We all agree that the wheels of a motorcycle are one of the most important parts that require attention to ensure comfort and safety on the road. Tires, being the point of contact between us, our motorcycle, and the asphalt, must be regularly checked and maintained in good condition.
Unfortunately, we can sometimes face a tire’s worst enemy: a puncture. In such cases, it’s advisable to stop driving immediately upon realizing the issue, and work on fixing the situation reliably and quickly. Remember, if the tires lose air, you lose stability and grip, so it’s not advisable to continue driving in this condition.
Today’s tires are increasingly resistant and of higher quality, with numerous improvements that minimize the effects of a puncture and can even prevent it. But since at some point we all have to get off the bike due to a flat tire, we have prepared this post with our best tricks to solve a puncture.
What Steps Should You Follow When You Notice a Puncture?
Generally, you’ll notice a motorcycle tire puncture almost immediately. The most important thing at these times is to keep calm and think clearly. Slow down progressively to move away from other vehicles and avoid obstructing traffic or risking your safety. You can only activate the brake of the wheel that has not been punctured, as it is unsafe to brake with a damaged wheel.
Next, move to a safe place as quickly as possible. Try to stop at a nearby service area, a picnic area, or even on the shoulder, depending on the severity of the puncture. Be especially careful on highways, freeways, and secondary roads, where visibility may be reduced for other drivers.
If the puncture occurs at night, make sure to properly illuminate the area where you are, correctly signaling your position with triangles and emergency lights. Also, if you have to stop on a shoulder, don’t forget to put on your reflective vest first.
Once you have stopped in a safe place and signaled your position, try to determine the origin of the puncture, to act accordingly. Inspect the tire surface, rotate the wheel to check the area in contact with the asphalt, and finally, don’t forget to check the valve, as stones can also impact it and cause a puncture, although this is less common.
What Do You Need to Repair a Puncture in Your Motorcycle Tire?
To repair a puncture in a motorcycle tire, it’s best to always carry a puncture repair kit, which will save you a lot of time and effort and yield better results in the repair, even if it’s temporary. These kits usually include:
- A small punch to enlarge the puncture hole and work comfortably.
- A sealing system: either rubber strips to plug the hole or a bottle with liquid to fill the tire and seal the puncture.
- A wheel inflation system: whether it’s compressed air bottles, a small manual pump, or an electric portable air compressor.
In addition, we also advise you to always have a flashlight, which can be very useful if you suffer a puncture at night, but also to know the real extent of the puncture, both outside and inside the tire. In the most severe cases, it may even be advisable to have a set of tools to disassemble the motorcycle. Finally, the last essential accessory to fix a puncture easily and quickly is to have a pair of pliers, which do not always come included in repair kits and will make the process of removing the object that caused the puncture much easier.
Methods to Repair a Puncture
To repair a puncture yourself, even temporarily, the main thing is to know what type of tires you have installed on your motorcycle, as this will determine the processes you should follow from here. Mainly, there are two types of motorcycle tires today: with a tube or tubeless. Make sure you know which one is yours and follow the steps indicated for each type.
Fixing a Puncture in a Motorcycle with Tubed Tires
Commonly, repairing a puncture in a tire with a tube is associated with a more complex and dangerous process than fixing a tubeless tire, as blowouts are common, which can lead to an accident if not acted upon quickly. To repair this type of wheel, the first thing you should do is lift your motorcycle with the central stand to have the punctured wheel in the air. Once you have the bike positioned, the next step will be to disassemble the cover to see exactly where the puncture is and what caused it.
The most common is that it has been caused by a nail or any other sharp object, so you should remove it from the cover to continue with the process. However, it may also be that the puncture was caused by pinching, for example, when overcoming a sharp bump. In these cases, keep in mind that there may be several puncture points, so you will have to check the entire wheel thoroughly. Once you have determined the area of the puncture, the next step will be to carefully glue the patch, inflate the wheel again, and put everything back in place to be able to drive to the nearest workshop.
Fixing a Puncture in a Motorcycle with Tubeless Tires
On the other hand, if your motorcycle’s wheel is tubeless, i.e., without a tube in the tire, punctures are usually less dangerous and much easier to solve, as the wheel starts to lose air slowly, and not abruptly.
Currently, the most common way to fix a puncture in a motorcycle with tubeless tires is to use a sealing spray, which fills the hole and prevents the wheel from continuing to deflate. To use this method, you only have to position your motorcycle with the central stand, identify the area of the puncture, and enlarge the hole a little.
Insert the spray dispenser into the puncture itself and project the liquid inside, which will seal the air leak. With the help of a cutter, remove the excess material and inflate the wheel to reach the nearest workshop.
Head to a Mechanic as Soon as Possible
Finally, we leave you with one last piece of advice. Often, when we solve a puncture ourselves, we think the job is done there, and we can continue riding our motorcycle as usual. The truth is that this is a mistake to avoid, as we may be overlooking other damage or effects that the puncture has had due to lack of experience in mechanics.
Therefore, it’s best to always head directly to your trusted mechanic or the nearest workshop you find on your route after applying the temporary fix we mentioned above. This way, you can ensure that a professional checks the condition of the tire, applying technical solutions that will improve your safety and comfort during driving, and may detect, for example, hidden damage.
These are all our tips for solving a puncture in a motorcycle tire. The truth is that at some point, we have all had to suffer this bitter situation, but as you can see, it is not a complex process to solve. We hope all these tips have been helpful for you to go fully prepared for your next motorcycle adventure.