Flat front tire questions

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I just bought my 1st motorcycle, a 2016 nc700xd. I've only had it a few days & the front tire is completely flat. I haven't taken a safety course yet or had it out on the public roads, I've only been practicing on my 1/4 mile driveway with curves & steep hills.

So I'm interested in your advice on how to get back to riding! First off, I don't know if motorcycle tires can be safely repaired or if they're always replaced.

Option 1: buy a 17mm hex socket, jack, torque wrench; remove the wheel & take it to a tire shop. (It already has a center stand).

Option 2: Have a friend help load it on a trailer & haul it to a tire or motorcycle shop.

Option 3: Buy a compressor & temporary repair kit & drive it slowly to a shop (keep in mind I'm a new rider & live in the mountains, the nearest shop is 25 miles of curves & steep cliffs).

Option 4: Walk it a mile from my house then call AAA ;)

What's your advice? Thanks!
 
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Rabbit

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Option 1 sounds like a winner. You’ll need those things anyway when you go to replace the front tire in the future.
 

dduelin

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Examine the tire for the reason for the flat and see what you are working with. Tires are repairable under certain circumstances and the reason for the flat would influence the next steps.
 

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Examine the tire for the reason for the flat and see what you are working with. Tires are repairable under certain circumstances and the reason for the flat would influence the next steps.
I examined the tire closely while on the center stand, I couldn't find anything big like a screw or nail. I only found a tiny little sharp metal fragment sticking out of the main tread, it's not on the sidewall or inside a groove.
 

670cc

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If you just got the bike, was the tire pressure correct on the day you bought it, and it has since lost air?

As said in post #3, the first step is to find out the reason it is flat. Exam the tire and rim, examine the vslve. Put some air in it and see if you can find the source of the leak. Until uou know what the problem is, it's impossible to advise on the next step

My advice is to never take the whole motorcycle to a shop unless you just don't have don't mechanical abilities. They WILL screw something up. Also, I repair tires and ride on them, but I am confident in my ability to repair a tire. If you are not, then have someone else do the repair.

But first, find out what is wrong.
 

dduelin

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I examined the tire closely while on the center stand, I couldn't find anything big like a screw or nail. I only found a tiny little sharp metal fragment sticking out of the main tread, it's not on the sidewall or inside a groove.
If the foreign object is 1/4" or less I'd likely try to repair it with a gummy worm that inserts with a T-handle tool. Can you take a picture of the object in the tire?
 

Alias

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Do what 670cc suggested.

In my area, dealerships won't repair a flat or liability reasons. I use a stop-n-go tire plug kit.
 

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If you just got the bike, was the tire pressure correct on the day you bought it, and it has since lost air?

As said in post #3, the first step is to find out the reason it is flat. Exam the tire and rim, examine the vslve. Put some air in it and see if you can find the source of the leak. Until uou know what the problem is, it's impossible to advise on the next step
Thanks for the advice. I didn't check the pressure but it definitely had a decent amount of air (maybe not the exact pressure but it held air for a few days). It drove fine one night then the next morning completely flat. The valve looks ok, I examined it closely while on the center stand, I couldn't find anything big like a screw or nail. I only found a tiny little sharp metal fragment sticking out of the main tread, it's not on the sidewall or inside a groove.
If the foreign object is 1/4" or less I'd likely try to repair it with a gummy worm that inserts with a T-handle tool. Can you take a picture of the object in the tire?

The preview thumbnails are low quality, but if you open the photos the resolution is better.
 

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highonthai

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Well, The first thing I would do is pump the tire back up. Then I'd check the Schrader valve and see if you have a loose valve that is leaking. This can be done "old school" by spitting on your finger and wiping the saliva on the top of the valve. If shows bubbles tighten it with a valve stem tool. Or just take what ever liquid spray you have under the sink and spray the tire and valve for leaks and watch to see any bubbles.
 

melensdad

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I would do things a bit differently than suggested. Not too different, no bad advice, but I'm a bit odd so my advice may differ slightly.

First, make sure you draw a circle around it with a Sharpie, chalk, nail polish or similar just so you can find the hole again later because that is a small object. It might be hard to find after you pull it out. Then I would pull it out.

It is tiny, looks like it might be a construction staple, 18 gauge nail, etc. Those can be a pain to repair because you have to ream out the hole. But pull it first, see if it is short or long. If short, it might actually not be through the tire, it might just be a bit stuck in the tread. Air it up and see if it holds air while you are practicing in your driveway over the next few days. If it is short you may have just not have had much air in the tire and running it up and down your driveway on low air could be enough to get the rest of it to simply leak out if the seal at the rim doesn't have enough pressure to hold it tight when you hit a small bump, etc. Worth a try. Check the valve for leaks too by using something like soap & water solution. Spit works too.

If it is long, it probably is the source of your leak and goes through the tire, then you have to repair the tire. Being that small, rather than reaming it out and using a snake type plug, I'd probably patch it from the inside.

If it was a roofing nail or something of larger diameter I'd ream it out and use a snake type plug.

Don't over think it. It's just a tire. Pull the pin?/staple?/nail? and see what you are dealing with. Try air, see if it holds air. If not, try a patch. If you can't do your own patch then take it to a tire shop and ask them to patch it.
 

potter0o

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Pump it up and locate the leak. Don't need anything fancy, a bike pump will do. I didn't know anyone who would do a plug. I called around some shops to find one that would. I wanted to see it done for the first time. They of course waived all liability. Rode the tire until it was worn out.
 

Oldbear

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Good advice above. First air it up and check. If you find the leak you can see quickly how fast the air leaks out. A plug kit and bike air compressor should be part of your normal gear, IMHO. If it’s a puncture and you’re home, pull the wheel and take it to the shop. I only ride on a repaired tire in effort to get back home-not long term. Those two rubber bands are all there is keeping you going-to me it’s not worth the risk of riding on a known defective tire. I “have” done a few hundred miles on one to get it home, but I don’t as a matter of course. Back in the day we’d patch tubes on ride’em from then on, but now, with tubeless tires, I’ll spring for a few $$ and buy new rubber. Tires are cheap and a replugged tire “can” become an issue (and yes, I know some folks will ride a plug until the tire wears out). Me? I hate sitting a the side of the road with a flat and riding on a known problem tire just isn’t worth it IF I have an option.
 
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670cc

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Whether to patch or replace a punctured tire is a personal decision based on the circumstances. I have purposely bought nearly new, but punctured tires from other folks, repaired them, and ridden on them until they wore out. It depends on knowledge and expertise in tire repair as to whether you want to repair or replace a damaged tire.
 

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Thanks for all the replies, good info. With soapy water i found the hole, it was not near the metal thing sticking out in the photo.

I've never repaired a tire with a plug, both tires have slight damage, the dot code shows both are 4.5 years old, I'm traveling a lot, not in a hurry, so I chose to replace them. I also want the shop to look at a couple things so I decided to haul it instead of removing the wheels. I bought a slime bottle that let me get it pumped up enough to roll it on the trailer.

I also bought a 17mm hex socket, torque wrench & cordless compressor for next time, still deciding on what jack to buy.
 

melensdad

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Thanks for all the replies, good info. With soapy water i found the hole, it was not near the metal thing sticking out in the photo.

I've never repaired a tire with a plug, both tires have slight damage, the dot code shows both are 4.5 years old, I'm traveling a lot, not in a hurry, so I chose to replace them. I also want the shop to look at a couple things so I decided to haul it instead of removing the wheels. I bought a slime bottle that let me get it pumped up enough to roll it on the trailer.

I also bought a 17mm hex socket, torque wrench & cordless compressor for next time, still deciding on what jack to buy.
Which cordless compressor did you buy? I looked at them. Ended up buying an inexpensive compressor that connects up to the SAE cord connector that I use for the Battery Tender over the winter. Honestly I'm happy with my pump but really curious about the cordless units. Would love to see photos and read a review of your choice.

LINK to my thread --> https://www.nc700-forum.com/threads/air-pumps-what-do-you-carry.19489/
 

Havok

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Honestly we have been patching and plugging tires for decades on cars. I have done both plenty of times. Some times a plug will have a slow leak but if done right that is about it. I have seen a patched tire blow out but that was because the cords were cut during the repair.
Personally I would ride on either until the tire was worn out.
Worked in a few tire shops done alot of both and if done right no problems no worries.
 

potter0o

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My experience with the smaller inflators is that they can put air in the tires but have trouble moving it fast enough to seat the bead if you are changing your own tires.
 

GregC

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Thanks for all the replies, good info. With soapy water i found the hole, it was not near the metal thing sticking out in the photo.

I've never repaired a tire with a plug, both tires have slight damage, the dot code shows both are 4.5 years old, I'm traveling a lot, not in a hurry, so I chose to replace them. I also want the shop to look at a couple things so I decided to haul it instead of removing the wheels. I bought a slime bottle that let me get it pumped up enough to roll it on the trailer.

I also bought a 17mm hex socket, torque wrench & cordless compressor for next time, still deciding on what jack to buy.
4.5 year old tires on a used bike, with some known defect/damage to one or both tires? Definitely get new tires. That's the right decision IMO.
 

LearnedButt

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4.5 year old tires on a used bike, with some known defect/damage to one or both tires? Definitely get new tires. That's the right decision IMO.


Yup. With a used bike you want to immediately most if not all "consumables" as soon as you get it home. Some of us take care of our bikes, but many don't. As a start, all new fluids, because who knows the last time it's been changed. Then for the tires, chains, sprockets, and battery, if it looks old, dirty, or abused, change 'em even if they aren't dead yet.
 
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