April 5, 2008 at 9:40 pm #1263
Man, today sucked!
I was riding to work today cruising in the fast lane when all the sudden my bike started to feel sluggish. I wasn’t sure if it was the road, or my bike, so I swerved a little to the left and to the right to check my bikes agility. Needless to say I figured out it was the bike since it was super hard to move from side to side. At about that time the whole bike started to vibrate a lot more than usual so I pulled over to the side of the road and got off the bike to check my tires.
The front one was fine, but the rear tire was completely flat!!!
I was pretty bummed because just yesterday I had a friend come over to look at my tires to see if they were ‘worn out’, and he told me that I definitely needed to change them. I had really wanted to try some continental road attack tires because I have heard such good things and I actually talked to a guy at Santa Clara Cycle to see if he could order me some. Unfortunately I wasn’t planning on ordering them until this friday (yay payday!), but I guess my tires just couldn’t hold out that long and so I was forced to get some tires today.
Right now I”m rocking some bridgestone sport touring tires and they already feel a whole like stickier than my old tires. I guess thats not surprising since I discovered yesterday my old tires were 6 years old!!! I’ve never had a flat on a motorcycle before and it wasn’t nearly as scarey as I thought it might be, although I bet if I got a front flat it would have been a little worse.
Maybe I’ll wash my rims and try and take some pics of my brand spankin’ new tires soon and post them online in all their glory!
BenApril 5, 2008 at 11:34 pm #5473AnonymousGuest
Yep, I ride into San Francisco from the East Bay Monday to Friday and it happens occasionally (twice in the one-year I’ve been commuting in my case). Back tire punctures aren’t too bad (depending on traffic conditions), but front tire punctures can be lethal. That’s a good reason, if anyone needs another, not to exceed the speed limits (yes, I know, and I’m no saint either).
I carry a cheap Leatherman type tool (pliers) to pull out the puncturing nail, “Slime” (as I have wire-spoked wheels and tubed tires) and CO2 inflator tubes; these may or may not get you home. One time the Slime plugged the hole and got me home and another time it didn’t (depends on the size of the puncture hole). You shouldn’t run the tires with Slime full time; just as a *temporary* repair. If you’ve got tubeless tires, you can use tire plugs to get you home.
I also have AMA Motow towing insurance as a backup, but who wants to hang around on the side of the road for an hour or so if you can get home under your own steam.
I read somewhere that something like 90% of tire failures happen in the last 10% of tire tread depth. That said though, one of the times I picked-up a nail, my Metzeler Lasertec was about two weeks old (go figure…).April 6, 2008 at 3:59 pm #5486
Tire plugs huh? I have no idea how to use those haha. The only time I’ve patched a tire was a bicycle tube tire, and that was very involved (remove tube from tire, soaking the tube in soap and water to find the hole, patching it up, etc…). Is it the same way with a motorcycle tire? I know that my tires are tubless, so does that mean I can just slap a patch on the outside? Or does it have to go on the inside of the tire?
If it goes on the inside…. how the hell do you do that? haha.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles AdminApril 6, 2008 at 6:39 pm #5489AnonymousGuest
For “get you home”, repairs to tubeless tires, there are different types of tire plugs. Some are rubber mushrooms and some are long sticky stringy things. Here’s a nice pictorial of how to use the long sticky stringy tire plugs. It shows a truck or ATV tire being repaired by the looks of it, but the principle is exactly the same for motorcycle tires:
I DON’T AGREE with them that this should be considered a permanent repair though (might be okay for ATVs(?) but not for motorycles). Any tire repair kit you buy will probably come with instructions for use. Remember that you’ll also need something to pull-out / dig-out the nail or whatever and some type of inflation device (CO2 cartridges, mini foot-pump or mini electric pump, etc). Something to clean your hands afterwards is good too!
Tube-type tire inner-tubes can be patched just like a bicycle if you know how to get the wheel off and on safely, but I’d just put a new tube in for safety’s sake; better yet, have a dealer make any permanent repairs to your tires. Any motorcycle dealer should be able to repair tires.
Tubeless tires *can* be internally plugged, patched or a combination of both, but often dealers will suggest replacement of the tire for safety’s sake. Sure, it’s a lot of money to replace a tire, but it’s potentially your life we’re talking about.
Any puncture in the sidewall means a new tire, it’s not repairable.
Be sure you know if your tires are tubed or tubeless though before attempting any repair. My (non-stock but optional for my bike) Metzeler tires say “tubeless” on the sidewall, but I’m running them with tubes. Generally speaking, if you have wire-spoked wheels, then you will have tires with tubes in them (where the spokes terminate at the wheel rim can’t be made airtight so tubeless tires won’t work). Alternatively, if you have alloy wheels, then chances are that you have tubeless tires. Use the RYFM method (Read Your Flippin’ Manual) to find out for sure.
Here’s another link with some great motorcycle tire related topics.
The above should be regarded as informal advice only and I can’t guarantee that the hyperlinks will be there in perpetuity.
You are responsible for your own safety.April 6, 2008 at 8:08 pm #5491
Yeah I probably wouldn’t consider using a tire plug unless I was out in the middle of no where. I’ll have to buy a kit just in case for when I take my trip from san jose california to reno nevada this summer.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles Admin
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