Just had to deal with my first flat tire away from home, and would like to get some more detailed information from experienced users on how to use the emergency plug kit that came with my bike.
I picked up a small screw in a nearly new Z6 rear tire, and after a couple of days driving unnoticed (I know, I know -- I need to be more careful about my pre-ride walk-arounds), the little prick finally released enough pressure to be obvious when I stepped out of my favorite watering hole on a Friday evening. Decided this was a good opportunity to try out the plug kit -- couple of beers (it really was only two), after dark, out on a busy downtown street I was there trying to read the micro-print instructions that come with the kit. I think I was careful enough following the instructions, but had real difficulty trying to mount the plug into the insertion tool, and then found I could not get the plug into the tire without tearing the plug into pieces. Finally gave up, and called a friend to catch a ride home.
By the next morning I realized that the little razor blade tool, which is not discussed in those micro-print instructions, is probably used to enlarge small holes, such as the one I was dealing with, to a size where the plugs can be inserted with reasonable force. Can anyone confirm this for me? Also, I found myself wondering whether there was also be an issue with the steel-belt in the radial tire that might not have been well considered when the kit was developed. (The plug insertion tool tended to "hang" a good bit on the steel braid when the tool was used to "roughen and apply repair compound" to the hole.) Any comments from users who've tried the kit on steel-belted tires?
When I got home that night, I immediately fired up this trusty site, accessed the community archives regarding procedures for dismounting tires, with the idea that I would go back and dismount the rear so I could drag it to the local shop. (Good thing I didn't because they are a Harley/Honda operation and didn't have anything that would fit the bike in stock. Won't get the bike back until Weds; thus, missing another spectacular Oct riding weekend in GA
. Would have been a mess to dismount the rear only to remount rather than leave the bike on a city street for several days.)
Anyway, one of the posts that came up -- I've forgotten from whom -- mentioned the idea of keeping screws of a variety of sizes in your tool kit. Pick one big enugh to fill the hole, goop it up with glue, and screw it in. Once the glue has set, refill the tire with the emergency kit cartridges, and you are likely to make it home or to a close repair shop. Worked fine for me to drive the 5 miles to the repair ship the bike will call home for the next couple of days. Once again I was saved by the "oracular" wisdom from this community, and my recent contribution to the new site has paid for itself!
In the end, the only great loss is the $250 it'll cost to replace a tire that only had about 750 miles on it.