The Wolf is a particularly difficult scooter to change tires on. Do you have a leak? or are you changing from knobbies to street tires?
The biggest piece of advice is to let you know that it’s way way harder to get the tires on the rim than off. So you can easily end up in a situation where you’ve got tires off and can’t get them on.
The very very best way to do this is by completely removing the wheels from each end and taking them to someone who has a tiny tire changing machine. But it is possible to do at home. Just be prepared to load it in a truck and seek professional help if you get stuck
a box, crate or table less than 2 feet long to set the scooter on top of.
Three tire irons
An adjustable wrench or 21mm wrench (or socket+ ratchet)
a 5mm allen wrench
a 2.5mm allen wrench
Valve core removal tool
Air compressor (bicycle pump is fine if you have a friend with you)
Tire pressure gauge
optional: tire soap
optional, but a really really good idea: an extra set of hands for when it gets tough.
Put the scooter up on your box/workstand. It’s super helpful if you can put it on something that only elevates the tires about 1 inch or so off of the ground
Use a 5mm allen wrnch to remove the bolts coming in from the sides that hold the calipers on.
Photograph the spacers and keepers on the front wheel, you need to get them back exactly as they are.
Use the 21mm wrench to remove the front wheel (best to only take off the wheel you’re working on).
Take off the valve stem cap and use the valve core removal tool to take out the core of the valve stem. If you don’t have one, just let all of the air out of the tire.
Now you have a decision to make. The right thing to do is to open the deck of the scooter and unplug the front motor. The risky, but potentially faster thing to do, is to leave it plugged in, like I did, and be very very careful not to stress out your motor cable. I haven’t actually opened the deck on ours, so you’ll need to YouTube that one for exact instructions.
But lets carry on with the cheater-method.
Use the 2.5mm allen wrench to remove your brake rotor, so it doesn’t get in the way or get bent.
Push sideways on the sidewall of the tire with your hands until you can get it to release from the edge of the rim. This is called breaking the bead. Here’s we’re not trying to remove the tire at all, just pushing the bead of the tire toward the center of the rim to break it loose from the rim. Do that to both sides.
Now set your wheel down on a piece of cardboard, being very careful of the motor wire. Use your tire irons to pry one section of the tire over the rim on the side opposite the motor wire. You do not want to take your tire off on the side of the motor wire, if the wire is still plugged in. You’ll still have the tire attached to your scooter once it’s off the wheel.
Stick a second tire iron in about three inches from the first and lever that section of tire over the edge. While you’re doing this, try to make sure that the side of the tire you aren’t working on is not up on the rim again. You need the bead to be off of the rim, and down in the gully in the middle of the rim, in order to have enough slack to pry the tire over the rim. Keep going like this unti this side is off. Sometimes, once you get to this point, you can actually pull the second bead over the rim by hand, but if not, use your tire irons. You can use tire soap to lubricate the bead of the tire and make it easier to move. If you’re like me and don’t have tire soap, you can mix dish washing liquid and water roughly 50/50 or weaker, and that will do the trick.
So now you’ve got the tire off an you’re halfway done with the front tire change right. No. The hardest part is about to start. The tires are wider than the rims, which makes it incredibly difficul to start the process of getting them onto the rim. Step one is actually pretty easy. Check the direction of rotation of your rim and your tire. Some tires have an arrow on the side indicating the direction of rotation. If there is no arrow, and there is a Chevron pattern on the tires (Wolf road tires that we have) you want to point the Chevrons in the direction of motion, so water is pumped from inside to outside. Now wipe a little tire soap on the bead of the tire and you should be able to just push the first bead over the rim. If not, use tire irons. Now comes the ridiculously hard part. The second bead is wider than the rim, so you have to fight it to get it to even begin to contact the rim. The best way to go here is to insert tire irons at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, just to pull the tire down toward the rim. Don’t try to pry it over the lip yet. You might find 9 o’clock and 2 o’clock work better. Have your helper hold both of these right where they are, while you go to 12 o’clock and try to get the bead over the edge. If you don’t have a helper, you hold the 3 o’clock tire iron with your knee the 9 o’clock tire iron with your left hand and then use your right hand to pry the tire over the rim at 12 o’clock. You’ll fling the 3 o’clock tire iron across the work bench about 10 times before you make any progess, if you’re doing this on your own. It’s normal. Basically, now you just try small variations of this for the next 20 minutes and swear a lot, until you get the bead solidly over the rim, and then work it around, prying bit by bit until it’s on. Of course, all the while being mindful of the motor cable.
Once it’s on, now you’ll need to re-install the valve core with the valve cure tool and “seat the bead”. Since it’s a tubless tire, the only way to get it to hold air is to have the tire up against the rim. You may need to bounce the tire around a bit while someone else pumps the bicycle pump as fast as they can, in order to get the tire to seal agains the rim. An air compressor will pretty much just pop it right on, but watch your pressure. If you can’t get it to start sealing, apply some tire soap, bounce the tire around a bit more to see if you can get it to start sealing, and then pump faster.
Once you have a seal, run the pressure up to 50 psi and check that the tire is seated evenly all the way around. There is a tiny raised line on the sidewall that is meant to lay right up against the rim. If you see that line disappearing below the edge of the rim, in places, then your tire may not be seated correctly and it may not look very round when you spin it. You can generally over-pressure a tire by about 20lbs without causing problems, when you need to seat the bead (get the tire evenly seated on the rim all the way around) but be sure not to hold it at this pressure for longer than you need to, and don’t ride the scooter at higher than recommended pressures.
Once it’s looking well seated, you can set the pressure and re-install the rotor (don’t forget this step!), then install the wheel on the scooter, and finally re-install the caliper. Give the brake lever a couple squeezes to get the pads back up against the rotor, make sure your fasteners are tight and your washers are all in the right places and you’re good to go. It’s not a bad idea to apply some blue loctite to all of the fasteners as you go.
Once you’re done on the front, you can move on to the rear. At the rear of the scooter, it’s even harder because the swing arm is a little too narrow for the spacers that Kaabo uses. When I did it, I loosened the large allen bolts just behind the swingarm pivot point, and that gave me enough flexibility to slide/pry the rear wheel and spacers out and back into place, but the official method is to loosen both sets of large allen bolts. The forward set, of course, is blocked by the frame rail, which is why I went the cheater-route here too.
For the rear wheel, I ended up using the deck of the scooter as my work bench when levering the tire on and off of the wheel. If you do this, please remember to put some cardboard down on the deck first, or the axle will tear the rubber foot rest. You’ll also need to release the strain relief from the motor cable, in order to have enough slack to work. Rember to be super careful of your motor cable while working.
I wish I would have shot a video when I did it. It’s an ordeal for sure, and not one I want to repeat any time soon.