Can You Patch a Motorcycle Tire?

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Tires have leaks and holes; it is simply a mess to see. So, what to do? The straightforward solution is to ”patch a tire”. Below, we have penned the essential and much-needed details on: Can you patch a motorcycle tire?

The results depend on the location and nature of the damage. You can only repair and patch the tire if the hole or leak is in the T-zone. In other words, the hole is around about three-quarters of the tread. The area has to exclude the tread edge and tire sidewall; in these areas, the repair does not hold at all.

Overall, tire patching is the safest, most reliable, and most straightforward method that you can go for. However, it is not a permanent fix, but it eliminates most of your worries. Below, we have written further details; you can go through them:

Is it possible to patch a motorcycle tire?

Yes, you can patch motorcycle tires. Professional repair technicians are the ones who do this job. The general method is to remove the wheel from the bike and take out the damaged inner liner. Clean and wash the area surrounding the hole and properly apply a vulcanizing patch right over the hole.

Remember that the tires of motorcycles move at varying angles. They slide, lean, and corner much more, unlike in the case of cars and trucks. But it is always a safe idea to patch the bike tires. A few experts have debated that patching a bike tire compromises safety, but no authentic evidence has been collected.

Factors to consider when patching a tire

Certain aspects decide whether patching a tire is a safe idea or not.

Overall, it depends on the location and nature of the damage. In addition, patching a front tire is tricky because its ability to steer will be impacted. And in the case of patching the rear tire, its deflation process remains easier to control!

Patching a tire is successful if a puncture or dent occurs in the tread. Moreover, the resulting hole should be smaller than ¼’’. If the damage is present on the sidewall, patching cannot be done.

You must consider these factors and then make an informed decision. Use an appropriate tool kit and get in touch with an experienced technician. Tire repairing and patching kits include a hole reamer, string plugs, compressed air for re-inflating the tire, and a string plug insertion tool.

Other points to keep in mind:

  • Determine what tire type your motorcycle has. Whether it is a panel tire, tube tire, or tubeless tire! Each of these tires needs a different patching process. 
  • Determine what the size of the hole is. If the hole is less than ¼ inch, you can patch it up.
  • Determine what the actual cause of the puncture is. If the damage is done due to nails and sharp objects, in that case, you have to pull out that object and patch the puncture from the inside.
  • Determine how much time you have to do the repair. If you have less time, you can go with the temporary fix, like duct tape can work. For better results, take your bike to an expert repair technician.

How to patch a motorcycle tire?

Below, you can see the guide on patching a bike tire:

  1. The first step is to grab a patch kit if you have a flat tire in the middle of the road.
  2. Remove the tire from the wheel. Remember that if it is a tubeless tire, then remove the valve stem and let all air out. In the case of a tube-type tire, use a tire iron to break the tire’s bead.
  3. Once you have removed the tire, locate the hole or leak in the tube.
  4. Mark it with the help of a chalk.
  5. Grab a tire iron and pry the hole edges to fit over the patch.
  6. Correctly apply the rubber cement on the patch and tube. Press both of them firmly.
  7. You are almost done! Re-install the tire and inflate it up to the desired pressure.

How long does patching last on a motorcycle tire?

Several factors decide how long the patch will last on a bike tire.

It all depends on the quality of the patch, the type of tire, and also on the riding condition. The patch can last for a couple of months or even longer than that if you have conducted the process accurately and properly.

The basic difference between a patch and a plug

You must wonder about the basic difference between a patch and a plug. The tire type determines whether you should conduct a patch or plug process.

Note that a patch comes in the form of a flat rubber section for covering the dent or puncture. You can conform this rubber material into any shape. On the other hand, a plug appears in an external gummy cylinder that you insert into the puncture to seal the tire.

It is assumed that vintage dirt bike tires can only be patched because their tubes are fitted inside the tire. Simply remove the tire and patch the tube. For tubeless tires, the plugging process is followed.

How do you keep the motorcycle tires damage-free?

You can keep the tires of your bike damage-free by following the below-mentioned tips:

  • Perform a basic maintenance routine and keep the tire puncture-free for the longest time.
  • You can prevent damaging the bike tire by keeping it properly inflated and following the pressure recommendations mentioned by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid bringing the tire into an under-inflated state. It is seen that under-inflated tires are more vulnerable to getting damaged.
  • Your tires should not become over-inflated. Such a situation increases pressure in the tire and accelerates the wearing and tearing of the tread. Furthermore, over-inflation makes the tire lot stiffer too.
  • Carry out regular inspections. This way, you can know on time about the tire’s condition and any potential damage before worsening it.

Related: How Long Do Motorcycle Brake Pads Last

When should you not patch a motorcycle tire?

You must not patch a motorcycle tire:

  • If the tread puncture or penetration is worse.
  • If you do not know the exact process of patching. Improper and wrongly done patching damages the tire and voids the warranty.
  • If the puncture in the tread area comes out to be more than ¼ inches in diameter.
  • If the hole is larger than 6.35mm
  • If the tire is won below 1.6mm
  • If the sidewall is dented.
  • If the rubber has deteriorated
  • If the bead has been smashed

More about patching a tire

  • It is recommended to combine the ”plug and patch method” as more satisfactory and desired results are produced.
  • It is impossible and such a challenging task to repair the sidewall area. The structural integrity of the tire is compromised if the patching process fails.
  • A patched tire cannot retain the maximum speed rating. It can drive no faster than 80 mph.
  • It is better to replace the tire if the puncture or cut is larger

FAQs

Conclusion

More details on patching the motorcycle tires are coming up, so stay tuned and get in touch with us. You can let us know if you have ever patched a tire and what results you got!

About David Riedel

I am David Riedel founder of Bikerwhizz, I'm a technician at Keystone Harley Davidson with more than 10 years of industry experience. I’m here to help you solve motorbike problems, customizations, tweaks, and easy fixes to enjoy your rides more.