My first EVER flat tire (a block from home)

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Oct 3, 2019
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My wife and I took our ride and a block from the house I ran over something and got a flat in the rear tire. I was able to ride it home into the garage. Then I thought about the WHAT IF I was in another situation and had to rely on what I had on the bike so I used what I had. The pictures below show what I carry, used, and what I found out. The repair kit was fine (Ari Henning on MC Garage said he rode coast to coast with a plug and never had any trouble, but should a patch be installed? What would you do?). The rechargeable tire pump had 3/4 battery, has a setting to stop when it reaches the correct pressure, but died at 5lbs. I recharged it (something I will be more aware of in the future) and it went to 20lbs, but where the flexible hose screws in got VERY HOT so a pause was needed for it to cool then restart the process until it got hot again.
I am just wondering what you carry (a plug in inflator?), a better/different repair kit, and any advice to leave the plug until you need a new tire or patch it if it is still very good as mine is (Whew what a job to take off the back tire or costly to have done. LOL). Thank you for your comments and replies.


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A patch-plug (from the inside) is probably the most secure repair although I generally just use a standard sticky string kit and ride to the end of the tire's life.

I would never rely on a battery operated inflator. When the battery runs out, you're done until you can recharge. There are lots of inflators out there (some very small) that run off the bike's battery. I use a Slime pump but do a search here for LOTS of information and choices. Note that you CANNOT use the 12 V outlet in the glove box to run an inflator - the fuse will blow immediately. The wiring to that outlet is not suitable for high current draw so don't consider upping the fuse rating. You should have an SAE outlet pigtail hooked to your battery and fused to at least 10 amps - or higher, depending on the pump. (This can also be used to hook up a battery tender.)
Depending on the puncture, sticky strings have proven to be a good repair to get you home. Many (me included) have worn tires out after plugging with sticky string. For a new, new tire, I'd consider pulling it off the rim and installing a plug/patch as a final repair. I always carry a plug in compressor; Aerostich, Slime and Cycle pump from Bestrest Products are good choices.

String and 12v inflator. Both from Walmart. Used three different times on two FJRs over the years....although the first one I used a mushroom plug system that I never liked much. I'm a patch and ride to tire end kind of long as it holds, tire carcass isn't damaged too much, not the sidewall, etc.

We did a poll once and results came back with huge variety of answers and no consensus.
That HF repair kit shows only three strings in it. I believe Slime sells the strings alone in a pack of ten or more. Probably worth it to have extra on hand JIC. I also don't know if they might dry out a bit over time. Same for the cement. Extras of both don't take up much room.

I second a plug-in compressor over battery operated. I bought a Motopumps Air Shot years ago to replace a Slime and it was a very nice upgrade. Designed and sold by a motorcyclist which explains some of the thoughtful features. Saw they came out with an upgraded version not too long ago which probably helps explain the higher price than what I paid. I also got mine under a pop-up at Americade when the company was fairly new so most likely a show price discount too.

Just remembered, I used it to air up my truck tires once or twice and it handled that task admirably. From about 12 psi up to 36 without any drama.
Probably worth it to have extra on hand JIC. I also don't know if they might dry out a bit over time. Same for the cement. Extras of both don't take up much room.
I haven't had problems with sticky strings drying out too much, even after a few years. I replace them semi-regularly anyway - cheap insurance. The cement, on the other hand, will dry out once it has been opened. (Reminds me, I have to get a spare tube)

@Silver Ghost What was that in your tire (how big)? Sticky strings (or any other plug) may not be suitable for a big hole or a hole too close to the sidewall.
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I've always been a sticky string and glue guy, with a small on-board plug-in compressor. I did however learn something new a couple years ago: don't use a digital pressure gage unless you are way more anal than me about replacing batteries. Thankfully I still had my old stick gage under the seat.
I have a 20V Lithium Ion battery powered inflator. It's heavy duty enough to pump any tire from flat. It has 3 different connectors but the tire connector is a screw on with a flexible hose so it's easy to attach to almost any awkward m/c wheel. I carry it in my top box with a large tire plug kit. I've used the plug kit once and it held fine. Ultimately I went darkside on the rear but after trashing a tire on my Route 66 trip last August and being almost stranded, it's a must carry for me now here in Australia.

The inflator was purchased at Aldi, not sure if US Aldi stores carry such things but I have the whole range of their 20V tools now, chainsaw, hedge trimmer, lawn mower, drill, chainsaw sharpener, angle grinder and a few more. The inflator was AUD $40 and the batteries come in 2A, 4A and 8A. The new 8A ones are the same size as the 4A ones.
I have ridden 10s of 1,000s of miles with plugged tyres (mushroom type - best, and with gummy worm type). I've never had a problem. Admittedly, my speed was rarely above 70 mph. I wouldn't have any qualms riding with plugged tyres.

As to tyre inflators, there are pros and cons to both - Yes, I have both and much prefer the Battery ones as I don't need to run the bike (hot exhausts) and fit higher draw 12v electrical sockets on the bike. Don't use the 12v socket in the glove box you'll blow the fuse!

Battery (lithium-ion) inflators are the most convenient and some can also be used as a 12v and/or USB charger. They usually come with LED screens, are usually very accurate and are easy to operate.

The battery inflator on the FJR is used every day to check the tyre pressures on the bike I'm riding that day (yes, I check the cold tyre pressures every day. I believe tyres are that important) and recharged every week (more often if required). It is now over 4 years old and, because it is being exercised regularly, the battery is in good condition and will inflate a motorcycle tyre from flat more than twice on a single charge - DAMHIK! This one will fit under the seat of a 2019 FJR:


FJR: - Oasser Tyre Inflator Electric Bike Pump LCD Display with Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery LED Light 150PSI 12V Black

I have a second battery tyre inflator that has just given up the ghost after 7 years which was kept on my NT700VA Honda Deauville. This one was used every day to check the tyre pressures on the bike and recharged every week (more often if required) until I got the one above. Then it was used intermittently. It is a little bigger, but more powerful, than the one on the FJR and won't fit under the seat. To be able to fit under the seat it needs to be less than 8" long and preferably <= 7.8" long.

NT700: - Oasser Tyre Inflator Car Tyre Pump 12V AC/DC Portable Air Compressor with 2000 Large Capacity Battery Rechargeable Li-ion Battery 120PSI 20 litres/Min

Both the Osser tyre inflators come with a 12v and mains (110v - 240v) charging system. So, using the 12v, you can recharge it on the FJR using the 12v glove box socket provided you don't run the pump at the same time.

I'm looking at replacing it with a Fanttik: The downside with the Fanttik is the length of the hose which is quite short.

I have found that the "wired" tyre inflators tend to have analogue gauges which, usually, aren't as accurate.

For balance, here are a selection of motorcycle tyre inflators both battery and "wired":

Selection of motorcycle tyre inflators:

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That short hose is nice.

I have strings and a year ago or so bought a Stop and Go mushroom plug kit (haven't had to use it yet).

I carry 16 gram CO2 cartridges. I know I know, what if the plug doesn't entirely seal and you lose more air looking for a gas station? I found 3 cartridges inflated the tire pretty well. I didn't check but I'd say it was 20 lbs. in a 190/55 tire. I carry 6 or 7 cartridges under the seat so I think I'm good. My riding buddies also have cartridges and a pump if need be.

I did find this but I'm pretty sure my results were different...

Can a CO2 cartridge fill a motorcycle tire?

Most of these kits use disposable CO2 cartridges to inflate the tire once you've repaired the puncture. How much do you need? According to our tests, it takes six 12-gram canisters to inflate a 180/55-17 rear tire to 20 psi, while a similar number of 16-gram charges will get it to 23 psi.Feb 24, 2009
I have strings and a year ago or so bought a Stop and Go mushroom plug kit (haven't had to use it yet).
I have heard varying opinions on the Stop and Go system... I would suggest practicing with it on an old tire before you assume it will work for you at the side of the road. (I did that when I first used sticky strings - good to know you are doing it right.)

Regarding the pump (as opposed to CO2 cartridges), I KNOW it will work for me and that I will be OK if I have to stop and air up a couple of times. Lots of people use a local gas station or their own garage compressor to adjust tire pressure as needed. I use the portable pump I carry with me. That way, I know it works and hasn't died from corrosion, rubber degradation, lack of lubrication or neglect. These things don't last forever but there is usually some warning before they quit - usually taking longer to attain target pressure. I have read accounts of people hauling their compressor out from under the seat where it has sat for a number of years and finding that it didn't work. At home, I run it with a separate battery box but run it off the bike's battery pigtail on the road - test to make sure it is adequately fused for the pump. Use it with the engine running if you are bringing pressure up more than a couple of psi - you would hate to fix the flat and then have to call a tow truck for a boost to a flat battery!
By the way guys, though this Fortnine video is not strictly about which repair plugs are best, it DOES offer guidance on a short list of some would-be tire sealant (goop in a bottle) compounds.

Fortnine Tire Sealant Comparo

Very watchable video :cool:, and putting money where my mouth is, I ended up buying a bottle of the one their test presented as best overall.
Speaking of plug comparison, Fortnine also has one on the topic. After watching it last year I stopped carrying the Stop & Go Mushroom plug kit and replaced it with to good old "bacon strips". ;)
I have the Stop & Go kit too. I never tried it on a motorcycle tire, but did try it on a car tire -- it took a few tries to get things sealed. After watching that video, I think I'll revert to the bacon strips for emergency roadside repairs. Thanks for that link.

But I'm still pulling the tire off when I get home and replacing the emergency plug with an internal patch/plug (which I always knew as the "mushroom plug" before Stop & Go adopted the moniker).
I wish I had that space available. If you have the electronic suspension FJR that space has been used for the controller :(