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Car Tyre Changer vs Motorcycle Tyre Changer: A Comparison

Choosing the right tyre changer for your garage or MOT Bay can often seem daunting, especially when you work on both cars and motorcycles, and many tyre changers are advertised just for car tyre changing or only as motorcycle tyre changers.

In reviewing the differences between the two types of tyre-changing machines, we noticed that it’s often overlooked that plenty of car tyre changers can perform optimally well for motorbikes also when they are fitted with an appropriate tyre changer motorcycle adaptor to accommodate the smaller wheel size.

Understanding the Basics of Tyre Changers

Before we look at the differences between car and motorcycle tyre changers, let’s first check our understanding of what a tyre changer machine is, and what it does.

A tyre-changing machine is used in garages, and by tyre fitters to dismount or mount tyres onto wheel rims, whether this be to mount new tyres, or repaired tyres or valves.

Key factors when choosing a tyre changer are

  • Ease of operation
  • Speed
  • Safety
  • Capability
  • Cost

Car Tyre Changer: Features and Functionality

Car tyre changers are specifically designed to handle car or van wheel sizes, generally ranging from 20 to 26 inches in diameter. They are robust, with automatic and semi-automatic versions available, and are equipped to handle a variety of tasks – from the basic wheel-clamp style tyre changers to the more advanced, leverless technology. These tyre changers also can handle a variety of rims including alloy, steel, performance and low-profile rims without causing any damage. Out of the box most can’t usually handle smaller motorcycle tyre changing, nor can they deal with larger commercial or HGV tyre changing.


Car tyre changers are generally very powerful compared to a motorcycle tyre machine, due to the larger car wheel diameters and tyre types.


They have a larger wheel capacity in terms of the wheel and tyre size they can process, which would be those found on cars, and small to medium-sized vans.


Typically, car tyre changers come with advanced features such as tilt-back towers, 3 point arms, bead breakers even to the extent of integrated wheel lifts on some more advanced machines.

Motorcycle Tyre Changer: An Overview

Motorcycle tyre changers, as the name suggests, are designed specifically for motorcycles’ tyre sizes, usually 15-21 inches in diameter. They are smaller, lighter, and easier to manipulate than their car counterparts due to the smaller size and weight of motorcycle tyres. These tyre machines tend to have 4 raised jaws to accommodate the depth of motorcycle wheel hubs. One further difference in motorcycle tyre changers is that they tend to have a smaller bead breaker to accommodate the smaller wheel sizes.


Motorcycle tyre changers are often more compact, designed to cater to smaller wheel diameters.


While they may not necessarily have the size or power of car tyre changers, motorcycle tyre changers are no less efficient. Built for precision, they ensure safety and efficiency when dealing with smaller rims and tyre sizes.


These machines are typically designed with a vertical press arm to manage the smaller diameter tyres.

Adaptability of Car Tyre Changers with Motorcycle Adaptor

One advantage of car tyre changers is their adaptability for motorcycle wheels when fitted with a suitable tyre changer motorcycle adaptor. The adaptor simply reduces the turntable size to fit the smaller motorcycle wheels and gives the raised jaws needed to fit the motorcycle hubs. Some will also offer a changeable demount head (also known as a duck) so this can be swapped out for a smaller head for motorcycle tyre changing. This can be highly beneficial for garages that offer tyre service for both cars and motorcycles and want to leverage their existing equipment.


This adaptability makes car tyre changers a dual-purpose tool, increasing versatility and offering cost-saving benefits.

Saves Space

Having one machine capable of serving two purposes reduces the need for additional equipment. For smaller workshops, where space might be at a premium, this adaptability is a clear advantage.

Size Does Matter, but Adaptability Wins the Game

While the fundamentals of tyre changing remain the same, differences in wheel sizes and tyre types mean you need the right tools for efficient and effective tyre mounting and dismounting. That said, the ability to utilise a car tyre changer for motorcycle wheels with an adaptor adds an element of convenience, versatility, and cost-effectiveness.

The driver behind the best choice lies in the specific requirements of the workshop and the types of vehicle tyres frequently serviced or replaced.

Of course, there is a distinct place for both car tyre changers and motorcycle tyre changers in garage equipment. Understanding the key differences between them allows for better decision-making when it comes to selecting the right tool for the job and providing the best service to your customers.

Specialists in Tyre Changers for Cars and Motorcycles

Concept Garage Equipment staff have been working in the garage industry for decades and are experts in tyre changers for all vehicles from mopeds and motorcycles, through cars, vans and caravans up to HGVs and commercial vehicle tyre changing.

For any tyre changer information, advice or sales call us today on 0113 469 0572.