sport bike tyre can be repaired. If you use the correct components
    and methods, there is no reason not to repair a sport bike tyre, same as any other.
    I have repaired thousands of tyres over the years, in fact tens of thousands,
    dating back to the 60’s and have never had a subsequent failure from any tyre I
    have repaired. It is one thing to not have the ability of confidence to repair
    a tyre yourself and prefer to throw money at it and get someone to do the job
    for you, much better than making a dogs dinner of it yourself in fact but to
    denigrate someone who does do so and to slag off tyre repairs in their
    entirety, when you obviously do not understand anything about the subject, is
    quite another matter. That is how half-truths and downright BS is spread by
    those who espouse supposed “facts” as though they are from a position
    of informed experience and knowledge. There are too many of those sorts of
    “facts” floating about in the motorcycling world as it is.