"The Tire Plugger" kit, trustworthy?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by rhys, May 24, 2005.

  1. rhys

    rhys Long timer

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    Riders here at ADVenture are THE authority in anything motorcycle; so I come to you and ask of your knowledge, experience, and unbiased opinions.

    Cutting to the chase,
    I just plugged my brand new Mich' Pilot Road (less than 800 miles) with the mushroom rubber plug provided in the above mentioned tire plug kit. I've used these plugs with repeated success on the Roadster, the Mazda, and now on the Triumph's rear Pilot. Center tread, very tiny hole, lots of rubber for the plug to grip to.....

    Can anybody cite to me ANY instances where any kind of plug has failed them on either a car tire or motorcycle tire. Yeah, yeah, I know we have only two contact patches on a motorcycle, as opposed to four on a car, etc. but what of it? I want to hear about any REAL LIFE episodes that YOU personally know of plugs having failed.

    I'm a poor guy who used his credit card to buy these tires. I can not afford a recreational vehicle of ANY sort, let alone a motorcycle that I tend to put 25,000 miles a year on (or more)! If I were a rich man, I'd replace the tire without batting an eye..... I can't, I'm in trouble financially as it is.

    What do you KNOW in the way of where a plug might be prohibitive, permissible, out of the question, or "NO WORRIES MATE!"

    Anybody?

    Thanks in advance,
    - Pat -
    #1
  2. racer

    racer Long timer

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    I had a 1200 Bandit a few years ago. After about 3000 miles, I took a nail in the rear tire. It still had good tread on it, but I listened to the voices on the internet and replaced it with a new tire. Guess what, 300 miles later a nail in the new tire. So I plugged it with a stop and go mushroom style plug. Also, I went to the dealer to retrieve my other tire. It was gone. They put it out back in pile of old tires, but someone must have pick it up.

    The plug leaked a little and the tire would have to aire every couple weeks. To stop the leak, I put some tire sealant in the tire and didn't hav another problem with it until I traded the bike.
    #2
  3. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

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    I had four or five plug failures in a row with the Stop-n-go plugger on the same hole. The rubber plugs can get cut by the tire cords. I plugged the hole with the string type and it lasted another 3000 miles.
    #3
  4. Sam Buca

    Sam Buca a.k.a. Daniel

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    Hey, Pat. Long time no hear. Are you happy with the Truimph? Looks niiiiiice.

    I have used the string type quite successfully for myself and also on other people's bikes with no issues.

    There is a mushroom type that you have to remove the tire, insert the stem through the hole, glue the head to the inside of the tire and then cut off the portion protruding on the outside. Why not temporarily use the string, or plugger and then make a more permanent fix using some other method?

    Those photos of you plugging the tire are great, why not post them here as well.
    #4
  5. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp REMF

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    Exact same thing that happened to me. I now use string plugs with great results.
    Only thing the Stop-n-Go worked on for me was low pressure ATV tires with no steel belts. YMMV
    #5
  6. Gringo

    Gringo simple by nature

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    these:
    [​IMG]
    are what I think Sam Buca is talking about - 'inside-out' plug-patches. I bought a bunch of these, without buying the whole kit, by contacting Stop n Go directly; think it cost me about $3.00 apiece so I stocked up and got about 8 of 'em; so they're well within the means of a guy without alot of cash. I had a new Tourance rear tire get holed with only 300 miles on it, so I took the tire off and put one of these in, and rode it until the tire was toast at around 12,000 miles, 6,000 of which was two-up and loaded, cross-country. I've since used 3 or 4 more of these (may be time to stock up!) due to my seriously bad new-tire karma, and not once has any of them given me a problem - they last the life of the tire. The patch is pushed out from the inside, so the air pressure is working in your favor to hold it there, not perpetually pushing it out like a plug you put on from outside; the little rubber stem keeps sharp grains of sand and crud from getting in under the patch and abrading a hole. I would say these definitely qualify under you 'No worries, Mate' category.

    Granted you have to pull the tire off the rim to get them in - but if you're on a tight budget in this sport, you already oughta have tire tools - if not then get some, they'll pay for themselves first time you use them. 3 good levers and some kind of bead breaker is all you need.
    #6
  7. Sam Buca

    Sam Buca a.k.a. Daniel

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    Yip, thats them. They are also available art Pep Boys for next to nothing. They are vulcanized / glued to the inside of the tire. Some has a thicker stem to fill a hole that is a little larger.
    #7
  8. westnash

    westnash Long timer

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    Is that the string plugs in the picture on the right side?
    #8
  9. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    Same here, 3 failures on the same hole with the Tire Plugger. The BMW patch held for a few 1,000 miles, I then replaced the tire.
    #9
  10. Yellow Pig

    Yellow Pig Allergic to asphalt!

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    Used a cheapo Walmart tire plug on my Virago 750 and a while back and rode for several thousand miles on it w/out troublw.


    Recently had to use my BMW plug kit on a brand new Conti TKC-80. Still running the same tire after quite a few mile of hard Colorado off road and havent had a problem. Haven't even had to adjust the tire pressure.

    My 2 cents: plug the tire and just keep a close eye on the patch. Visualy inspect it before each ride and spot check your tire pressure more often than usual. You should be OK.

    Good luck!
    #10
  11. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    I've used BMW plugs once, and it worked for that 400 mile day, but started leaking after about a week.
    Stop-N-Go plugs are ONLY TEMPORARY.

    Patch your tires from the inside, and you'll nothing to worry about. Vulcanizing patches "weld" themselves to the tire.
    #11
  12. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    I've always had good luck with Victor string plugs. Sometimes the hole develops a slow leak and has to be plugged again. No big deal, especially if you carry an air compressor. I did have one larger than usual hole that kept leaking. Stop and Go plugs are supposed to be better for larger holes, so I bought a pocket plugger and keep both kits in the saddlebag. I always run my tires until they are worn out, even if they have been plugged.
    #12
  13. Lone Rider

    Lone Rider Registered User

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    I don't understand what benefit the plug-in-go offers.

    String style pugs, as most people here refer to them, have been bringing travelers home for many years.

    I've had a nail in my rear for 'some' period of time...dunno how long....and I've left it there. A finishing nail...not big....isn't leaking. I'll see if it goes the distance...another 6k or so.
    #13
  14. rhys

    rhys Long timer

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    Fascinating to say the least! This is what I gather from reading the above posted replies:

    String plugs seem to hold up better (with no guarantee) to the abrasion of either external particulate, or internal steel belted cords; but they may be prone to leaking air.

    Between this site and two others, I have not received word yet of a "blow out." No horror stories yet of leaning her over in a 100 mph corner and blowing a plug.....

    Plug-patches, readily available at auto parts stores, can be had that "vulcanize" to the rubber of the tire..... from the inside out, where it counts.

    I plan to do another Track Day next month on some 014's sitting in my dining room. I will continue to ride AND INSPECT my plug/air pressure until such time as I take the tires off to be switched with the Bridgestones. When the rear tire is off, I will inspect the plug from the inside with the help of trained eyes, and consider vulcanizing the above spoken of plug from the inside out.
    #14
  15. Colt03

    Colt03 Been here awhile

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    I seem to recall a tire failure on an Iron Butt Rally in 03. The tire was plugged and it ended up being shredded, maybe some of the IB riders can chime in.

    YMMV
    #15
  16. Trixie

    Trixie No, not that Trixie

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    These guys were highly recommended on another list. Seems they are reasonably durable, recommended by expeditionexchange.com.
    #16
  17. RedRocket

    RedRocket Yeah! I want Cheesy Poofs

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    Nothing (short of full replacement) beats a patch. The only permanent fix is the patch. I wouldn't do a track day with a plugged tire- too many high stress occasions to endure. I'd have to think that if it was mentioned during your tech inspection they'd stop you.
    If you're going to be inspecting the plug from the inside, just patch it while you have your head in there.
    #17
  18. tbrown

    tbrown Quasi-Master of Time & Space

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    I got back from the Georgia Mtn. Rally a couple weeks ago. While at the rally, I ran over someone's fairly large allen wrench. The whole wrench went into the tire long way first. One corner of the small end was sticking out of the tire. I repaired it just well enough with a Stop & Go and it got me 20 miles back from a restaurant to the motel. I only had my Stop & Go kit and had no idea how to repair a tire using string plugs. I'd spent most of the night scanning yellow pages and asking where the bike shops were thinking I'd need a new tire to get home.

    In the morning, tire was flat. No surprise. The hole was really large and at a 45 degree angle or so, but was not on the sidewall. Dr. Curve was sipping coffee at the motel in the morning and offered to patch up my tire. He used 3 thick strings doubled up and soaked with rubber cement. He then turned the tire til the hole was in the the bottommost position so the glue would "puddle" in the hole before it dried. When the glue was completely dried, we trimmed the strings down to the tire surface.

    This repair got me all the way back to Chicago. I checked air pressure every hundred miles at first, but it stayed constant. I increased the interval to every gas stop. Got all the way back to Chicago without adding a pound. When I washed the bike, however, really tiny bubbles could be seen at several places around the patch. I waited two more days and checked air...same pressure. The leak apparently was really,really small.

    I've heard since that a better way to trim the strings is to cut them down to a half inch from the tire and then light them. The melting burning goo seals the last of the tiny pinhole leaks.

    I've decided to retire my Stop and Go in favor of the string plug system. Takes far less space and makes a better repair. You can buy these at most truck stops.

    I've just replaced the nearly new tire, but I think I could have enhanced my repair a bit with a lighter and used that tire for a long time.

    I also carry a small "bike compressor" made from a discount store 12V compressor that cost $19. I removed the case to save (a lot of) space and tied off the little hose leading to the worthless pressure gage by doubling it over and cinching it with a couple tie-wraps.

    Saftey Warning: Don't hold one of these in your hand while it's running. If the gears don't eat your fingers, the heat generated by the pump will burn them.

    A BMW-to-car-lighter adapter completes the package. The thing fits in one of those airline pouches they give away in business class. A good alternative to that would be a small stuff sack from a camp store.

    I've got a great tire gage...digital and doesn't cause the tire to loose air when you check pressure. I purchased it from a bicycle shop and bought another one next time I was in a place that had them. It's very accurate. Both these gages agree with my other digital gage that is accurate but has a poor seal around the stem. You have to get it on perfectly straight or you loose air. I hate having to get the compressor out just to fill the air I lost checking pressure. Over the years, I've used a lot of different gages. These digital bicycle gages are the best.
    #18
  19. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    I've got the stop-n-go, the string plugs and the weird BMW "gummy bear" plugs that came with the bike. I haven't had to use any of them yet, but I keep on collecting tire plugging kits like voodoo dolls or something. That reminds me, it's time to get a new plug kit. It's the only way to keep the gods at bay.
    #19
  20. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    The gummy bear plugs only seem to work on big holes. They just slice in half if you try to cram one into a small nail hole, from my experience.
    #20