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.
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.
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.
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.