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Front Wheel
• Inspection 2. Using an inspection lamp, turn the wheel around
o Pressure checking to make sure there are no foreign objects
o Depth imbedded in the tyre and no tears in the tread.
Some are acceptable but when you start pulling
• Removal
out lots of glass and cuts reach far below the
• Bearing inspection/replacement
minimum tread then you might want to consider
• Tire replacement and balancing changing it.
• Installation

General Comments
When changing the tyre the cheapest and easiest
choice is to buy the tyre online and take it and your
wheel to a garage that has a tyre removal machine and
get them to do it, as it isn’t that costly (£10-15). But if
you want to save a little more cash and wrestle with it
then follow the instructions below. If replacing the tyre
yourself, don’t forget to take it to a local recycling
place or garage willing to dispose of it for you. Your
tyres always need to be in mint condition, you’ve only
got two holding you to the road and you can’t afford
for either of them to fail.
Instead of using wheel weights to balance the
wheel, Dyna-beads are an option. They are little beads
that go inside the tyre and balance it on the move. The 3. Look for any uneven wear- flattening in the
instructions are not covered here but are on their middle (probably due to under inflation) or
website associated with their product. I am fine with scalloping of the sides.
traditional wheel weights.


What you need before hand

• Inspection lamp
• Tyre pressure gauge
• Tyre inflation device
• Tread depth gauge

1. Raise the bike of the ground so that the wheel can
move freely. If you can’t do this you will have to
move the bike backwards or forwards to be able to
inspect the whole tyre.

4. Check the age of the tyre. About 5 years is the

length of life of a tyre, longer than this and the
oils in it can dry out. The age of the tyre is
typically printed into the sidewall. This one was
made on the 37th week of 2014.

2 Thunderbird Storm

Front Wheel Removal

What you need before hand

• Needle nose pliers
• Screw Bit: T5, T6,
• Sockets: 15mm
• 19mm Hex adaptor for Spindle Removal
• Old tire or blocks of wood to rest wheel on
• Torque wrench up to 65Nm

Steps: Thickness
1. Remove the front brake pads as per the instructions
5. Tyre pressure: Undo the dust cap on the tyre in the Front Brake Guide: Remove the R-clip with
valve and place the pressure gauge on the needle nose pliers, remove the retaining pin with a
valve. If the pressure is correct return the dust T5 adapter, remove the anti-rattle spring then
cap, if not inflate or deflate to the required wiggle out the pads. If they are not budging then
pressure. The front tyre should be 2.48bar open the lid of the front master cylinder and push
(36PSI) irrespective of if you have a pillion. them caliper pistons back with the brake pads using
your fingers. If it has been a while since the pads
were out they may require a lot of ‘encouragement’.

2. Remove the 4 bolts supporting the two calipers

using 15mm socket. Don’t let the caliper’s hang, I
found a simple solution was to use some elastic
bands and hang them from the indicators.

6. If you need to inflate, screw on the tyre

inflation device and start pumping. If you need
to deflate unscrew the inflation device a little
and the air should come out.

7. Tyre depth: the depth of the tread at the lowest

point on the tyre should be no less than 2mm
deep. The lowest point will typically be in the
centre of tyre. On the side of the tire will be an
embossed mark; a line, an arrow or an tire
company emblem. Follow this around the
width of the tire and you will see other
embossed marks indicating the minimum tire
tread depth. Just next to these marks is where
you measure the tread depth.

3. Loosen the pinch bolts at the bottom of the right

fork using T6 Hex adapter.

Job Done!
Front Wheel 3

Front Tyre Replacement/Balancing

What you need before hand

• Remove wheel as per instructions above
• Tyre: 120/70ZRR19
• Something to rest the tyre on- another tyre or
wood are good options.
4. Lower the bike (or raise slightly if you did the • Valve core remover
previous steps with the bike on the ground) so that • Tyre irons with integrated bead breakers e.g.
the wheel is straight and the wheel is resting on the motion pro- or separate bead breaker tool.
ground. • 2-3x Rim protectors
• Tyre grease
5. Undo the spindle from the right fork using a 19mm • Plastic wheel weight removal tool
hex. I found this adapter useful: I could use a 17mm • Methylated spirits
socket and on the other end was a 19mm Hex. • Wheel balancer
• Air compressor/foot pump
• Tape
• Wheel weights or Dynabeads

Replacement Steps
1. Warm up the tyre in the sunshine, with a hair dryer
or by a radiator to make it more flexible. Do the
same with the new tyre as well. Once warm place
onto some wood to protect the rim and brake disc.
You can also choose to remove the brake disk to
reduce the risk of damage, just remember which
one was on which side.

2. Using the vale core removal tool, remove the valve

core in the tyre valve. The tyre will deflate.

6. With the spindle removed you can raise the bike

from the ground and the wheel will stay on the
ground. It is okay to let the wheel speed sensor
hang. Make sure you collect both wheel spacers:
the small one goes on the ABS/wheel speed sensor
side (left side) and the large one goes on the side
without (right side).

3. The next step is to break the beading around the

edge of the tyre. Spray some window cleaning
7. Don’t lay the wheel down on the disc brakes! Make solution or smear tyre grease around the rim to
a platform or use and old tyre to rest the wheel on. lubricate the edge. You don’t have to buy a
separate bead braking tool and tyre irons, buy an
4 Thunderbird Storm

integrated one like the ones offered by Motion
Pro. Place the tyre iron in place as a set to break
the bead. Do it in several locations on the side
closest to you. Then push the rest of it off by

7. Now the tyre will be half way off. Put the rim
protector in place again and from the inside lever
the tyre off. It may help to kneel on the top of the
tyre while using the lever to pop it off. Dispose of
the tyre ethically.

4. Turn the wheel over and break the bead on the

other side.

5. Turn the wheel back over, spray some more

cleaning fluid/tyre grease on the rim and kneel on
one side of the tyre. Put some rim protectors in
place on the opposite side. 2 should be enough but
you may need three. Against the rim protectors,
lever the tyre off the rim.

8. Clean and inspect the rim for damage. Pay

particular attention to where the rim sits in the
bead. The new tyre should be warming up
somewhere in the sun, if not use a hair dryer.
6. Repeat around the edge of the tyre until one side
can be pulled off by hand.
9. With the tyre off it is a good time to remove the
wheel weights using a plastic scraper. Then use
some methylated sprits to rub off the remaining
sticking pad. Don’t use a screwdriver or knife
Front Wheel 5

because you will probably scrape the paint off
your rims.

10. The lightest part of the new tyre needs to be

lined up with the heaviest part of the rim. Now
typically this is in the same place as the valve
stem, but not always. First make sure that your
tyre balancer is level. Then place the rim on the
wheel balancer. Let the rim spin back and forth
slowly until it stops moving. Once it is stopped,
place a piece of tape at the bottom to mark the
heaviest spot of the rim.

12. Spray a rag with some lubrication/tyre grease

and rub around the edge of your tyre wall. With
the tyre in the right spot push it on. It may need

11. Now look for the dot (or 2) on the tyre. This
denotes the lightest part of the tyre and is to be
placed over the heaviest spot on the rim. 13. Smear some more tyre grease around the
However, on some tyres the manufacturers opposite rim. Put your rim protectors in place
believe that their tyres are so good that they are kneel on one side of the tyre and using the tyre
balanced as is and therefore won’t have a dot iron lever the tyre over the rim.
indicating the heaviest spot, which was the case
with the Michelin ones I installed. In that case it
shouldn’t matter but I aligned it to the bar code.
But what is always fundamental is the direction
of the tyre. There is an arrow on your tyre and
that has to match the direction of the rim. Tyres
go forward (clockwise) so the arrow needs to be
facing the same way.

14. Once the tyre is on it needs to be beaded. Using

the valve core removal tool, return the valve
core. Inflate the tyre and you should hear two
loud bangs that indicate that the bead has seated
into the rim. If it doesn’t go in, deflate, lube and
repeat. When I attempted this I only had a floor
6 Thunderbird Storm

pump and the tyre would not seat, the air just 17. Peel back a little bit of the wheel weight and
escaped. So in all honesty I had to take it to a place it at the lightest spot of the tyre (the top).
dealer to inflate because without it being very
warm and pumping air rapidly into it, it will not
seat the bead. The tyre eventually needs to be

Balancing Steps
15. Place the wheel onto your balancing stand.
Making sure the balancing stand is level. It is
better to place the balancing measure on the
actual spindle. It is also best to do this 18. With the wheel weight in place, turn the wheel
procedure with the brake disk (and ABS disk) so that the wheel weight it is at the 9 O’clock
on the wheel. position. If the right weight is on the rim it
should stay stationary. If there isn’t enough
weight the wheel will spin clockwise, if there is
too much weight then the wheel will spin anti-
clockwise. Alternatively, you can use the same
amount of weight but try it at other spots other
than 9 O’clock to see if the wheel becomes
balanced. This saves you having to put too
many wheel weights on the rim.

19. Once the correct wheel weight is identified,

remove the rest of the tape and stick them to the
wheel rim as close to the centre of the rim as
possible. If the wheel is balanced you will be
16. Gently spin the wheel. It will eventually stop able to place it in a position and it shouldn’t
with the heaviest part at the bottom (6 O’clock). move. A very small amount is acceptable, you
Mark the top (12 O’clock) with some tape. just want it the least as possible.

Tire replaced and balanced, onto the next!

Front Wheel Bearing Inspection/Replacement

What you need before hand

• Remove wheel as per instructions above
• Cleaning fluid and rag
• Circlip pliers
• Hammer
• Long drift with flat ends or blind bearing
removal tool
Front Wheel 7

• Bearing driver kit
• Penetrating fluid e.g. WD-40
• Torch- for heating the hub- optional
• Flat blade screwdriver- for removing seals
• Something to support the wheel on the ground-
wood will suffice
• Multipurpose grease or red rubber grease
• 2x Bearings T3800096, or equivalent 6204DU
• 2x Dust/Bearing seals T3600705
• Possibly new circlip T35000402

Inspection Steps
1. You can do a rough wheel bearing inspection with
the wheel on. To do this, put it on full lock (left or
right) and then wiggle the wheel. If there is
movement that isn’t due to the steering column then
it is likely due to the bearings. Also spin the wheel 6. Use the circlip pliers to remove the bearing circlip.
and listen out for any grinding by the bearings. But
it makes sense to do a proper inspection while the
wheel is off the bike. So remove the wheel as per
instructions above.

2. Spray some cleaner on a rag and not on the

bearings. Clean out any muck. Move the inside of
the bearing, it should move smoothly.

3. Have a look at the bearing seals. If intact good, if

not replace them. The Triumph Service Manual
says to replace any seals (T3600705) and circlips
(T35000402) when you change the bearings but I 7. If you are going to use a long rod to drift the
only change the seals because the circlip is still in bearing out then you need to move the spacer out of
good condition. the way. You might be able to move it with your
finger or you might need to use your drift to move
4. Stick your finger in the bearing and roll it around. If it aside. My spacer didn’t shift with either of these
it isn’t smooth or is too stiff in any way then it will methods, all it did was put dents in the spacer. So I
be best to replace them using the steps below. If gave up trying to push the spacer aside like the
fine then skip to wheel installation. Triumph Manual says. Instead I used a brake piston
hammer slide to get the bearing out. Specialised
Replacement Steps bearing slide hammers have a lip on the bottom and
thus would be better to use but I didn’t have one of
5. Remove the seal using a plastic lever (or metal one those. I did try a blind bearing puller first but the
against a rag). If the seals are difficult to get out, feet of my puller didn’t fit in the tiny gap between
heating them with a torch will help. the spacer and the bearing. So I think in future I
will stick with the brake piston remover. If you
bearing isn’t budging you can spray some
penetrating fluid like WD-40 around the edge of the
bearing. If that still isn’t working then heat the hub
with a gas torch. I didn’t need to do this last step
and I doubt you will unless your bearing is ceased
8 Thunderbird Storm

become loose/dangerous. Clean both hubs and the
channel between.

12. Apply some grease (multipurpose or red rubber)

onto the outside of the bearings. Install the side
with the circlip first (yes I didn’t do this in the
8. To help with bearing removal, heat the hub. Move photos and I had to rectify it by doing the other side
quickly so that you don’t burn the paint. When it is again, so start with the circlip side!). You can heat
very hot it will be easier to drive the bearings out. up the hub if you wish, but I didn’t. I used the drift
When water sizzles on it, the hub is sufficiently hot. from MotionPro. Triumph have a specific tool for
this but I wanted a set that does more that one size.
9. With the first bearing out, remove the spacer. Once the bearing is all the way in the hammering
sound changes and the tool stops pushing the
bearing in.

13. Using the circlip pliers put the circlip back in.
10. Flip the wheel over and remove the opposite
bearing using whatever method you used to get out 14. Put a thin smear of your preferred grease (red or
the first one. multipurpose) on and inside the bearing seal. The
seal should push into place sufficiently with your
11. Once the bearings are out have a look in the fingers. I gave mine a gentle tap with the bearing
channel/middle of the wheel to see if there are any driver just to make sure it is fully seated. Then wipe
raised marks (witness marks). Or any on the spacer. off any excess grease on the outside.
If there are then use some emery paper or a gentile
file to get rid of them. The surface needs to be
smooth before replacement but don’t file away the
inside otherwise the bearing wont fit properly and
Front Wheel 9

18. Once the spindle fits smoothly then put some

15. Put a thin smear of grease on the spacer to reduce grease on the final bearing seal in install it.
the risk of deterioration. Then put the spacer back

16. Refit the opposite bearing

Bearings replaced J

Front Wheel Installation

What you need before hand

• Needle nose pliers
• Screw Bit: T5, T6,
• Sockets: 15mm
• 19mm Hex adaptor for Spindle Removal
• Old tire or blocks of wood to rest wheel on
• Torque wrench up to 65Nm

17. I found that after I pressed the bearings into place 1. Smear a bit of grease onto the wheel spacers and
the spacer between them wasn’t in the right put them in place: smaller one on the wheel speed
position. So I then used the front spindle to wiggle sensor side (left) and the larger one on the other
it into place. I wanted to make sure the spindle fits (right).
in smoothing before I attempt to put the wheel back
10 Thunderbird Storm

the caliper back into it’s holding to create more

6. With the brake pads in place on the disc the right

caliper needs to be central to the disc. Basically
there is a small amount of movement in the fork
from left to right. With the pinch bolts loose push
the two forks together and you will probably see a
changing gap between the fork and the spacer on
the right side and the disc relative to the caliper.
You need to push the two forks together or apart so
2. Lower the bike and forks into place and maneuver that the caliper is central to the disc. But before you
the wheel into place being careful not to knock the do that put some copper grease onto the pinch bolt
wheel spacers out. Also check that the wheel speed threads and place them into the holes. Keep the
sensor is back in place sitting on its lug. caliper central then screw in the two pinch bolts
using T6 bit to 22Nm.
3. Smear some copper grease (just a little bit) on the
front wheel spindle. Slide it in from the right side of Not central Central
the bike and screw it into the left for using 19mm
hex/adapter and tighten to 65Nm.

7. Check that the brakes are working and the wheel

spins properly. If not problems solve- do the brakes
need bleeding, are the brake pads installed properly
4. Reposition both calipers over the discs and install and check previous steps.
the bolts using 15mm socket to 50Nm.

Job Done!

5. Install the new brake pads as per the instructions

above: de-glaze the brake pads using sandpaper or a
scotch pad on the contact surface, smear some
copper grease onto the back of each pad, slide them
into place, put the anti-rattle spring in place, put
some copper grease onto the retaining pin and
install it using T5, and finally secure it with a new
R-clip. If the calipers are too far out then undo the
front brake master cylinder reservoir lid and push