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Fixing a Flat Motorcycle Tire - You Can Do It!

Fixing a Flat Motorcycle Tire is not something that only a man can do - with a little preparation, a good tire repair kit and some foresight, you too can fix a flat.

The first thing to remember: Check your tread on a regular basis. One day of riding CAN make a difference in the amount of useful tread on a tire, especially if you've been riding on rough roads, or gravel. Visually inspect your tires, front and back and make sure that you have sufficient tread in the middle and on the sides of the tire. If you see any bald or worn patches, you can still ride, but make sure that you travel with a good tire repair kit. And pay attention to how the tires feel during the ride - any signs of "squishy" or "soft" road, and you should pull over.

A "blow out" is a dramatic occurrence, and from what I understand, rather rare. You will immediately feel as though you are no longer in control of the motorcycle, which is a bit concerning. Fight the urge to brake, throttle back and allow the motorcycle to slow down, while maintaining control. Maneuver the bike to the side of the road, where you can safely stop.

If the tire is shredded, meaning you can see numerous holes, you are not going to be able to repair it. Make sure the motorcycle is safe, and that you are safe, and wait for help. (THINK: Cell Phone)

Perfection - A Spiked Spoke BMW Wheel

Leaky Tire
Patch It, Then Replace It

If you notice that one of your tires is leaking, and seems to be losing air, you need to do another visual inspection. Look for embedded objects, gravel, or splits in the rubber. This a tire that you can patch. If you can isolate a portion of the tire that is compromised, Fixing a Flat Motorcycle Tire with a patch, a seal of the leak, can result in your ability to ride until you can replace the tire with a new one.

There is a learning curve with most tire patch kits. I spent an afternoon watching some guys try to patch an obviously-beyond-repair tire, and actually learned a fair amount about the process. And, anyone can do it.

Unless your motorcycle is pre-1980, in all likelihood you have cast wheels with tubeless tires. (An exception: Spoke wheels - probably have tube-type tires )

If you have tubeless tires, you need to enlarge the area around the puncture site - there will be a tool in the tire repair kit for this purpose.

Next, find the plugs in the kit. Cover one with cement and wait for the cement to become "tacky" or sticky. Then, insert the plug in the rubber with the puncture. Cut off all excess plug and use the CO2 canister to insert air into the tire. If you have patched the area sufficiently, the air will hold and the tire will remain inflated.

Inexperience may result in your having to repeat the "patching" process more than once, but if the tire is only punctured or damaged by a piece of gravel, you should be able to patch the leak and travel on to a tire store.

Related Pages:

Motorcycle Maintenance

Motorcycle Fuel

Gravel Roads

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