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LuxBlue
19th April 2006, 00:59
Went out in the garage the other day and reached down to pluck out a small piece of gravel that had wedged in my back tire tread....only thing was....it wasn't gravel it was a nail head. Sheeeit! :eek: Grabbed hold with a pair of pliers and pulled out a 1 1/4 inch finishing nail. Hsssssssss. Double sheeit! Put it back in and the tire held. I have an '04 1200 Custom with a cast back wheel so I assumed correctly it was a tubeless tire. Called the stealer and they said they would not repair any tires due to liability, they'd only replace them. Guy went on to say, go to Pep Boys or any other auto parts store and get a plug kit. Did so and picked up an $8 kit complete with serated auger/file to clean the wound, a plug insertion tool and 4 gooey plugs. Followed directions by cleaning hole, inserting plug 2/3 of the way and removing plug tool rapidly. Worked great. Trimmed excess with razor knife. Pumped to 40 psi and it's held for 3 days now. So....how safe am I using that plug? I guess even the manufacturer of the plug kit has to call it a "temporary" plug but I don't plan on buying a new back tire yet...lot's of good tread left on this one, not to mention th P I A of taking off the rear wheel.

kenf729
19th April 2006, 01:03
Well I wanted to through my .02 cents in here, first I don't think I would trust a plug with my life...second if you're sure you can't afford a new tire, then I'd at least pull the tire and patch the inside then buy a tube...not the best thing to do, since you only have two tires keeping your butt off the road.

XLFREAK
19th April 2006, 01:20
I went through this before and sought advice here and other places. The responses I received varied from "plug it and die" to "I've ridden 15k miles on my plugged tire." That last one came from sport biker. I plugged mine...the hole was dead center of the tread on a tire with only a few thousand miles on it. The plug has held for 2500k now. Of course, I'm not out running balls to the wall on it either.

fourteen
19th April 2006, 01:22
It's your call, and I know others will tell you to buy a new tire right away, I am just reporting my experiences: I have run thousandths of miles with a plug in a couple of my rear tires, and have had no problems. I was of course extra observant and checked air pressure quite frequently. One plug did start to leak, but very very slowly, and I just re-plugged it.

indyrednek
19th April 2006, 01:37
IMO- I would replace it.
I take no chances with my life or my passenger.
Plugs do leak and they do come out.
You also have to account for tire seperation and even tire bubbling on the inside where it cannot be seen.
This CAN happen we had a car in the shop last week where that happened.
You be the judge.
Let your conscience be your guide.

MOREHP
19th April 2006, 01:42
A plug will probably work,but then again it might not. I wouldnt risk it.

gusotto
19th April 2006, 01:46
Put me down for replacing.

If you develop a slow leak, that's one kind of problem.
Have the plug come out at speed, that's another type of problem. BIG PROBLEM!

Not like a car where the other tires will support you.

Had a good friend who was known for "getting the most miles" out of his tires.
Blew a tire in a curve. He's no longer with us. Spent a month in the hospital before finally dying. All for a "few more miles."

Tucson_Tim
19th April 2006, 01:49
If you plug the tire with a good "mushroom" plug, it should be fine. I have read of many riders riding a plugged tire to the life-span of the tire.

And let's face it, it's a Sportster, and you're not going to be making many 175 mph speed runs.

But if you have the dough, then getting a new tire is always the best option - it's just that a good plugged tire may be nearly as good.

ted
19th April 2006, 01:56
If you have a pretty new tire, which I take it is the case, A professionally installed patch on the inside of the tire is as good as a new tire.
Ted

rider1951
19th April 2006, 02:39
LuxBlue

If you don't feel comfortable with a plug have someone install a tube. I picked up a pice like a screwdriver shaft and an indy suggested a tube. He gave me back the valve stem for when I replace the tire. I haven't had any problems with it in 7,000 miles. Plus it only cost me $26.

cphilip
19th April 2006, 04:15
I would opt for the patch. Its involved as you have to dismount the tire to do it but its a whole lot safer and reliable than plugs.

I use plugs on riding Lawn mowers and even have plugged a Trailer tire or two. But do not trust them at speed and do not trust them on something that has no redundant system.

The average fatality speed on a motorcycle is irrelivant if you blow a tire and swerve into the path of a cement truck. Can kill ya at 15mph...

Paulie420
19th April 2006, 05:56
I would at least patch it; removing the plug and going from the inside out... but really, its your butt and life, so I'd go BRAND NEW if it were me... I would trust the plug/patch to the dealer... and get that tire changed.

I have had plugs in cars come out before, leaving me stranded on the side of the highway... on our bike it could leave us dead.

SalTheWop
19th April 2006, 09:53
I would definitely NOT feel happy riding a bike with a plug in the tyre . Go to a tyre shop and have them patch the tyre from inside...job done.

ojgp
19th April 2006, 11:56
I wouldn't hesitate to plug a tire in a pinch but I wouldn't use it any longer than it took to fix it right. If the nail is in the tread area, if the tread is good, and the tire hasn't been damaged by riding it with low pressure (heat damaged), a patch from the inside (although not as good as a tire replacement) will be OK. Just check the tire real good (from the inside out) and make sure nothing it isn't damaged. I've had one "blow-out" (a tubed tire) at speed and trust me, you definitely do not want to go there.

daesdaemar
19th April 2006, 12:39
If I had to plug a tire, I would then ride it to the dealer/indy at 20 MPH on deserted roads to get a new tire... just my opinion...

LuxBlue
19th April 2006, 21:45
Thanks for all the opinions but I find it hard to believe that some would replace a tire no matter what. Say you picked up a nail on the way home from purchasing your new bike. How many would just replace a brand new tire? The hole in mine was clean and small, no jagged edges. It's held pressure for 4 days now with the plug and I've ridden at highway speeds. I think I will pull the rear and have it patched from the inside as soon as I can but I still have great tread and will not replace until I need to replace the front too. It would be a different story if it was a sidewall pucture or a large jagged hole....I don't have a death wish!! :D

indyrednek
19th April 2006, 21:55
How many would just replace a brand new tire?

I have.
But then again I have tire and wheel warranty for 3 years.
I have done the same when I had to pay for the tire too.

gymrat523
19th April 2006, 21:59
Thanks for all the opinions but I find it hard to believe that some would replace a tire no matter what. Say you picked up a nail on the way home from purchasing your new bike. How many would just replace a brand new tire? The hole in mine was clean and small, no jagged edges. It's held pressure for 4 days now with the plug and I've ridden at highway speeds. I think I will pull the rear and have it patched from the inside as soon as I can but I still have great tread and will not replace until I need to replace the front too. It would be a different story if it was a sidewall pucture or a large jagged hole....I don't have a death wish!! :D
I would replace it brand new, take my chances with my truck but never my bike.

Scooter_Trash
19th April 2006, 22:00
I'll plug my trucks tires and my cars tires, but not my bikes. I can safely say that my life is worth the cost of a new tire. Even if I just spent $500 on new tires.

rikava
19th April 2006, 22:10
I'd replace the tire with a new one too, if I picked up a nail. And sell the old one on Ebay to the tight wad that doesn't want to spend the $$$$ for a replacement tire for himself.

sportsterwheelies
19th April 2006, 22:23
i'd -I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!- kin run it the way it is, but thats me. shit a brand new tire can blow out at anytime too.

Scooter_Trash
19th April 2006, 22:32
i'd -I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!--I LUV XLF!- kin run it the way it is, but thats me. shit a brand new tire can blow out at anytime too.


That's because don't use your front tire. :roflblack

Shu
19th April 2006, 22:50
As long as it is in the tread section, you should be fine with a plug. I have plugged 3 out of 3 rear tires on mine. And all three were early on punctures and went the distance. Not only that but ever single one saw many times of speeds in excess (we'll leave it at that since there may be a johnny law on here) in addition to many hard (read burning out) accelerations.

Just plug it and then keep your eye on tire pressure regularly (maybe even before every ride for a while).

One hole in the tread section is not going to cause a blow out. At best the plug will begin to seep and you will loose air. Even if the plug went flying out, you will feel it going down and have time (especially on the rear) to get the bike slowed down and off the road.

Just keep and eye on it.

mikeabe
19th April 2006, 23:25
It seems like a motorcycle tire flexes MUCH less than a car tire. Would that make a plugged motorcycle tire more likely to hold up than a car tire?

LuxBlue
20th April 2006, 00:24
As long as it is in the tread section, you should be fine with a plug. I have plugged 3 out of 3 rear tires on mine. And all three were early on punctures and went the distance. Not only that but ever single one saw many times of speeds in excess (we'll leave it at that since there may be a johnny law on here) in addition to many hard (read burning out) accelerations.

Just plug it and then keep your eye on tire pressure regularly (maybe even before every ride for a while).

One hole in the tread section is not going to cause a blow out. At best the plug will begin to seep and you will loose air. Even if the plug went flying out, you will feel it going down and have time (especially on the rear) to get the bike slowed down and off the road.

Just keep and eye on it.

Ah Shu....the voice of reason. I really agree with you on this one. The nail I picked up was technically a finishing nail less than 1/8 in diameter. It went straight in a tread crease creating a small, neat hole. The auger/rasp tool that came with the plug kit was about 3/32 of an inch in diameter and I had to really push hard to get it through the hole and rasp it clean. The plug itself was doubled over when inserted through the hole and had a vulcanizing glue impregnated in it. I bet the plug was easily twice or three times the diameter of the actual hole. It wasn't a tear and I simply don't believe it would cause my tire to blow or shred. Like you said, it may slowly leak or pop out entirely but even then it would deflate pretty slowly. So far so good. If it leaks, I'll patch from the inside or replace.

Shu
20th April 2006, 00:58
I had the plug in my second tire start leaking after about 6000 BRUTAL miles on it. But it leaked because I wore the tread dang near off. I put another plug in it and rode it several hundred miles more until I bought new tires.

If someone seriously thinks that a small nail hole in the center of a motorcycle tire will cause a serious blow out, please cut your old used, worn out tire in half (around the tire) and check out all the steel belts. A small nail typically will not even break one steel belt as it punctures, it'll move and go between them. And I have inspected my tire plugs after the worn out tires were removed and they showed no signs of any belts trying to cut the plug.

Cases where I would replace a tire:

1. the tire is over 75 percent worn out anyway.
2. the hole is quite large.
3. the hole is already splitting.
4. the hole is not more toward the middle of the tread
5. the hole is in the sidewall.

LuxBlue
20th April 2006, 03:23
Rock on Shu....I really feel better now. What you say makes mucho sense. I didn't even think about the steel belts. They will really hold a tire together. I know all the rubber you see lying shredded on the highways are from semi retreads but that's a different animal. Don't get me wrong though, if anything it's probably always better to error on the cautious side. If it was anything at all worse than a tiny tread hole, (i.e. a sidewall puncture or a jagged hole), I'd replace the tire, no questions asked. :p