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Why is it ALWAYS the back?!

Show of hands, please, how many trust the plugs for everyday riding? I went out to the garage this morning to back my bike out and go to work, and it did that all-too-familiar hard to push thing. My dealership puts green slime in all the tires they mount, so the tire held about 15lbs of pressure and felt hard when I knocked it with my fist, but there was a screw head deep in the tread and it was obvious that I was not going to ride to work this morning.

I have both the rubber tire plugger kit and I have an auto kit with the big awl to poke in their big worms covered with goop. So I can do that when I come home this afternoon. OR, I can air it up and ride it to the dealership for a new tire.
 

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chuckwilmot said:
Why is it ALWAYS the back?!

Show of hands, please, how many trust the plugs for everyday riding? I went out to the garage this morning to back my bike out and go to work, and it did that all-too-familiar hard to push thing. My dealership puts green slime in all the tires they mount, so the tire held about 15lbs of pressure and felt hard when I knocked it with my fist, but there was a screw head deep in the tread and it was obvious that I was not going to ride to work this morning.

I have both the rubber tire plugger kit and I have an auto kit with the big awl to poke in their big worms covered with goop. So I can do that when I come home this afternoon. OR, I can air it up and ride it to the dealership for a new tire.
I use the gummy worms for emergency repairs. I have heard too many stories from plug owners where they ride for 20 miles and the plug comes out, then ride another 20 miles and the next plug comes out ... plug, rinse, repeat. I would not rely on either the worms or the plugs as a long term fix. I know some riders who have, and they got away with it.

If the tire has significant wear or the screw is in the sidewall (far from the center of the tread), then I would replace the tire.

If the tire is relatively new and the screw is near the center of the tread, then I would consider a third option - have the dealer or an independent shop remove the tire and install a true inside patch.

I suspect that your favorite dealer here in the OC will insist on replacing the tire, and cite safety and liability reasons for not installing inside patches. They are closed on Mondays, by the way.
 

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Flats

I use the plugs plus slime for large punctures in the car tires (including my 4WD), but for the GT I only trust the plugs for a trip to the dealer for tire replacement. Paranoia is my prime reasoning for replacement. However, I do carry a can of Slime in case of slow leaks when I cannot locate the source of the problem. Good luck and ride safe.
EJ
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think I'm going for a new tire. The flat has about 3K miles on it, and this just aint the end of the world. Every since they took my county ride away from me in the last job shuffle, it's been my daily commuter and downtime is just plain inconvenient.
 

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I've plugged 9 out of 10 of my last sets of tires. I'd bet I've got 60,000 to 70,000 miles on plugs and trust them completely. That being said, I'm religious about checking/maintaining air pressure.

I had one worm fail, but it was due to the size of the hole not the worm, picked up a huge barb wire. When it failed, I stuffed another one in and rode it till I had time to replace the tire.

Keep in mind when they fail, you get a slow air leak, once enough air has leaked out the bike handles differently so you'll know you've got a leak. If you keep running on the tire with low pressure, it will begin to heat up significantly.
 

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I will add a meetoo on plug use. Yes, I'm careful but I've run thousands on them.

I also use the cheezy cheep old car tire plugs (rayon), they work like a champ.

Metzlers are amazing as a side note. I ran from D.C. to Detroit with a screw in my rear tire, didn't want to chance plugging it on the road if it was holding air. It was, only lost about 2 lbs the whole way. Definitely payin attention though :yeow:
 

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ldbikin said:
Metzlers are amazing as a side note. I ran from D.C. to Detroit with a screw in my rear tire, didn't want to chance plugging it on the road if it was holding air. It was, only lost about 2 lbs the whole way. Definitely payin attention though :yeow:

Wow...that IS amazing!
Steve
1990 K75RT
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dropped in to the local dealership unannounced and they put my bike on the lift right away and changed out the tire. I had a Z6 on the back and they're old news now. The new version is Z8, which is what they put on, at a slightly lower price than the Z6 was. Is buying tires online the right way to go? Is paying the shipping costs still cheaper than the dealership price? Amazing that I am just now struggling with this. I've just all along thought that paying the dealership price or shipping costs was about a wash.
 

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Chuck, believe we can all sympathize. I recall once replacing both tires and within a matter of days found a huge drywall screw in....the rear tire of course. I had bought this set online at Southwest Moto and while I saved a few bucks, didn't want to wait on another tire to be shipped from Arizona to Texas.

Called my local Cycle Gear and they had another Michelin PR2 in stock. The tire was more expensive than SW Moto and since I was so pissed, I availed myself of their road hazard insurance. No trouble to date but I sure as heck know where I filed that receipt.

I'll do the plug if I'm on a trip and need to get back to civilization where I'll buy a new tire ASAP. This sport is dangerous enough without having to worry about a repaired tire.

Do some quick research and I believe you'll find dealerships gouge you on tires + mounting & balancing. If possible, buy online or look for a sale at your local Cycle Gear.

Best of luck.
 

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chuckwilmot said:
Dropped in to the local dealership unannounced and they put my bike on the lift right away and changed out the tire. I had a Z6 on the back and they're old news now. The new version is Z8, which is what they put on, at a slightly lower price than the Z6 was. Is buying tires online the right way to go? Is paying the shipping costs still cheaper than the dealership price? Amazing that I am just now struggling with this. I've just all along thought that paying the dealership price or shipping costs was about a wash.
Buying mail order is cheaper and better, in my opinion.

Where you really save money is when you remove your own wheels and drive them to a non-dealer shop to have the tires changed. Removing the wheels is very easy, once you have a way to raise the front (and keep it raised when you take the wheel to the tire shop). There are lots of solutions - wheel stands, a board supporting the headers, a strap to the ceiling, a strap to the floor (on the rear of the bike), among others.

The local motorcycle wheel shop charges $18 per tire to mount them. I like the local shop because they pay attention to my TPM sensors to avoid damaging them, and they handle my wheels with care. I have found some shops that will change the tires for as little as $10 a wheel. When you look for a tire changing shop, ask to inspect their tire changing machine and tools. Look carefully at how they will treat your wheels. Are their changing machines and tools soft plastic or rubber coated, or are they hard scratchy steel with sharp edges?

Many local motorcycle tire shops do not have the large hub needed to spin-balance a KGT rear wheel. Instead, they send you to a car tire shop. (The local motorcycle tire shop used to charge me $15 to spin balance the front wheel, and the local car tire shop used to charge me $10 to spin balance the rear wheel.) I didn't like the way the car tire shop balanced the tire, nor the way they treated my rims, so I bought a static balancing set from Marc Parnes. It takes patience to balance the wheels that way, but I believe the Marc Parnes balancer does a much better job. With a little practice, you can teach yourself to balance a wheel in 10 minutes.

http://marcparnes.com/

One day, I took a nail and rode directly to the local BMW dealer. They sold me a set of PR2s and installed them. If I recall, the total cost was around $450.00.

Dealer
PR2 (B): $450 installed, including wheel removal.

SW Moto Tire (current prices):
PR2 Tires (B) $293.95 including free shipping, no tax.
Mount tires: $36 at my favorite local shop, cheaper elsewhere.
Balance: $15 + $10 = $25
Total: $354.95 (Savings over dealer: $95)
Balance yourself total: $329.95 (Savings over dealer: $120)

A couple years ago, I bought a set of PR2s (non-B), front and rear, for $230, tax included. Someone on these forums posted a note about the sale; Thanks! With mounting, the total cost was $266.
Savings over dealer: $184.

It is hard for me to justify a tire changer, but I would love to own one, so I can put on new tires for a long trip, but save the old tires to reinstall them on my return. I like the NoMar and Cycle Hill changers, but they are not cost effective for me. I may buy one anyway someday, just for the convenience of being totally independent and doing my own tires at home. Schweet!
 

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cheez, I have a nomar in my garage in phoenix collecting dust. I haven't used it a lot since my crash. I luved having that thing around, would order tires and have them on-hand whenever I felt the need to change them. And I only did oil and tire changes on the bike pretty much so it gave me a chance to get some hands-on.

If I recall it'd cost me about 340 from SW moto for a set of metzlers or michelins. add the cost of weights and you can see it saves a lot (dealer was charging 550 at the time).

In phoenix, Motoghost does tires so cheap its hard to even justify doing them yourself.
 

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screws

Have been using the plugs (not BMW) issue with success on the bike and the car for some time. Illegal in the next state. One rider I know carries self tappers, uses them, he claims, with success.
 

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I have used he worm plugs with great success.
Have put as much as 3,200 miles on a plugged tire.
The closer the puncture is to the side of the tread, the less enthusiastic I am to continue to run on it as I really enjoy using that part of the tire.
I haven't had a puncture in some time (Knock on wood) but always carry both types of repair kits.
I can repair a puncture on the side of the road & be gone again in under 10 minutes.
I hook up the electric pump as soon as I pull over (easier to find hole with more pressure) use the rasp to clean out the hole, leave the rasp in as I prep the worm plug, squeeze some glue on it, pull out the rasp & push the plug in. Cut off the plug flush with tread & by the time I have tools packed up the tire will likely be back up to operating pressure.
TPM is a great tool and puts you a little more at ease doing this of course.
I ride a lot of miles and finally made the decision to get a No-Mar changer at the bike show in Long Beach in Dec. 2009. As close to bullet proof as you can get
I also bought a balancer at Harbor freight ($45 I think with coupon). Works great.
I rode 71,000 miles last year, paid for the tire changer long before the year was done based on getting my tires at a local private shop who gave me a 30% discount on PR & PR2 tires & charged $30 to mount & balance when I rode in. www.mach1ca.com in Costa Mesa, talk to Long, the owner. They do a very good job & always looked after me right away, keeping in mind that I was there to get at least 1 tire changed every month if not more.
The No-Mar lets me run tire right down without having to worry about getting through a weekend without a dealer open.
Of course there is the advantage of taking off a half worn set before a long trip & remounting them again at... um, lets see here... ZERO cost :clap: .
I now get my tires from a local supplier who have provided my tires since that same 2009 Long Beach bike show. Last purchase I made was in Jan. 2011 so will have to check to see if things are still good there. I may have been the one who posted a couple of years ago about this place. I usually order 2 - 5 sets at a time.
I have run the PR & PR2 without the "B" designation for probably 180 - 200,00 miles without issue. YMMV The main reason I started running them was the unavailability of tires with the "B", so I just kept on running them.
 

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Do I trust plugs.. not so much but........
I have had two flats and sued plugs on them both times..
First one on a late Sunday afternoon in May after riding thru rural Hoke County two up, I noticed the bike a bit unsettled in some curves. Then in Southern Pines, had the center stand drag around a corner when it shouldn't have. Pulled into a convenience store and checked air and found it at 18lbs (does this count as flat??). Then found a screw off to the side but still in the tread area , and a thick part of it . At this point I know that I have ridden with it for about 40+ miles as the point where I first noticed the unsettled behavior was about 35 miles back. Dilemma. Do I tighten the screw in a bit more, air it up, and keep riding the 80 miles home or take it out? There aren't many stores along the way but enough I could get air, just not a lot of help. I do have a small mountain bike pump with me that can be used to pump up a tire with lots of strokes. I find inside the store a $4.95 plug kit. Do I try to fix it and ride and would the plug hold. My wife and I talk and decide our fate. We pull over to the $0.50 air pump and I take out the screw and learn how to plug a tire. It works, it holds air, we arrive home safe and sound with only about a 30 minute delay on the trip. This tire was new just 2 weeks before. I monitor it closely for the next month. It was in a thick part of rubber, somewhat off to the side. The tire makes it 10,000 miles over the rest of the summer. I asked for a mini pump/plug kit for Fathers Day and got it.

Second one, leaving work, hop on the bike and go to retract the stand and it scraps the ground. Something rotten in Denmark as they say. Find the tire has about 10 lbs of air in it. Now the expert at plugging,hahahhaa, I get out the tools and the pump and the plug kit. Folks are leaving work and all are asking is all OK and do I need help (this never happens it seems when you are truly in a dilemma and needing help). I pull a 6 penny nail out, and plug a very very thin tire. It was due to be changed out that week as I was pretty well past the wear bars. The glue is all but dried up in the tube. This plug I really don't trust much at all. It holds air. I rioe it around the parking lot a few times doing figure 8s leaned over to stress it to see if will hold. It does and I ride the 40 miles home with extra awareness to bike handling. I did stop once along the way just to spit test it to see if it is still holding. This tire goes and gets changed out for the new one that night.

I have had to plug a few car tires as well over time. The ones that went straight in were never a problem. The ones that failed were ones that we in at some angle away from 90 degrees.. The flatter (less vertical) the puncture, the less they seem to work.

As for source of tires. The shop I use will change the tires on or off the bike but do not stock tires. I can order ahead and have a set delivered there for me and then set up a time. They have evening hours which is even sweeter.

About all the places I use, shipping is free. I use Motorcycle Superstore as my benchmark price. I will check the local Cycle Gear store for any instore specials. Then I will shop Sportbike Track Gear, Two Brothers in Atlanta (discount-motorcycletires), and Competition Accessories. I will also apply any vendor discounts that apply from the various forums. The set of Dunlop Q2s bought this mouth were 223 delivered. Planning a few weeks ahead has the tires waiting for mounting. The down side is if I do need a replacement, my shop doesn't have one. However, over the last 3 yrs I have swapped out some sets before the end of tread life. I have two rears, a Metz Z6 and a Michelin PR2 that have about 1500 miles left on them as well as a Michelin PR2 front and Dunlop Roadsmart front that have about 2000 miles left. So those are there for the occasion if I really need to change a tire immediately.

When I order, MC Superstore tends to take about a week to 10 days to arrive. The others tend to be at the shop in 3-4 days.

Hope that helps the discussion.

NCS
 

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plugs yes

I carry plugs and a small electric pump+razor blade to keep it going. I have good tires in the garage with plugs in them . some with-out plugs . I keep FRONT TIRE that looks perfectly well by my mail box . (it's getting hard with age) .. :teeth :)
 

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chuckwilmot said:
Dropped in to the local dealership unannounced and they put my bike on the lift right away and changed out the tire. I had a Z6 on the back and they're old news now. The new version is Z8, which is what they put on, at a slightly lower price than the Z6 was. Is buying tires online the right way to go? Is paying the shipping costs still cheaper than the dealership price? Amazing that I am just now struggling with this. I've just all along thought that paying the dealership price or shipping costs was about a wash.
I talked to my local bike shop, a Ducati dealership, about tires for my airhead and after getting their price I said thanks... they then offered to match, with shipping, any on-line price for the same tires if I had them mounted and balanced there.

Gave them the price from Bike Bandit which they accepted; my tires were in after a couple of days I brought my wheels and had my tires mounted and balanced.

It's worth asking.

With all my bikes I will probably look to No-Mar for a Cycle-Hill setup and Beemer Balancer.
 

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Which Plug Kit

Dredging into an old thread, but I want to take a plugging kit along on a cross country ride in a few weeks. Any recommendations as to what I should buy?
Thanks in advance.
JohnD
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Slash5er said:
Any recommendations as to what I should buy?JohnD
Amazing how an old thread will pop up months or even years after it first started life!

http://pirateslair.net/stopngo.htm

This is what I carry with me on the bike and this is where I bought it. It seems like a well-made and complete kit, and it's relatively small and easy to stash on the bike. I prefer to use an air compressor instead of the C02 cartridges, so I carry a compressor with me as well.
 
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