How Do You Fix A Flat Tire On A Motorcycle?
Getting a flat tire in the middle of a ride is a nightmare for every motorcycle rider. It gets even worse if you’re far from home and can’t spot a bike repair shop nearby. A flat tire doesn’t always need a new tire change.
Using a motorcycle tire repair kit, you can quickly fix your flat tire by the roadside and carry on with your journey. This guide will expand more on how to fix your flat motorcycle tire.
How do you fix a flat motorcycle tire?
Now, if you get a flat tire on any of your motorcycle wheels, you should immediately and pull over to somewhere safe to fix the tire and get it back up in shape and running.
Don’t attempt to ride with a flat tire unless you want to experience handling problems or damage your motorcycle rim.
Assuming you already know that motorcycle tires are either tubeless or tube-type, you’ll need to check what type of tire you have.
This is because the procedure for fixing a flat tire is slightly different for the two types of tires.
How do you fix a flat tubeless motorcycle tire?
If your bike comes with a tubeless type tire, then you’re lucky as the process of fixing it is much easier and quicker.
Let’s get into the details of how to fix your tubeless tire:
Things You’ll Need:
Steps for fixing a flat tubeless tire:
1. Find the puncture
You first need to identify the spot where the air if coming out from. Try listening for some hissing sound as the air comes out. Also, do a visual inspection to see if you can see the object that punched your bike.
You might also consider rolling your bike around to view your entire tire if the fenders are blocking you.
If everything else fails, try using soap and water on the tire surface. The leaking air will blow air bubbles, and there you have the hole!
2. Work the reaming tool into the puncture
Grab the reaming tool from your motorcycle tire repair kit and work it in the hole.
First, remove the object on your tire you identified in the previous step. Then, work the reaming in and out, side by side of the puncture hole. This helps clear the hole and reveal the size of hole you’ll be patching.
Once you have cleared the hole, don’t be in a rush to remove the reaming tool. Let it stay in place to prevent air from escaping from your tire. You don’t want to be left with a completely flat tire that takes forever to pump up to the right pressure.
3. Insert the plugging material
Go back to your tire repair kit and grab the insertion/plugging tool (the tool with an eyelet) and the plugging material.
Get the plugging material through the eyelet of the plugging tool, just like you’d thread a needle. Pull out the reaming tool from the tire puncture hole and immediately insert the plug. Be sure to push it in up to ¾ of the way. And then, in one smooth motion, yank it out.
Using a utility knife, trim the excess plugging material such that it appears flush with the tire tread.
Leave the patch for rough 10 minutes to enable the plugging material to set in and seal the hole better.
4. Inflate the tire to the recommended pressure
After the 10 minutes are over, you’ll need to inflate your tire to the recommended pressure to get it back up and running. Some kits also feature small CO2 cartridges that might contain enough air to inflate your tire.
If you have a hand pump with you, it’s even a better option for inflating your tire as there’s no fear of running out of air supply.
How To Fix a Tube-type Flat Motorcycle Tire?
If the problematic tire has a tube, this is your part. Working on this type of tires is usually trickier and more time consuming as you’ll need to take the wheel off the bike and then take off the tire from the wheel to access the tube and fix it. You’ll also need a longer list of tools for this job.
Things You’ll Need:
Steps for fixing a motorcycle tire with tube
1. Take the tire off your bike
With the still on your bike, you’d want to start by removing the object that caused the puncture hole and then completely deflate the tire (tube).
Afterward, you can remove the wheel from your bike set it somewhere you’ll work on it comfortably. Assuming you’re on the road, avoid working on it on hard surfaces as they can be too hard on the rim.
If you have a spare jacket or shirt with you, you can spread it on glass and lay the wheel on it. An area with grass will also be suitable for the wheel.
2. Get the tire off the rim
If you have a portable bead breaker with you, you’ll have an easy time breaking the bid of your tire in this step. Pressing down the bead with your motorcycle boot heel can also help break it.
Immediately the bead pops, use tire iron to pry the tire over the lip of the rim. And as you do so, remember to employ the rim protectors to protect the rim.
Push down on the bead on the opposite side of your wheel with your heel to make it move the center of the tire as you deploy the tire iron. This enables you to pry your tire over the rim by moving hand in hand around the entire wheel until the bead on the opposite side pops.
NOTE: Be careful not to dig your tire irons too deep to the point of further punching the tube.
3. Pull out the tube and patch it
With the rim off, accessing the tube will now be easy. Pull off the tube and patch it using the motorcycle tire repair kit you have at hand.
After fixing the tube, re-inset the valve system into its place in the rim and consider slightly filling up the tube with the hand pump or CO2 cartridges provided in the repair kit.
4. Completing the job
Now start slipping the slightly inflated tube back into the rime with the help of iron while using another iron to hold down the tire. When the tire is finally on, put the wheel back onto your motorcycle and inflate it to the recommended pressure.
IMPORTANT: Unlike in the case of a tubeless tire, a tube-type should be replaced after the first puncture. This patching we have explained above is not to permanently fix it but to help you reach home or a repair shop where you can replace it with a new tube.
Never get stuck in the middle of a trip again because of a flat tire. Bookmark this post so that next time you get a flat tire while on the road, you can quickly refer to it to fix your flat wheel and get it back up and running.
Remember to always carry with you an emergency motorcycle tire repair kit, a hand pump, and other helpful tools we have mentioned in this guide. These will go a long way in helping you quickly fix flat tires and get going.