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I always thought it was okay according to my mechanic. I've had plugs that lasted the life of the tire with no apparent ill effects, but I wasn't riding at the limits of the tire, either. How safe do you want to be? Your life may count on the traction of that tire.
 

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On a car, I've had no problems with an occasional plug. Plus with four wheels I feel that if it does blow out, I've got a good chance of avoiding a catastrophe. On a motorcycle, losing 50% of your usable traction, possibly all of your steering, that seems like an unnecessary risk.



If it were me, I'd save the patching for an emergency situation to get me somewhere that could replace the tire. A $100 tire is a lot cheaper than a potential medical and insurance bill.
 

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Dunlop's web site (and I'm sure there are others) states that you MAY attempt a patch from the inside in addition to a plug and then lists at least 13 conditions that MUST be met before any such attempt. Any warranty is void and rider assumes all responsibility. I would think that your insurance company would claim "operating with known defective equipment" and deny both liability and coll/comp claims if there were a subsequent accident.



I agree with the above poster. You've got to remove the wheel and dismount the bad tire. Half of the labor is already done.



Replace the tire. Ride safe and use those plugs for locust thorns and such on tractors, mowers, and ATV's.
 

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I had a flat from a roofing nail a while back. I luckily was right across from a service station (yes some of those still exsist), when I slowed to a stop. I pulled in asked the guy working there if he had ever put a plug in a MC tire. No he replied and so I said here is your chance. He plugged it and off I went. Now I may be cheap too; but I'm not stupid. I re-tired after a few days as soon as I made it to a MC shop. So it does work; but I wouldn't want to be riding around on it for long.
 

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As has been said already, it's just not worth the risk repairing a motorcycle tire.



If a tire deflates suddenly and you go down as a result, it's going to cost you WAY more than the cost of a new tire.
 

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I've heard this conversation before on a bulliten board i frequent. One guy who is in Korea pointed out that in Korea using plugs in bike tires is as normal there as using them in car tires here. Although they typically won't use more than one or two plugs. I have never had the need to plug a tire but i think i would probably give it a try. Plus when was the last time you heard of a motorcycle having an actual blowout, or shredding off the rim. I've never seen or talked to someone who had it happen, plugs or no plugs.
 

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I've done it more times than I can count. Center of tread, edge of tread, sidewall - you name it.



Haven't crashed in flames yet (but I may this evening - who knows?). I daresay I worry far, far more about the b!tch yakkin' on the cell in her minivan that narrowly missed me when she ran a stopsign this morning on my way to work.



Or the guy last Friday that decided to push me into the raised concrete median, despite all the honking and yelling alongside him (window-down, and he even hesitated and started to go back into his own lane!). When I finally got next to him at the next light, he was profusely apologetic - but that wouldn't have helped if I were dead, would it now?



Things like that are far more likely to "get me" than any tire plug.
 

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You know what? I use to feel the same way as everyone else. I would never use a plug that would put my life in danger. I use to go through a set of tires every month and a half with all my spare time when I was single and started buying race take offs. Guess what? I recently got married and had a new to me set of race take offs. I didn't have those things more than 2 days before I got a hole in one. Not having the expendable income or rather being more responsible with my income I put a plug in the tire (center tread back tire). I ended up having to put another plug in the tire before I wore them out. Guess what else? I'm sitting here typing this response. I took the bike up to 120 with no vibration, they never leaked air and I didn't burst into flames. I hear everyone saying not to do it. I'd like to hear a response from someone to whom it actually cause a crash or scary moment. I think it's marketing hype. It depends on the rider. Personally I think my bike starts feeling weird after I lose about 5 lbs, psi and I check my tires. Worst it's going to do is cause a slow leak the you have to refill until you get a new tire or fix it again.
 

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I used a plug kit while on the road once. We went on a vacation ride where I picked something up in the rear that left me stuck. I went with a buddy to a local autoparts store and purchased a simple plug kit(it was all they had). This got us back on the road and well on our way back. The rest of the guys got a nack to go fast and I leared that too much centrifugal force (close to 100mph) causes these plugs to go leave the tire at a rapid rate of speed and the damn plug took the air with it. The nerve of some... So if you do fix it - go with caution. If you are still at home - replace the tire.
 

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Plugged a rear tire center punched with a nail with a kit from the local Pep Boys. The sticky strip kind you push in from the outside. Went several hundred more commuting miles on it before I got around to changing the tire. And that was more from the whole tire being worn down than from the plug itself.
 

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I've used those plugging strips several times to repair a simple nail punture and never had a plug let go. Of course the manufacturer is going to tell you that repairing a tire is dangerous.... duh! What the heck else is the guy who sells you tires going to say?



I suspect that the supposed danger of using a plug is a rumor started by tire manufacturers and sellers. You know, the same sort of rumor like the one that says you have to have the same model tire on the front and the rear. Or the old rumor that you shouldn't use the front brake because it will make you flip over the handlebars. Or the one about how important it is to lay the bike down. Or the "Loud pipes save lives" one. Or using a seat belt will result in you getting trapped in a burning car. Or that the more you spend on a helmet the safer your head is.... urban legends.



In over 40 years or riding I have never seen a plug fail in a tubeless tire... in either a bike or a car. I have never heard anyone report a direct experience with such.



I'll bet that the chances of simply hitting the odd road hazard and blowing a tire outright is much greater than the chances of a properly done plug letting go.
 

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I have used the soft type of plug which has a tar rubber sort of consistency with a string inside it on car tires and on motorcycle tires. They have worked perfectly. They come with a tool to rough up the puncture hole in the tire (use gently/sparingly to avoid damage to the cords in the tire) and a tool to insert the plug. Cut the plug off flush with the tire surface and reinflate. Ride and enjoy. Your mileage may vary but they have worked well for me. Use at your own risk, naturally.
 

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Thanks to all!~

I figured this would bring some opinions out of the woodwork........

All I do (all I HAVE to do....) is commute. No freeway stuff. I'm going to punch a plug in er and see what happens.

I appreciate all the posts, and I'll update if there is a fireball or if the earth splits and swallows the bike......

Wish me luck!

Rob
 

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I have a friend whose nighthawk 750 blew two tires (front, then back) in three weeks riding on I5.
 

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Add me to the list of "plug-and-go" boys. Had a flat last June on my SuperHawk on my new (<1000 miles) Pilot Power rear. Punctured about 1.5 inches off center. I was 200 miles away from home on a Sunday. Used the K-mart variety plug (twisted sticky string) and was wigged out for the next 20 miles. Stopped and checked the inflation and everything was OK. Hit the highway for about 30 more miles at 80 mph, stopped, checked pressure, still OK. Finished the rest of the trip home, let the bike sit until the next weekend, pressure still OK. Sunday rides since then OK. Two weekends ago did 800 miles on a mix of tight twisties and fast sweepers in the Catskills & Adirondacks. No problem (max indicated speed on my calibrated Sigma computer 108 mph).



I’ve got a track day coming up next month, so I’ll replace the tire before that, but I can’t complain about the plug that’s in there now.



Here’s something else to think about. Modern, low-aspect ratio, tubeless work darn well when flat. I read an article in a print magazine (Sport Rider, I think) that compared a Kawasaki 650R to a Suzuki SV650. They hated the handling of the 650R until they figured out that they had been riding at high speeds in tight turns with a flat rear tire! Knowing that, when I had my flat I rode (slowly) on the deflated rear tire to the nearest gas station without ever bottoming out the rim on the tire.



It’s a whole new world of motorcycle tires – let’s enjoy it while we can!

 

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Re: Thanks to all!~

"Luck.................."

(but, if you die horribly in an enormous ball of flame and random, senseless destruction - don't come cryin' to us!)
 

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Heh, sounds like a story the owner of a local Moto shop related to me once - As he left the shop one night, he was passed by a 'Vette in a "less than respectful manner", so he decided to school him a bit.



Somewhere around a buck-twenny, he felt he'd proven his point sufficiently well, so he eased-off the gas. Imagine his surprise when the bike got a bit frisky on him as it nosed-down.



So, he turned around and went back to the shop to check it. Found not one - but TWO roofing nails in the rear tire, with the heads mostly worn-down (been in there a day or two, I'd say!). Not enough pressure in the tire to get a reading with his "pencil" gauge. He plugged it, rode 'til it wore out.



Rather impressive, I'd say - that one can take off and wail on a flat tire and not crash, but the bike DEFINITELY let him know about it (unlikely he would have ridden so, had he known of the nails).
 
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