Can You Change A Motorcycle Tire On A Car Tire Machine?

Tire Changing Machines commercially used in tire fitment centers or fleet workshops are designed for various applications such as for a car, truck, heavy truck, motorcycle, and ATV tire changes.

The tire machines used for cars and trucks are designed to accommodate rims ranging between 12 inches and 26 inches. Motorcycle tires sizes range between 8 inches and 21 inches.

Motorcycle tire change machines are simplified versions of car tire change machines. With the addition of a motorcycle adaptor kit, car tire change machines can be used to change motorcycle tires.

Several different types of tire changers could be used to change motorcycle tires. Tire changers range from manual tire changers to swing-arm type, lever-less type, tilt-back type, and wheel clamp-type tire changers.

Some of these machines would be overkill for motorcycle tire changes but could still be used for that purpose. Let’s look at which types of tire changers are ideally suited for both car and motorcycle tires.

Tire Changers That Can Be Used On Motorcycle And Cars Tires?

The sizes and volume of tires you intend to change in your workshop will determine the best tire change machine in which to invest. For a low volume of tire changes, it is best to consider a simple mechanical tire change machine. As the volume and complexity of tire sizes and types increase, the required solution may change.

The most straightforward and most cost-efficient type of tire changer is a Swing Arm Changer. The length of the swing arm can be adjusted to work on a wide variety of rim sizes. The base on which the rim is clamped can be changed quickly and adjusted to accommodate nearly every rim size.

The swing-arm type tire changer is ideal for a workshop where only one tire size is changed, and frequent adjustments are not required. This type of tire changer can be used to change a wide variety of tires from motorcycle tires up to large truck tires.

Tilt-back tire changers are a higher-priced option than the simple swing arm type machines but offer much faster adjustment times between different tire sizes. Tilt-back tire change machines are the most commonly recommended type of tire machine for commercial tire fitment centers. They will cost roughly twice as much as the simple swing arm type machines.

Leverless tire change machines represent to top of the range and are considered risk-free in causing damage to tires or rims. Leverless tire machines have been designed to change high technology tires such as run-flat tires and very low profile high-performance tires.

Leverless machines are more than capable of changing motorcycle tires also. Changing motorcycle tires is a relatively simple task compared to tires with stiff sidewalls such as run-flat and low-profile tires.

Motorcycle tire changers are less complex than the tire changes required for passenger and truck tires as they deal with much lighter wheels with smaller rim sizes. These machines are usually only for motorcycle repair workshops as they cannot be used for car and truck tires.

Heavy-duty truck tire changers are purpose-built to deal with heavy-duty wheels and tires up to 91 inches in diameter and 43 inches wide. These machines will not be suitable for motorcycle tire changes.

How To Choose The Correct Tire Changer For Your Shop

Choosing the correct tire changer for your workshop is essential. Get a machine that will enable you to change the tires on all vehicle types that you are planning to service. The volume of tire changes and the number of tire sizes you will cater to will also play an important role.

Suppose you will service passenger cars and light trucks. In that case, your choice is to select a tire changer that will handle all tire sizes between 12 inches and 26 inches and be adjustable to do the occasional motorcycle tire changes. A tilt-back tire changer will be your most cost-efficient option.

If your workshop volume warrants the purchase of more than one tire change machine, it may make sense to have a combination of some low-cost swing arm type changes in combination with some tilt-back type tire change machines.

The volume of throughput and tire size complexity will determine the best combination of tire change machines required for the workshop. The tire changers are not the only equipment needed for a tire fitment shop.

If you plan to service a vehicle with low-profile tires or run-flat tires, the investment in a leverless tire changer will be warranted. Low-profile tires and run-flat tires are notoriously tricky to fit due to the very stiff sidewalls. The rims and tires are also expensive and would warrant the cost of a leverless system. Leverless tire changers are capable of changing motorcycle tires also.

If your workshop will only focus on servicing motorcycles, it would make the most sense to purchase as a simpler motorcycle tire changer. These machines are less costly than the models designed for passenger and truck tires.

 Heavy-duty truck tire changers are purpose-built to do tire changes on large heavy-duty truck tires. These machines cannot be used for tire changes on passenger, light truck, or motorcycle tires.


Tire change machines come in a wide variety of types and sizes. Straightforward models can accommodate almost all passenger, truck, and motorcycle tire and wheel sizes. The disadvantages of these models are that they require adjusting and setup time for each tire’s size. They are ideal when very few different tire sizes need to be changed.

The tire change machines used in most tire fitment centers or commercial workshops will be Tilt Back or Leverless type tire changers. These machines are easier to set up for different tire sizes and accommodate motorcycle tires, passenger and truck tire sizes. Motorcycle tire adaptor kits can be purchased separately, to accommodate tire changes on motorcycle wheels.

Motorcycle tire changers are ideal for workshops where only motorcycle tires will be serviced as they cannot do tire changes on larger, heavier passenger and truck tires. The cost difference between motorcycle tire changers and tilt-back tire changers does not warrant buying the larger tilt-back machine.

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