How to Fix a Flat Motorcycle Tire

Like any tire, motorcycle tires can go flat on you right at the most inconvenient times. Tires can fall victim to punctures, tears, cracks and simple wear, causing the air inside to escape and make it impossible to ride the motorcycle any longer. The good news is that there are a few instances where you can fix a flat motorcycle tire well enough to get your bike to a repair shop or back to your house.

When your motorcycle gets a flat tire, immediately move it to a safe place where you can work on it without the risk of being hit by other traffic. Generally, this safe place could be a parking lot or less busy street. After dismounting to inspect the tire, you’ll need to determine if the flat tire is caused by a puncture or a tear.

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If it is a tear, you won’t be able to patch it well enough to ride it and will need to make arrangements for a tow truck. However, if the problem is caused by a puncture in the tread, you can usually patch it well enough to get back on the road slowly and carefully, at least long enough to bring your bike home.

Every motorcycle rider should carry a tire repair kit right on the bike for emergencies like a tire puncture. These kits are a basic part of responsible motorcycle maintenance and are sold commercially. They include a range of tools, patches, plugs and tire cement. You should also include a tire pressure gauge and some type of canned air supply in that kit. Eye protection is also a good idea when dealing with punctured tires.

Here are 5 steps to guide you through fixing a flat motorcycle tubeless tire using a tire repair kit:

  1. Remove the nail or screw from the tire using the pliers in the repair kit and throw it away so it won’t puncture another tire.
  2. Use the reaming tool from the tire repair kit to prepare the puncture hole for a plug or string.
  3. Place the plug or string on the insertion tool and insert it into the puncture.
  4. Apply tire cement over the patch and allow it to dry.
  5. Re-inflate the tire using the canned air cartridge.

Here are 7 steps to guide you through fixing a flat motorcycle tire with a tube:

  1. Remove the nail or screw from the tire.
  2. Use the valve stem to take all the air out of the tube and tire, then remove the wheel from the motorcycle.
  3. Pop the bead and pry the tire over the rim lip using a tire iron, then pull off the tube.
  4. Patch the hole in the tube using the items from the tire repair kit.
  5. Place the tube back in the tire and re-inflate slightly.
  6. Put the tire back on the rim, taking care not to pinch the tube.
  7. Put the wheel back on the motorcycle and re-inflate it completely.

No matter what type of repair you do for a flat tire, you should never ride on patched tires for any longer or faster than you need to. A repaired ire is simply a means for you to get yourself and your motorcycle to a place where you can fix the tire permanently and not meant to be any kind of permanent solution.


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