Emergency tire repair - tips and suggestions? - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2005, 12:29 pm Thread Starter
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Athens, GA, USA
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Emergency tire repair - tips and suggestions?

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.

2003 K1200GT (Blue...of course!)

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
-- Douglas Adams
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 2005, 3:52 am
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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I have fixed one or two of my own flats, and heaps of flats for others. Plus I have watched the xperts demo at service day (club event)

I suggest!!! Disregard the plugs BMW give you. Get the thin strips from your friendly (car) service centre, two sizes, nail size and "oh shit" size. I had a blow out (as per bang) on the freeway and still got home.

I got those, plus extra gas bottles and an extra large tube of cement. Think it is the same you use to fix above ground swimming pools with. But go to an auto shop, not a pool shop.

The trick is....If ya got a screw in the tyre, is it best to leave it in , or should you take it out. I know some members of the club carry self tappers to use in such emergencies.

If you take it out.... Use that reemer jigger to make the hole bigger and of more easy access to the plug you are going to insert.

Use lots of glue (lube) around the plug and hole so it will all slide in (I am getting a bit excited here)

BUT MOST IMPORTANT When you fit the little gas bottle the tyre valve must be up so that teh bottle discharges gas and not liquid. And that little mesh sleeve is to stop your fingers sticking to the iced up bottle. Remember the bottle has to discharge up. You can see the bottle/valve connector has to be fitted so that the connector ruptures the bottle top initiating the gas flow. Some guys buy a decent mettle connector and chuck the plastic one away.

Guess that is about it. I have seen the experts give up on the BMW issue plugs. Remember,

note the way the nail comes out, that is the way the plug goes in, reem the hole with the issue tool,, lot s of glue for lube, and the bottle must be up, to work.

Oh !! The type of tyres we use may have some important parts ruptured inside after all that. Think about how hot you want to get the tyre and how hard you want to corner, after you have exhausted the gas and replaced it all with air, to the appropriate pressure.

Hope that is of use
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 2005, 3:35 pm
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I've tried the stop n go tire plugger which works OK but the plugs
tend to get sawed off by steel belted tires, usually in about 100 miles


Go to an auto parts place and get the goopy cord tire repair kit
with some extra adhesive and carry a small electric pump gutted from
wally world.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 2005, 7:52 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks, guys. Sounds like I was on the right track after my late night lesson. Will restock my kit with your suggested supplies and will keep my fingers crossed that it's a good long while again before I have to deal again with a similar problem.

Sunny side up....


2003 K1200GT (Blue...of course!)

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
-- Douglas Adams
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2005, 6:46 pm
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Cool s'truth

Once you purchase the expensive puncture repair stuff, you'll never have a flat again. :think:
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 27th, 2005, 9:59 pm Thread Starter
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I'd say "Site Sage" to that comment, but "Site Curmudgeon" still fits perfectly!

2003 K1200GT (Blue...of course!)

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.
-- Douglas Adams
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Oct 29th, 2005, 9:06 am
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Toss the Plug-N-Go....

I had the stop-n-go plugger and yep, my Metzler (at the time) sawed the plug in two in about 100 miles... After giving away the POS stop-n-go, I got the reamer, poker and sticky ropes from Wally World. I also gutted a cheapie Campbell-Hausfeld 12V air pump and put a BMW plug on the end.

I DID have to try this second solution in the Texas Hill Country ride a couple of years ago...made it back to Dallas at highway speeds with NO loss of air. (Probably would have held much longer, but being the conservative type, I put on a new tire...)

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 3:19 am
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Had my first nail on a brand new M010... in the middle of nowhere.... luckily it was on a rally weekend and there were lots of other bikers around...
Followed instructions ... shreaded one BMW plug, reamed the hole a bit larger and finally managed to insert the second plug sucessfully. Used the razor blade to trim the plug flush (it's intended use), and re-inflated the tyre.
Was nervous at first, but some other Beemer riders assured me the plug would out-last the tyre... 600miles later and the tyre is still perfect... no loss of pressure....
So I'm a believer in the BMW repair method...
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 10:14 am
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I had one of those sharp countersunk drywall screws in my tire for a week before I realised it. I planned a convenient time to unscrew it with my electric screwdriver.

If screws can seal that well, I can understand why folks keep odd screws in their toolkit.

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