Flat Tire, Worn Tire on an SV650?

Back when I had my SV, I got a nail in my tire and I documented the process of getting it fixed so I could remember what I did the next time. This info could help you out, but obviously I’m not Suzuki so don’t come looking for me if your wheel falls off.

Back when I had my SV, I got a nail in my tire and I documented the process of getting it fixed so I could remember what I did the next time. This info could help you out, but obviously I’m not Suzuki so don’t come looking for me if your wheel falls off. :)

(In case it’s not obvious, you should click on the images to see a bigger version)

Okay, so you get a nail or something stuck in the rear tire of your SV. What do you do? Well, here’s what I did:

  • Check to make sure that a local motorcycle shop or dealer will change a tire that you didn’t buy there – since it’ll probably be a lot cheaper to mail-order it. The dealer won’t like this and may charge you an extra fee – if they’ll do it at all.
  • Order the tire from somewhere like Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse.
  • Decide at the last minute to try using Slime instead. Hey, it works great!
  • Let the brand new tire sit in basement for a year until my Slimed tire started to wear out.
  • Remove the rear wheel and reinstall it with the brand new tire mounted – using the procedure below.

In case that was confusing, the moral of the story is: If you have a small puncture in your tire, try using Slime. Otherwise, you could follow the same procedure I did to remove the wheel, bring it to a shop that can switch the rubber for you, then reinstall it on your bike. Here’s what I did:

Tools You'll Need Chain is Off Pulling the Axle Axle Back In

  1. Put the bike on your Pitbull swingarm stand. These things are rock-solid, but if you have a crappy stand, you might want to loosen the axle nut before putting your bike up on the stand.
  2. Remove the cotter pin from the axle nut. You should replace the pin when you put everything back together. If this is your first time removing the pin, you might be able to get away with reusing it but after that I’d say you need a new one. (Update: you can also get a cotterless axle nut from a Suzuki parts place – the newest SV’s use them and they’re the same size).
  3. Loosen the 22mm axle nut.
  4. While supporting the tire from underneath with your foot, slide the axle out through the right side.
  5. Lift the wheel up to clear the brake calipers and pull it out.
  6. Put the axle back in so that the chain hangs on it and stays off the ground. This should also keep you from losing any bits.

That’s it! Note that I didn’t remove the brake, chain adjusters or chain guard as described in the service manual and I didn’t disassemble the stuff inside the wheel either. It’s not necessary. (Actually, I have a hugger fender instead of a chain guard but I don’t think it’s necessary to remove either). Ooh, it just occured to me that I also don’t have the big mudflap on the back so I don’t know if that would make the last step of pulling the wheel out any more of a hassle. I don’t think so.

Anyway, now the wheel is off of the bike and you can bring it to the shop. Make sure you keep the spacer that has probably fallen off of the right side of the wheel by now. And take off the sprocket since they probably don’t want that either. All you have to do is pull it and it’ll come off of the wheel. No tools. You should probably take this time to clean the inside of your swingarm and all those little places that you normally can’t get to because there’s a wheel in the way. I’m sure they’re filthy. Also, make sure that you do NOT touch the rear brake lever while the wheel is off.

To put the wheel back on:

All the Pieces What to Grease Putting the Axle In Tightening Everything
  1. Pull the axle out and hang the chain on the swingarm instead.
  2. Put grease in the two spots shown in the image before pushing the sprocket back onto the wheel. I stood up with my feet under the wheel so the disc brake wouldn’t be touching the ground, then bent over and pushed on the sprocket. This gave me a little leverage but it’s not hard to do. Don’t go getting a rubber mallet – it’s not necessary.
  3. The plates on the ends of the swingarms that hold the chain adjuster screws shouldn’t have come off but if they did, they have L/R marks and UP arrows on them so they go back in correctly.
  4. Grease the axle.
  5. Carefully put the wheel back in while supporting it from underneath with your feet again. The reason why I say “carefully” is because you want the disc brake to slide between the pads. And you’re supporting it with your feet so it’s not just holding itself up by hanging on the brake and torsion arm.
  6. While supporting the wheel, push the axle through everything. Make sure you have the spacer in place between the wheel and the brake first – unlike a certain big dummy who had to put the axle through twice. If the axle doesn’t want to go through, you can put a socket on the end and try turning it like you’re screwing it in. It’s not threaded, but twisting it still seems to work better than hammering it in (which I guess you can do).
  7. To finish, you’ll need to adjust your chain tension which I never got around to documenting on this site. Check either the service manual or look around on the web for that procedure.

When everything’s done, make sure:

  • Before you take off, make sure you pump the rear brake pedal until it starts working. Otherwise, you’ll be surprised the first time you try to use it on the road and it doesn’t do anything!
  • Make sure the axle nut is tightened to 47 lb-ft. If you don’t have a torque wrench, get one. (Update: I have a newer SV now, and the spec is 100nm/72.5 lb-ft. Download a service manual from somewhere so you have this type of information when you need it)
  • Don’t forget to tighten those alan bolts that adjust the chain tension. It’s easy to forget and you might lose them on the highway somewhere. I think that’s the worst that would happen, but why take a chance. Just tighten them.
  • The service manual doesn’t mention using Loctite on any of the parts I mentioned above so I didn’t use it. I don’t think it ever mentions anti-sieze but if you do decide to use it somewhere, don’t put it on the axle itself. Use grease there.
  • Take it easy! New tires can be slippery.
  • Check the tire pressure before zooming off. The shop may not have pumped it up to the right pressure.

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