If you are like most motorcycle riders, you ride your bike to relax and feel free. And there is nothing that interrupts that feeling faster than a tire puncture. You can anticipate when a tire will get old and need to be changed, but you can never expect when a stray nail or some other piece of debris is going to put a hole in your tire and ruin your whole day. Luckily, the best tire repair kits for motorcycles can plug holes so you won’t be stranded. However, this raises the question of whether or not you should use plugs on motorcycles. It turns out that this is a difficult question to answer, but this guide will explain everything you need to know.
This is a surprisingly divided question. There are two major camps, but the matter is a little more complicated than simply whether or not you can plug motorcycle tires. Most people will say one of three things:
- Plugging a motorcycle tire is perfectly safe
- Plugging a motorcycle tire is incredibly dangerous
- How safe it is to plug a motorcycle tire depends on the type of puncture and tire
As you might expect, this third opinion is most likely the closest to the truth. It is also important to note that many motorcycle mechanic shops and dealerships refuse to plug motorcycle tires. This does not mean it is always dangerous, but shops do not want to be held liable for any injuries. So unless you want to be buying cheap motorcycle tires often, you should get a repair kit.
It is vital to understand the dangers of plugging a motorcycle tire. One thing that everyone can agree on is that plugging a puncture on the side of the tire is a big mistake. The tire simply isn’t strong enough on the side to handle a plug. Luckily, it is very rare for a puncture to happen in that location. But always remember that if it does happen, do not plug it and drive off. Also, a faulty plug job is a huge danger to you. If the tire comes apart while you are riding, injury is almost inevitable.
Finally, let’s talk facts. First things first, off-road bike tires are stronger than street tires, so you should have no fear plugging those. This also applies to ATV tires, so have no fear finding ATV tires near me. For street tires, you are probably fine to plug them and drive off, but you need to be wary. After plugging a street tire, you should stop and check the tire a few miles down the road. If it is still good to go, then it will likely stay that way. You probably don’t want to ride on that tire for 1,000 more miles after that, but it should last a decently long time. You have more than enough time to get a new tire whenever it is convenient. Remember, side punctures or especially deep punctures may simply cause too much risk and you need to buy a completely new tire.