As an avid motorcyclist, ensuring a safe and reliable ride is crucial. A flat tire can ruin your trip and leave you stranded on the side of the road.
That’s why many riders wonder: can motorcycle tire be plugged? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using a tire plug for motorcycle tires, what you should know before using one, the tools needed for plugging a motorcycle tire, and the legality of tire repair in the USA and Canada.
You can also read on how to read your motorcycle scriptures if you need to know what is all those numbers and characters on your tires.
Table of Contents
Pros of Using a Tire Plug
A tire plug can be a quick and cost-effective solution to repair a punctured motorcycle tire. Here are some of the advantages of using a tire plug:
- Cost-effectiveness: A tire plug is significantly cheaper than buying a new tire or paying for a professional repair.
- Quick and easy repair process: Plugging a tire can be done in a matter of minutes, without the need to remove the tire from the wheel.
- Ability to continue the ride without having to change the tire: With a tire plug, you can continue your ride without having to change the tire or call for assistance.
Cons of Using a Tire Plug
While a tire plug can be a convenient solution for a flat tire, there are some drawbacks to consider:
- Safety concerns: There is a risk of a tire plug failing, which could lead to a blowout at high speeds.
- Damage to the tire: Plugging a tire can cause damage to the inner lining of the tire, which could lead to further problems down the road.
- Decrease in tire lifespan: A plugged tire may not last as long as an unpatched tire, which could lead to more frequent tire replacements.
What You Should Know Before Using a Tire Plug
Before using a tire plug, it’s important to know what types of damage can be repaired, when it’s not safe to use a tire plug, and how to properly install a tire plug. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Types of damage that can be repaired with a tire plug: Tire plugs can only be used to repair small punctures on the tread area of the tire. If the damage is on the sidewall or near the edge of the tread, a tire plug is not recommended.
- When it’s not safe to use a tire plug: A tire plug should not be used if the damage is too severe or if the puncture is in a critical area of the tire.
- How to properly install a tire plug: The tire plug should be inserted from the outside of the tire, using a repair kit that includes a plug and a tool to insert it. After inserting the plug, it’s important to check the tire pressure and inspect the tire to ensure there are no other issues. it’s a very easy process that you can check on this video, it’s explained for a car tire but it’s the same for a motorcycle.
Types of Temporary Plugs Tested by FortNine
FortNine, a popular motorcycle YouTube channel, conducted tests to determine which type of temporary plugs work best for repairing tubeless motorcycle tires. They tested four different types:
- Spear plug – A pointed rubber plug inserted into the hole using an applicator tool.
- Mushroom plug – A mushroom-shaped rubber piece applied from inside the tire using special tools.
- Rope plug – A sticky string-like material that is pushed through the puncture and then pulled back slightly to seal it off.
- Internal patch – Applied from within dismounted tires; this method requires more skill but offers better results compared to other temporary fixes.
Performance Comparison Between Various Types of Temporary Plugs
In their test, FortNine found that internal patches held up best under pressure – able to withstand 103 pounds before failure. While they require more effort and expertise than other methods mentioned above (like spear or mushroom plugs), internal patches offer superior performance as far as sealing goes when properly installed by someone who knows what they’re doing.
Rope plugs also performed well during testing due largely in part because these materials tend to be more flexible & easier for riders themselves who might not possess extensive knowledge about motorcycle tire repair techniques specifically designed towards addressing puncture-related issues encountered along highways throughout North America today. So, if you’re looking for a quick and reliable temporary fix while on the road, consider investing in a rope plug tire repair kit to keep your adventure going.
Rope plug tire repair kits on highways can provide a temporary solution to help you get back on the road, but for more permanent repairs it is important to seek professional help. Authorized dealers and specialized repair shops are available that offer quality service for your motorcycle’s needs.
Tools Needed for working on a Motorcycle Tire
To properly plug a motorcycle tire, you’ll need the following tools:
- Tire spoon: A tool used to remove the tire from the wheel, only needed if you need to change the tire.
- Wheel balancer: A tool used to balance the wheel and tire after plugging (not essential but will be when you will replace your old tire with a new).
- Tire changing station: A device used to secure the wheel and tire during repair, not mandatory but nice to have.
- Repair kit: A kit that includes plugs and tools for inserting them that’s essential.
- Mini compressor: A small air compressor used to inflate the tire after repair also essential.
- Valve core remover: A tool used to deflate the tire easealy, again only needed if you need to replace the tire.
Don’t get surprised and get the tools you need on Amazon with theses suggestions, click on picture form more info. As for me, I never leave without my emergency toolkit that contains all of the item below and wayyyyy more.
Legality of Tire Repair for Motorcycles in the USA and Canada
The laws and regulations regarding tire repair vary between states in the USA and provinces in Canada. In general, tire repair is legal in both countries as long as it’s done properly and doesn’t compromise the safety of the rider. However, there are some restrictions and guidelines to follow.
For example, some states require that a tire plug can only be used as a temporary repair and that the tire must be replaced within a certain period of time. Some states also require that tire repairs must be done by a certified professional. In Canada, tire repair standards are set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and vary depending on the type of tire and the severity of the damage.
There is a article in The Globe and Mail that state the following:
“The legality is a little confusing, as there is no law that says a tire cannot be repaired with a plug. While I am not a legal professional, the understanding that I have is the assumption of liability. All professionals regardless of industry must follow guidelines as set out by the appropriate industry association. In this case, the tire manufacturer’s association states that a tire must be removed, and the inner liner inspected. They also state that a tire plug alone is an unacceptable repair.”
source: The globe and Mail.
If you’re considering using a tire plug for your motorcycle tire, it’s important to check the laws and regulations in your state or province to ensure that you’re complying with them. Violating tire repair laws could result in fines or even legal consequences in case of an accident.
The final answer
So, can motorcycle tire be plugged? The answer is yes, but it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision based on the type of damage and the safety concerns. If you do decide to use a tire plug, make sure to follow the proper procedures and use the right tools. And always check the laws and regulations in your area to ensure that you’re not violating any rules. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy a safe and hassle-free ride on your motorcycle.
Meet Simon, the 46-year-old aficionado behind YourMotoBro. With a lifelong passion ignited by motocross dreams and a Canadian Tire bicycle, Simon’s journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. From coaching underwater hockey to mastering muddy terrains, he’s an authority in thrill and adventure. Certified as an Off-Road Vehicle Excursion Guide and trained in Wilderness First Aid, Simon’s love for bikes is as diverse as his collection—from a robust BMW GSA R1200 to the memories of a Harley Davidson Night Train. By day a respected telephony consultant, by night a motorcycle maestro, Simon’s tales are a blend of expertise, resilience, and undying passion. ?️✨