Vespa Maintenance Guide

Splitting Tire Rims

This is one of the more common questions in the scooter world: "How do I get my @#&! tires off the @#&! rims!?!?!" Here is a method tht I have used successfully on a set of rusty lambretta rims (It's the same for any Vespa or Lambretta Rim). Start by removing the tire from the bike. The tire is retained by five nuts that are identifiable by their connection to the hub itself. Prop the bike in a stable position and remove the nuts and lock washers. Pull the tire away from the bike and follow the procedure to remove the tire. Two people are pretty essential to getting this done right. Do NOT be tempted to use a solvent/lubricant like WD-40 on the rubber no matter how tough the job gets. WD-40 and the like are pretty agressive on rubber surfaces and may damage or weaken the tire.

Tools & Parts Needed
Built-Up tire
Two sticks of 3/4" X 1 1/2" X 18" wood (pine)
Tire deflation tool usually on back of pressure gauges (or a screwdriver)
13mm Deep Socket Ratchet

The tools Step 1

Deflate the tire completely and slowly back off every odd nut until they come off. Retain all of the lockwashers and nuts on the rims. Pull the rims apart as far as you can before you lose your breath. Then get the wood blocks and a friend to continue...

Inner tube Step 2

Put a piece of the wood into the rim opening and get a good amount of prying area with the block. Get a friend to put a piece of wood across the side of the bead and get them to stand on it. The rim should pull away with a little effort and wiggling.

Inner tube Step 3

Once you have one rim off, pull out the inner tube and set it aside. Flip the tire and give it the same treatment. Your friend may have to help pull the rim upwards while you pry with the stick.

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All Material Copyright 2001-2023 by Richard Hoar. Use at your own risk.