Fixing puncture on tubeless tires are pretty easy, till it is in the tread area. But when it comes to the sidewall of the tires, we can’t use the plug or patch method to fix it. Here are the things you need to know if you got a puncture in the sidewall of the motorcycle tire.
Can you fix a sidewall puncture on a tubeless tire? Fixing Sidewall puncture using the plug method is not recommended to repair. Because the sidewall doesn’t contain the required structure to hold the plugs in their place and remain intact. You should get your tires inspected by an expert in case of damage.
Most of the tire manufacturer says, “If you got sidewall damage then the best practice will be to get your tire replaced with a new one.”Admin
According to tireindustry.org, “Puncture repairs are limited to the center of the tread area. And, if there are punctures or damage in the shoulder or sidewall of the tire, then it’s not repairable.”
But, I have seen that sidewall punctures are rare, the most common puncture area is in the between of the tire tread which is also called a repairable zone. Thus, if the puncture is in the tread area as shown above in the image then it can be repaired easily.
Here is a detailed step-by-step guide to plugging in tubeless motorcycle tires. But, if the damage or puncture is in the shoulder or sidewall of the tire then you are out of luck.
Why can’t you plug on a motorcycle tire sidewall?
You cannot plug on the tire’s sidewall because it doesn’t contain the construction to hold the plugin in its place. The steel cords are spread all over the tires except for the sidewall. So, if you plug on the sidewall, then it may spit the plug out as you ride.
The patch will also not hold the damage on the sidewall because it flexed with every rotation of the tire, and eventually you will have a flat tire.
Also, you must know that the sidewall and shoulder of the tire are made differently than the remaining part of the tire. The sidewall is a little flexible because it is the part that has the least touch on the road while turning. That’s the reason most of the manufacturer says to replace the motorcycle tire having sidewall or shoulder damage.
Sidewall and shoulder of the tire flex as you ride which will spit the plug out anytime. That can be hazardous for you and others.
You can use the plug method to repair the motorcycle tire based on three factors for safe repair:-
- Location of the damage,
- Shape and size of the damage, and the
- Tread left on the tire.
If the damage has occurred in the center of the tread area (repairable zone) on the motorcycle tires and has enough tread left on it. Then only the tire is eligible to get repaired with the plug method. Except for these situations, if the damage has occurred to the sidewall or shoulder of the tire then neither you should drive nor you should repair it.
I have covered everything in detail about the repairing of the tubeless tire in this post.
What to do if got a puncture in the sidewall?
If you got a puncture on the sidewall then take it to the repair shop and have it inspected by a professional. The puncture in the sidewall is a clear sign that you may need to replace the tire.
Don’t try to fix the sidewall puncture with the help of rubber string also called plugs. It’s risky to try if you tried to repair it by yourself because the sidewall of the motorcycle tire doesn’t contain the required structure such as steel cord or tread. So, it will not be able to hold the rubber plug in place.
But, if you are in an emergency situation far from home or any repair shop, stuck in a lonesome place. Then, you can plug the sidewall of the tire by following the detailed instruction of this post. But, make sure this repair will only be meant to let you reach your home or any mechanic shop eventually to replace your tire. And, also make sure to ride slowly with the plug on the motorcycle sidewall tire.
Is it safe to plug a tire near the sidewall?
You should not plug the rubber string near the sidewall or the shoulder of the tire. Because shoulders and sidewall of the tires flex more as you ride and they might spit the plug out. So, clearly, it’s not safe to plug a tire near the sidewall.
Sidewall holds the basic structure of the tire and connecting it to the rim by an air-tight seal. So, plugging the rubber string on the sidewall will void the warranty of the tire and make the ride unsafe.
Is it safe to drive on a tire with sidewall damage?
If you got damage to the sidewall then it’s not recommended to drive your motorcycle. It’s neither safe to drive nor safe to repair, the only solution is to replace the tire. Driving on sidewall damage can be dangerous as there will be insufficient air in the tire.
But, if required to drive then make sure you don’t ride fast or do hard cornering. You may plug the sidewall temporarily to reach the nearest shop to ultimately get your tire replaced.