Eastbound Tire Repair Kits Review: Light and Effective

Based in The Netherlands, Eastbound is known for its compact, carry-along tool kits for servicing motorcycle wheels and repairing tires. The Eastbound Tyre Repair Kit consists of universal tire spoons and a unique fulcrum for bead-breaking. The Wheel Service Kit is a model-specific set of tools for removing axles and associated pinch bolts.

Eastbound Tire Repair Kits Review: How To

I discovered Eastbound when reviewing the company’s MotoWinch about a year ago. Noel De Pietro is the innovator behind the ultra-light repair tools, and I needed his help again.

The Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike has gained 130 pounds over the stock weight, so it needs to go on a diet. The Eastbound Wheel Service and Tyre Repair Kits weigh 23.4 ounces—a savings of two pounds compared to the tools I had been using for the same function. Weight-saving is an added bonus, as the Eastbound tools are worth carrying even if they weighed more.

The Tyre Repair Extension Kit (€66, non-EU customers) works as a companion to the Yamaha Ténéré 700 Wheel Service Kit (€65), the latter of which gets the wheel off the bike. An alternative is to purchase the Tyre-Pro Base (€83). Though it still lacks tools in the Ténéré-specific kit, it includes two additional tire spoon extensions.

Eastbound Tire Repair Kits Review: Prices

The Heidenau K60 Scout tires on the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike have the stiffest sidewalls of any ADV tire I have had the pleasure of spooning. They are so difficult to spoon off that I converted my Ténéré wheels to tubeless so that I would have a 99.9 percent chance (approximation) of only needing to plug a hole, rather than have to break the Heidenau’s bead and spoon it off the rim on the trail. As it is the current ADV tire I am running on the Ténéré, I used the rear tire to test the bead breaker functionality of the Eastbound Tire Repair Kit.

My first attempt at breaking the bead using brute force rather than proper technique ended in frustration, and I nearly contracted tennis elbow in the process. I even tried C-clamps to no avail. I asked Noel at Eastbound for guidance, and he enlightened me with the proper technique.

Warning: Do not try to break the bead this way.

On a stiff-wall tire, open the bead about 3/16-inch all the way around. Hold it open with the Eastbound Wheel Wedge (€20), the sides of open-end wrenches, or whatever you have handy to hold the lip down. With that accomplished, go around again and widen the gap; repeat the process until it gives. It took me two hours, but I got the bead to finally let go.

The spoon levers and the leverage from the fulcrum are sufficient for a normal human to operate. The time it takes will depend on how vulcanized your bead is to your rim. The spoons are well-shaped and have the proper angle to hold under the rim. If you are working around a tube, you always need to be careful, but using these spoons and proper technique, you should avoid a pinch during re-assembly. I proved that the Eastbound bead breaker works and does not require superhuman strength if you use the proper technique.

Attempts to shortcut the correct method will not work. The levers won’t bend, and even with all my strength applied—Eastbound does not recommend this method—the bead didn’t give.

The Eastwood Wheel Service Kit consists of a low profile 27mm socket (for the rear axle), a machined 19mm hex axle drive head (for the front axle) that has a removable 3/8-inch square drive insert, 10mm and 12mm sockets (for the pinch bolts and brake assembly), and the two pieces of the assemble-yourself 9.5-inch handle. The kit fits in a zippered, heavy canvas 4-by-6.5-inch pouch.

Although the rear axle nut on the Ténéré 700 can be tight, the long arm has enough leverage to break it free. The only tools required to finish removing the rear tire are 10mm and 12mm open-end wrenches for the chain adjusters. Eastbound offers a lightweight 10mm and 12mm open-end combination wrench for €6 if you want to complete the set. Riders of Austrian bikes will want the 11mm/13mm version.

Eastbound has 14 motorcycle-specific Wheel Service Kits, plus individual tools to make up a kit if yours isn’t on the list. All the handle-set male ends have a rubber o-ring to keep the assembly tight. Even if your o-ring wears out or somehow breaks, the assembled handles still work. The Eastbound Tyre Repair kit comes with extra o-rings, should they be needed.

Not everyone is willing to do trail-side repairs, and many riders do not know how to fix a flat without calling a tow truck. However, I feel these skills are necessary in the off-the-grid areas where adventure bikes are meant to go. Even if you don’t know how to save your own skin, someone in your group or riding by might have the needed skills. If you have the right tools, then you or your Good Samaritan can get you back up and riding. I have used my tools and wrenching experience many more times to help others than to help myself. The Eastbound tire tool kits pack small and weigh hardly anything. The tools can make the difference between spending the night in the forest waiting for a rescue or hiking out in motorcycle boots, and riding out proudly on your trusty steed.