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Old 03-10-2002, 10:37 AM   #1
Gordy OP
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Question Plugged tires

This might be a re-hash, but what do you guys think about the safety of plugged tires? I never trusted them much, but the new style (ala Stop n Go) seem to be OK. I have no problem with them at legal speeds, but am I signing my death warrant at 100+ with a plugged tire?
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Old 03-10-2002, 01:17 PM   #2
Road Dog
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Cool2 Personal experience

I found a leaking rear tire on my ZX last year in early spring. The tire still had a great deal of rubber on it. I plugged it using a kit from the local grocery chain. I have to tell you that it did not leak air for over a month. I put a thousand miles on that repair, at legal speeds of course.

I carry a pressure guage and checked the pressure at every gas stop and before every ride. When I did finally detect a leak I replaced the tire. So I think what I'm saying is if you don't have the time, patience, discipline to check air pressure repeatedly during a ride then skip the plug and get the thing repaired internally or get a new tire.

At 100plus/mph you are volunteering for Organ Doner status.
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Old 03-10-2002, 04:20 PM   #3
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When I purchased my used GS the rear tire had a plug in it.
2900 miles later it looses about 1-2lbs a week if it just sits (like that ever happens) and I have been at 95-100mph sustained for hours and no problema.
I can not speak from any personal experience, but I don't think a tubeless motorcycle tire will fail as catastrophically as a tube type and I would be more cautious with a front tire plugged.
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Old 03-10-2002, 05:15 PM   #4
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I picked up a small nail in my rear tire within two days of purchasing my GS. I plugged the Trailwing with one of the BMW factory tire plugs in the tool kit and rode the next 6000 miles without a problem. Checked the tire about once a week, but it held air fine. Of course YMMV.

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Old 03-10-2002, 10:19 PM   #5
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I will plug tires every time if there is still some life left in them.
I was talking to a tool man when he did one a month or so back and he proccced to tell me about how he pluged a tire then went racing on it
"can't stop laughin"

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Old 03-11-2002, 01:30 AM   #6
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What do you mean by a plug repair?

Is this a repair done from the outside? Pushed through the tyre,then pulled out and cut off?.We call them string repairs..

This type of tyre repair is ilegal in New Zealand.We use a mushroom plug.The tyre is removed,inspected,then a hole is DRILLED through the tyre,then the stalk of the mushroom plug is pulled through,and the patch on the inside stitched down in the usual way.The stalk is then cut off.

I wouldn't ride on a string repair,a mushroom plug is the only way to go.
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Old 03-11-2002, 06:30 AM   #7
Ron B
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I scrapped two perfectly good rear tires last year due to nails. (I always wonder how the hell nails find their way onto interstates) Both times, the plug got me to my destination, (several hundred miles) where I promptly replaced the tire. Maybe my concern isn't warranted, but I tend to worry more about the possibility of a catastrophic failure (I.E. damaged belt) than a leak from the plug. At the price of tires, though, it's awfully tempting just to keep riding on it. (or maybe pull the tire and do a more comprehensive repair) There seems to be quite a few riders who get away with it.

Note: I seem to recall a rider in the Iron Butt rally suffering a crash due to a tire failure. Does anyone know if this was the case?
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:18 PM   #8
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Thumbs down T-66 with a nail

I picked up a nice 3 inch nail in my rear T-66 last summer with only 3000 miles on the tire. I replaced the T-66 without questioning the dollar investment, but focusing on safety issues.

My dealer said it was smart to replace the tire and avoid the plug. Like someone else stated previously at speeds around 80 MPH or higher...the plug seemed like a weakness.

$150 for a new's a good investment.


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Old 03-11-2002, 03:34 PM   #9
Kenny Jay
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re: plugged tires

I feel the same way about riding on a plugged tire. I buy a new tire at the earliest opportunity. Ive run a few hundred miles on pavement with one, without incident. But I am always a nervous wreck, thinking about it.

One other thing though. Be very careful with a plugged tire on gravel roads. They have a tendency to pull them out after awhile. Ive found this to be true, with two and four wheeled vehicles.

Kenny Jay
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Old 03-11-2002, 03:51 PM   #10
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IMHO, a plugged tire ain't worth a plugged nickel.

I go along with all the warnings that come with every tire repair kit, including the Stop-n-Go that I keep on the bike at all is a temporary repair. Period. Replace the tire at the earliest convenience. I think it's false economy to scrimp on such things. And dangerous.:oogle
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Old 03-12-2002, 11:38 AM   #11
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I've put a lot of mixed miles on plugged tires without problems. The new-style MotionPro are a lot easier to make work than the nasty old string plugs.

I've had mixed experience with boots (mushroom plugs, internally applied patches). The quick-plug I put in a Mich T66 radial rear was working, but I got paranoid and had a boot put in. It would not seal properly. Seems the inner surface of said tire had a really interesting texture. I don't see how you could effectively stitch a patch on that. Put a tube in, and it was chafing some after a few hundred miles. Gave me a good excuse to change the tires long before they were worn out, as I disliked them profoundly. Context: 88 R100GS.

Note that a pal whose family owns a tire store thinks plugs are fine for as long as you want. Also says that if you trim'em down right flush they're less likely to be spat out. Also says that it's better to change the tire than to be freaked out all the time you ride. One way or another, no worries, eh?

Now I'm stuck with tubes, for better and for worse, and out of the plugging world and into pry-and-paste-and-swear mode. Most of it don't make me no never mind anyway, as I seem to wear out tires pretty quick. Yeah, that's the ticket.
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Old 03-13-2002, 11:35 AM   #12
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Originally posted by Razorbak

That's a classic .sig for a Texan.

Ain't it?

Now that I went through some more threads I found out to whom attribution is due...a tip of the 40L Stetson to Chopperman, who apparently flat don't give a shit about patching tires. Roll on, bro...
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