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Thread: Rear Tire Slow Leak

  1. #1
    Registered User jcabiles's Avatar
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    Rear Tire Slow Leak

    I discovered a very small puncture on my rear tire. It is a very slow leak. I pumped up the tire and checked it the next morning and the tire was definitely flat. A close inspection of the tire revealed the puncture shown in the picture. It is small enough that a coat hanger wire will not penetrate the tire.

    My question is what is the best option for repair? 1. An internal Patch. This would require removal of the rear wheel and taking it to a shop for repair and rebalancing. 2. Plug the tire. However in order to get a plug inserted, I would need to drill a larger hole to allow the plug to be inserted. I have plugged car tires before, including drilling a hole to get the plug to fit, and the repairs have held up well.
    The tire has about 25% life left.

    So what are your thoughts, and pros/cons.

    tire.jpg

  2. #2
    Marine By Choice #188306
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    With 25% left I would be proactive and just replace it now and not worry.

  3. #3
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    Plugging is a "bush" fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by marine by choice View Post
    With 25% left I would be proactive and just replace it now and not worry.
    I would replace the tire and in the future, a patch. I fix ALL my tires with a proper vulcanizing patch. I won't run/ride plugs unless I'm in a bind and I don't want any of my friends to consider plugs as a long term option.
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
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  4. #4
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Camel and others make mushroom patch/plug combinations. They consist of a vulcanizing patch with a plug in its center. You use the attached wire to pull the plug through the puncture from the inside and bond the vulcanizing patch to the inside of the tire. The patch acts like a - patch - and the plug portion seals the puncture from moisture that might enter the carcass/cord area from the outside.

    The questions is, if you dismount the tire to install this is it worth it given the remaining tread life on the tire???
    Last edited by PGlaves; 01-15-2014 at 03:39 AM.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  5. #5
    Registered User ratze's Avatar
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    REPLACE, its been damaged. years ago i would have pluged it an rung it out, these days i am much wizer as i have payed the ever so costly tire pipe'r.
    The pursuit of reality at all cost.

  6. #6
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marine by choice View Post
    With 25% left I would be proactive and just replace it now and not worry.
    I agree.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  7. #7
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    I'll play the devil's advocate here and disagree. I plug my tires with Nealey tire plugs and wear em out. Never had one fail. That one looks like a prime candidate. Ream it out good and plug it.

    Oh, I should mention I only do this on rear tires...
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  8. #8
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    I suspect there's little debate about an internal patch being superior but if you're going to pay shop time it wouldn't seem very economical.

    I have no reservations about using plugs for emergency use and typically I leave them alone after inserting and run till done. Have even used them on races tires which is pretty well beyond reasonable boundaries- no other choice at the time. Assumes you know how to do one well. Yes, I've drilled small punctures to get them big enough to plug.

    A lot of the safety issues re plugs are overblow. If you survived the first small puncture, you'll survive the second small leak so why turn into a worry wart over it? Just don't be stupid enough to use plugs where they have no business- multiples, slits, sidewalls, etc unless you going only a mile or 2 to a proper repair at 20 mph...

  9. #9
    Registered User jcabiles's Avatar
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    Deision Made

    Thanks all for your thoughts. I was anticipating replacing the tires sometime this Summer. Looks like I'll be ahead of schedule. In the mean time, I'll plug the tire. I've done it before and they hold up well. I'm not a speed demon and I don't plan on any long trips till the new tire comes in, so it should not be a safety issue.

    I'll research the forums for any info on tires. If not, I'll open a new thread. Probably go with a mid priced tire.

  10. #10
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    I'm torn here.

    I've plugged many tires, cars and bikes. I've never had one fail. And, if it were to fail, it's not like the tire explodes. It leaks slowly, just like any flat, and you notice the drop in pressure. But I've never had that happen to me (from a failed plug, but from actual flats, sure).

    But, since I change my tires when they are about 75 percent worn (the profile of a worn tire ruins the ride for me), I'd replace one this far gone. But your riding style, and just wanting to limp through Winter before you get a new set, yeah, plug and go.

    The vulcanizing patch is also great, and since I mount and balance my own tires, no big deal. It's just that every flat I've had has been far, far away from the shop. And once plugged, I'm not going to take it off and patch it.

    Finally, I think a lot of the fear of plugs is from old days, with crappy glue plugs. The plugs I get now are so good, so sticky, they work fantastically. I no longer change flats for my car. It is far easier to carry a plug kit and a battery pump in the trunk. I plug and go in less time than it takes to swap a spare tire.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
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  11. #11
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Luckily all but one of my flats occurred at the end of the tires life, so they were plugged to get home then replaced.

    I did have one puncture on an almost new tire and I plugged it, but I was on a trip and know most dealers will not patch tires, I just added some fix a flat as insurance. A week and 2000 miles later, it was toast anyway.

    Normally I would have pulled and patched it from the inside, as I have done on car tires for years. It is probably the only way I feel 100%.

    Myself, I am not sure how people have catastrophic failure from a flat tire. Every puncture I have had on car and bike, I noticed the change in the vehicle dynamics LONG before it actually ran out of air. On a bike I have caught many when the pressure had only dropped 5 psi, and every car flat the tire still had air hissing out. Maybe I am in tune more with my machinery.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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  12. #12
    MOA #24991 Pauls1150's Avatar
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    "Catastrophic" failures were more common in older-tech tires, when the tire's compound was a bit harder or the tube was more likely to rip. I've had two cases (long ago), once with a piece of glass, the other a roofing nail, where there was less than five seconds from full to flat. This is much less common with today's tire (and tube) compounds, where the rubber will often try to "self-seal" a hole just by squirming in to the damage and giving you more time to pull over.
    Not long ago, somebody was making brightly colored tires. I've seen pieces of these scattered along the road, so we probably shouldn't recommend that...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pffog View Post
    Maybe I am in tune more with my machinery.
    ya think?
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  14. #14
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roborider View Post
    I'm torn here.

    I've plugged many tires, cars and bikes. I've never had one fail. And, if it were to fail, it's not like the tire explodes. It leaks slowly, just like any flat, and you notice the drop in pressure. But I've never had that happen to me (from a failed plug, but from actual flats, sure).

    But, since I change my tires when they are about 75 percent worn (the profile of a worn tire ruins the ride for me), I'd replace one this far gone. But your riding style, and just wanting to limp through Winter before you get a new set, yeah, plug and go.

    The vulcanizing patch is also great, and since I mount and balance my own tires, no big deal. It's just that every flat I've had has been far, far away from the shop. And once plugged, I'm not going to take it off and patch it.

    Finally, I think a lot of the fear of plugs is from old days, with crappy glue plugs. The plugs I get now are so good, so sticky, they work fantastically. I no longer change flats for my car. It is far easier to carry a plug kit and a battery pump in the trunk. I plug and go in less time than it takes to swap a spare tire.
    Roborider sums up how I feel about plugging better than I did. The only flat I've ever had at home was two weeks ago on my Jeep out front of the house. Took the wheel off, removed the sheet metal screw (don't they just screw themselves in perfectly???) reamed it out and plugged it. Good to go in ten minutes. This never happens. It's always hundreds of miles from my nice new spare tire at home and nowhere near a shop. Not that I'd likely go there anyway unless the tire was a total disaster.

    For all you pluggers out there though I can't say enough about Nealey plugs. I don't know these people and have no skin in the game but they make the best darn plugs I have ever used. Really nice old school business with a great story and a great compact product. http://www.tirerepairkit.com/
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    ya think?
    I think all the oil, gas, diesel, parts washer fluid, carb cleaner, penetrating oil, wheel bearing grease etc, has been absorbed by my skin (NO sissy latex gloves back in the day) and lungs for so long, that when I get around mechanical things there is an atomic bond that takes place making me one with it.

    The other day we had some black ice on the highway, and I could feel the car moving ever so slightly, I pointed it out to my wife and asked her if she could feel it, and she could not even after repeated wiggles. It was quite obvious other drivers couldn't either as there were at least a dozen cars in the ditch in about a 7 mile stretch. The people in front of me just kept driving on it, I immediately moved over so my tires were on the packed snow by straddling the LH tire track. The snow had far superior traction than the dry looking tire tracks.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
    '01 F650GS Wife's bike
    Maritime Alps and Vosges 2012
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