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#454597 - 03/14/09 11:08 AM Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option?
Rogue_Trader Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 55
Loc: USA MD
I have to tell you, I have always been paranoid about getting a flat tire out on the road. I carry a plugging kit and miniature electric air compressor in the hopes I can fix it and limp home for a permanent replacement. But, until now, this has been untested.

I just got a 2" screw in my rear tread, and didn't find it until I checked air pressure in my garage (call me lucky!).

So I put my kit to the test. The compressor worked fine, but the plug kit was a miserable failure. I have a Nealey kit on order to see if it does better.

So, my question: has anyone tried one of those "fix a flat" inflators that hook up to the valve and shoot a latex sealer into the tire, and inflate it? Or is this question so incredibly stupid for a motorcycle that no one has tried it? I did talk to the manufacturer once, and they did not recommend it for motorcycles due to the critical application.

I'll remain paranoid until I get a sure-fire solution that I can be confident with!
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Rogue Trader

'66 Triumph Bonneville 650
'70 Honda 450
'72 Honda 750
'75 Kawasaki 903
'03 K-1200 GT

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#454600 - 03/14/09 11:39 AM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: Rogue_Trader]
4wheeldog Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 2695
Loc: moved to Tijeras NM
Originally Posted By: Rogue_Trader
I have to tell you, I have always been paranoid about getting a flat tire out on the road. I carry a plugging kit and miniature electric air compressor in the hopes I can fix it and limp home for a permanent replacement. But, until now, this has been untested.

I just got a 2" screw in my rear tread, and didn't find it until I checked air pressure in my garage (call me lucky!).

So I put my kit to the test. The compressor worked fine, but the plug kit was a miserable failure. I have a Nealey kit on order to see if it does better.

So, my question: has anyone tried one of those "fix a flat" inflators that hook up to the valve and shoot a latex sealer into the tire, and inflate it? Or is this question so incredibly stupid for a motorcycle that no one has tried it? I did talk to the manufacturer once, and they did not recommend it for motorcycles due to the critical application.

I'll remain paranoid until I get a sure-fire solution that I can be confident with!


I have had many, many chances to test my roadside kit. I have found the stringy, gooey cheap plugs you can buy at the auto parts store to work the best. Put them in with plenty of the glue that comes with them, pump it up, check for leaks with a little spit, cut them flush, and go. You can cram more than one into a hole if it is a little on the large side. I rode home from NJ this way, to CA, after the scariest 5 minute roadside tire repair ever next to the NJ turnpike.
I suggest you experiment the next time you are about to put new tires on......You can stick things into them on purpose, and try out methods of plugging, just before you get a new tire anyway.

Fix a flat does work, if the hole is not large, but many folks don't like the mess inside the tire. At least "Slime" stays water soluable, so you can wash it off/out at the next tire change. Some folks think it is "Toxic", but compared to gasoline/motor oils, etc, I think think they are just being elitist. Good Luck!

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#454602 - 03/14/09 11:49 AM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: 4wheeldog]
Urban Surfer Offline
Member

Registered: 03/08/05
Posts: 742
Loc: Surrey British Columbia Canada
"I suggest you experiment the next time you are about to put new tires on......You can stick things into them on purpose, and try out methods of plugging, just before you get a new tire anyway."

Thats a great Idea.

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#454608 - 03/14/09 12:15 PM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: Urban Surfer]
David13 Offline
Member

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1887
Loc: Los Angeles, CA USA (Lomita)
I have used the inflating cans on cars only. Sometimes they work, or not. About 50/50.
On a bike I used the fix it plug. But it's only good on a small hole. Your 2", is that radius, diameter, or long? Long doesn't matter, wide does.
Some of the other sites have recommended a number of new products they have out, like slime, or whatever, that you run in the tire all the time. Then it seals as you get a puncture. Some of those are highly recommended.
dc

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#454613 - 03/14/09 12:27 PM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: David13]
FLTRI Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/08
Posts: 311
Loc: Las Vegas, NV.
I picked up a sheet rock screw in my rear tire (Dunlop Roadsmart) about two weeks ago. It lost pressure pretty quick. Thankfully, I caught it right before I got on the freeway... I pulled into a parking lot, got out my plug kit and mini compressor and was back on the road in 15 minutes.

I don't know the brand of plug kit, but it came with a "gun" to shoot the plug in, and mushroom shaped plugs. The tire lost zero pounds pressure for a week until I had time to pull the wheel and get a new tire...

Edit: Found my Plugger


Edited by FLTRI (03/14/09 12:30 PM)
Edit Reason: Googled it
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#454615 - 03/14/09 12:39 PM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: FLTRI]
upflying Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/02
Posts: 6417
Loc: Reno, NV
I heard some/most tire repair facilities do not like/will not repair tires that have been inflated with fix a flat aerosol devices. I am guessing the sticky snot residue makes working on the tire and wheel very difficult. Better than walking I suppose.
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Reno,NV

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#454621 - 03/14/09 01:41 PM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: Rogue_Trader]
Selden Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/08
Posts: 4687
Loc: Atlanta, GA
Originally Posted By: Rogue_Trader
I just got a 2" screw in my rear tread, and didn't find it until I checked air pressure in my garage (call me lucky!).

So I put my kit to the test. The compressor worked fine, but the plug kit was a miserable failure.

Same thing happened to me last year on my first significant out of town ride (with a new rear tire, of course). Mushroom plugs simply would not hold air. By the time I got some sticky string plugs, the hole was so mangled that even they slowly leaked, but held air long enough to get to a dealer 30 miles away for a new rear tire. I tossed the mushroom plugs and now carry string plugs. I would stay away from the slimey stuff.

Also, reamer and insertion tools with T-shaped handles are much easier on the palms of one's hands than screwdriver-like handles.
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#454622 - 03/14/09 01:43 PM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: FLTRI]
Rogue_Trader Offline
Member

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 55
Loc: USA MD
Originally Posted By: FLTRI
I picked up a sheet rock screw in my rear tire (Dunlop Roadsmart) about two weeks ago. It lost pressure pretty quick. Thankfully, I caught it right before I got on the freeway... I pulled into a parking lot, got out my plug kit and mini compressor and was back on the road in 15 minutes.

I don't know the brand of plug kit, but it came with a "gun" to shoot the plug in, and mushroom shaped plugs. The tire lost zero pounds pressure for a week until I had time to pull the wheel and get a new tire...

Edit: Found my Plugger


All, thanks for the input. Re the size of object, it was thin, maybe 1/16". I found both reaming and plugging (with a sticky strand of rubber) VERY challenging (kit was generic auto store variety). The Michelin Road Pilots have an incrediby tough tread. Would The Plugger, then, help ease this issue? (Call me wimpy). I looked at the Plugger link and saw a reamer, is this used in preparation for inserting the plug? Thanks!
_________________________
Rogue Trader

'66 Triumph Bonneville 650
'70 Honda 450
'72 Honda 750
'75 Kawasaki 903
'03 K-1200 GT

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#454631 - 03/14/09 02:38 PM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: Rogue_Trader]
Twisties Offline
Boots
Member

Registered: 05/02/07
Posts: 5671
Loc: Brookings, OR
I had to make sure and put some air in the tire before trying to insert the gummy worms. You need some resistance there or the tire just collapses on you and you have struggle. I was able to patch a half inch long crack with the sticky stand type (gummy worm) once I figured that out though.

I think plugs are ok for emergency travel, but I would replace any compromised tire ASAP, personally. YMMV.
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#454648 - 03/14/09 03:58 PM Re: Emergency Flat Tire - Are "Fix-A_Flat" Sealers/Inflators an Option? [Re: Twisties]
Penforhire Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/08
Posts: 465
Loc: La Habra, CA
Sounds like you just need practice. Sticky-string plugs have never left me stranded and the whole process is just a few minutes. I hate the goo that results from Fix-a-Flat or Slime in tubeless tires (inside tubes is okay). I run on plugged tires until they start leaking overnight (usually do before the end of tread-life). Just don't bother plugging a sidewall puncture.

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