Spring is quickly approaching, and neither of my bikes are ready for the new riding season yet. Fortunately, I got a chance to head back out into the garage last weekend and today. Unfortnately, I am not really any closer to riding than I was before going out in the garage...in fact, the V-Strom is less rideable now than it was last week :(
After getting back from my trip up Trapper Creek/Petersville Road last summer, I found that my front tire had a slow leak, so last Sunday, I removed the front wheel, filled a bath tub with water, and looked for bubbles. After some searching, I found that the rim and tire sidewall weren't completely sealing on the left-hand side of the wheel -- I'd get a small bubble every ten seconds or so. That was actually good news, since I had been afraid that I might have cracked the wheel on a really hard bump that I hit at about 35 MPH. From what I could tell, there was no actual damage; just the tire wasn't completely sealing with the sidewall. So, I pulled the tire, cleaned up the inside of the rim a bit, cleaned up the tire sidewall a bit, then put it all back together.
The bead wouldn't seat.
This was not shaping up to be a good day.
The tire would start to inflate, but wouldn't hold air. I noticed I could feel a draft when I pulled the chuck off of the valve stem, so I pulled the valve core out and tried using the old valve core from old tube. No dice. However, I noticed that baby powder was blowing out of the gap between the sidewall and the rim when I would try to inflate the tire. Unfortunately, at this point, my compressor stopped compressing.
Did I mention that this was not shaping up to be a good day?
Okay, I've got a cheap tire inflator; let's give that a try.
Nope. I tried inflating the tire for about an hour, and every time, it would start to inflate, but would go flat again as soon as I disconnected the air pump. This was seventh tire I had ever installed, and apparently, the first tube that I've ever pinched (granted, three of those seven tires were tubeless, but...).
I stayed out of the garage for the rest of the week, frustrated with my inability to seat the bead on my V-Strom and my new-found ability to pinch tubes on the XS750. Not that it would have done much good to go into the garage anyway, since I needed a new tube before I could revisit the XS750 and a new air compressor before I could attempt to seat the bead on the V-Strom again.
Nevertheless, despite another two or three hours sweating over the V-Strom tire, I still can't get the bead set. I looked up advice on ADV Rider and Stromtroopers. I tried some of the advice I found, but I draw the line at igniting ether or propane inside the tire -- that's got "bad idea" written all over it! I even removed and reinstalled the tire and I removed the valve core to let more air in quicker, but I cannot get the bead to seat. I think Tuesday, I'll take the tire to the Suzuki dealer and see if they can get it to seat; I need a new air and oil filter, as well as a couple of quarts of oil, anyway.
this post here) and exhaust gaskets. Work on the rebuild continues, albeit slowly.