Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I need to replace my tires again!

Not having the best of luck in terms of the rear tire on my motorcycle.

The first flat I've ever had, was in the rear tire, replaced almost 11,000 miles ago. LINK

Today, I closely examined my rear tire since once again I found it at very low pressure after commuting home. The rear of the motorcycle had felt a little squirrely on the way home. I did not find anything the first go around, went and got a more powerful flashlight and spotted it:

At first it looked like an embedded rock but further examination showed it to be metallic, like a nail head. Dammit.

My front tire had been nearing its TWI: Tire Wear Indicator and I'd been closely watching it to schedule its replacement. Well, now that I have to replace the rear tire again, might as well get the front tire done at the same time!

The tire was not flat, it was just a slow leak. I had pumped it up to 42 PSI after I discovered the leak and not even two hours later, it had lost 7 lbs of pressure! Not good.

I took this as an opportunity to practice again with my tire plugger repair kit so that the tire would hold pressure safely enough to get me to the dealer to get new tires. Hopefully tomorrow if they have them in stock!

The whole repair took me about 45 minutes, 20 of which was struggling to pull out what I thought was a nail! Much cursing later, it finally came out, here it is next to the vise grips I used to finally pull it out:

Not a nail but some kind of fastener I think

I then cleaned out the hole left behind with the reamer tool included with the tire plugger repair kit:

Reaming the hole and getting it the right size for the plugger tool took up most of the remaining 25 minutes that this repair entailed. A bit of a pain but otherwise no big deal.

Here's how it looks with the plug in place, after I re-inflated the tire:

Tire plug before being trimmed off with included razor blade in repair kit

All done

Hopefully, this repair will hold pressure since I want to ride the motorcycle to the dealer/mechanic to get it fixed while I wait.

The instruction kit said not to exceed 1000 miles or 50mph until I get the tire repaired/replaced. I was advised today by Mike O, whom I consider a motorcycling mentor, that its not worth one's safety to get "a few more miles out of an old tire". Great advice, and something I post here for others to read and learn from hopefully. Thanks Mike!

I got almost 11k out of the rear tire before getting that stupid nail in it. I got a bit over 18k out of the front tire! I really like the long life I get out of the Metzeler 880 Marathon Tires. Now if only I can avoid picking up nails with the rear tire in the future!

Update: 23JAN08: Maria has new shoes @ 48,622 miles. If I'd been able to mount and balance them myself, I would have saved $112 after taxes. It might be worth it to look into getting a tire balancer and some tire irons!

No comments: