Roadside Motorcycle Tire Repair

These motorcycle tire repair tips will help get your bike back on the road

Face it, someday your motorcycle will have a flat tire. If you walk out to the parking lot and find your cruiser sitting on one of its rims, count yourself lucky. A deflation at speed can be tricky. When you first notice the problem, carefully roll off the throttle. Next, apply the brake on the unaffected wheel, gradually bringing your bike to a stop in a safe place. Linked brakes require extra caution. It is possible to stop the wheel and have the damaged tire keep turning.

The first step in motorcycle tire repair is to find the cause of the flat to determine what you can do. If the puncture is from a nail or similar object in the tread of your tubeless tire, you should be able to patch the tire. Star-shaped penetrations, cuts, or sidewall damage mean your bike needs a ride to a repair shop.

If the hole is in a tube-type tire, you'll really need to remove the wheel from the bike and the tire from the rim while supporting your bike on the side of the road. In other words, miost cruiser riders probably need a cell phone to summon the cavalry. In a pinch, those cans of sealant and inflator might do the job, but the tire companies warn that the material that oozes out can get between the layer or the tire, making it likely that the tire will come apart. In other words, if the use a can of flat-fix, you shopuld replace the tire ASAP.

Patching a punctured tubeless tire is fairly easy provided you have the right tools. Using the auger, clean and roughen the inside of the hole. Prepare the plug by removing the plastic ring around the vulcanizing rubber and coat the entire plug as well as the hole with the included cement. Wedge the plug into the opening until it is snugly in place and hold it in position with the tool for a minute or two. After removing the tool, we'd recommend letting the plug bond for 10 to 15 minutes (longer in colder weather) before inflating the tire.

Filling the tire with a CO2 cartridge is a one-shot affair, so we always carry a couple of extras in case the plug didn't take. Most flat-fix kits include three cartridges, but we would carry five just to be safe. The engine-powered pumps, which use engine compression to operate a pump that inflates the tire avoid this drawback. Once the tire is inflated, trim off any protruding portions of the plug. If you don't get the tire to its proper pressure, immediately find a gas station to bring the tire up to spec. When you're riding, keep in mind that a plug is a temporary fix to get your bike to a shop to permanently repair or replace the tire. Slow down, and don't ride any faster than you're willing to crash.

Stop & Go, listed in the Resources section below has an extensive selection of motorcycle tire-repair tools, kits and supplies.



Progressive Suspension

Stop & Go International

For more articles on how to maintain and modify your motorcycle, see the Tech section of

Motorcycle Tire Repair Kit
The Progressive Suspension tire-repair kit is small enough to carry in a pocket.Motorcycle Cruiser
Motorcycle Tire Repair Kit
These from-the-outside plugs are considered a temporary repair. You should have the plug or the tire replaced before you ride too far.Motorcycle Cruiser
Motorcycle Tire Repair Kit
The $26 Fix-n-Flate kit from Stop & Go will repair tube and tubeless tires.Motorcycle Cruiser