Tubeless tires have enabled the vehicles to reach longer distances without being worried about a puncture. And most of the beginner riders are confused on the subject of tubeless tires. So, here I am to answer all the basic questions that a rider can have.
So, Does a tubeless motorcycle tire gets punctured? Just like tube tires, tubeless Motorcycle tires also get a puncture but the air escapes very slowly compared to the tube tires. The puncture of the tubeless tires can be repaired automatically with the help of a sealant or manually with the help of a repair kit.
Although, tubeless tires don’t easily get punctures often even if it gets you can easily repair them. In this article, I am going to discuss tubeless motorcycle tire maintenance with photos and videos to help you understand visually. I think the visual representation of the data helps the user to grab the most from the blog article.
What happens if you get a puncture with tubeless tires?
If you get a puncture on tubeless motorcycle tires then the air will start to escapes just like tube tires. But, the air leak rate will be much slower in the tubeless tire which will provide extra time to easily reach the nearest mechanic shop easily.
The first sign of puncture in tires are low pressure, so you will notice a change in tire shape. You can confirm the puncture by pressing the tire with thumbs, the sidewall of the tire will easily get pressed in case of low pressure. Also, check for the hole or object that has penetrated the tire inside.
Apart from this, you can repair also repair the puncture by yourself depending on the type of puncture you. Just remember this, if the puncture has occurred in between the portion of the tire then it can easily be repaired by self.
But if the puncture has occurred on the sidewall of the tires then make sure not to play with them by yourself. Just take your motorcycle to the nearest repair shop
How to fix a puncture on tubeless motorcycle tires?
Fixing tubeless motorcycle puncture is one of the easiest things to do. Even a noob can perform this with the easy steps explained in this post. If you follow along correctly then you will be easily able to fix any motorcycle tubeless tire easily. Carrying these puncture repair kits is very easy because of the fewer components involved. Before getting into the details or process of repairing the motorcycle let’s get some insight into the repair kit.
Here is the list of tools that are required to repair the tubeless tire puncture.
- High-Quality Pliers – It will help to pull out the stuck nails or sharp object out of the tubeless tire easily and safely.
- T-Handle Spiral Rasp tool (Reaming tool)- This tool is heavily knurled down the shaft of the tool. It is required to prevent the steel cords to tear up the rubber string plugs that run through the tires.
- Rubber Glue- It is not mandatory to have. But you can use this before inserting the reaming tool that will increase the stickiness as you insert it.
- Rubber String plugs- It is the most required thing in the repair tool to patch the puncture on the tubeless tires.
- T-Handle Split Eye Insert tool- It is with this tool we will insert the rubber string plugs inside the tire that will seal the puncture.
- Knife – As you are done inserting the rubber string plugs, you will need to cut the extra part of the plug outside the tiers.
- Color Marker- This is not a mandatory tool, but if you have it in your repair set. Then, you can use it to draw the circle or some line to help you work on the exact puncture hole.
- Hand Gloves- Hand gloves are useful to keep your hands clean while going through the process of repairing them.
- Tire-Pressure Guage- A tire pressure gauge is a device that will help you to measure the pressure of the tire.
- Electric Air Compressor– It is used to fill the air in the motorcycle tubeless tire with the help of electricity taken by the battery.
Here are the detailed steps to fix a puncture on a tubeless motorcycle tire:-
Note: These puncture repair guides are made to fix small punctures caused by nails, etc. So, with these repair kits, you will not be able to fix large punctures. Also, you should not try to fix the sidewall puncture with this process. But yes the small holes and punctures can easily be fixed with the process below.Ankit
Also, only try to repair center area punctures of tubeless tires with this method. As you can see in the picture above. Anything between the fingers, you can repair, or else don’t touch it. Take your motorcycle to the repair shop.
Step 1: Find the puncture spot
As you ride you can easily notice if your tires got punctured in the way. The tire will start to deflate and you can feel your motorcycle speed being slow. Then park your motorcycle to inspect the tires and look for the punctures.
But, it’s not mandatory because sometimes a sharp nail or small sharp object goes into the tire and the rider doesn’t even notice it for weeks. As I have told you already the air escape is slowest in tubeless tires.
Step 2: Pull out the stuck nail using Pliers
If your motorcycle tire has got punctured with a sharp nail that has stuck on it. The first step will be taking the foreign object out of the tire. And, it’s not an easy task to take the stuck nail out of the tires with bare hands. Pliers will help you out in taking the nails out of the tire.
Now read the next step properly to save the air, because as you pull the nail or any other sharp object out of the tire. The air will start to escape from that point which will make the tires deflate and be flat in a very short time.
Step 3: Use T-handle reamer tool to clean the hole
As you pull the sharp object out of the tire, put the T-Handle reamer tool inside the tire as soon as possible. The sooner you put the reamer tool the more you will be able to save the air of your tire. Thrust the reamer tool, back and forth in the tire hole for some time to clean and enlarge the hole enough to insert the rubber repair tube inside the tire.
Make sure to take some time, because most of the tubeless tires contain steel cords inside them. Thus, make sure to thrust the puncture hole with the reamer tool back and forth, so the rough edge can be made even and suitable to hold the rubber string inside it.
It is crucial to thrust the puncture hole properly because the steel cords running through the motorcycle tire can tear up the rubber string plugs as you insert them.
Step 4: Put Rubber String in Plug insertion tool
This is the most important tool and a key to the whole operation that will help us to put the rubber string inside the hole and ultimately patch the puncture. The plug insertion tool is designed uniquely to insert the rubber string like a thread and then you can easily put it in place of puncture.
Plug insertion tools have a slight cut on the edge of it so that it can be pulled out safely after putting the rubber string in its place. It is just like a needle with a small cut on its top. I have shared a picture of it above, you can see a cut on its top.
Rubber strings are sticky plugs required to patch the puncture hole in the tubeless tires. Take out a plug and set it aside to some clean place after putting it into the plug insertion tool. Plug insertion tool helps us to put these sticky rubber strings inside the hole of the punctures in the tubeless tires.
Step 5: Insert the rubber string in the place of puncture
If you are done putting the rubber string into the T-handle insertion tool. It’s the final step of patching the tubeless motorcycle punctured tire with the help of a T-handle insertion tool.
So, Insert the rubber string in the puncture hole with the help of the T-handle insertion tool and go up to half way inserting the rubber string. The rubber string will get fixed inside the hole as you the 2/3 rd part of the rubber string. Now, the next step is to pull the insertion tool out of the tire.
Step 6: Pull Insertion tool out of the tire
As. you finished, putting the rubber string successfully inside the puncture hole made by a screw or nail patching it completely. Then make sure to pull out the insertion tool from the tire. Remember to pull it straight towards yourself, don’t lean its angle upwards or downwards.
Step 7: Cut out the exposed rubber string using knife
As the insertion of the rubber plug has got successful inside the tire then make sure to cut-off the exposed rubber string from the tire. Because these rubber strings are sticky made to patch the puncture of the tubeless tire. Thus, if you drive off without cutting the exposed rubber out, it will stick and gather dirt and debris from the road overtime which is extra work to clean.
Now, at this point, you have patched your puncture successfully with the help of rubber strings. But there is one thing you will have to do is to check the air pressure of the motorcycle. Although there is one benefit to the tubeless motorcycle tires that you can also drive it under low-pressure.
But driving in low-pressure can be harmful to the tires which impact its life and also our ride quality. That’s why our next step will be to inflate the tires to the required PSI.
Step 8: Check the Tire pressure and Inflate it
It’s the most crucial step that is going to determine your whole riding journey after you fixed the puncture on tubeless tires. So, before inflating the motorcycle tire you must check the tire pressure either by using your hands, putting some pressure, or using a tire-pressure gauge. A tire pressure gauge is a device that will help you to measure the pressure of the tire.
And, obviously, if you have got a tire puncture then it is definite that the tire has also lost some air. So, you will need to inflate the motorcycle tire to have a better riding experience after the patching of puncture.
To fill the air in tubeless tires, you need to have an electric pump that takes electricity from the motorcycle battery. It can be carried easily and also easy to work with.
By the way, if you don’t want to carry an electric pump (air compressor) because of not having a robust electrical system or less space then you can carry CO2 cartridges. But to use these CO2 cartridges you will need a special inflator head in order to inflate the tire as shown above in the photo. You must carry 2-3 CO2 cartridges so that the tires can get inflated to their required psi.
Note: One 45gram of CO2 cartridges can fill air up to 30 psi in tubeless tires which is enough to take you home.
The required pressure in the tires can vary between motorcycle manufacturers and depending on the tire size your motorcycle has. Thus, for a complete and perfect answer, you should refer to the service manual.
Step 9: Pack up all the kit and drive
As, you have completed your tires repair job and also properly inflated. Now, you can continue to your journey. Make sure to gather all the puncture repairing tools and get to the ride again. Happy journey!!
Here is a Youtube video repairing the motorcycle tubeless tire after drilling a screw in the tire by RevZilla:)
Do tubeless tires go flat?
Tubeless tires do go flat in some cases while tube tires go flat in most cases if they get stuck with any sharp object.Tubeless tires don’t become flat instantly because air escapes very slowly. Thus you will get enough time to handle the motorcycle and repair it.