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Puncture kit for a cruiser?

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by damien, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Hi All,

    Saw a thread on this from 2011 and didn't get my head straight on what to do so I thought i'd throw a new one up for discussion.

    I'm a new rider (just got my first bike on the weekend), and I want to equip myself with the right gear to get out of a puncture. The bike is a VL250 intruder and so far I feel that it won't be too bad (or hard) to call for someone to bring over a trailer in the event of a puncture, however given that I will be (eventually) riding home from work at 11pm, I don't feel that a call for help to a mate or the lady will be as easy as it may appear.

    With that in mind, what are the options? I don't want to seem naive but I am just building my biker knowledge from scratch and I've read about tube foams, plugs, patches etc and it's a bit of an information overload.

    Anyone with a cruiser and/or good knowledge on the topic happy to offer some insight?

    Much appreciated.

  2. I always carry the plug kit under my seat - and used it safely a couple of times to get me out of the sh1t. About $30 and you get 5 or 6 plug strips in a carry case.
  3. Thanks. Heres where i start to show my lack of stripes...

    Am i right in understanding plugs only work on tubeless?
  4. Yes.
  5. As above I carry a plug repair kit and 3 Co2 cannisters under the seat of my sports bike, has been the best way of avoiding a puncture so far.
  6. That doesn't work. Simply carrying the kit will not have any bearing on whether you get a puncture.

    This raises a good question. How many CO2 cartridges does your kit take to inflate a tyre? If you don't know, then it is time to spend a little coin on some, and at least do a "test inflate" just so you know. This will acquaint you with the practicalities of using the inflater, the retail stream that supplies the cartridges, and you will know how many spare cartridges you need to carry. It is not a completely useless exercise to deliberately puncture an old tyre you are about to replace, use the kit, so as to take some of the the guesswork out of the equation at the roadside.

    There are many things that can bring one unstuck in roadside tyre plugging. Can you do it in complete darkness? Is it going to work in the rain? I'd not like to attempt it by the light of my phone screen. Will your bikes battery support lighting for as long as it takes, then restart the bike? Are your bike's lights really going to help you much? How old is your kit? is the vulcanising fluid or plugs (if the "wet type") still any good?

    Is there another way? - Road motorist Roadside Assist (RACV, NRMA, etc) may help you, but will it really? A mate with a trailer or ute may also be of dubious value if it comes with no idea or means of securing the motorcycle. or getting it onto same.

    Everybody does it a different way. Find one that you know will work for you. Sounds like for you, Damien, that initially, the trailer might be the best option, considering your local and predictable route, but it is worth exploring other methods where this might be impractical.
  7. Good question Jstava. Something that concerns me with fixing a tubeless is wether the tyre seats on the rim well enough to make a seal. My skinny little 100/80-17 rear does as I've inflated it twice from dead flat with hand pump, but I've wondered about larger tyres. I'm guessing that they usally do, or the plugs wouldn't sell.
  8. IMHO the best way to ensure you dont get a puncture is to carry a repair kit.

    Works like a charm!
    • Like Like x 2
  9. I've used a floor pump to inflate a 180/55 from completely flat on three separate occasions, but that was always on a rear stand - I've always been lucky enough that I've managed to get home on the puncture. Not sure how well it would work with half the bike's weight (more or less) mashing the tyre into the ground.

    I always meant to buy one of those 'strut'-type portable rear stands to carry around with my puncture repair kit but never got around to it. Maybe for xmas.
  10. You'd be pretty unlucky i think to break the bead with a flat tyre. The wall of the tyre has the give.
    I've never had to use the canisters, not will i be testing them for research purposes, i'll just take the gamble.
    All of my punctures i've been able limp to a garage carefully with zero psi in the tyre and not damage it further. Stick a plug in, pump up and off you go.
    Shift your weight to the good tyre.
  11. I am one of the lucky ones who gets punctures all the time, my last rear Tyre had 6 plugs in it when it was replaced!

    I carry the contents of an ARB 4x4 plug kit, in a small bag under the seat, why a 4x4 one? It has larger and metal plug Insert-er and Reamer, which are much easier to use than the small ones with Plastic Screw driver handles, or just Plastic handles. Also has Thicker Plugs which seem to last longer than the ones in the Motorcycle kits.

    Also carry a very compact 12v Tom Tom Air Compressor, got it off eBay for about $35 and it works an absolute treat, which just clips onto the battery, it is a lot easier to plug a half inflated Tyre than it is to plug a flat Tyre, and if you use C02 canisters you can use them up just getting some air into the Tyre to make it easier to plug.
    I have used a Trickle Charger to bring a power source up under my Pillion seat which has a Key Lock on it, as i need to remove my main Seat using those stupid BMW Torque screw to get to the battery which is an absolute pain in the arse, so the Trickle charger lead just makes life easier.

    And I have sat on the inside Emergency Lane of the Monash Fwy in Peak Hour in the dark and plugged a Tyre before! Them B Doubles are scary at 100km\h about 2 feet away. :nailbiting:
    • Like Like x 1