So, you've just found a nail in the tread of that brand new motorcycle tire. Most times when you here this story, it seems that the tire in question is almost always new... so what to do?
If it was a car tire, you wouldn't hesitate to have it repaired. But cars have four tires, not two. How do you decide whether to repair, or replace that punctured motorcycle tire?
As you might expect, advise on this topic varies widely. For every "expert" advising not to repair a motorcycle tire, there is a "biker" who says they've plugged or patched their bike tires for years, and never had a problem.
After researching the opinions, facts and myths about repairing motorcycle tires, my advice is simple:
- Patch or plug a motorcycle tire only in an emergency.
- Use a plugged or patched tire only to get home or to the closest shop.
- Ride with caution, and at lower speeds on a repaired motorcycle tire. Minimize lean, and maintain a healthy traction reserve.
- Replace the repaired tire!
I'd hesitate to ride on a repaired front tire. If a plug or patch fails in the front tire, the result could be an immediate and devastating loss of traction. Sidewalls should never be plugged or repaired. Plugs should only be considered if the puncture is within the center tread area.
Common sense should apply when considering whether or not to plug or repair motorcycle tires. Balance & traction must be maintianed to ride a motorcycle. Balance & traction are the two things that are lost when a motorcycle tire fails while riding. To me, the risks just aren't worth the savings. Replace that punctured tire!
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