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Thread: A tire warning: the leak and the mistake

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  1. #1
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    A tire warning: the leak and the mistake

    I put a new tire on the bike right before the rally. As I rolled into the rally, I realized that it was losing a a few or more PSI over a number of hours. This wasn't the change in reading from changes in elevation (though that was there too). I looked and looked but couldn't find the leak. But since it was fairly slow leak I thought I'd just keep an eye on it.

    At the end of the rally, I topped it off and headed west.

    Heading up over beartooth, I started to pass a car on steep uphill hair pin - in a passing lane. The front tire tried to wash out in rapid succession. I backed it off, stifled a scream, and pulled over. The tire was incredibly hot and almost sticky to the touch. Pressure was down to only 25 psi or so, but I had -ahem- been pushing it a bit (a questionable choice on a slightly leaky tire, I know).

    I used a CO2 cartridge to add a little and waited for the tire to cool. The cartridge didn't add much, but I felt I could gingerly get off the mountain. As you might guess, a bad front tire on one of the greatest roads with dangerous drop offs left me less than happy.

    After coming over the pass at speeds so low I wouldn't have believed a motorcycle could do it (if it weren't for passing some of y'all on the way to the rally ), I arrived in Red Lodge. I topped off the tire and took a break. An hour later, the tire still read the same. Off to the hotel in Columbus I went.

    The next morning I checked the pressure and headed out on the interstate. A 100 miles later, I pulled over and checked it again. It hadn't budged despite barely changing elevation and the tire now being warm. I needed to top off.

    The conaco station's little pump was out so they pointed me to the truck stop nearby. These places often have BIG compressors suitable for filling enormous truck tires. You have to be very careful with them.

    I put the hose on for a short second and checked the pressure. It looked as though it wasn't putting out a lot of air too quickly. I tested it one more time. Again, it didn't seem to be putting out too much air. So I put it on for a three count and didn't make it to three.

    AHHHHHHHH

    The tire inflated so fast that the name "Maxxis" painted into the side of the tire split. I put the pressure gauge on. It only reads up to 50 psi. The little plastic stick shot out like a rocket, pegged. I deflated the tire and tried again. It pegged again, albeit slower. Finally, eyes wide, I got it down to the right pressure.

    Now what to do? Had I irrecoverably damaged the tire? I didn't know, but I thought I probably had. It was Monday, in Montana. Where was I going to find a new tire? Dammit.

    I headed cautiously out on the highway and modest speeds. A hundred miles later, I checked the tire. It was like a joke - now it seemed to be holding air just fine. A hundred miles later I checked again. Again, it was holding air.

    Another 800 miles after I made my mistake, I was home, angry at myself but happy to be ok.

    I just ordered a new tire. This one may in fact be fine, but a $100 or so for some piece of mind is nothing.

    Note to self: don't over inflate your tires.

  2. #2
    Registered User burnszilla's Avatar
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    That's what you get for buying cheap tires.
    I hope you didn't buy another Maxxis.
    You should carry one of these...
    Stephen Burns - 2007 R1200GS
    BMW MOA Lifetime Member
    www.burnsmoto.com

  3. #3
    Not available in stores.. PAGoldsby's Avatar
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    It sounds like your tire may not have been seated properly when it was mounted, and was leaking around the bead somewhere. When you "blew it up" with the shot from the truck air hose, it probably seated the bead. I doubt that you did any permanent damage to the tire by shock-inflating it, but it could likely have suffered from riding on it with low pressure.
    I can't believe how incredulous I am.

  4. #4
    BobFV1
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAGoldsby View Post
    It sounds like your tire may not have been seated properly when it was mounted, and was leaking around the bead somewhere. When you "blew it up" with the shot from the truck air hose, it probably seated the bead. I doubt that you did any permanent damage to the tire by shock-inflating it, but it could likely have suffered from riding on it with low pressure.

    That's exactly what I was thinking - tire wasn't properly seated on the bead at installation.

    I used Maxxis tires on my track bike whan I was out on the track every month - I changed them out every two sessions or so, so I did not really care that much about their durability. They performed fine, but on heavy touring bikes I have always stuck with the "major" brands. About to mount PS2's on my RT - anxious to see how they work.

    KNARY - thanks for the post, very informative and good to focus on this.

  5. #5
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    Where'd you stay in Columbus? (The Super 8 or the local fleebag - Conoco Motel)

    I stayed in the local fleebag - room 20

    That's too bad you chicken'd out on 212, I had already thrown caution to the wind with my back tire split and cracking on the sidewall...
    Russ
    "If you took the time to really get to know me...you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

    (Life comes at you pretty fast "Pay it Forward" - Have no regrets when the end happens)

  6. #6
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PacWestGS View Post
    Where'd you stay in Columbus? (The Super 8 or the local fleebag - Conoco Motel)

    I stayed in the local fleebag - room 20

    That's too bad you chicken'd out on 212, I had already thrown caution to the wind with my back tire split and cracking on the sidewall...


    I was at the Super 8. With all the places booked because of the Harley rally and the BMW rally emptying out, I called ahead.

    212?

    Yeah, I chickened out. But as you and I have discussed, you and I have a somewhat different sense of risk - considering what we've done for a living it's not exactly surprising.

  7. #7
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burnszilla View Post
    That's what you get for buying cheap tires.
    I hope you didn't buy another Maxxis.
    You should carry one of these...



    I liked how the tires handled in the dirt. The front seemed to track on road irregularities more than I'd like and the rear is more than 1/2 gone after 3,400 miles.

    And, yes, I was too cheap to buy a pump at the rally. I'm ordering one now.

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