I Had a Flat On My Motorcycle… Miles From Anywhere…


One big screw in my tire… Not a good thing…

I had a flat on my motorcycle… Well sort of.

I was returning from New Mexico and I was about 500 miles from home. I pulled into the picnic area to have lunch. I ran over something that made a loud pop. I looked on the road to see if something was there but I didn’t find anything. I checked my rear tire to see if I had damaged the tire but I didn’t find anything. So after lunch I packed up everything again and headed down the highway. As I pulled on to the highway I could hear a clicking sound that increased in frequency as I sped up. Then I knew I had picked up something in my tire. I stopped on the shoulder and checked the tire more closely, rolling the bike forward until I found a very large screw sticking in the center of the tire.

Rest stop with town in the distance…

Because the size of the screw was very large, I was afraid that the plug wouldn’t do the job. The tire wasn’t leaking air so I opted to ride to the next town which is about 6 or 7 miles ahead. I could see the town from the picnic area. The first business I saw when I got to town was a small tire shop. I stopped and the owner was a biker and he plugged the tire. The screw looked even bigger once it was pulled from the tire. I wasn’t sure if the plug would hold. Now I had to decide if I should ride back to Lubbock or ride on to Abilene. It was Monday and bike shops are always closed on Mondays so either way I could not get the tire replaced until the following day. I decided to ride on to Abilene. The tire shop owner told me to call him if I had any problems and he would come get me. Hearing that made me feel good. When I got to Sweetwater I stopped for gas and checked the tire pressure and it was good so I decided to ride on. I stopped a second time about 150 miles further and the tire was still OK. The GPS was estimating my arrival in Georgetown at 7:30 PM so I thought I would try to make it on home. The last time I stopped for gas I called Janet to let her know my ETA. I got home at 7:44. It was good to be home. I missed my riding buddy that I left at home.

If you don’t have a tire repair kit that you carry I hope this story makes you realize that a tire problem can happen to you. Sometimes in places that would put you between a rock and a hard place. There are a lot of tire repair kits out there. Which kit is the best has yet to be determined by me. I have spoken to several people in motorcycle shops and they all have various opinions but they all seemed to be saying they are all good if you have a flat. Some are easier to use than others. It comes down to your preference and space you have available on your bike.

“Slime” air compressor stowed in the Goldwings right saddlebag.

Progressive Suspension tire repair kit stowed in the Goldwing’s left saddlebag.

My tire repair kit is made by Progressive Suspension.  It is contained in a small case so it doesn’t take up much room. The kit has 2 CO2 cylinders , 3 tire plugs, insertion tool, cement and small hose to air tire with CO2 cylinders. A friend suggested I get a small air compressor also because if the patch leaks you can add air and it is easier than using the CO2 cylinders. The air compressor is made by Slime the folks who make the tire sealant. It too is very small and stores away easily. The sides of the Goldwing’s saddlebags are not flat and have indentions where I have velcroed the patch kit and air compressor. So they use space that would normally be wasted.

Gryyp tire plug

There is another patch kit I plan to get. It’s the Gryyp tire plug. I have found them as a kit with CO2 cylinders but I want just the plugs and haven’t found where I can buy them separately. I like these because you screw them in and snap of the top part and go. The reason I think this will work well is I know a rancher who patches his 4 wheeler tires with metal screws. The tires have many screws in them. He picks up thorns daily on his ranch. He says he would go broke fixing and buying tires if he didn’t use the screws. So when I saw this product I thought why not… If any of you have experience using this product please share your thoughts in a comment.

Don’t leave home without your tire repair kit…

I hope we see you down the road somewhere.

Ride safe…


8 responses to “I Had a Flat On My Motorcycle… Miles From Anywhere…

  1. I seem to have had more tire issues with my BMW K1200LT than any other previous motorcycle. A tire repair kit is invaluable even if used at home. I have the original BMW kit in the tool kit and have one I use at home. I’d hate to have to deal with a flat on a tube tire and it’s always tubeless tires for me. My bike uses “R” tires, re-enforced sidewall tires and it’s actually possible to travel for some time on a flat, almost like run flat tires.

  2. I have had several flats over the years and have a puncture repair kit that lives in my top box. It is however only good for tubeless tyres. I had a flat rear tyre on my cruiser a few years back while riding in Tasmania. Plugs don’t work on spoked wheels. The tyre was 90% worn so I opted to ride it slowly to town about 40km (25 mile). done it easily with no visible damage to the tyre. However I still had it replaced. I do know some people who carry gear to repair tubed tyres but I have never bothered as I normally only ride it around town and use my Vstrom for out of town..

    • Thanks for the reply Coyote. So far I have had one one flat and I dread having any more. Hopefully when I do it will be when traveling with others or in town or near home.

  3. I’ve had a single puncture flat on my last three bikes, all of which had spoked wheels, so I’ve been fairly lucky. That puncture, from a large framing nail, happened just as I entered the town limits of Ridgecrest, CA after a long loop through Death Valley. There is no mobile phone service anywhere in that area but in the town.
    After the nail was completely embedded in the tire and tube, there was about 6 psi left in the tire. I phoned for information, got the number of a local motorcycle dealer, who happened to have the right whitewall tire (!!). I rode very slowly a few blocks to the dealer and got the tire and tube replaced just before their closing time (my bike moved to the top of the service department’s list when they understood my situation).
    That episode was several years ago and finally convinced me that my wife’s insistence that I carry a mobile phone was a good thing, if only for once-in-a-decade situations. I typically throw it in the saddlebag and ignore it, since I don’t get in the wind to do things like answer telephone calls…
    I always watch the condition of my bike’s tires very closely and replace them just before or slightly after the wear bars begin to break. Though it would be safer to have tubeless tires (and less of a pain in the posterior to clean), I’ll have to wait until the next bike. I carry a can of pressurized foam that is supposed to fill the tube and seal a puncture well enough to allow one to limp home or to a repair facility, but I don’t know if it works, because I haven’t had to use it yet.

    • Sometimes we just get lucky. I’ll take luck anytime I can find it. I forgot to add that you make good points too. We should never dorget what we learned from Boy Scouting.Thanks for the comment. Ride safe…

  4. 46 years riding and never a flat yet. But it is my constant worry, especially when alone in remote places. I have a plug kit with CO2 for the 1300 which has tubeless tyres, but the 650 has spoked wheels and therefore tubes. The only time I used a foam inflater (on my Volkswagen) I was not impressed, but it is the only option. There is no way I could change a tyre on the roadside, even if I could get one.

    • That was my first and I hope last. I try to be ready for the next… You know you have probably jinxed your luck of not having a flat by talking about it :-).

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