5 Steps: How to repair a motorcycle tire

Sooner or later you’re going to need to fix a motorcycle flat on the road, Assuming you have a puncture in the tread (not the sidewall) and the bead is still seated on the rim, temporary repair of a tubeless tire is easy. Simply plug the hole and then inflate the tire.

motorcycle tire repair kitRegular automotive “gummy worm” tire inserts work fine on bike tires.

How to repair a motorcycle tire

  1. Visit your local auto parts store and select a package of worms, a reamer and inserter.
  2. Once you’ve removed the nail or wire, use the reamer to make the hole large enough to insert the worm. (The inserter has a hook/eye end into which you thread the worm, and then shove it into the puncture).
  3. Twist, remove the inserter (leaving the plug behind).
  4. Trim the plug’s rat tail flush with the tire.
  5. Inflate tire.

Practice this once on a trashed, unmounted tire.

Several online resources sell an inflator which uses cheap, hardware store-style cartridges. You can pay a lot more for the threaded-style cartridges, but it’s unnecessary. Count on using 3-5 cartridges for full inflation. This repair could last the life of the tire, but the experts advise buying a new tire ASAP.

Pete Tamblyn


2 Responses to 5 Steps: How to repair a motorcycle tire

  1. Evan Kooker May 29, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    I just got a nail in my tire last weekend, I was lucky that someone had a similar kit. The kit was a Stop and Go tire repair kit, it has little mushroom looking plug that work great. It repaired my tire so I could make it home, and finish the ride. I highly recommend carrying a repair kit, I now carry one on my bike.

    • MotorcycleMentor May 29, 2014 at 10:03 pm #

      Glad you had a kit. It’s not too hard if the hole is in the tread. My first repair was in the comfort of my garage. I am always more confident after one success.

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