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  #1  
Old 12-12-2012, 03:26 AM
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Default A Very Tyreing Evening

So on my way to work yesterday I heard a bit of a bang and figured I had just blown my throttle boot off the throttle bodies (which is one particular Vee nuance I had yet to enjoy). The bike continued to run fine so I thought nothing of it.

Got on the bike after a hard day at the office, ready to head home and I feel the steering is all wrong. I hop off and notice that my rear tyre has completely deflated. This doesn't come as a surprise because I have had a slow leak for about 4 months now and I figure that whatever the problem area was had just suffered catostrophic failure. Serves me right for not fixing it earlier.

So I rotate the tyre to give it a once over and what do I spy but a metallic round protrusion in the tyre. Suddenly the "pop" sound I heard earlier in the day makes sense.

I have no experience in tyre repair and I don't have anything on me at the time. However, I did recall seeing a tyre repair kit in Big W (Aussie version of "Wallmart", I guess) and it is not to far to walk, so off I go. I get to Big W, find the tyre repair kit ($8 ), a pair of Vice Grips ($22, but I've always wanted a pair so...) and the cheapest foot pump I can find ($10).

I walk all the way back to the bike and grip the metallic object and give it a pull. Out comes a 1/4" drill bit, about 1.5" long and I shake my head in disgust, saying "this would never have happened on a Wee!". I open up the tyre repair kit and have a quick read through the instructions. The last part of the instructions says "Cut off excess rubber strip as close to tyre as possible". There is no blade included in the kit.

So off I go back to Big W again to buy a box cutter. I can't find any in the DIY section so I ask a staff member. He drags me off to the craft section but to no avail. He disappears for 5 minutes then returns with the manager who has a look around before saying that they obviously don't stock anything like the implement I need. Presumably, this is because they can no longer assume that Joe 12-pack can be expected to be responsible enough to avoid accidentally decapitating himself and they don't want the legal liability. Either that or children who live in homes that are inexplicably bereft of knives are buying Big W's blades with which to murder each other.

So I head off to the kitchen section where, fortunately, sharp implements are presently still allowed and buy myself a steak knife. By now I am sweating like a pig, still wearing my office costume plus biker jacket on a warm afternoon. Trudge off back to my bike trying valiantly to ignore the swamp of sweat that is developing in the crotch of my underwear and after working for several minutes I actually manage to finish the repair. The repair kit instructions say nothing about maximum speed limits or how long to wait for the glue to dry so I head off home immediately and try to stay below 80km/h. I wasn't sure how well my repair was going to hold up so I was suffering significant stress during the ride but the longer I went the more confident I felt.

I got home safely but arranged to replace the tyre the following day (today). I had a look at the old tyre after the dealership had removed it to see how my repair looked from the inside and I was pleasantly surprised. There was a good amount of rubber on the inside, despite me being able to only cram 1/4 of the length of the rubber strip into the tyre, rather than the specified 1/2 length.

I had to get the tyre replaced today so I was basically stuck with getting whatever the dealership had in stock (which was not a lot). He had one which had the word "Tourance" on it and I said to myself "I've seen that word on stromtrooper.com" so I said "I'll have that one!". It turns out that it was in fact a Tourance EXP, which gives superior grip (which I don't really need) at the expense of shorter life (which I don't want). Anyway, if it lasts 10,000km it will do, but it really brought home to me the fact that I have to learn to do my own tyre replacements. The tyre alone was $269 (yeah, that's what tyres cost over here, cheaper to get one shipped from the U.S. !).

Anyway, I was pretty chuffed with myself for getting the bike back on the road, my very first puncture repair. AND I now have a repair kit for next time !

While I'm on the subject, what is the general view about riding on a repaired tyre long-term? I needed to replace the tyre anyway so it was a non-issue, but is it safe to just keep riding a repaired tyre?

Wow, that's quite a wall of text eh? That's what happens when you can type faster than you can speak
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2012, 03:33 AM
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The most likely failure is a slower leak than you had with the original puncture - and you coped with that.

Personally I ride with plugged tyres to end of life.

But then, I seldom ride much above the legal limit. If you have a high speed commute I'd suggest at least having a professional patch put in.


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Old 12-12-2012, 06:36 AM
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I ran an old R1100RT for quite some time with a plugged tire. If the bike sat more than about three days it would go totally flat as it leaked a bit. Oddly enough in airing the tire back up every so often with my trusty old tank compressor, I ended up with fluid leaking from the tire itself. I forgot I hadn't drained the moisture off the comp lately (ya know within like two years) and in not doing so was adding some H2o everytime I inflated. Then one day after working on something on the front of the bike I decided to air up the rear and get ready to take a test ride. I let it run for a minute, come back and I see fluid running down the tire. My first thought was how the hell is fluid leaking from the tail of the bike- and furthermore what the hell is up in the tail thatt comtains fluid in the first place. A tire rotation and glance later I was laughing at my leaky plug. On another occasion I ran the bike and shut it off one afternoon, parked in the garage and called it a night. Next day when I come home I walk in my house, tell she who must be obeyed that I'm tired from work and just want to go piddle in the shop. Walk out and step into the Garage and lord and behold the entire floor (Esp under my bike- again the R1100RT) is one thick glossy puddly of black oil. My wife comes out and I tell her in a crazy giggly manner that the bike has suffered catostrophic failure of some sort. Upon further inspection, I found that due to my own stupidity, after transferring used oil from little jugs to a big on, that when I moved the big one I sat it down on an uneaven surface (stack of old 2x4 cut offs) and that when some tree cutters removed a mamoth tree a few feet from the Garage while I was at work they rattled things enough to cause my stack to collapse and tip the blasted Bucket of old oil. So, I spent the tired afternoon that I wanted to relax and piddle with, just cleaning old freaking oil up. On the plus side, the bike was on the center stand so the tires were still clean and the bike wasn't broken. Moral to the story: Always expect some crazy pain in your a-s event to come up when you're tired and ready to call it a day
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2012, 09:55 AM
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I've used tires patched with sticky string plugs until the end of their natural life span with no problems -- even on a porky Goldwing. A simple nail or drill bit hole is insufficient reason to replace an otherwise serviceable tire. Just MHO.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:16 AM
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Some years ago I needed a tire in Oklahoma City. The dealer had the Metzler ME88 I wanted but it $184 plus $50 mount and balance. I found a little private shop and got a front and rear Avon set mounted and bablanced for the same price. Profits for some sure cause a level of grief for consumers.
I did have a Plug and Go fail after a few hundred miles. Worms didn't work after that either. At least it got me from Red Lodge Mt to Pocatello Id. Dang that was a new tire too!
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:19 AM
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I plugged a rear tire with the gummy string and it lasted for a year. At that time it was leaking slowly through the string. I tried removing the string and used new gummy string, then two gummy strings together and couldn't get the leak stopped. New tire time.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:11 AM
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Strangedog, I LOVED your story. Wish it hadn't come at some expense and trouble to you but it did entertain! I run the plugs in my tires when necessary, don't want to start that argument here. But it gave me good background as I was picturing you in my mind going thru the details. For what its worth I have run these plugs without cuttin off the bit left on the outside.

There are a couple of deeper subjects in the story too.....like being protected from ourselves. Too much liability in selling box cutters to the public! And I should say that as much as I complain about certain high costs of things here in the states, others sure would like to have the advantages we have. I am thankful for that.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:15 AM
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I would ride until wore out, but I don't think I'd start a long multi state tour with it.

Another thread on the subject: http://www.stromtrooper.com/dl650-20...h-replace.html in the Wee section.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:49 AM
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Great story strange dog, thought I was the only one with luck like that. They say these challenges improves your character, boy do I have character. By the way, they make "safety" box cutters, I have them at work. You can't even open a box, on the first try with them. Soon as it hits some resistance, bing, the blade pops back inside. What a crazy world we live in, don't even get me started on Al Gore's Nobel prize.....think I'll go burn some fossel fuel/moonshine. And why do we want to waste perfectly good moonshine, on gasoline, oh the humanity....
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:16 PM
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Cute story.

I plugged a buddies rear Tourance a few years ago with gummies to get us home. It never leaked once from Florida to Kentucky with him worrying it at every gas stop. When home he had the tire removed and replaced and gave the "junk" tire to me. Since it was off, I yanked the plug and repaired it proper off the bike from the inside, then remounted it on SuperVee and ran it the rest of its 11,000 mile life.

We (same friend) were in the Smokies when he had another flat and I still had his "junk" Tourance gracing the back of my bike. This time he let me plug it again and its still on his bike.

Mine currently is running an Anakee that for some darn reason took me three tries to fix. All cheating and doing it from the outside. It has been leak free from 2,000 miles or so to present and I am near the wear bars.

If its a round hole and in the tread....I will put a 60 second repair in it every time. Let the plug cure for a few minutes...maybe over lunch, then keep right on hammering....home, the next county, or across the country.
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