1901-1953 Indian Motorcycle – Parts – Accessories – Service

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  5. 121 – Installation of 5.00 x 16 Tires

INSTALLATION OF 5.00 x 16 TIRES

We have received reports from the field that trouble has been experienced with the installing of the large 16 x 5.00 tires, when repairs have been made or new tires installed. The following information we believe will be helpful, and will make the installation much easier for you.

  1. The rim should be thoroughly clean and free from dirt or rust.
  2. The tire bead should be also thoroughly clean and care should be taken that particles of gravel are not lodged in
    the tire beading if the tire has previously been in service.
  3. A solution of Murphy’s Oil Soap should be applied to the tire beading. This solution should consist of 50% oil soap and 50% water, and a thin coat should cover the bead of the tire only, extending about 1″ up the side walls.
  4. After the tire is mounted on the rim, it should be worked back and forth so that it sets entirely loose in the rim, and
    the beading not wedged in any one place.
  5. Over-inflate the tire to 35 pound pressure. This will draw the bead of the tire into the rim properly.
  6. The tire may then be deflated to the desired pressure ready for use.

The grip of the tire bead on the rim has been changed on the 16 x 5,00 tires and wheels to prevent the oversize tire from creeping on the rim. Therefore, this extra precaution is necessary in installing, as trouble with tire wobble will be experienced if these tires are installed as you have been accustomed to installing the smaller drop center tires.


The Murphy Oil Soap can be purchased from any auto parts house, or may be obtained direct from the Phoenix Oil Company of Cleveland, Ohio.


Another hint which will help in installing the larger tires is to make up a tube about 4 inches long. This tube can be made of 3/8″ stock, and one end should be tapped out to 5/16 x 32 thread.

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