Tire Repair???

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by webjester, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. webjester

    webjester Adventurer

    Aug 4, 2011
    Detroit Metro
    Long story short, my rear Metzeler has a tiny hole right in the middle of the tread. The air holds for a day or two. Brought it to the dealer who said they won't touch it because of liability and wanted to sell me a new one. Now what? So I thought I'll see what you guys have to say.

    The tire has about 6k miles on it. I found the hole submerging the wheel but couldn't see anything stuck in there. Tiny bubbles.

    option1: Bite the bullet and buy a new one, considering that it has maybe a third of its life left. $200 for a new one divided by 3 is about 66 bucks. If any tire place charges that amount for repair I'll already break even.

    option2: Use some spray repair goo to fill the tire and hopefully clog up that tiny hole.

    option3: Master Tire Repair kit. Seems to be an awfully big hole to create and then fix it

    What do you guys think?
  2. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

    Jul 10, 2003
    Hamilton NJ.
    Use a string plug and your good to go.
  3. W-Gator

    W-Gator Adventurer

    May 12, 2012
    Cowtown, AB
    1) Replace the tire. You know, safety on 2 wheels and all that stuff. You got 2/3 expected life out of the tire. That's pretty good.
    2) Repair it with a mushroom plug installed from the inside.
    3) Tire sealant. Be selective as some cause corrosion to your rims and leave a real mess at tire change time. Ride-on is reputed to be a good product. http://www.ride-on.com/motorcycle-formula-mot.html
  4. mikegc

    mikegc Long timer

    Sep 29, 2008
    High Point, NC
    I know guys that would plug it and ride until the cords are showing. I'm just the opposite. I don't mess around when it comes to tires. If they look "iffy," they are. As I only get about 6500 to 7500 out of I tire, I wouldn't even think about it.

  5. erkmania

    erkmania I'll take better everytime

    Mar 19, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    My favorite is this,


    Others prefer the ropes. I carry both, but will only use the rope as the second resort. I have used plugged tires for the duration of their tread a couple of times. I'm always leery initially and I monitor the tire until I am satisfied the repair is OK. It does help that I have TPMS on my bike.

    OTOH, your tire is nearly worn out or at least no less than 2/3 whipped. I think you should just replace it.

    Boy, I sure wish that I could get 6K out of a rear tire. :shog
  6. Mudcat

    Mudcat Unregistered

    Jul 22, 2004
    Bay Area
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    JimVonBaden has a Plugging tutorial on his web site. It is easy, inexpensive and works well :D
  7. fastgpfred

    fastgpfred Adventurer

    Apr 25, 2010
    Northern Calif
    What's the current tread depth? If you don't have a tread depth gage they are cheep & available from most auto parts stores. I like this plug... http://www.dynaplug.com/ ... the best for small holes. You should have a kit for road emergencies anyway. I'd probably plug it but order a new one a little early. (the math on what you save)
  8. shu

    shu ...

    Feb 23, 2010
    My opionion: Plug it with a sticky string and ride on it. The tire will not push the rope out (ever try to push a string?) There is no catastrophic failure mode here. The worst possible scenario is that the rope would let a little air seep- in other words, you'd be back where you are now.

    I've ridden many miles with rope plugged tires, and I can watch their 'health' with my tire pressure monitors. They haven't leaked at all- not a bit. This has given me a lot of confidence in these repairs. When you finally take the tire off you'll find the string has permanently bonded in a mound to the inside of the tire.

    I can't say the same for plugs, although lots of people like them. I have seen those fail several times.

  9. LaurelPerryOnLand

    LaurelPerryOnLand Long timer

    Jun 9, 2009
    Denver, CO
    Can you afford $66 for peace of mind?***

    Otherwise...proceed with other options.

    ***Let's think this through to it's illogical conclusion:
    1. Tire fails.
    ****YOU LOSE FROM THIS POINT FORWARD****************************
    2. Bike sustains damage during accident.
    3. Bike is repaired by your insurance...minus your ($500?) deductible?
    4. You sustain some damage (injury) during this accident.
    5. Ambulance, hospital charges exceed $45,000 for your 1 week recuperation.
    6. Your boss fired you since you were really needed at work.
    7. You injure somebody else and they end up suing you for their personal injury and damage to their car.
    8. You're convicted of careless operation of a motor vehicle and serve 60 days in jail.
    9. Your boss REALLY doesn't want to know about you...particularly now.
    10. Since you have no income for 2 months...you miss a couple mortgage payments...bank forecloses on your home.
    11. All your credit cards increase your rate since you defaulted on your mortgage payments.
    12. Your FICO score drops to the low 500's.
    13. It takes you 4 more months (I'm being generous)...in this BAD economy...to find another job comparable to what you had.
    14. You exhaust your 2 months of 'savings' and are forced to BORROW from your wife's family...you didn't have the nerve to tell YOUR family.

    I think you can see where this COULD be headed...worst case scenario.

    Back to my original question:
    Can you afford $66 for peace of mind?
    HOPE SO...otherwise park it until you have the $66.

    PS..."No" I don't sell insurance...nor TIRES.:rofl:rofl
  10. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Oct 15, 2007
    Castle Rock, CO
    Mushroom plugs suck. Use a sticky string and it will last longer than the tire will. Some lawyer types will tell you how this is so wrong and all that. It's your prerogative.

    Not to be wishy washy but now that I reflect further, if the tire has 6000 miles on it it's probably about shot anyway, so I would maybe lean more toward getting a new one unless you are in the middle of a trip or something.
  11. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Oct 15, 2007
    Castle Rock, CO
    And dude, if you are really so afraid of life should you even be riding a motorcycle in the first place?..
  12. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Feb 11, 2005
    Alexandria, VA


    String plug and ride! So long as it is in the tread, and not a rip, it will work just fine.

    On the other hand, if you are the worrying type, just replace it. You will never be happy if you do not.

    Jim :brow
  13. erkmania

    erkmania I'll take better everytime

    Mar 19, 2004
    San Diego, CA
  14. aGremlin

    aGremlin Been here awhile

    Mar 26, 2012
    New Zealand!
    Depends on the life left...

    Not much, stuff it, replace the tyre.

    Worth it? Mushroom plug (properly installed, my dealer did it) tyre comes off, sealed up etc, had no problems for the rest of the tyres life.
  15. KSKLR

    KSKLR Adventurer

    Nov 4, 2006
    I have had no problems with the rope plugs in more than ten thousand miles and would not hesitate to use one again if the hole size is appropriate. The last one that I had on my GSA was in Alexandria, LA when I was on a trip and finished up with over 2,000 miles on that trip alone plus several thousand more before changing that tire.

    Went to James Bay Quebec with some FJR 1300 Yamaha guys and one of them had three plugs in his rear tire. He went several hundred miles at well over 100 mph with no problems.

    Do start off easy and monitor the pressure. I have taken off tires with rope plugs that I installed and the rope from the inside appears to be fused and is not going to come out.

    All things being equal I would rather start off on a trip with a fresh set of tires but these are what my experiences have been and for me I have no qualms.
  16. Chat Lunatique

    Chat Lunatique aka El Gato Loco

    May 9, 2011
    Niagara, Canada
    Plugs are generally considered a temporary repair. A permanent repair is to pull the tire off the rim and put a vulcanized patch over the hole on the inside. If there is no cord damage to the tire, this is a safe repair.
  17. manfromthestix

    manfromthestix Lost in Space

    Dec 29, 2004
    Lexington, Virginia
    +1 on this. I thought the list above RE: spending $66 for peace of mind was a little paranoid too...

    I've used plug patches on tires dozens of times and put many thousands of miles on them after patching without a single issue. I'm not paranoid, but I am careful and watch these things, but I also know that tires are tough as hell and very rarely "grenade" under normal useage. If you doubt this, try to cut one in half; it's tough even with a reciprocating saw and razor knife! If the sidewall is torn or you've got a big rip in the tread, by all means replace it. If it's a pinhole and slow leak, plug it. I recently got a big staple through the tread on a brand new Continental tire on my car ($250 each - love the tires but :puke1) and took it to the dealer where I bought the tires, they said no sweat and put one of these plug patches in, haven't even had to add air in the last 5000 miles. Roofing nail in my GS tire:



    You can get these things at any auto parts store for a dollar each and a big tube of glue for a couple bucks. I carry these things with me along with the string plugs in case I'm in a place I can't safely pull the wheel apart and take the tire off to put in a plug patch. As a side note, I've had two valve stems fail in the past six months (they start leaking when the brass and rubber stem comes apart) so I've started just swapping out stems every time I change the tires. They're cheap as dirt too.

    I just ordered a set of these tire bead breakers from Motion Pro, very excited to try them as I'm tired of all the old bulky PITA bead breaking stuff. These are small and I hope they work as advertised:


  18. MotorradMike

    MotorradMike MIL-TFD-41

    Aug 17, 2008
    Mallorytown Ontario
    Plug it and ride it.
    I've been riding on 2 plugs most of the season.

    My tire loses about 2 PSI in 24 hrs. though so I check it every ride day.
  19. Rauven

    Rauven I like the cold...

    Aug 6, 2012
    T√łnsberg, Norway
    I think what manfromthestix showed is the best option, used it for a quite some time when working in a tire shop and if installed properly works like a charm. Take of the tire, properly sandpaper the hole area, drill through the hole to even the edges, and glue in one of those thingies (whatever they are called in english ;) Sorry, not a native english speaker here). Afterwards paint over with vulcanizing agent and You are ready to go.

    As long as there is no damage to the side of the tire You are ready to go with no worries.
  20. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

    Sep 13, 2009
    The Northwet..
    I've shoved three mushroom plugs ina hole and rode for hundreds of miles..including off road..

    Took a tire thru the Saline valley with 4 plugs in it..

    All this talk about death if you do it..Umm..did you die the first time it had a leak? That's just stoopid..

    Plugs are a permanent repair..tire shops do it all the time..

    On a 35" Jeep tire once, we stitched a sidewall together with safety wire..put 20 some plugs in the gash..drove from Canyon City to Colorado Springs..never had a problem..

    Plug it and ride..