How to Plug a Motorcycle Tire

Tires are considered a motorcycle’s most important safety feature. A tire that is not properly inflated can lead to poor handling and an increased chance of losing control of their bike. Some people are not comfortable with the idea of touching a motorcycle tire. One might think that it is complicated or dangerous, but you would be wrong! The process itself is quick and straightforward- once learned. This post will walk you through how to plug a motorcycle tire if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. 

The issue of having a flat tire is common today depending on where you have to pass with the motorcycle. It is crucial that you get to know about flats and how to deal with them, especially for a motorcycle.

It is possible to hear the question; can you plug a motorcycle tire? Well, there is always a first time for everything, and yes, you can easily plug a motorcycle tire if you have all the tools needed.

That being said, plugging the tire with limited information about how to do it might lead to more trouble rather than helping.

Do not worry if you are new to plugging tires. It can be a simple thing for you to do if you get to learn more about the process. A couple of videos are available online that can help you understand more about the whole plugging process.

Can you Plug a Motorcycle Tire Yourself?

The inner tubes of tires can fix by patches. The tubeless tire does not require patches, but it does require plugs. It will not be possible to repair a puncture if the hole is too large, say more than 7 mm in diameter, or a hole on a sidewall. There is no way to fix this problem by patching or plugging.

Plugging motorcycle tires when a nail is picked up is very common. It won’t cause any problems most of the time. No PSI loss over many miles driven after that; it will take a while for the tire to deflate, even if it is losing air pressure. Stopping the motorcycle on sight is the rider’s best course of action in response to the warning.

When going for a long ride, you should also carry a plug kit. You can use the remedy even if you do not believe in plugging tires. You will not have to get stuck along an empty, isolated road.

In a repair shop or once you’ve returned from the ride, you can choose to replace the tire.

Steps to Patching a Tubed Tire

The roadside patching of tubular tires is more labor-intensive. You will need to carry a few extra tools if you are running tubed tires. If you want to remove the tube from the tire, you will need to remove the wheel. You can find out how to do that in your bike manual and what tools to pack in your luggage. The bead-breaking tool isn’t essential, but it is easier to use and will protect your wheel.

  • To remove the tube, deflate it until no air remains in it.  
  • The next step is to prepare the tube for the patch.  
  • A “scrubber” should have come with your puncture kit to roughen the puncture hole’s surface. In this way, the patch will be able to adhere to the tube.
  • It is now time to apply the patch to the tube.  
  • Make sure you follow the kit’s instructions.  
  • Depending on the patch, the glue may be included, or it may require its own adhesive.  
  • Make sure the patch is firmly placed against the tube and that no air bubbles appear.
  • After the tube has been patched, check the tire to ensure that whatever caused the puncture has been removed.  
  • Following the removal of the tube, you can reinstall the tire and tube. 
  • Afterward, inflate it until it reaches the riding pressure. 

 Make sure there are no leaks.

Steps to Plug a Tubeless Tire

Kits for repairing tubeless tires contain these items:

  • Rubber strips
  • Glue
  • A brace
  • An awl to insert the rubber strips
  • A blade
  • Compressed air capsules
  • Valve adapters

Step- 1

First, we will remove the thing that caused the hole. You can use a screwdriver if it is a screw and the head of the screw is still visible outside of the tire. It may be necessary to use pliers or another tool to remove it if it is a nail or almost no head. The rubber will burst when you pull hard, release all the air inside.

Step- 2

Your next step is to clean out the rubber and enlarge the hole. Our tire repair kit includes both a brace and a circular file for this purpose. Clean it thoroughly by putting the brace on and taking it off. When you are at a gas station or have a compressor handy, you can use that to push air through the valve. Rubber will be squeezed out of the opening as the tire takes shape.

Step- 3

Preparing rubber strips and glue is the next step. This can be done by putting it through the eye of your repair kit punch halfway and making a T shape with the tool. Attach it to the puncture hole by applying glue to it. We recommend inserting the rubber strip as much as possible through the middle of the tire so as to keep as much of this strip inside the tire as possible. Think that whatever plugs up the tire will be the amount of rubber inside and that air pressure inside will make that rubber move.

Step- 4

You can create pressure by applying pressure through the valve at a gas station, just as you did when cleaning the hole. In order to put rubber in the tire, the hole will need to grow and take shape. After removing the tool, stop putting pressure on the tire and deflate it. When rubber is inserted, it stays plugged in the hole, so you have to get a clean punch out of it. Remove the awl without dragging the rubber strip.

Step- 5

You can cut the excess of the rubber strip with a knife. You can use compressed air capsules to inflate the tire, or you can go to a gas station and use their compressor.

Step- 6

Ensure that the tire does not lose pressure after putting it in by waiting a bit and rechecking its pressure. I am sure that if you followed all of the steps correctly, it was perfect. It is highly recommended, however, to check the tire pressure frequently.

Puncture on the motorcycle fixed!

To repair the tire, we review all the important factors

  • We found out that our tire had a hole in it.
  • The hole was widened with the tool provided in the kit.
  • We insert the rubber wick into the tool in the case.
  • We strung the wick with glue and placed it in the wheel.
  • To get rid of the excess rubber tips, we cut them off.
  • Using the CO2 cylinder and fitting, we inflate the tire.

It’s not that hard to fix your flat tire when you’re driving down the road.

Plugging A Tubeless Tire

What will you need: Tire Plug Kit, the pliers, a knife

When it comes to how to plug a motorcycle tire, you can expect that the methods for a tubeless and tubed tires to vary a bit. If you get to understand the methods correctly, then it should be a breeze, especially for the tubeless tire.

Nails, razor blades or screws are things that can easily end up causing the flat tire. The first step would be checking if the tire still has the object that caused the flat in the first place. You will need a tool such as the pliers to help with removing the object from the tire.

Make sure to remove the object from the tire the same it entered, as a way of making sure that the puncture hole remains small.

With a reaming or rasp tool from the puncture repair kit, you should be able to clean the edges of the puncture hole making it ready to do the plugging. It is always important to remove the rough edges and debris around the puncture hole. This should make it easy to create a great seal against the plug.

Depending on the kit, you can have various types of plugs to use for the repairs. You simply have to make sure that the instructions from the kit manufacturer are followed correctly so that the plug also gets to work great. The common type of plugs includes the mushroom and long strip plugs.

It is possible to find some kits having an additional adhesive that helps bond your plug to the rubber of the tire. This should be great for those looking for a great of their flat tire.

Using the insertion tool, place the plug around the tool ready for making the patch. You will have to insert the plug all the way up to half of the plug and then remove the tool. Cut the remaining part of the plug above the tire. As simple as that, you should be done with plugging the tubeless tire.

How Long Do Motorcycle Tires Last?

The motorcycle tires can be quite fascinating when it comes to their durability. The tires are known to last between 5000 miles to 15000 miles. Many things come into play that affects the durability of the motorcycle tires.

Some of the aspects that affect the durability include the type of motorcycle, the weight of the rider, the riding conditions, type of motorcycle tire and many others. You can never expect tires from different brands to have the same durability.

You simply have to check the tread-wear indicator to make sure that you can change the tires whenever possible so that you can ride safely.

What About The Durability Of Plugged Tire?

Now that the question of can you plug a motorcycle tire has been answered, the next one on your mind is wondering how long it would last after the tire has been plugged. The answer to such a question can be interesting as many things can affect the durability.

If you did a great job, then you can always expect that the tire would last for long so that it delivers a better service. Some plugs will even last the remaining tread life of your tire.

If you simply need a quick fix, the plug will last you for about 100 miles so that you can get the tire to a professional to help with fixing it permanently.

For those who are new to plugging the motorcycle tires, you could always use additional tips from this YouTube video.

Is it Possible to plug a motorcycle in all situations?

We need to take into account a few aspects. Find out what’s causing it first. Considering that you may want just to keep your eye on the tire pressure as you limp the bike home and leave the object in the tire might make the most sense.

Depending on if it’s a nail or staple in the tread, you may not need a tow truck. Even though it can be expensive, safety is worth it sometimes.

Place your thumbs on the outer edge of your tire tread to determine whether you need to call a tow truck.

There’s nothing you can’t repair between your thumbs, but anything that’s covered by your thumbs or that is visible from the outside, including the sidewall of a tire, is probably not repairable.

The only way to get your bike out of one of those spots is to load it onto a truck.


Is it okay to plug a motorcycle tire?

Yes, the answer is that you can only ride for a limited amount of time on a plugged tire. Rather than providing a permanent solution, tire plugs are designed as temporary measures.

How long can you drive on a plugged tire?

A few years to a decade

Numerous tire experts agree that plugs last for approximately seven to ten years. In order to save money, this should not be your goal. As soon as a puncture occurs in the tire, it becomes increasingly likely that it will break further and cause a blowout. You may be able to use that plug for a few months.

Is it better to patch or plug a tire?

When there is a puncture on your tire, it is best to use a tire plug. The plug can be put into the hole after the sharp object or nail has been removed. Repairing a tire is a better option than patching it.

Is plugging a tire a permanent fix?

Tire plugs and patches are insufficient for tire repair. There is no way to seal the inner-lining with a plug, and no way to fill the holes where nails and screws have been inserted. The tire can then be damaged by water getting into its body.

Are tire plugs dangerous?

If you have a hole in a sidewall or a large hole, avoid repairing it. In the event of a blowout, the situation could be dangerous. A patch or plug by itself cannot be accepted. The RMA standards allow you to use your tire for thousands more miles with a safer repair.

Final verdict

When it comes to plugging a motorcycle tire, there are two schools of thought. One group does not believe in using plugs at all and the other is firmly pro-plug because they can be used for temporary fixes as well as permanent ones. The decision ultimately boils down to preference but if you’re going with plugs, make sure that your hands are clean before plugging. We hope you found this article helpful. Not only will doing the work yourself save money, but it also gives you more control over your motorcycle and how to take care of it.

It is possible that you will always end up having a flat at some point in your life of owning a motorcycle. You need to be sure about the type of methods you use for plugging the motorcycle tire. If you get to do it right, the tire should be able to last for a long time to come.

1 thought on “How to Plug a Motorcycle Tire”

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