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Tire Change: Part One–Removal

Friday, December 28, 2007

It warmed up a bit this afternoon, so I grabbed the tools and set out to take the worn-out rear tire off of my scooter. The center stand of the scooter, elevating the rear tire inches off the ground, sure made things easier; however, in order to gain access to the rear wheel, I must first remove the exhaust pipe to its right.

By removing the two bolts down at the manifold and two more holding the exhaust hanger, the pipe was now off. With the exhaust out of the way, I moved to the next task at hand–the rear brake caliper.

The rear wheel on the Aprilia SR50 must slide completely off of the 2-1/4″ rear axle; therefore, without removing the brake caliper first, it would be impossible to remove the wheel. If my memory serves me right, the SR50 is the first scooter with front and rear disc brakes (1997*).

The caliper nestled in the compact 13″-wheel made for a tricky operation. After removing the two retaining bolts, I carefully centered the caliper between 2 of the 5 spokes of the aluminum alloy wheel, and ever-so-carefully lifted up and wiggled the caliper away from the rear disc. (**This is a handy trick to learn also when you just need to replace the brake pads later without removing the wheel.)

After this step, I could now move on to the final thing that was holding the wheel–the DAX flange nut (aka the rear axle nut).

This was the job made perfect by the aid of an impact wrench. Sure it could be done without one but my good friend Dale just happened to have such a tool, so I borrowed it from him. Thanks, Dale! I carefully positioned the 3/4″ socket (not metric, yet close enough) over the old axle nut first, making sure it had a snug fit before I inserted it with the tip of the impact wrench. Then I confirmed the gun was set to “reverse” before I squeezed the trigger gently. Once and twice and the axle nut was off. Easy enough!

With the axle nut extracted, I grabbed hold of the rear tire with both hands at 3- and 9-o’clock positions and pulled the wheel straight off of the rear axle. Voilà, and it was off!

It’s dinner time, and I am making chicken vegetable soup, again. Click to see  Tire Change: Part Two–Breaking The Beads.

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