For those of you who are considering doing your own tire changes, here is a review of a couple of tools I have recently purchased. I have no connection to the companies involved, I just think they are good tools and help get the job done.
To start with, if you are going to change your own tires, you need these tire irons:http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0007/
They are a copy of the Michelin design from a very long time ago. If you can ever get the real Michelin ones, do. Expect to pay about a hundred dollars each for the Michelin ones, if they don't have Michelin cast into them they aren't real. The copies are usually about $15 each.
You will need an axle and cones to balance your tire on, I recommend this one:
Marc was very easy to deal with and quite accommodating when I asked for a slightly longer axle to fit my balance stand. His product comes with two bearing blocks that you can use on a couple of auto axle stands, chairs or any two items of equal height. It is a good set up for anyone changing tires at the track because it takes up very little room and is very easy to use. If you have weird wheels (like my mom's 848 EVO) he has specific cones available. I rebalanced my rear wheel on this set up yesterday and it was smooth as butter. Buy one now while the dollar is good.
I also bought a balance stand, this one:
It has a few really good features: it can be self-leveled so it doesn't matter how crooked your work bench is, it has an index rod so you can true spoke wheels and the stanchions can be set at two different widths if you have very wide or narrow wheels. The stand is very sturdy and has nice, replaceable bearings to support the axle. At $70 it's a great deal, another thing you should buy while the dollar is good.
Both of these tools can be had for reasonable prices, and since most of you are close enough to the border you can run down and pick them up at a po box or something, saving $20 to $30 on shipping for each item.
If anyone is interested in a thread with pictures on changing and balancing their own tires, let me know and I can take some pictures next time I have to change one.