Mounting ATV tires seems like a magic trick sometimes. One minute there’s a loose tire haphazardly squeezed around a rim like a loose rubber band. The next, someone lights the flash paper, there’s a puff of smoke and you have a perfectly mounted tire. And then the tire guy pulls a bouquet of flowers out of his sleeve.
In reality, there’s nothing that complicated about it. With the right tools, anybody (yes, even you) can mount ATV tires without having to resort to the dark arts.
Let’s walk you through it.
Yes you can!
All it requires are the right tools and a little know-how. These are generally not tools your average garage owner is going to have laying around, but they’re easy enough to get ahold of.
First of all, you need a pry bar. A pry bar is used both for removing an old tire off of a rim and mounting a new tire onto the rim. You won’t get very far without one.
They’re sometimes referred to as a mount or demount tool and have a smooth, curved end. They’re designed to get between the tire and rim and do minimal damage to your rim.
If you’re trying to remove a well-used tire, it’s not a simple matter of deflating it and removing it. You’ve got to break the bead, and you need a bead breaker tool to do that.
Bead breaker tools are designed to pry the bead down and away from the rim. Over time, a tire bead can get “frozen” to the rim and ends up requiring a ton of force to remove. The right tool gives you the leverage you need to do it.
Bead breaker | $20–$100
When it comes time to get your new tire onto the bead, a blast of high pressure air can make it happen more easily. Some people use fire but we don’t recommend this. We do recommend using a tire bead seater.
It’s a little air tank that you fill with an air compressor. It has a wide nozzle that’s designed to squeeze between the tire and the rim so when you open the valve, it dumps all that air into the tire instantly, seating the bead and letting you inflate normally.
Air tire bead seater | $60–$100
Bead holders are little tools that help when you’re trying to get your tire on the rim. They hold the tire’s bead down below the rim as you work your way around. Having one or two can save you a ton of frustration.
Bead holder | $20
You’ve got soap (I hope). Mix some dish soap and water, put it in a spray bottle, and you’ve got the preferred tire bead lubricant. It’s a cheap and easy way to help you mount an ATV tire and seat the bead.
Dish soap | $3
A manual tire changer is a good way to get everything you need in one package. It comes with pry bars and a bead breaker. It also acts as an anchor point that you can mount your rim to. You can find affordable options that make for an easy job.
Manual tire changer | $50–$700
A tire changing machine is a top-of-the-line shop tool. If you have access to one, by all means make use of it for your tire changing needs. Odds are, a fully hydraulic piece of machinery designed to get your tires on and off in five minutes flat is more than you need for your personal garage.
They’re pricey, but effective. This is what we use daily at SuperATV.
Tire changing machine | $1000+
Mounting ATV tires can be frustrating, but to say it’s hard is an overstatement. Your first tire is going to take some time to get on. You’ll want to block out some time, put on some nice tunes, and grab a drink.
It will take some work, but with proper patience and tools, anybody can do it. Having a buddy there to help you through some of the more difficult parts can make the whole thing a breeze.
Basically, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to mount ATV tires at home.
This guide will help you get your old ATV tires off and your new tires mounted quickly and easily. We’re going to assume you’re using hand tools. If you’re using a manual tire changer, the steps will be the same—you’ll just have an easier time.
To remove the tire that’s already on the rim, you need a bead breaker.
Breaking the bead is harder than it sounds. Like we mentioned earlier, the bead can fuse to the rim over time which makes it very difficult to remove.
Now it’s time to get the tire off the rim. Most often, your tire will still be wrapped around the rim and nearly impossible to remove by hand. A pry bar and a soapy solution of dish soap and water can make it easier.
Actually mounting the ATV tire is the most difficult part. Feel free to take a break, get a drink, and eat a sandwich before you get started.
Once you get all four tires on, you’re good to go! Inflate them to the recommended psi, install them on your vehicle, and take them out for a spin.
Now that we’ve covered mounting tires, you need to know what size to get. Check out our comprehensive guide to learn more about ATV tire sizes and why bigger isn’t always better.
If you like to get down and dirty riding through mud, take a look at our top 3 ATV mud tires. If you’ve never used a mud tire like these before, it’ll change your life.