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2007 DL650ABS
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Discussion Starter #1


Heavily loaded and 2-up travelling south on I-75 the other week.
Picked up a nail north of Cincinnati. Managed to get to the side, unload everything and pull out the untested “string-plug” kit and compressor to repair the rear tire.
Having only read about, but never done this before, I meticulously followed the packaging directions. -Ream out puncture to clean and roughen, insert string in tool and install 2/3 of way into tire before pulling tool out and trimming the string about ¼” out from the tread. -Re-inflated the tire, re-packed the cases and we were on our way.
The plug failed after about an hour or so, so I gave it another try. A short time later, same result. :headbang:

These plugs did not come with any rubber cement to coat with as I have since seen on some versions. I think they were supposed to be sticky enough that it wasn’t needed. The kit was purchased a few years ago, maybe 6 or 7, so perhaps there is a shelf-life? -Or maybe It was just that we were loaded down enough that it was beyond the capacity of the plugs to hold.

Any suggestions on what could have been going wrong?

Oh, and for the record, Noble’s Towing out of Corinth saved us. He had a flat-bed, treated the bike with kid gloves, and got us to a hotel and a bike shop in Lexington KY where we had to get a new tire. Noble’s was absolutely wonderful and managed to turn a really unpleasant experience into something almost...well, enjoyable...
 

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I carry the sticky rope type plugs for emergency/temporary repairs. Back in '07 I had a flat down in Pennsylvania and used a sticky rope plug. It worked well and got me home. I checked the air pressure for a few days, and seemed to be holding, so I kinda forgot about it.

A week or so later, I took off for a 5 day tour down to the Blue Ridge Pkwy and Deal's Gap. After a nice scenic trip down, I decided to slab it home. After doing about 85-90mph steady on I75 for hours on end, the plug let go. I figure the heat caused the adhesive to give. I actually found the plug rolled up like a ball of gum hanging off the side of the tire.

I plugged it again, slowed my speed and made it home. Soon after I had the tire dismounted and mushroom patch/plugged from the inside.

I have used different types of plugs, mostly in car tires, but have found if the hole is reamed too much, the plug won't hold well. I think though, heat is it's worst enemy.

I'll only used plugs installed from the outside for temporary repairs now.

You said you were loaded and 2-up. I think tire heat may have contributed to it failing.

 

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Rob,

Glad you are okay!

I've fixed three flats in my bike and had one fixed on my Boxster with no issues. Either you made the hole too big or the "strings" had lost their stickiness. The only thing I did that you didn't was to light the end with a lighter and burn it down (after all the installation that is.). I also put them in as far as I reasonably could.

..Tom
 

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I like the string type the best. Checkout the one on the Cruiserworks.com site. They are put together by a guy in the midwest mostly for tractors. He made some bike specific ones up for us. One too many times using the $5.00 ones and having the glue dried up, so I hunted up some really good kits
 

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That's the Nealy kit. It worked for a year for me.
 

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I will try to get fresh plug string annually its only like $3

There is a limit to the size and whether there is some tearing
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys.
It may have been a combination of all of these suggestions.
I didn't ream the puncture out excessively. Just a couple of strokes in with the tool. But "Better Half" thought that it looked too easy, as she said she had watched a mechanic plug a car tire and it was very tight and difficult to pull the insertion tool out for them. For me, it pulled back out fairly easily.
Heat makes sense too in that it would allow the adhesive to release. After the first plug went in, we took secondary roads into Cincinnati and had lunch. It wasn't until I thought I had some confidence in the fix that we hit the highway again, and of course, that's when it let go. 2nd fix was straight back on the highway and that one sure didn't last long.

Like 2tall, we were headed to Deal's Gap and came back up the Blue Ridege Parkway for a ways. I knew better than to tackle the rest of the trip on a dodgy tire, so a lay-over in Lexington while a new tire was procured was going to be necessary regardless.

I must say I am a little disappointed in the whole thing after reading many testimonials here and elsewhere about how well the string-plugs can last. -Of course age, (the strings!), and quality might have been an issue as well. I normally know better than to purchase anything that has to perform to any kind of standard from Canadian Tire. -Threw caution to the wind that time...Lesson(s) learned...Maybe that Nealy one is up to the job.

Cheers all.
 

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Twice now I have repaired a fairly new rear tire, (New tires are nail magnets) with the string type plugs and rode them till the end of their tread life approximately 10K miles later. One was a Battlewing the other a BT-023.
 

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Definitely use newish strings, plenty of rubber cement, and give the glue time to set up before riding on it. When loaded down and/or in hot weather keep your speed down.
I've used the strings a couple of times, no issues. But I do replace the tire as soon as is practical.
 

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Maybe what holed your tire was big or blunt and made a big hole

A nail will not remove material just split it so the plug does not really have to hold just seal
 

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You really need to wedge the things in, and give a 1/4 turn before pulling the tool back out, I always have to fight to get the plug in, in your case, either too large a hole to start with or excessive reaming.

Fixed 1/2 dozen or so flats with them so far and none have failed.

Also some tires - Metzler Tourance is one, are made in a way that chews through the plug.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Also some tires - Metzler Tourance is one, are made in a way that chews through the plug.
Really? Something to do with the steel in there?
That was indeed the tire that I had.

Its a Michelin Anakee now, so hopefully with a new kit and a bit of luck, there won't be any issues in case of another puncture.
 

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You really need to wedge the things in, and give a 1/4 turn before pulling the tool back out, I always have to fight to get the plug in, in your case, either too large a hole to start with or excessive reaming.

Fixed 1/2 dozen or so flats with them so far and none have failed.

Also some tires - Metzler Tourance is one, are made in a way that chews through the plug.

Pete
I always have extra glue, using it liberally when inserting the plug lubes it up and makes the insertion much easier

like you, I have never had a plug fail, new tires ARE nail magnets although I get nowhere near as many flats with my Vee as I did my SV650, now that I think of it, I ain't had one on the Vee yet, but 10s of thousands of miles on plugged tires

I've also plugged some large holes, one time in a tire a DodgeRam w snowplow, I plugged a tear in the sidewall of a front tire, took 4 plugs to stop the leak, the truck was only a yard buggy, never saw street use but did get abused in the woods as a log skidder, and other general tractor use in rough uneven terrain, for more than 10 years, that tire held air even with the untrimmed whiskers stickin out of the sidewall

once I had to replace a bike tire, the plug never failed, but after a couple days a broken cord from the puncture became apparent, the tire developed a bubble



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You really need to wedge the things in, and give a 1/4 turn before pulling the tool back out, I always have to fight to get the plug in, in your case, either too large a hole to start with or excessive reaming.

Fixed 1/2 dozen or so flats with them so far and none have failed.

Also some tires - Metzler Tourance is one, are made in a way that chews through the plug.

Pete
My three bike flats have been on Tourances and I had no problem fixing the flats with the strings.

..Tom
 

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If you can easily insert he plug, twist and jerk the tool out fairly easy, you need to add another plug (or 2 or 3 or 4!). When you get to the point that the plug is tough to get in and pulling the tool out takes a dramatic hard and fast jerk with your whole body.... your set. I've jammed 4 plugs into a hole before, actually that tire is on my Rhino, a set of radial ATV tires, and that plug job was done 3 years ago and is still good. I've plugged many tires for personal use and also many back in the 90's when I worked at the Sears Auto Center. Never had a tightly packed rope plug come out. I've never tried to do it dry though, the glue is also a lube for getting them into a tight hole. I always have used the T-Handle style tools, both reamer and insertion tool. I ream them until the reamer is loosening up and then start jamming plugs in.

The twist before the jerk is important because it forms a gooey ball of roap on the ID of the tire. When you jerk the tool, you slam that gooey ball up into the inner tire carcass and it really should not be able to be pulled out. I twist closer to a full turn.
 

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Rob, Sounds like an additional bit of adventure you would have rather done without. Glad it was that mild an inconvenience though. Could have been a much worse experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sounds like an additional bit of adventure you would have rather done without.
Let's just say that I never really understood about the "pucker factor" until I started wallowing around on the highway with wifey on the back and transport trucks all around us!
Of course if the entire trip had been trouble-free, the whole thing might just fade from memory in a few months. Since we survived unscathed, its nice to have something to remember...

-And thanks for all of the advice to everyone. I certainly won't be forgetting any of it if we need to repair a puncture again!
 
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