Flat tire trip? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-01-2014, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Graham WA
Posts: 504
Flat tire trip?

Made a run from Washington down to Oregon this weekend, about 200 miles each way. The night before I oiled my chain and checked the air in my tires, in the process forgot to put the valve stem cap back on the rear tire. The rain and wind on the trip were pretty bad... I am sure that many people on I-5 and I-205 thought I was a fool. The weather was bad but the roads were fairly straight no tight twisties at all. I did notice that I got really bad gas mileage on this trip around 35 mpg.

When I rode to work on Sunday there were a couple of tight curves where I felt the rear tire kicking out a little... well enough that I backed off and eased around the rest of the curve.

It wasn't till I was looking at my bike while at work later in the day that I noticed a pronounced flat spot on the rear tire, so, I took the compressor out and hooked it up... zero psi... took quite a while to fill the tire.

This is a Dunlop tire with some really stiff sidewalls, I had to use 5 ratchet straps just to mount the tire but I got to wondering if perhaps the reason my gas mileage was so bad was that the rear tire was flat for the whole trip.

Is this even possible?

2012 DL1000 Red/Black Just getting started.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-01-2014, 01:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: oregon
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I suppose anything is possible but I doubt it was stone flat for that long.
I rode a flat for about 45 miles this summer on my C14 after hitting a rock and I can guarantee you there was no doubt it was flat.
What seems more likely is that it had a slow leak and was perhaps low. I'd say you need to find the source of that leak. Personally I don't believe in repairing tires although I know some people do it.

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post #3 of 7 Old 04-01-2014, 02:10 AM
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Location: Canberra-ish, Australia
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I had the dealership replace my rear tyre a while ago. It wasn't till I saw my mpg falling that I thought to check the tyre pressure. It was down to 18psi. When I reinflated it the first thing I noticed was how much taller the bike was !

Anyway, it ended up just needing a new valve, as the one they used had been leaking slowly from the instant they installed it. I found the leak by spraying the tyre and valve with soapy water and looking for bubbles, which proved to be a very effective method. So it could just be your vavlue that went bad.

I just checked Fuelly - the slow leak was costing me more than 4 mpg as I was only getting 36-37 mpg.

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-01-2014, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southwest Virginia - West of I-77
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Originally Posted by rpatton View Post
... but I got to wondering if perhaps the reason my gas mileage was so bad was that the rear tire was flat for the whole trip.

Is this even possible?
I doubt it's possible it was flat for 400 miles but I once rode a flat Anakee 2 (?) rear for roughly 100 miles. The tire sidewalls were so stiff that I didn't notice the lack of pressure while riding - only when I was rolling it into and out of my garage. 100 miles with no pressure pretty much finished wearing out that tire (it was near worn out before this). Riding flat took the tread off from one edge of the tread to the other. By looking at my tire there was no doubt it had been ridden flat for some time.

2007 Wee. Blue. Bought at 5K miles. Sold at 32K+ miles. Gone but not forgotten.

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post #5 of 7 Old 04-01-2014, 10:03 AM
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Location: Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
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Speed plus headwind can make for lousy mileage.

I have repaired 5 flats on my Stroms, plus one on my old Porsche and it a few cases rode over 10,000 miles (and drove over 15,000 miles) with the plug in the tire.

No reason to waste money on a new tire if the tire is plugable.


2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
SMIDSY detailed report.

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post #6 of 7 Old 04-01-2014, 06:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: sacramento river delta
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I got home after a ride turned to look at my machine, noticed my rear tire was low,checked it only had 5 psi? didn,t even feel anything wrong.

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01 Triumph TT600, 98 MG Ev1100, 02 MG Lemans V11,14 kawi klx250s, all sold except 2012 Suzuki Dl1000
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-01-2014, 07:56 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ottawa Ontario Canada
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Originally Posted by v2rider View Post
I got home after a ride turned to look at my machine, noticed my rear tire was low,checked it only had 5 psi? didn,t even feel anything wrong.
Yes, I've done similar.

Eighty kilometers on the highway at 120 Kph and the bike feeling a bit twitchy. Very windy. Telling myself I really do need a fork brace.

Take the off ramp and the back end of the bike kicks out. Pucker my way around the bend. Pull over to the gas station just past the ramp. Zero psi or thereabouts.

There's more to the story, but I don't want you people to think me stoopid.

Marc, rider of a black 2009 V-Strom 650A ABS

"To the Companion who knows how to go light and fare hard, who is friendly with the rain, and finds no road too long." William Blake in "Brown Waters and other Sketches", Malbaie, May, 1915.
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