Is Tire Mount Lube Absolutely Necessary?

When mounting a motorcycle tire onto a wheel rim, tire mounting lubricant helps prevent the tire's beads from sitting incorrectly on the rim. But is tire mount lube absolutely necessary? 

Motorcycle tire mount lube

Some people believe tire mount lubricant is not needed, and that any kind of lube or even soap and water will do the trick. However, if the tire’s bead doesn’t seat properly, it can create problems with the tire's seal and air pressure, which is where tire-specific lube comes in.

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Why Use Tire Mounting Lube

Removing motorcycle tires from rims can be difficult if the tire beads seat poorly. Tire mounting lube not only prevents improper bead seating, but it also makes removing the tire from the rim much easier when it’s time to change it out. 

Motorcycle tire mounting

This tire-specific lubricant helps release the bead without damaging it. And it can also help prevent corrosion, as it creates a protective barrier between the rim and the rubber, keeping both materials from coming into contact with each other.

Won’t Any Kind of Lube Work?

Contrary to popular belief, not just any kind of lube will do for mounting tires onto rims. That means no WD-40 or even silicone protectant, as they’re not formulated for use on tires. 

Choosing motorcycle tire mount lube

Using the wrong lube can damage tires and rims, and you should only use a quality tire-specific lube from a reputable manufacturer. You’ll want to avoid petroleum-based, solvent-based and silicone-based lubricants.

Partzilla’s powersports pro John Talley has used Yamalube tire mount spray in several of our dirt bike tire mounting videos. Here’s what John says about the importance of using tire mounting lube, not silicone or any other type of lube.

John Talley: Now I want to be very clear about this: tire lube is not the same as a silicone lubricant. You do not want to use silicone. Tire mount lube will actually aid in seating the tire and holding it still. Silicone would make the tire try to rotate on the rim, and that's something you don’t want. So resist the temptation to use silicone spray and order the correct stuff. You don't want to use WD-40 or anything like that either. Use only the stuff specifically for mounting tires.

Motorcycle tire mount lube selection

As John mentioned, silicone-based lubricants cause tire slippage around the rim, so it’s best to avoid them and any other type of lube, and only use tire mounting lube. When applying the lube, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, don't just spray it on aimlessly. Check out the video below to see how to correctly apply tire mount lubricant.

Recommended Product: Yamaha Tire Mount Lube

As mentioned, John Talley has used Yamalube tire mount lube in some of our videos, which is specially formulated for changing tires on the rim quickly with less chance of damage. Yamaha’s tire mount lube can be used on any rim mounted tire to make installation easier, while protecting the tire bead from damage, and helping it seat and seal properly.

Yamalube tire mount lubricant

So yes, tire mount lube is necessary. And whether you go with Yamaha’s tire mount lubricant or any other brand of tire mount lube, just make sure you read the label and follow the instructions carefully to prevent damaging both the tire and the rim. 



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