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Discussion Starter #1
It was a gorgeous day in Northern Colorado. The air was cool and crisp. The bike was performing well as usual. I even was able to convince my 13 year old to take a ride with me to our local Drum Shop. Things were lookin' good and I had just returned from this ride. I was actually thinking about taking another ride to a bit of a cooler area just west of the homefront. I was feeling great. Then it struck....

I was unloading the back trunk and noticed it. My back tire had picked up a nail. I don't know when it happened. But, it sure was enough to, well, you know. At first I thought it was just a rock that was jammed in the tread. But upon further examination, I could see the head of the nail peaking out just at the surface of the tire. It is jammed in their good !! The rear tire has about 10K on it and there is plenty of tread left. It is a bias ply (on my '03) and I have a set of radials in the crawl space. I thought, i'll just have it plugged and patched. But, no.... The BMW dealer says no, they won't do it. Something about insurance, etc... Then I got on the net and starter searching. Well, there are two schools of thought. But, all in all, I read that you really need to have the tire replaced..

How about some opinions on this... I feel kind of sad about having to throw away a perfectly good rear tire.

Also, i'm about 30 miles from the BMW dealer.. Any issues about riding it to the dealer?? It sure is in there good.

Thanks,

Bob
 

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Replace it!

You're going to get opinions in both directions. Probably 75-25 for REPLACE. That's my vote.

With all the issues of LTs and tires, I would not risk anymore, except as a temporary solution. The fact is that the LT stresses its tires. Any tire that has been 'Repaired' is compromised and reduces its ability to perform at its optimum.

As far as your dealer goes, its a cover-your-ass thing. He would rather be bad-mouthed by you than sued by your heirs.

Regarding the 30 mile ride to the dealer? If the damn tire is still holding air... as they say here, "Just ride it!"

Good luck! :D
 

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I've often thought a good repair should last the life of the tire. Never had the nerve to try it though. It would always be in the back of my mind that it might give. Not worth it. I'd ride that 30 miles to the dealer real slow.
 

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Leaving the patch or new tire decision to you, I'd remove the rear rim and tire and haul it to the dealer for the work. It's an easy thang to do and you won't be stressed by whether you make it or not!! Easy to remount the wheel at home also. And btw - have 'em put a new valve stem in if they make the switch.

And if you do make the switch, get the nailed tire hot-patched and keep it as a spare. I've got a hot-patched tire that has been on and off Toad a coupla times in order to continue riding locally while waiting on a replacement opportunity. Nail wuz dead center of the tread tho, otherwise I'da tossed it.
 

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I think we could all agree that on a motorcycle, safety should be the absolute number one issue and I would replace the tire and plug and patch the tire you have on now and keep it just in case you need it for a short drive to the dealer. Have it plugged and patched from the inside, not just plugged. Better safe than sorry.
 

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My advice: Pull the tire off, hot patch it, mount the new one and keep the patched one as a spare.

Shortly after getting this LT, had less than 3K on it and picked up a nail in the rear. Found it when it started to handle oddly so did ride it low for a while. Plugged it and rode it for about 2 weeks. Everytime I rode I got to thinking about that plug. By the way, used the plug kit that comes in the tool kit, works well. Got a new tire, the old one went out back in the dog yard as a toy, she liked to toss it around.
The following summer we were to get a few folks together and ride on the 4th of July (Sunday). One of the folks called, he was stuck on the side of the road with a flat rear (650 Suzuki). Fired up the truck, hiched the trailer and went and got him. He had ridden the flat so long it had ruined the tire, it was in such bad condition could not tell what had made it go flat. Where you gonna get a tire on Sunday? 4th of July? It just so happened I noticed that it was the same size as my LT rear. Wait a sec, got one in the back, pried it away from the dog, washed it, looked the plug over closely, looked OK and mounted it. Warned him about the plug the whole while and we all went for a ride. He was running along at 120+ a couple of times. This past spring he finally wore out that tire and never had a problem from the little blue plug.

My point, well 2 of them. Keep a spare around, never know when you or a buddy might need it. Second, them plugs is real good, I still wouldn't trust one except to ride home but folks do ride on them. Your butt, you decide.
 

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I had to replace a rear tire a couple months ago. The tire only had 3,000mi.
on it. Picked up a 4" screwdriver bit. That was the bad news. The good new
is, it was uneventfull.

I would replace the tire..
 

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easy job

just put it on the center stand and take off the rear tire
take it and get it replaced
sucks to have to buy a tire when u werent needing one
but sucks alot worse to be off on another great ride and have a flat
takes like 10 minutes max to get the rear wheel off....

probably is a good idea to just hot patch the tire u are taking off and keep it around for an emergency situation.....

thats my 2 cents
 

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rglassma said:
The rear tire has about 10K on it and there is plenty of tread left.

Also, i'm about 30 miles from the BMW dealer.. Any issues about riding it to the dealer?? It sure is in there good.
If you plugged it you could ride it just fine, thats what I would do, mostly because I have had so many flats over the years that straight in nail punctures don't concern me much. Just no high speeds and no peg dragging corners.

It also depends where the nail went in - if was near the sidewall then DO NOT plug it.

Riding it to the dealer if it is holding air - no problem.

Now having said that could you plug this tire and not have it on your mind while riding? If it would be a distraction then I wouldn't plug it. Also how much are you saving, maybe 1/3 of the wear life left (assuming 15K miles). Pretty cheap peace of mind.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well,

Thanks everyone for your replies. I figured that is what most of you would say. Yep, it would stick in my mind if I plugged it and rode it. Something about not going over 80 mph.. I don't like having limitations on my riding. So, I am just going to replace it.

Anyone have experience with putting a radial 020 on the back and leaving the bias ply front?? I have more life left in the front as well.

It is between,

1)Putting the old rear radial and a new front radial (free) on ..
2)Leaving the bias ply on the front and replacing the old bias with a new one.
3)Putting an old radial on the rear and leaving the bias front.

Anyone ever try to put on a rear radial and a bias ply front?
 

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A similar event happened to me recently with a brand new tire. Not even a thousand miles. I carry an aftermarket plugging kit and plugged the hole effectively. I also have a Smartire pressure monitoring system and could watch my tire pressure continuously. I rode the bike for 4 or 5 more days while I waited for the new tire to come in. Had no loss of pressure. What I bought with the new tire is peace of mind, although I have kept that plugged tire as an emergency spare.
I highly recommend the Smartire system.
 

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OK, I'll offer the (somewhat) contrarian view:

A punctured rear mc tire with 10K on it gets tossed in the trash.

HOWEVER, I think stories of plugged tires failing is one of those great Uban Myths right up there with cell phones causing gas station fires.

The reasons why no one wants to plug tires these days?

1. Liability lawyers. What else is new...
2. New tire sales (ever notice how you never get a deal on buying just ONE tire?)
3. The perceived notion that a puncture has somehow "damaged" the tire.

I've plugged literally dozens of tires, not only on over 30 bikes starting with my 3.5 hp mini bike when I was 10, but my motorcrossers and car and trailer tires under severe duty in extreme desert heat. I've never had one fail to work unless my repair was faulty right from the start.

As long as the puncture is clean, small, and in the tread I go for it. I would never consider putting a plug in or even near the sidewall - way too much flexing going on there. I would NEVER consider plugging a front tire on a bike except in an emergency - not a chance.

The extremely tough belts in modern tires are highly unlikely to be damaged by a clean small puncture, and the worst thing that will happen if the plug fails is a slow leak - apparent right after you install it. The repair has got to be SMALL, stuffing two plugs in a large hole to stop it from leaking (which some tire repair kits advocate) is always a no go in my opinion. I ALWAYS scrub the puncture area with soapy water and let it dry before installing the plug. If you don't you risk contaminating the plug and hole with dirt. Soapy water or Leak Tek (fancy expensive soapy water dyed red) sprayed on the repair area immediately after the repair - and for a few rides after the repair - is going to tell you if it is holding or not. Since I ALWAYS check my tires for air pressure and any damage before I ride I'll always take an extra second to look at the plugged area. (which I have permanently marked on the sidewall as an arrow with a white China marker pencil)

While I might be so cheap as to plug a tire, I always replace my tires with 25% of the tread remaining. I have never understood the logic behind trying to get every last mile out of a motorcycle tire. Not only do they run much hotter as the tread gets thin, they also are MUCH less grippy and a lot more prone to punctures and catastrophic failure.
 
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