MXA TEAM TESTED: KAURITMOTO TMT3 & 4 TIRE-CHANGING TOOLS
Click on images to enlarge
WHAT IS IT? An incredibly efficient, European-made tire-changing tool that takes the work, pinched tubes and rim dings out of changing flats or mounting new tires.
WHAT’S IT COST? $574.95 (TMT4), $329.95 (TMT3). Price varies with euro-versus-dollar exchange rate.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Kauritmoto TMT3 and TMT4 tire-changing tools.
(1) Differences. The more expensive TMT4 has the ability to change tires as small as 10 inches and as large as 21 inches, while the TMT3 only handles 18-, 19- and 21-inch tires. The TMT4 has more features and thus weighs more than its lighter and smaller brother, the TMT3. The TMT4 is the perfect tire-changing tool for a bike shop, while the TMT3 is better suited to the local racer. The price difference and the high price tag, justified by the quality of the design, mean that you need to change a lot of tires to get your money back. Equally confounding is that there is no American distributor for the Kauritmoto tire-changing tools. Instead, you have to order from Kauritmoto’s website and pay the shipping from Europe. They accept bank wires and Paypal.
(2) Learning curve. The MXA wrecking crew always has one test rider who is a whiz at changing tires at the track. Using little more than two tire irons and a Bead Buddy, he changes tires in minutes with nary a pinched tube in sight. In order to test the TMT3 and TMT4, we forced him to only change tires with the Kauritmoto tire-changing stands. At first he complained that he could change tires faster his way than with the fancy Kauritmoto tool. But, after the first five tires, he began to get the hang of how best to utilize the TMT3’s and TMT4’s unique features. By the sixth tire, he was sold on how efficient the tool was. Surprisingly, he preferred the less-expensive TMT3 over the bells and whistles of the TMT4. It was lighter, folded up smaller and was a breeze to set up. Kauritmoto has easy-to-follow YouTube videos on their website to shorten the learning curve.
(3) Technique. The TMT3 and TMT4 have two incredible features. First, the arch-shaped pusher bar is foot-pedal-operated. It can be used to break the bead, hold the bead in place when prying the tire on and has a reverse feature that allows the foot pedal to push an old tire off the rim from below (once the top bead is broken). Second, the ratcheting bead pusher is a tube-saver. Instead of using tire irons to pry the tire onto the rim, Kauritmoto uses a gear-driven bead pusher. One end sets against the tire’s bead, while the operator pumps a handle that propels the bead pusher with a ratchet drive. Instead of prying the bead on, the bead pusher pushes it on. Unfortunately, the bead pusher is an $88 option.
(4) Tire size. When changing tires the old-fashion way, we never thought much about rim size. We threw the wheel on a bucket or the tailgate and went at it. The TMT4’s tire holding ring can be adjusted to fit everything from Pee-Wee tires to Supermoto wheels to 21-inch front tires. The TMT3 only accepts normal-size dirt bike rims (no Minis).
(5) Quality. The TMT3 and TMT4 are super strong and obviously made by craftsmen who care about the life span of their products.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The high price and having to order from Europe are major hindrances.
MXA RATING: The inherent problem with building the Rolls-Royce of tire-changing tools is that it is priced out of the market for people with Volkswagens.