Your tyres are the only things connecting you to the road, so the condition of your tyres is critical for safe riding. There’s a lot of sharp stuff lying on our roads, but thankfully most motorcycle tyres are tubeless and can be plugged on the side of the road in minutes if you carry a tyre repair kit.
Can you identify when your tyres are toast? Wear is the most common reason tyres need to be replaced. To hello you determine if the tyre is safe, there is a tread wear indicator moulded into the tyre. But don’t rely on just wear indications. Almost as common as wear is cupping or scalping of the front tyre. If you have this on your bike, it is time for a new tyre and a suspension service.
This article looks at where you can get your motorcycle tyre repaired and if it can be done by one of the UK’s top tyre retailers with over 740 branches across the country. We answer frequently asked questions and bring factual information to assist with your tyre maintenance.
Let’s get into it.
Can you take a motorcycle tyre to Kwk fit for repair?
You will find that Kwik fit branches are focused on car tyres. Changing a car tyre is very different to changing a motorcycle tyre, and the skill levels are not comparable. Anyone can change car tyres with minimal training, but when it comes to your motorcycle, you need an experienced tyre fitter.
If the fitter does have the skills, would you want your motorcycle wheel on a car tyre fitting machine?
Motorcycle tyre changers are typically promoted as more straightforward, frequently manual versions of vehicle tyre changers. A vehicle tyre changer can occasionally change a motorbike tyre, but it might need to be modified to do it perfectly.
Various tyre changer designs could, but aren’t necessarily, suitable for changing motorbike tyres. These comprise tyre changers with a wheel clamp, a manual lever, a swing arm, a leverless lever, a tilt-back lever, and a heavy-duty lever.
Some tyre changers may be excessive or even entirely inappropriate for a motorcycle. Of course, a more upscale tyre changer would be advantageous for committed professionals.
Another choice is a tyre changer that can be used for motorcycle and vehicle tyres or includes the required adapters. Some even help the motorcycle’s front and rear tyres balance each other out.
Why is my motorcycle tyre flat?
The most typical motorcycle puncture occurs in the rear wheel and is frequently brought on by a sharp object, such as a screw or nail. It’s likely that the tyre won’t leak a lot of pressure if the puncture is clean, in the centre of the tread, and was caused by a screw or nail.
Before visually inspecting the tyre or checking the pressure, you might not even be aware that you have a puncture.
Since the back tyre has a larger contact patch with the road, it tends to sustain more punctures from sharp objects.
In many cases, removing the offending object will cause you to lose pressure more quickly, turning a gradual puncture into a flat tyre that could leave you stranded.
In addition, if you drive quickly while carrying an object in your tyre, it is more likely to come loose and cause a quick deflation. At 80 mph on the A3, this is not what you want to happen to you.
It’s recommended to check the tyre pressures and, if feasible, ride to your local motorcycle tyre specialist to inspect the damage if you have a slow puncture. In most cases, a specialist can fix the puncture and restore the tyre’s strength.
The most frequent reason for a puncture is a sharp object cutting into the tyre’s carcass. However, there are additional ways a tyre might lose pressure:
Absence of valve caps – If you ride at high speeds without valve caps on your stems, the centrifugal force on the wheel may pull the valve core in, causing the tyre to lose pressure quickly.
Failure of the valve stem in the tyre – A stem that is too old or improperly seated can lose pressure. You should replace the valve every time you change a tyre since it eventually deteriorates and loses air.
Breaking of the bead: This occurs when the tyre momentarily separates from the wheel rim. This may occur if you drive over a very huge pothole (the kind that should be indicated on an OS map), if you veer off a curb, or if the tyre wasn’t appropriately placed at the factory.
You’ll lose air quickly, but you should be able to re-inflate the tyre, provided the rim or bead aren’t damaged.
The tread on your motorcycle’s tyres may be excessively worn out, even though road camber doesn’t affect motorcyclists as much as it does vehicles.
When a tire’s tread is getting close to the legal limit, the last few millimetres of tread begin to wear down far more quickly than the initial tread. If this happens, the tyre’s carcass may become seen, and air may begin to flow from it.
Are all motorcycle tyre repairs legal?
To get it right, motorcycle tyre puncture repair requires a keen eye and experience. However, a puncture is not always fixable.
A British Standard for tyre repairs called BSAU159 specifies what materials can be used, how frequently a tyre can be fixed, and where a repair can be applied and where it cannot be applied.
A tyre is extensively inspected before a repair is made. The outside carcass and wheel rim must be inspected to determine whether the puncture can be repaired and whether the tyre would still be legal to drive on.
After removing the tyre and inspecting the inner carcass to determine whether the repair is physically sound, proceed with the repair if it is deemed feasible.
The rider must be informed if the proposed fix is unsafe or illegal.
Don’t repair if:
- All around the tyre’s circumference and two-thirds of its breadth, the tread depth is less than the permissible limit of one millimetre.
- A hole within 2 cm of the tire’s edge or in the sidewall of the tyre
- Injuries to the rim
- Worn-out, expired, or decayed rubber
- Any area where the tyre’s carcass is visible
- When a tyre has already undergone repairs in three different places
- When a tyre has previously undergone subpar repairs
Can you repair a motorcycle TYRE?
Yes, but it is not as simple as you may think.
While plugging and patching are standard motorcycle tyre repair techniques, not all motorcycles should use them. The kind of motorcycle you ride could also make a difference.
Motorcycle tyres without tubes should not be patched. Steel belt ply is located beneath the tread of tube tyres. To retain patches or plugs until the motorcycle tyre repair shop can replace the tyre, this metal belt offers structural integrity.
Another important aspect is the size of the puncture. More minor punctures can’t always be repaired. Some, though, might not require patching.
Patching or plugging the motorcycle tyre may be the best action, depending on the puncture size. To fill the hole, make sure you have enough adhesive. Then get off the bike.
If the sidewall is damaged, your tyre is toast.
How much does it cost to fix a punctured TYRE?
£25 to £30 to fix it.
A permanent repair and a temporary repair are the two sorts of repairs.
Without removing the tyre from the rim, a temporary repair is made on the tyre’s exterior. These are good “get you home” repairs, but they shouldn’t be used as the sole method of tyre maintenance.
Remove the tyre from the rim and apply the bung from the inside for a long-lasting fix. Since it employs more material and is more substantial, it will remain in place. If there are no further punctures, a permanent fix will allow you to use the tyre until it wears out.
You can’t repair front tyres
It’s illegal since doing so wouldn’t be safe. You will quickly lose control of the bike and tyre pressure if a front tyre repair blows out.
You can only legally repair a tyre three times.
After this, you need to replace the tyre.
Tyre foam is useless for a puncture.
It can be a convenient way to get moving and get to a tyre shop, but after using tyre weld or tyre foam, you won’t be able to do a permanent repair because the foam impairs the adhesive of the puncture repair patch. Tyre foam just isn’t going to work with inner tubes.
Don’t remove what has punctured the tyre.
It could seem like a good idea to remove the problematic item, but doing so will almost always make things worse.
Is it safe to repair a punctured TYRE?
Small holes caused by things like a nail or screw in the tread or outer wall of the tyre are simple to patch.
It is impossible to repair internal damage, sidewall damage, severe cuts, sizable gouges, or a split caused by a burst tyre.
As a general rule, holes that are more than 5 to 6mm in diameter shouldn’t be deemed safe for repair.
|Type of Tyre Damage||Repair or Replace?|
|Puncture to tread area||Repairable*|
|Sidewall bulges, cuts, splits, gouges||Replace|
How do you repair a motorcycle TYRE puncture?
Once the tyre’s puncture-causing object has been removed, the rubber seals up, making the spot where the hole had existed barely noticeable. You can patch up a minor hole in one of three ways:
- A plug-and-patch setup.
To ensure correct repair, the interior of the tyre should be examined to determine whether any damage has occurred. The tyre needs to be removed from the rim to inspect the hollow for damage.
In the patch repair technique, the tyre technician takes the tyre off the rim, finds the damaged region, and gets the surface ready for a patch.
However, using the plug technique, the puncture is patched up from the outside, and the tyre is left on the rim.
The plug or patch procedure alone cannot guarantee a completely secure and effective puncture repair. For this reason, tyre professionals advise using the combination strategy.