Motorcycle Tire Repair
Whether you ride street, trail or track its a fact that eventually you will have a puncture. So, can my motorcycle tire be repaired? This is a question we get every day.
Unfortunately, the answer is “it depends”. A motorcycle tire is a very different vehicle than a car or truck. That’s part of what makes them so much fun to ride! The obvious difference is there are 2 wheels on a motorcycle vs. 4 wheels, but that is just the beginning. Motorcycle tires are subjected to very different forces and need to perform in ways car / truck tires do not.
- Lean angle – car / truck tires remain relatively flat on the road surface. Motorcycles turn by leaning the tire over in the corners. This is why car / truck tires have a flat profile and motorcycle tires have a rounded profile. As a result, motorcycle tires are subjected to very different forces than car tires and therefore safely repairing them is subject to more considerations.
- The rubber compound used in motorcycle tires differs significantly from those used in car tires. In general, motorcycle tires are much “softer” and making them stickier and more fun. But this comes with a trade-off. Softer compounds don’t last as long, are more susceptible to damaged, and are less conducive to repair.
- Motorcycle tires weigh a lot less than car / truck tires. This is because they are smaller, but also because they are not as thick. This aids in getting the tire up to optimal riding temp. faster and dramatically reducing unsprung rolling weight resulting in… you guessed it… more FUN!
- Some motorcycle tires have inner tubes and some do not. It used to be as simple as answering the question “Is the wheel a mag or does it have spokes?”, but with the introduction of tubeless spoked wheels the answer again becomes “it depends”. If your motorcycle tires have an inner tube sometimes we can simply replace the inner tube and reuse the existing tire if the damage to the tire is not too extensive.
- Repair plugs (aka string plugs) are a common emergency roadside repair. They are designed to be a temporary repair. Tire repair plugs are not a permanent fix. The manufacturer’s instructions usually state that certain safety precautions should be taken (maximum speed, maximum load, maximum distance, etc.). The best advice we can offer is to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use your judgement. If the tire damage is too extensive or the the placement of the damage on the tire presents risk, have your motorcycle towed to the closest 8 Ball. If you can safely plug the tire and carefully ride it, then plug it and ride it to your closest 8 Ball. In either case, we will provide you with a free / no obligation estimate on the repair and can usually have you back on the road in less than an hour.
Most importantly, a catastrophic failure or rapid deflation of a motorcycle tire can be a dangerous situation even for the most experienced rider.
We understand a flat can make for a bad day, but a crash can be a lot worse! Give us a call or come in for visit and we’ll do our best to turn your day around.