Rabaconda Street Bike Tire Changer: Motorcycle Mojo Review
Wonder if the Street Bike Tire Changer is right for you? Check out this Motorcycle Mojo magazine review of the Rabaconda Street Bike Tire Changer and see for yourself.
The Street Bike Tire Changer is the newest Rabaconda tool designed to help street, touring, cruiser, sport, and adventure motorcycle riders swap their tires easier and faster than ever before. Designed for bikes with cast, wire-spoked, and forged wheels and adaptable to wheel sizes between 12-21", the Street Bike Tire Changer works with both single and double-sided swingarms and minimizes the risk of damaging your rims (or your knuckles).
But how does it work in real life?
Glenn Roberts, the editor at Motorcycle Mojo, has taken up the task of testing out the Street Bike Tire Changer on his BMW R1250GS – and he’s impressed.
Having never used Rabaconda before, Glenn shared that assembling the tool and getting ready was easy as pie. He had ordered the starter Street Bike Tire Changer Starter Kit along with the BMW shaft drive adapter and the cross-spoke duck head, and this time around, Glenn was changing a rear Continental TKC 70 tire.
“I had changed the front and rear tires on the GS last spring using the old-fashioned skin-my-knuckles-and-scratch-my-rim-technique, so while I wouldn’t be changing the rubber per se, I did practice removing and reinstalling the rear tire, which is now a Continental TKC 70 Rocks. Adventure tires are generally stiffer and have short sidewalls, and I wanted to compare the ease of removal and installation on the Rabaconda with TKCs against the original rear Michelin Anakee, so I also installed and removed the original tire. I think the TKCs are a bit stiffer, but the machine took care of both tires admirably”, Glenn shared.
Removing the tire required no busted knuckles nor damaged rims, and, according to Glenn, mounting the TKC 70 was just as easy.
“The key to the Rabaconda — in addition, of course, to its design and engineering — is the ratchet system. Once the duck head is in place, you simply push on the ratchet arm and the duck head rotates around the tire to either dismount or mount the tire. It really is quite ingenious, and so easy.
After five or six practice sessions, I was able to remove and reinstall the tire in seven minutes, not counting breaking the initial troublesome beads — add a few minutes onto the time for that. From where I live, it takes me 30 minutes just to get to a shop to have new tires installed. Add in the time and cost for the installation — if I can even get in right away — and then the trip back home and time to install everything back on my bike, and I’m looking at around two and half hours minimum. My time is valuable, and that cuts into riding time”, Glenn explained.
To see how Glenn fared using the Street Bike Tire Changer on his BMW R1200 GS for the first time, watch this video:
And if you’re still unsure whether the Street Bike Tire Changer is for you, Glenn’s verdict is simple.
“In a nutshell, just let me say that it works, and works really well — if you change your own tires, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it in the past. I know that this phrase is cliché and overused, but this Rabaconda tire machine really is a game-changer — 100 percent. I have to say that I am thoroughly impressed with this game-, I mean, tire-changer, and have offered to all of my riding buddies that if they need tires changed, I’ve got the machine for the job.
The Rabaconda Street Tire Changer isn’t cheap, but when you consider the cost and time of taking your tires to a shop to have them changed, the price seems a bit more reasonable, especially if you change tires a couple times per year or need tire changes at the track.
The Rabaconda comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects and a money-back guarantee for six months if you aren’t happy with the product, no questions asked. Personally, I seriously doubt you could be unhappy with it”, Glenn concluded.
Ready to get your tire-changing mojo back and start swapping your own rubber like a pro?