Share this Article Print Email a Friend Let’s just get the disclaimers out of the way right up front, shall we? No tire manufacturer wants you to plug its tire if you run over a nail, not even a brand new one. Some of them might tell you it’s okay to patch a tire, with a permanent patch glued on from the inside. But that’s not what the plugs here are for: The Stop&Go mushroom-style plug and the Dynaplug pointy-style are here to keep you from having to ride a tow truck to your destination when you pick up a nail en route and don’t have a tire mounting machine at hand.
Stop&Go says “Safety experts all agree that a punctured and/or plugged motorcycle tire should be replaced as soon as possible. That is our opinion also.” Dynaplug, interestingly, says its plugs are a permanent fix, as certified by an independent testing outfit called UTAC. UTAC did the testing on a car tire, and refines that the plug is a permanent fix for holes up to the size of a 16-penny nail (about ⅛-inch or 3mm), at speeds up to 90 mph.
Does that apply to motorcycle tires, too, I asked? Dynaplug’s spokesperson says it does. Brave words. As mentioned last week in our KTM Super Duke R long-term report, that bike’s rear Pirelli picked up a nail 500 or so miles ago, which I plugged with a Stop&Go mushroom style plug kit I had on hand. I could’ve put a new tire on the bike, but it was scheduled to return to KTM HQ sometime in the near future – we just weren’t certain how near – so why bother? I rode other bikes.
After a week I noticed the tire hadn’t lost any air. I started riding it again, gently and slowly at first, then faster – all for the sake of science of course. At no time did I exceed about 90 mph on the plugged rear. It’s been six or eight weeks now and 500 miles, no problems. I plugged the rear tire in my R1 once before with the Stop&Go with the same success. Looking for something to write about on a slow news day and googling up other Stop&Go experiences to compare to mine, of course I found that small percentage of people who wouldn’t plug Obama’s golf-cart tire with a Stop&Go in a lightning storm with FDR caddying.
All the S&G haters seemed to be big fans of the Dynaplug … a comparo is born! Stop&Go mushroom plug and tool at left (the kit’s bounced around in many motorcycles over the last six or eight years), Dynaplug at right. The Stop&Go is more complex and impressive to deploy than the Dyna. Basically you’re inserting a big steel syringe into the tire, then using the handle’s internal screw mechanism to squeeze that pre-lubricated mushroom head into the tire with the included hex wrench.
Once that’s accomplished, pull out the syringe, yank on the mushroom stem a few times to seat the head inside the casing (there’s no glue involved), trim off the excess, and you’re probably good to go – slowly at first please. A little water or saliva poured on the repair will let you see if air is escaping. It’s a little bit MacGyver. … by the time you remove the object and use the included reamer to make the hole big enough for the tool to fit, you’ve lost all your air… The main complaint people have with the S&G is it needs a pretty big hole: 6.
25mm. Most nails and things don’t leave a hole that big, and by the time you remove the object and use the included reamer to make the hole big enough for the tool to fit, you’ve lost all your air. (No worries with my Pocket Tire Plugger Plus CO2 Inflation kit, which comes with four CO2 cartridges I’ve never had to use since all my flats have luckily made themselves known at my dwelling.) A fresh Stop&Go plug in place.
Yank on it to seat the plug, trim the excess and ride on. The stem of the mushroom is 8mm in diameter, and was squeezed into the tire through a syringe with a 5mm inner diameter. Curiously satisfying … Intuitively, the S&G feels like a pretty good repair. Deployed inside the tire, the head of that mushroom plug is 14mm in diameter and the stem is 8mm wide, with air pressure and centrifugal force both holding it in place.
Stop&Go says what can go wrong, but usually doesn’t, is that the tire flexing can cause the steel belt to slice through the stem. You can tell how the Dynaplug works by looking at it: Load the brass-tipped sticky plug in the handle and jab it in the hole like a jailhouse shiv, then pull it back out: The shoulder on the brass tip and the gooey nature of the plug are both going to hold it in place.
As opposed to the 6.25mm hole you need for the S&G, the widest part of the Dynaplug’s brass tip is only 4.6mm. If you load a plug in the handle and have it ready to go, and the nail is still in your tire along with most of its air, you should be able to yank the nail and plug the hole so quick you won’t lose much more air pressure. It’s amazing how hard you have to pound to drive a rusty drywall screw into a worn-out rear Pirelli.
When I yanked it back out (you need pliers) and went to shank the tire with the spit-moistened Dynaplug, though, no way was the 4.6mm tool going into the 3mm hole, in spite of its sharp tip, in spite of a few hammer blows. Those steel belts are tough! Dynaplug instructions say never enlarge the hole with a reamer, but there’s a tool included that looks suspiciously like one, which Dynaplug says is a “clearing attachment.
” I “cleared” quite a few metal shavings from the puncture with it before I could get the plug in, by which time the tire was totally flat. When I aired it back up and sprayed on a little soapy water, we were still losing air. Dynaplug says feel free to insert up to four plugs (but the UTAC guarantee is only good if you only use one). The gooey goodness of the first plug actually made it pretty easy to shove the second one right into the same hole.
Hah! Airtight! It took two Dynaplugs to seal the hole made by one 3mm drywall screw. Dynaplug says using up to four is okay. Once trimmed and ridden on, it looks like one big happy plug from the outside. While I was having fun playing with all of it, I rotated the tire 180 degrees to check out the old Stop&Go plug in the other side with the soapy water treatment. What the? Apparently the deflation had caused it to start leaking.
I loaded a fresh mushroom into the tool and shoved it in right on top of the old one. Fixed. Dynaplug says it makes its points from brass specifically because they’ll disintegrate inside the tire should they come loose from the plug, and that they will not damage TPMS sensors. Right, I’ve put another 60 miles on the bike with two Dynaplugs and one Stop&Go plug in the back tire, at speeds up to 90-ish, and haven’t lost a pound of air after one week.
We thought about spinning the thing up to speed on the dyno to really test things, but our dyno operator pointed out potential liability concerns and said he’d prefer not to. We don’t want to give anyone the slightest bit of encouragement to ride at high speed on a plugged tire. Experienced motorcyclists have known about simple gooey string tire patches for years, of course. You only have to be stranded once in the middle of nowhere to appreciate how convenient having a flat repair kit on your bike can be.
Both the Dynaplug and Stop&Go plugs, to my mind anyway, just add a little extra sense of security. The S&G kit here ($49.95) takes up a bit more room (5 x 7.5 x 1-inch), is more capable of plugging bigger holes, and also has an air source in the form of its CO2 cartridges. The Dynaplug Pro ($59.99 or $29.99 for the new Ultralite) is good too, and super-compact – but you’ll need air if your tire goes all the way down.
In any case, most people will tell you: The greatest deterrent to nails and screws is having some kind of repair kit handy. Either of these should keep you rolling. For more information, visit the official Stop&Go or Dynaplug websites.See Also: Motorcycle Fuel Pump
An oil improve is one area that every car or truck operator has got to deal with at 1 time or another. It might be a routine party, but you may well gain from recognizing some details and history guiding motor oil along with the interior combustion engine for which it was developed.
The economies in procedure must be established around from the initial expense. The Diesel engine ship is in many methods a less expensive provider compared to steam boiler ship, that is a glutton for oil fuel. It is worthy of take note that larger interior combustion oil ships are having the sea each month.
Flats happen. But how to repair punctures in tubeless tires—and even if they should be repaired—is a tricky subject. It all depends on who you ask. The truth is riders fix flats all the time, but they could be plugging away indiscriminately with limited knowledge of the proper repair process or the risks associated with riding on a repaired tire. In this installment of MC Garage, we’ll explore the issue from several angles and discuss motorcycle tire repair kit options so you can make a more informed decision if you “pick up a nail” on the road.
One of the reasons a concise answer on plugging punctures is so elusive is because each tire manufacturer, which every tire-plug manufacturer will ultimately defer to if pressed on the subject, has its own take on the topic. Continental, Michelin, Pirelli, and Shinko’s position on dealing with punctures is clear as day: Don’t even bother carrying a plug kit. “Call a tow truck,” is how one VP of marketing replied when asked what to do when you get a flat.
These tire manufacturers assert that there are too many variables involved, from the puncture to the repair, and that there is simply too much at risk in terms of rider safety and liability to condone it, even in an emergency. Most dealerships and repair shops share this sentiment. Fair enough. After all, your tires are the only part of your motorcycle that connects it to the road, and a rapid deflation resulting from an improper repair or unseen internal damage could cause a lot more parts of your motorcycle to make contact with the road.
Even so, a canned “no” is not what riders want to hear when they just got a flat on a nearly new, $250 tire. Other brands, specifically Avon, Bridgestone, Dunlop, and Metzeler, offer an opinion that’s more in line with what consumers would hope to hear: Yes, punctures can be plugged in an emergency situation, and a repair that both fills the wound (plug) and seals the damage (patch) that is installed by a professional can even be considered permanent if specific criteria are met.
Related MC Garage Video: How To Plug A Tubeless Motorcycle Tire While Avon, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Metzeler, and the RMA (the Rubber Manufacturer’s Association, the nation’s preeminent voice on the topic of tires) all agree that a combined plug/patch applied from the inside of the tire is the only acceptable permanent repair, each group has its own requirements and restrictions. Here are a few areas they all agree on.
Everyone who says that you can plug a tire (including tire-plug makers) agree that the repairable area is limited to the crown of the tire. “You cannot plug a sidewall because it doesn’t have the structure to hold the plug,” says TJ Tennent, Bridgestone’s engineering manager. Not even the entire treaded area is fair game, since “closer to the sides the carcass flexes too much and the seal won’t take,” Max Martin of Gryyp says.
“The repair has to be within the belt package,” Tennent adds, which limits the repairable area to the center 50 percent of the tire. There must also be at least 1/32 inch (0.8mm) of tread remaining on the tire. Any less and the tire could flex too much to retain the repair. The size and shape of the damage is another important factor. Tears or oblong punctures cannot be permanently repaired, and opinions on the size of round holes that can acceptably be repaired run the gamut from 3mm (Avon) to 6.
8mm (Dunlop). Assuming the puncture isn’t too big (research suggests that 90 percent of all punctures are the size of a 16-penny nail [4.1mm] or smaller) and was made in the right area, the tire will still need to be dismounted for inspection and have the appropriate plug/patch installed. Beyond those very basic guidelines, opinions begin to diverge. As an example, Avon prohibits tires with “wound on” belting or tires with a speed rating higher than V (up to 149 mph) from being repaired, while Bridgestone contends that any repaired tire forfeits its speed rating and is limited to 80 mph.
Dunlop says that any tire that’s previously seen a liquid sealant is excluded from repair, while Metzeler simply defers to “your country’s regulations” to determine if repair is legal in the first place (in America it is). When it comes down to it, if you really want to know the specifics for your tires, your best bet is to contact the company embossed on the sidewall. As stated, every manufacturer that permits permanent repairs says that an off-the-rim inspection is mandatory.
Why? Since tubeless tires are unlikely to bleed all of their pressure at once when punctured, it’s possible for the rider to be unaware of a leak and cruise along on a deflating tire. This isn’t uncommon and leads to the possibility of internal tire damage, either from overheating or from the puncturing object gouging the tire’s inner surface after deflation has occurred. Additionally, escaping air can creep between the plies of the tire, encouraging tread separation.
This scenario is of particular concern on steel-belted tires (the majority of motorcycle tires on the road today are steel belted) since any ingress of moisture can cause the steel strands to rust and eventually fail. Any damage to the structure of the tire could lead to a catastrophic failure, and a thorough inspection of both surfaces of the tire is the best way to nip a catastrophe in the bud—that, or just replace the tire, which is always the first recommendation, regardless of who you ask.
Great, but what if you can’t replace the tire or dismount it for inspection and repair because, say, you’re in the middle of nowhere with no cell service and a descending sun? “If you need to get off the side of the road, you do what you have to do to get to a safer location,” Bridgestone’s Tennent says. That’s where the myriad aftermarket tire-plug kits come into play. Common options include the ubiquitous rubber-impregnated ropes, Stop & Go’s mushroom plugs, Dynaplugs’ brass-tipped ropes, Gryyps’ screw-in “cargols,” and liquid products from Slime and Ride On.
Each product has its own purported benefits, whether it be ease of use or affordability, but the underlying idea is that they’re all emergency repairs. Out of all the options, mushroom-style plugs like those sold by Stop & Go are the only form of temporary repair endorsed by manufacturers, namely Avon and Metzeler. And don’t forget that once you plug the tire, you’ll still need to inflate it.
See the “Airing Up” sidebar at right for your inflation options. If you began reading this piece with a firm stance on tire repair and now feel like you’re standing on shaky ground, we apologize. Ignorance is bliss! As we said in the beginning of this piece, how you should go about dealing with a flat really depends on who you ask. And, ultimately, the only person left to ask is yourself. Hopefully after reading this you are better equipped to make your own decision.
Tubing It In A Tubeless Radial Motorcycle Tire Is An Inner Tube An Acceptable Emergency Fix? “It used to be a solid no,” says Sukoshi Fahey, sales and marketing manager at Avon. “But opinions have evolved.” The original cause for concern was tire flex, which could cause the tube to overheat and rupture. However, today’s tubeless radials are more rigid and unlikely to cause issues when used with an appropriate-size inner tube as an emergency repair, but other manufacturers, including Bridgestone and Metzeler, still prohibit it.
A tube may serve as an acceptable way to deal with a punctured tire, but if you are considering carrying a tube (and the tools needed to remove the wheel and tire), why not just carry the appropriate patch/plug and perform a more reliable, potentially permanent repair? AIRING UP Because Sometimes You Want More Pressure In Your Life There are numerous ways to plug a punctured tubeless tire and lots of methods to re-inflate it too.
For side-of-the-road repairs, the three most common sources of pressure are CO2 cartridges, compact electric compressors, and old-fashioned hand pumps. A compressor that runs off your bike’s battery offers unlimited air supply anytime you need it, but these devices can be bulky and expensive. Manual pumps like those used for bicycles (high-volume pumps designed for mountain-bike tires are the way to go here) also offer unlimited fill-ups, but they also require a tremendous amount of elbow grease! CO2 cartridges are another popular option.
They’re compact and easy to use, but it takes a lot of them to fill a tire (six 12-gram canisters will inflate a 180/55-17 tire to about 20 psi according to our tests), and you can only use them once. When discharging CO2, keep in mind that the gas exiting the canister is extremely cold (about -50 Fahrenheit), so protect your hands and remember that the tire pressure will rise quite a bit as the gas warms to ambient temperature; there’s no need to inflate to final pressure with the canisters.
Another option for airing up in an emergency is a parasitic hose with two clamp-on female ends. This device isn’t commercially available but should prove easy to assemble at home and will allow you to draw pressure from another vehicle’s tires in an emergency.