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What if you get a flat?

  1. #1

    What if you get a flat?

    Was thinking how unprepared I am if I get a flat while out on a ride. Don't have a trailer, family member has a truck but no ramp to get the bike in, have AAA but pretty sure they couldn't help with a motorcycle.


    For those of us without a trailer/truck....what the hell are your options if you get a flat while out on a ride?

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  2. #2
    Riding slow bikes slower. Wanderer's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Puncture kit + small air pump (CO2 carts help, but a small pump is ideal)

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Bought a $9 tiny Slime brand compressor at Walmart and a "puncture repair kit" with the t-handle tool and braided plugs.

    Takes up less than half of my little tank-bag.

    Total expenditure? $13 and change.

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    Lifer NobodySpecific's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Bought a $9 tiny Slime brand compressor at Walmart and a "puncture repair kit" with the t-handle tool and braided plugs.

    Takes up less than half of my little tank-bag.

    Total expenditure? $13 and change.
    Yup, that really is all you need. Got a flat in my aunt's driveway, 6 hours away from home, as I was pulling out of the driveway. Patched it, filled it, and rode it away 20 minutes later without any problems.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Or AMA membership with roadside asst.

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  6. #6
    Lifer nt650hawk's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    NESR on speed Dial.

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  7. #7
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    The fixes mentioned will obviously work, and get you riding quickly. But in the event that you do need a 'tow', you can call a 411 and look up towing services, or use your phone to surf google maps if possible. Tell the company you want to flatbed a bike.

    AAA does not do motorcycles. Ask me how I know I really don't get why either. Someone here was talking about an AMA membership offering AAA-like service for bikes, more info here http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/...sideassistance (beat on the reply)

    I need to get myself a plug-kit. I have a suspicion I'm going to get a flat before I do, I have great luck like that. I saw a youtube vid about handy tools, and the guy showed a home-made tool that screwed in to one of your spark plug holes, which provided a hose with a chuck on the end of it. Hook it to your tire, and crank the engine to inflate. I wonder if a company makes a product like this? Could be useful for anyone who has easy-access to their sparkplugs.

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  8. #8

    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    The fixes mentioned will obviously work, and get you riding quickly. But in the event that you do need a 'tow', you can call a 411 and look up towing services, or use your phone to surf google maps if possible. Tell the company you want to flatbed a bike.
    I remember talking to someone who said that its a risk to call a tow company with a flat bed because they likely wont handle it with care.
    True? Any experiences with a tow company?

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  9. #9
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    I keep the patch kit and a mountain bike air pump under the seat of the V-Strom. One would have to be very patient to fully inflate a motorcycle tire with a small hand-held pump, but it still beats walking....


    Also have the Slime electric pump in one of the bags, but that wa even if the bags are off I'm covered.

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  10. #10
    Lifer NobodySpecific's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    I saw a youtube vid about handy tools, and the guy showed a home-made tool that screwed in to one of your spark plug holes, which provided a hose with a chuck on the end of it. Hook it to your tire, and crank the engine to inflate. I wonder if a company makes a product like this? Could be useful for anyone who has easy-access to their sparkplugs.
    Isn't that going to put a ton of unburned fuel into your tires? Or at the least leave the rubber in contact with some potentially volatile mixture that is under pressure and heat? Considering that the small pumps are $10, this seems like a bad idea to me.

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  11. #11
    still a newbie j4eric's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by aldend123 View Post
    The fixes mentioned will obviously work, and get you riding quickly. But in the event that you do need a 'tow', you can call a 411 and look up towing services, or use your phone to surf google maps if possible. Tell the company you want to flatbed a bike.

    AAA does not do motorcycles. Ask me how I know I really don't get why either. Someone here was talking about an AMA membership offering AAA-like service for bikes, more info here http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/...sideassistance (beat on the reply)

    I need to get myself a plug-kit. I have a suspicion I'm going to get a flat before I do, I have great luck like that. I saw a youtube vid about handy tools, and the guy showed a home-made tool that screwed in to one of your spark plug holes, which provided a hose with a chuck on the end of it. Hook it to your tire, and crank the engine to inflate. I wonder if a company makes a product like this? Could be useful for anyone who has easy-access to their sparkplugs.

    are you sure AAA will not tow your motorcycle? i mean load it on their flat bed truck?

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  12. #12
    Senior Member shortbus's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Last time I got a hole I got off the highway, and got to the first gas station, used fix a flat and got home to properly repair it, since then I've bought one of the co2 kits.

    Question is do I remove the tire myself and just bring rim to get it changed, or not tell tricky mike theres fix a flat in there and let him find out during the swap?

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  13. #13
    Lifer NobodySpecific's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by j4eric View Post
    are you sure AAA will not tow your motorcycle? i mean load it on their flat bed truck?
    I did not have any luck trying to get AAA to even send a tow truck to get my bike out of a ditch, nevermind actually tow it. They hear the word motorcycle and they don't want anything to do with it.

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  14. #14
    Lifer PhilB's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    For AAA, you have to buy the additional package that covers motorcycles and RVs and trailers and other "recreational" vehicles. The basic coverage is just cars, and used to be they had nothing for bikes at all, but they added that a few years ago, and that's when I switched to AAA for all the family cars and bikes. I think it's an extra $25 a year or so for the bike tow coverage, and you get 4 tows a year.

    (Note: this is based on my experience in CA; it's possible that it could be different in different states, although I don't see why it should.)

    PhilB

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    Last edited by PhilB; 07-16-12 at 09:35 AM.
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  15. #15
    so/so mechanic... NeverlosT's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    I have had my bike inpounded towed on a flatbed and with the stand down and no canyon dancers they did a decent job. Once it was in their lot it was a different story because every filthy grease monkey within 100 miles came to sit on it, so when I got it back it was very dirty, but whatever, no damage from the tow.


    The only time a buddy got a flat was in NH and we were super lucky to pull off the highway right where there was a bike shop. I dont carry anything now, maybe should...

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  16. #16
    Lifer
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kazinator View Post
    I remember talking to someone who said that its a risk to call a tow company with a flat bed because they likely wont handle it with care.
    True? Any experiences with a tow company?
    It is a risk, sometimes one you have to take. You'll be there to watch them handle the bike, so you can stop them if they're going to do something dumb. The famous problems are tow-companies taking bikes parked in the street/sidewalk, when you aren't around. In which case, they treat it the same way they treat cars; like shit. While some of the trucks sent out by AAA are their own vehicles, a lot of times they are just acting as a referral service to local tow companies. When I had this problem, I had a local guy come out, who I found via google maps, no recommendations and no reviews. Flying blind. Nice guy, had proper motorcycle handlebar straps and was clearly familiar with the process. Luck was kind of on my side that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by j4eric View Post
    are you sure AAA will not tow your motorcycle? i mean load it on their flat bed truck?
    Quote Originally Posted by NobodySpecific View Post
    I did not have any luck trying to get AAA to even send a tow truck to get my bike out of a ditch, nevermind actually tow it. They hear the word motorcycle and they don't want anything to do with it.
    I had a similar experience. I called AAA, they promptly told me no deal on the bikes. I asked if I could purchase extra coverage that would somehow cover me the future and they told me there is no such thing. I asked if they had numbers I could call to avoid having to search on the side of an off-ramp, and they told me to wait a moment, then said 'no, sorry, I don't have anything for you'. Remember above how I said they basically act as a referral service? I was pretty annoyed...not even a phone number for a tow company?

    Quote Originally Posted by NobodySpecific View Post
    Isn't that going to put a ton of unburned fuel into your tires? Or at the least leave the rubber in contact with some potentially volatile mixture that is under pressure and heat? Considering that the small pumps are $10, this seems like a bad idea to me.
    That is a good question. With a fuel injected model, you can remove the fuse for the injectors, or unplug the injector and no fuel will enter. But the video was using a carb'ed bike. I'm sure a portion of it goes down the exhaust, but I have no doubt some would enter the hose. Perhaps there is an easy way to prevent fuel from leaving the carbs? Pinch the feed line? But I imagine the bowls would still be full. Drain the bowl and pinch the feed, but that's just way too much effort. You're right that for most, this probably isn't a worthwhile option. In my case, as I'm sure with many others, the damn plugs are hard enough to get at making it completely not worth the time.

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  17. #17
    still a newbie j4eric's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by NobodySpecific View Post
    I did not have any luck trying to get AAA to even send a tow truck to get my bike out of a ditch, nevermind actually tow it. They hear the word motorcycle and they don't want anything to do with it.
    see below

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
    For AAA, you have to buy the additional package that covers motorcycles and RVs and trailers and other "recreational" vehicles. The basic coverage is just cars, and used to be they had nothing for bikes at all, but they added that a few years ago, and that's when I switched to AAA for all the family cars and bikes. I think it's an extra $25 a year or so for the bike tow coverage, and you get 4 tows a year.

    (Note: this is based on my experience in CA; it's possible that it could be different in different states, although I don't see why it should.)

    PhilB

    i have the AAA plus..the one that has the gold card....tis around 80 bucks a year i think....anyways....i used it twice already this year, one was
    actually motorcycle related but not towed and they did not say anything about not doing this because i was on my motorcycle...in fact, they did
    offer to tow it but i declined.

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  18. #18

    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilB View Post
    For AAA, you have to buy the additional package that covers motorcycles and RVs and trailers and other "recreational" vehicles. The basic coverage is just cars, and used to be they had nothing for bikes at all, but they added that a few years ago, and that's when I switched to AAA for all the family cars and bikes. I think it's an extra $25 a year or so for the bike tow coverage, and you get 4 tows a year.

    (Note: this is based on my experience in CA; it's possible that it could be different in different states, although I don't see why it should.)

    PhilB
    +1

    yep, in AAA socal I have the "RV classic" membership, and I get 4 free tows per year...and yes they do tow, I've used it twice.

    regardless, I also bought the plug kit...haven't used it yet, but youtube has some videos for it

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  19. #19
    Lifer
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Sounds like I was total incorrectly. I promptly purchased AMA membership when I got home, which was like $50, and offered similar coverage to AAA, but covered the bike. So $80 for AAA-premium > $50 AMA. I have not used the AMA service yet though.

    There is the added benefit of the AMA being a motorcycle activist group, though I'm sure you all know that better than I do, and I know there's some controversy with them now regarding questionable politics and lack of quality direction/leadership.

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  20. #20
    still a newbie j4eric's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    whats great about the AAA plus is, you get up to 100 miles per tow...that is a crazy deal..
    and, they dont care who's car or bike it is as long as you(member) are a passenger.

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    Last edited by j4eric; 07-16-12 at 10:04 AM.
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  21. #21

    Re: What if you get a flat?

    I am fucked lol. I only hope that my 148lbs are not gonna fuck up my Rims

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  22. #22
    Lifer NobodySpecific's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by j4eric View Post
    whats great about the AAA plus is, you get up to 100 miles per tow...that is a crazy deal..
    and, they dont care who's car or bike it is as long as you(member) are a passenger.
    I was told that the bike/rv coverage was not an option for me because I'm in VT and would be part of AAA Northern New England (I got enough of a run around and it was long enough ago that I don't remember the final story of why I wasn't eligible). Since I couldn't pay for the things they apparently offer, I canceled my membership and just have roadside assistance through my insurance company (something like $12 a year). They don't cover bikes either, but they are cheaper and do essentially the same thing as normal AAA so it's better than nothing.

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  23. #23
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    Or AMA membership with roadside asst.
    Quote Originally Posted by j4eric View Post
    i have the AAA plus...
    just another option, although I haven't had to use it, Foremost insurance includes bike towing FYI

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  24. #24
    Mophead going grey dontpanic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIglu View Post
    Bought a $9 tiny Slime brand compressor at Walmart and a "puncture repair kit" with the t-handle tool and braided plugs.

    Takes up less than half of my little tank-bag.

    Total expenditure? $13 and change.
    Bingo! Though I think I got rooked- I spent $17, but they do fit under the seat and they did get me home from Loudon last year (DucDave's Ride to the Races).

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  25. #25
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: What if you get a flat?

    Quote Originally Posted by j4eric View Post
    are you sure AAA will not tow your motorcycle? i mean load it on their flat bed truck?
    Some AAA organizations, like AAA NNE, have an additional RV policy that also covers motorcycles, I'm told.

    AAA SNE, which is MA, CT, and RI, has decided not to offer any services for motorcycles at all. They told me that they will normally bring gas, but consider that a "courtesy" not an obligation.

    I've been meaning to switch the address to my NH office and change to NNE, but have never bothered. I belong mostly for the discounts anyway.

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