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$tromtrooper
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, of course, that warm glow of satisfaction of having changed my own rear tire was short lived (http://11109.rapidforum.com/topic=104167027372). 1600 miles on the new rubber and the prescience of my own words in the above post, "Probably tomorrow I will let out the air and add a dose of Ride-On, since all of my new tires quickly pick up the odd nail, screw, or staple." is confirmed. I had a flat today despite having dumped $15 of Ride-On in each of my two tires.

It happened near the end of my regular ride through south Georgia, that translates to "as far from home as possible." I turned down a remote byway that ends in a scenic area where I usually turn around. I slow to count nine deer in a herd crossing the road just ahead and notice the steering becomes very heavy. I am thinking the front tire may be flat so at my turnaround I check. The front is fine, but the rear looks odd and a kick evokes the dull thump of airless rubber. I inspect the tire and see a bit of glimmer. Scraping lightly with my fingernail, a shard of glass no bigger than 1/4 the size of my little finger nail falls out. Not sure if that's the problem, but I take note of its location.

I stand up to ponder my problem, and, much to my surprise, I notice a local walking along a nearby fence. "Greetings and salutations, good Sir! Might you have some type of air pump." I cry, and he responds with a extensive discourse on the nature of public property (where I am standing) and private property (where he is standing). As he begins to expound on the role of the fence between us as the demarcation of public and private, his dog walks over to my bike and pisses on it - well, it is called a "Wee." I am then informed of the varied array of vehicles owned by the good gentleman, and I think I begin to hear the haunting strains of banjo music echoing through the pines. For some reason, I wonder if Ned Beatty is still alive. Finally, he says "Wait here. I'll bring my tank."

As I wait, I call my wife and tell her of my predicament. I doubt she could find me, but I say if the air doesn't work, I may have to call AAA. As my uncharged phone dies, I hear her say "I've been meaning to talk to you about that AAA renewal..." then silence. My heart sinks.

The man returns with a compressed air tank, and we manage to put forty pounds into the tire, but I can feel the cool swoosh of air on my face from the spot where the little piece of glass fell out. The tire is, again, completely flat by the time we recoil the air hose. My new friend tells me there is a country store a few miles up the road that has air and fix-a-flat. He invites me back anytime for Sunday dinner (well, any Sunday, I suppose). I might take him up on that.

With no other recourse, I mount the bike and take off slowly on the flat tire. Along my previous route, I must slow even further to allow a flock of fourteen turkeys to cross the road. They seem to laugh at me.

At the country store, I get change and reinflate the tire hoping the Ride-On might have somehow activated during the ride. No such luck. I go back in the store and purchase their last can of Fix-A-Flat. Well, I try, the total charge is about $4.98, but they require a minumum of $5 to use my debit card. So, I grab a Slim Jim and Cheese combo pack, enter my PIN, and head back out to the bike.

I take a break to savor the snack, only to find that it is the most foul material ever sealed in plastic. Yet for reasons I cannot explain, I eat the entire product. I sit down and read the instructions for the fix-a-flat, "...not for use in motorcycles tires ..." Argh, but who is the manufacturer to think they know how best to use their product? So I start shooting it into my tire. About half-way through the can, I pause and rotate the tire so the leaky spot is at the bottom and watch as the white sealant bubbles and froths and accumulates on the ground like shaving cream in Floyd the Barber's hand.

I start to wonder how I might find employment in my new surroundings when I notice the sealant did seem to slow a bit as it was ejaculating out onto the ground. I decide to wait a bit longer and try the rest of the can. At about the same time, I noticed the foul taste of the ancient slim jim was still on my palate and returned to the store for a cleansing Butterfinger that was quite fresh.

A second application of fix-a-flat seems to work. The tire inflates with no obvious air loss around the injury, and I head home with blinkers flashing.

One trip to Advance Auto and I have a nicely packaged little motorcycle "vulcanizing" tire plug kit, but destroy the first of the two small plugs provided before I realize the role of "cement-as-lubricant". A second trip, and I restore the kit with a new tube of lube/glue and two large, two small plugs. Later, I sent an email to amotostuff asking them to add a Slime mini compressor to my pending order for a skidplate.

A final jaunt through the countryside confirms the success of my repair.

Well, it worked out, but I have never felt as helpless as standing by an isolated road in the backwoods of Georgia with a dead phone, no AAA, and no way to plug or even inflate the damned tire. I seriously question the value of the $30 of Ride-On I dumped into my tires, but I suppose regardless of its effectiveness, this episode has reminded me to always be prepared.
 

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Mr Smoke, sorry to hear of your woe's. Change your puncture preventative to 'Ultraseal'. It's military grade and really works. Used it for years, had numerous punctures, and it has always worked everytime. It lives in the tyres all the time. Does a permanent repair. I do carry a small handpump but only to adjust tyre pressure if I pick up a passenger. Nice post by the way!:)
 

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For whatever reason, I have always felt leary of putting a product like Ride-On inside my tires. This feeling is there even AFTER many folks have given positive testimony to the product. Just "me" I guess.

The only thing I put inside my tires are Dynabeads for balancing.

I ALWAYS carry a 12v compressor, a very good tire plug kit, and a good pair of 8" tire irons. I learned the lesson of carrying these items after encountering a similar situation as yours. I have had to make tire repairs and a complete tire replacement, on the road since then; no problems, (Knock on wood!).

B.

PS: Many people think that a 12v tire compressor will not inflate a tire from a flat state. It will. I have done it several times.
 

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Great write up LordSmoke!

I had been thinking about picking up one of the Slime Mini Compressors for my jaunt to the National get together in South Dakota this summer and your experience just sealed the deal for me.

Thanks
 

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So it's possible to ride on a flat rear tire without completely destroying it?

My answer to that question comes from my two experiences of trying to do this; no.

I had half of a muffler clamp bolt imbed itself into the rear tire of a Concours I used to own. I was in Northern Maine heading for Jackman and no one was around to help. I figured that, at the very least, I could get the bike headed in the right direction and closer to "civilization".

About 2 miles into the the 35 mph, "thump-thump-thump", trip, the bolt spat itself out of the tire. At that instant, I knew I was in for....... I rode 6 more miles, riding on, what felt like, a "greased watermellon", before I shut the bike down. When I did, smoke was pouring out of the rear of the bike along with that acrid smell of burning rubber. I actually thought the bike was on fire!

When the smoke cleared, I could see that the rim of the rear wheel had cut completely through the sidewall section of the tire in several areas. The tire was toast.

The second incident was this past summer on my DL-650. I hit a baseball sized piece of basalt lying in the road. I didn't know that this had caused a sidewall "pinch puncture" until an hour and a half later when the bike started to weave badly around turns. I knew from my previous Concours experience that I had a flat.

My compressor couldn't keep up with the leak. I found someone at a campground with a larger compressor, and over inflated the rear tire to get me another 20 miles closer to a town where I felt I could get some help or repair the tire, (La Tuque, Quebec), before it went totally flat. The only help I could find, was a radial, sidewall tire patch for an automobile. I installed the patch on the inside and the outside of the tire; being very proud of myself for doing the job and thinking that I had licked my "adventure".

The problem was, the friction between the tire and the road created enough heat that it melted the glue holding the patches to the tire!! Again, I was done for and the rim chewed up the tire. I was stuck for three days in a campground until a tire could be delivered there, (and I changed it with my tire irons and 12v compressor.).

I will ride a properly plugged motorcycle tire, (I have two plugs in my front tire and one in my rear tire right now.), but I won't ride a patched tire. I don't want to use a product like Ride-On or Slime because I want to use the Dynabead balancing system inside of my tire, (Something in my gut tells me to keep "goo" out of my tires for the belief that I may have more repair options in the field without sticky stuff contaminating my attempts; or someone else's).

What makes sense is, as you ride on a deflating tire, more of the tire is coming in contact with the road; portions of the tire that were never designed for this kind of punishment, (ie, sidewalls), and more heat is being generated, causing more damage to the tire. When you do this, the tire is toast.

But, sometimes riding a bike on a flat is the only option for getting out of a given place. And, I am of a mindset that if I had to, I would ride on a rear flat as far as I could, then cut the rear tire off and ride as far as the wheel would hold out; just to get me closer to help.

B.
 

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Change your puncture preventative to 'Ultraseal'. It's military grade and really works.
I googled ultraseal, and it sounds like a great product. http://www.ultraseal.com/Pages/product.html I would still carry my gummy worm repair kit and pump, but if ultraseal might prevent a potentially dangerous flat, or having to use the repair kit, that'd be great. And doubly great if it extends the life of the tires as they suggest.

So the next questions are where do you get it, and how much does it cost? The website notes that you need to contact them in LA for distributors. Sells in gallons, so it does not look to be a retail product. Perhaps sold through tire stores?
 

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talk about perseverance, man. i have never heard of ride on, but maybe it is similar to the slime product? the green tire slime sure makes a mess of the tire. i probably won't use that stuff again.

the slime 12v compressors are awesome, however. i have one in my acura at all times. sorry to hear about the slim jim.
 

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Lord Smoke

Great story. Amazing how a problem can occur at the most distant point from home or help. I guess what makes the story even better is that we can all relate.

Fred
 

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Mr Smoke, sorry to hear of your woe's. Change your puncture preventative to 'Ultraseal'. It's military grade and really works. Used it for years, had numerous punctures, and it has always worked everytime. It lives in the tyres all the time. Does a permanent repair. I do carry a small handpump but only to adjust tyre pressure if I pick up a passenger. Nice post by the way!:)
Starfleet

The Ultra Seal really looks great. It says the military grade is for speeds less that 25 mph. The specs say it will seal a 1/4 inch bullet hole. The commercial grade is sold in 1 or 5 gallon lots. The gallon sells for around $80.00 but evidentally it takes a special pump to install. The pump is $179.

Do you use the special pump or do you have a work around?

Thanks for the tip on Ultra Seal. Sounds like the Mother of all tire sealers.

Fred
 

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6 or 7 years ago, I was riding my SV650, running late for a meeting with a client, all the time in the 30 mile ride to the meeting stop, I knew something wasn't right with my bike, but it was a high speed primary 2lane, I maintained about a 70-75mph pace, faster than traffic, but with a watchfull eye for LEOs

when I get to my destination, I hop off and walk to the back of my bike to grab my backpack that was bungeed to the rear seat, I could immediately feel heat rising from the rear tire, looking at it it looked as though I had just done a session at a track day, the tire was so hot, I couldn't touch it (Avon Azaro II) after my short meeting with my client, I get my pressure gage out ... 0 psi, this was in the day before I learned to carry flat tire gear, I rode the bike to the gas station across the street, asked them to plug it, at first they refused but after I had told them I ride 30 miles on a flat they stuck a plug in "with no guarantees" I put another 4000 miles on that tire



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tire pump

LordSmoke: your prose is an excellent treat on this Sunday morning. (stupid cat woke me up at 6 am, something about demonic possession of a cake stand)

So it's possible to ride on a flat rear tire without completely destroying it?
I'm going to have to get a compressor for my bike soon... It seems I've been lucky the last dozen or so years.


if you used the twizzler style plug, you don't need lube/cement, your hole was probably too small, make sure it's nicely reamed out, and don't twist while inserting the plug.
canadian tire sells a good one ,[electric tire pump] its called the mini man , i got mine on sale for $4 bucks . it fits easily under the seat . it plugs into a cigarette outlet so i bought one with alligator clips that conects too the battery . it even has a built in air gauge and storage area for plugs built in .
 

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Starfleet

The Ultra Seal really looks great. It says the military grade is for speeds less that 25 mph. The specs say it will seal a 1/4 inch bullet hole. The commercial grade is sold in 1 or 5 gallon lots. The gallon sells for around $80.00 but evidentally it takes a special pump to install. The pump is $179.

Do you use the special pump or do you have a work around?

Thanks for the tip on Ultra Seal. Sounds like the Mother of all tire sealers.

Fred
Fred, over this side of the pond you can buy it in retail bottles to treat two or 4 tyres. No special pump needed as the bottle has an applicator attached. It doesn't harm your valves or tyre pressure gauges or pumps either. Most motorycycle dealers sell it over here, it's the leading brand and everyone knows it works. In the military our landrovers had it in the tyres and it would seal small arms fire to sidewalls. That's how good it was. Not all our units used it but we did. US marine corp uses it too. Many of our police forces use it in their motorcycle tyres. It's a safety thing! My 'military grade' description was just to describe it against other less good products that don't always work. I use the standard retail product off the shelf. It has always worked for me and my mates. If you contact the distributors you should find they will supply in retail bottles.
 

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$tromtrooper
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks, folks, for the positive and sympathetic feedback on my story.

I probably should have done some research on what is state-of-the-art in tire plugs, but I was short on time. Advance Auto had the tinselly looking ones, but the others with the cement just seemed more "comforting" to me, and they were what came in the cool little MC/ATV kit with tiny nylon carrying case.

Of course, the pro/con of motorcycle tire plugging is just another topic for runaway vituperativeness. My Honda shop in NC would plug one in a minute, and their senior mechanic, the one in charge of maintaining the area motocop bikes and with reassuringly gray hair, said the plugs were okay and would probably outlast the tire. The local Suzuki shop, on the other hand, made me sign an improvised waiver before they would inside-patch my previous rear Michelin. Of course, tire manufacturers want you to buy a new tire if you pick up a nail - that ain't gonna happen. And even the plug manufacturers say a car tire ain't fixed until you plug and inner patch. My take is that I can't afford a new $170 tire ever few months and for my style of riding, I am much more likely to pick up another nail as to have the patch fail. If I were racing or otherwise pushing the tires to their limits, I would think better of it, but for now, I just run the plug as long as it holds.

Some have asked what a flat feels like and if you can ride on a flat tire.

Almost every time I put on a new tire, I pick up a nail or something, but, amazingly, I have found most of them at home before I went for a ride. I have had two flats on the road, and both were at the farthest point from home on my route. In the first case, I had no idea what was going on. The front end just seemed a little "heavy" and wanted to "fall over" slightly in the twisties. As I went to turn around, I stopped to check, but could find nothing wrong with the front tire. I eventually noticed the slightly bulging sides of the rear when I compressed the suspension and confirmed it was flat. This was a slow leak, so some air from the gas station and a slow, careful ride got me the forty miles home with frequent checks at stop signs. The second, reported here, was much more sudden occurring over a mile or so with, again, the front end seeming "heavier" and falling over. This was much worse than the first time, but controllable. As I report, I checked the front, then went immediately to the rear. It is odd how a flat rear is perceived as a problem with the front. Both of these were on the Wee.

As to riding on a flat, I guess that depends on the tire. With my first flat, I thought something was a bit off when I started my ride (no, I didn't check my air pressure because it was always fine). Forty miles later when I checked at the gas station, there was not enough pressure to read on a pencil gauge. Also, by the time I got home (another forty miles), there was no pressure reading, but you could hardly tell anything was wrong with the tire without taking a reading. This was a Michelin Pilot Road.

My latest adventure was on my new Michelin Pilot Road 2, and riding on it was much more uncomfortable. My impression is that I could have just continued to ride on the PR as far as needed, but was really glad the gas station was so close on the PR2.

I had the MPR plugged and patched (with signed waiver for the shop) and went on to run it for the better part of 8k miles. We'll see how the PR2 holds up.

As to the air pump, I have an affinity for post-apocalyptic technology that I can use and maybe repair even if civilization crumbles around me. Hence, I own two manual air pumps. The first is a full size bike pump I bought years ago. I works well for filling and topping off motorcycle tires, and with some perspiration can do the same for my SUV tires. Just the other day, I bought a cheap foot pump at Advance Auto (<$10). I liked its compact design, but was very disappointed with its build quality. I was starting the think about posting inquiries for recommendations on a high-quality version. In the end, I ordered the Slime compressor. In my latest misadventure, I would have had to manually inflate the tire three times to get home. That could be exhausting. I figure I could just hook up the 12V pump and let her go as I relaxed on the side of the road. If civilization does crumble, I will just whack whoever comes by in the head and take their car. ;)

Someone over at VSRI did point out that if I hooked up a cig lighter, I could power the pump *and* recharge my cell phone - good idea, probably more reasonable than my vain attempts in the past to recharge my phone with a butane lighter.
 

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Mr Smoke, errr...sorry Lord, I know where you are coming from. Years ago, I had a rear wheel puncture in one of my Honda's. It nearly killed me! I was in the cruise at 65mph running in a straight line for miles. I picked up a foreign object in the tyre without of course realising it. It caused a slow puncture which can be one of the worst to have. You simply don't notice the tyre going down in a straight line. But when you come to a bend...wow!! It was only a slight bend in the road...but the rear stepped out and I went to opposite lock to try to hold the bike upright (still doing 65mph!). Anyway...I lost control as it snaked across the road into the path of oncoming trucks, laying it down as best I could...and receiving a sever blow to the head. Helmet was toast...but at least I was wearing one!! I was later told by the medics and Police I would have died instantly had I not been wearing a helmet. Since then I've always used Ultraseal in my tyres. Never had anymore problems inspite of several punctures, never been stranded and never had a slow puncture. The repair Ultraseal does is permanent, unless it is a tyrewall leak/damage. I've run several tyres for thousands of miles after Ultraseal has plugged it. It won't leak again from the same spot. It really works.
 

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$tromtrooper
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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, Starfleet. You can just call me 'Smoke. I will definitely be looking into that ultraseal stuff. Of course, between the Ride-On and Fix-A-Flat, I think my rear tire right now is damn near solid.
 

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Smoke...I reckon you're right! Safe riding bud.
 

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Very well written! Thanks, I enjoyed that.

I've had two flats:

The first, on a Ninja 250 going around a bend at 60mph. I knew the tire needed replacing, but I figured I could get a good 500 miles more out of it.

Coming around the corner, POP.
Actually ripped a hole through the tire I could stick my thumb through quite easily. I can assure you, when you get instantaneous decompression midway through a corner, you WILL notice your tire is flat immediately.

Second time was on the Ducati. I made it almost a block before I decided something was really wrong, and I needed to stop. The tire still had some life left, so I stuffed in a snot-string, inflated it, and went to work. First time I've plugged, and not complaints. Wanting to be safe, the next day I removed the tire, trimmed the snot-string flush, and patched from the inside.
The next day, a guy made me an offer to trade the Duc for the V-strom, if I put on a new rear tire. So, the next day the newly repaired tire was taken off again and replaced by a new Pilot Power 2.

Oh well....I learnt how to plug and patch a tire, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.
 

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The first, on a Ninja 250 going around a bend at 60mph. I knew the tire needed replacing, but I figured I could get a good 500 miles more out of it.

Coming around the corner, POP.
Actually ripped a hole through the tire I could stick my thumb through quite easily. I can assure you, when you get instantaneous decompression midway through a corner, you WILL notice your tire is flat immediately.
flat immediately:confused: ON Rt 60 in N GA, I was braking for a corner on my SV650 at about the same speed, my rear brake caliper flew off and put a 6" gash in my rim, of course cause of the sound of the caliper banging around I pulled over quickly as I could, even after I came to a complete stop, I could still hear air hissin out of the wheel for 30-45 seconds, so in all, it took a good minute for the tire to be completely flat



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I googled ultraseal, and it sounds like a great product. http://www.ultraseal.com/Pages/product.html
So the next questions are where do you get it, and how much does it cost? The website notes that you need to contact them in LA for distributors. Sells in gallons, so it does not look to be a retail product. Perhaps sold through tire stores?
So I e-mailed Ultraseal the day this thread appeared, because this sound like a product I really want to try. No reply to my e-mail.

Obviously Ultraseal is easy to find in the UK. Anybody know where to buy in Canada?

Thanks.

Jon
 
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