Fixing a Flat Tire

Fixing a flat tire on the road is easier than you think-- if you have tubeless rims. Just be sure that someone in your group carries a patch kit and a method to re-inflate the patched tire. As you can see from the photos (taken north of Missoula, Montana), if you have the kit and the inflator, you'll be back on the road in less than half an hour.

Look closely here to see the nail flush with tread in the rear tire.
Nail in motorcycle tire, shown flush with tread on rear tire.

This nail was surprisingly long. In the case of a nail, the damaged tire is often the rear tire because the front tire kicks up the obstacle so that it will be vertical or near vertical when the rear tire passes over it.
Pliars holding nail that was removed from rear tire of motorcycle.

After reaming out the nail hole so that the tire plug may be easily inserted, glue is applied to a tool and inserted into the hole.
Putting the glue on the tool after nail hole has been reamed out.

Loading the nail hole with glue.

The same glue is liberally applied to the plug.
Applying glue to the plug.

After the plug is inserted, it must be trimmed flush with the tire.
Plug in tire after trimming with knife.

Some people carry a portable inflator that can be used in conjunction with the bike's power source. An alternative is small CO2 cylinders, but getting the right inflation level is hit or miss with that system.
Reinflating the tire with a portable inflator-- be sure to have adaptors for various motorcycle power outlets.

Not a bad idea to check the tire pressure and do a final visual inspection before getting back on the road.
Final air pressure and visual check.

Back on the road-- we phoned ahead to Missoula where the tire will be replaced.

Back on the road again. But only to the next major town where the tire can be replaced. Some people would be happy to ride out the life of the tire with a plug, but nobody in our group wanted to try it.