Thanks for your story! Glad things worked out for you.
I'm planning my first long trip in the next few weeks. Well, long for me at 200 miles each way. This weekend, I planned to ride about 150 miles total, with some gear on the bike so I could get used to the weight.
About 60 miles or so into my ride, I was doing fine and enjoying the ride. I was on a two lane highway doing about 60 or so, when I started to lose speed and found myself unable to go over 55, then 50, etc. My first thought was that I must have run through the tank and needed to switch to reserve. But at only 60 miles in that couldn't be the case.
Then, everything got really squirrelly in the back and I began to wobble left to right. Uh-oh, flat tire! It took a few seconds, but that's what finally got through my head. A flat in the rear tire.
At this point, I let go of the gas and tried to control the ride. The wobble got very pronounced and the bike kept trying to pull left into the oncoming lane. Luckily there were no cars really close to me. I was able to get over to the road side and pull of on a small side road safely. Heavy breathing, check. Racing heart, check. Kept my head and got off the road safely, BIG CHECK.
Of course, everything else went well (NOT). My cell phone wouldn't work in that area. I normally carry a tire kit, irons, patches, pump, tubes, etc. Imagine my surprise when I remembered it was on the bench at home. So, no way to fix the tire, no phone service, middle of nowhere. It was shaping up to be a GREAT day!
This is where I get to tell about the kindness of strangers. I walked up to a nearby house across the road from where I stopped. A really nice old guy let me use his phone to get in touch with my wife and arrange a ride home. With a portable air tank, we drove over to the TW and aired the tire enough to ride about halfway to his place, and then aired again to get the rest of the way. I stored the bike in his garage and he drove me to the nearest town about seven miles away to wait for my wife to pick me up. I was pretty well stuck and this very nice man really helped me out. There are still good people willing to help a stranger!
Anyway, my slightly annoyed wife drove the hour or so from Dallas to get me, and I went back on Sunday with the truck to get my TW. Of course, kindness should be repaid, so I went with a 12 pack of Shiner for my rescuer.
I don't trust the tire after riding it while flat, and have ordered a replacement. In the mean time, I'm learning how to break the bead, patch the tube, and reinstall the tire. I'll treat this as a learning moment.
I'm a novice rider, and this was a little scary. For those of you who are also less experienced, please learn what you can from my experience. Always be prepared (I wasn't). Never let your guard down. This situation can be managed, but you can't lose your head. Don't Panic. All you want to do is get safely off the road. Everything after that can be managed.
So, I've ordered a new tire and tube and 2 bottles of Ride-On (for front and back) to put in when they arrive. Also, the tire kit is going back in the saddle bag and will stay there.
That's my story. Be prepared, don't panic, and hope there are good people around when you need them.
Thanks for your story! Glad things worked out for you.
Glad you made it home safe and sound. But your story has got me thinking. Although I have ridden bikes for a long time, I have never traveled more than 150 miles one way on the pavement and would always trailer my MX bikes ATV's or UTV's to a site and then ride. I always had the support tools in/supplies in the truck if repairs were needed, and usually a friend or two to get me back when in back country. It seems many forum members almost live off of these bikes when they go for a ride. I am wondering what members are packing as a minimium when they head out for a ride that takes them off the beaten path away from all support and assistance. I am pretty squared away in the area of self reliance and survival gear. I am interested in what you may bring for the bike to keep it on the road.....I guess I could start with a tire repair kit.
The tire kit is a good place to start. I'll be carrying mine now all the time, I assure you.
The other thing I carry is a general tool kit. I have sockets, wrenches, screwdrivers, tape, zip ties, etc. Whenever I work on the bike, I only allow myself to use what's in the kit, even if I'm at home. If I come across something I can't do with what I normally carry, then that tool gets added to the kit for the next time.
Perhaps I have moved toward the extreme..... Gerry
Take care my Friend.........
All you need is a plug kit, and a cheap slime compressor. You will be back on the road in 10 min with no cell phone needed.
So, how hard is it to actually repair a tire in the field away from home (supposing I don't have Ride-On in the tire)? How hard is it to actually break the bead and get the tire over the rim?
I've never had a flat, (and by mentioning this fact I soon will ), and I just assumed I would have to take it to a motorcycle shop to have the tire fixed.
Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?
Plug kit won't work on a tire with a tube.
Don't bother carrying tools you don't know how to use. A flat 100 miles from home is 10 times harder to repair than a flat at home.
I also carry exactly what I need to work on the bike. Nothing more, nothing less. When I work on the bike at home, everything I use goes in the tool kit.
I also carry an oak wedge to fit between the tire and swing arm to pop the bead, a bottle of water, and a sample-size dish soap bottle. Dump the soap in 1/4 bottle of water to make tire lube. A CO2 inflator saves the battery.
Even though I am replacing the tire and tube, I did a repair in the garage just to have the experience. I have the tools, but had never used them. As qwerty points out below, it doesn't do much good to carry them if you can't use them.
Having done that, it was hard work, even under decent circumstances at home. Coud you do this in the field? Maybe, if the conditions were right, but it would be 10 times harder, if not more. I understand better now that a field repair is a last resort. Being able to call for help, or use some kind of roadside assistance like AAA is a more viable option.
One of the toughest tasks was breaking the bead. I found a video on YouTube that showed how to use a short piece of 2x2 as a bead breaker . Even using that method, the conditions would have to be right to do this in the field.
I have three tire irons, and was able to get the tire over the rim, but man, was that work. I was sweating and out of breath by the time I wrestled the last bit of the tire on. I used all three irons and it was a difficult, but not impossible job.
qwerty, you mentioned using an oak wedge against the swingarm to break the bead. Can you elaborate on that statement? Being able to patch a tube without taking the wheel off to be able to break the bead would be a time/work saver in this situation.
Jam the wedge between the sidewall and swingarm. Fire her up, 1st gear, use engine power to force the tire into the wedge. Pops the bead right off. Maybe. On a good day.