Guide to Plugging Tires (Tubeless)
Sugarbush Babes has teamed up with Ducati New York, to create an instructional blog for those of us that want to learn to wrench on bikes. I am so excited to be teaming up with Web, Service Directer at Ducati New York, to provide you guys with info you need to understand the two wheeled love of your life! You can find out more about those guys here:
One of the most important things to me, when preparing for this 2018 Cross Country Motorcycle Trip, was to practice how to plug tires. I want to be an expert at it before I leave in case shit goes down while I'm on the road. If you ride like I do, it's eventually going to happen. I have had tires plugged in the past, and have ridden thousands of miles on a plugged tire. In fact, I reached my first 10K miles on a plugged rear tire and replaced it with a brand new 2018 tire that also needed a plug. If for whatever reason, I need to plug my tire on the road, I may have to DIY that shit!! I have to try my best to stick to some sort of timeline, so I am not about to let a flat make me stranded on my trip.
*Disclaimer: I am not recommending anyone ride with plugged tires. Some people are going to say it's ok to do so, and others will not. Use your discretion. I have done so after determining that my tires were safe after plugging. It's important to ride with good tires, as you only have a small amount of the tires as your contact patch to begin with.*
Anyway, back to business!
What you'll need:
Tire Patch Kit
Tire Pressure Gauge
Knife/ wire cutters
Make sure you have all your tools ready to grab. Keep in mind, when you pull out the object, air is going to come out of the tire. Use your pliers to pull the object out, and quickly replace it with your rasp, keeping as much air as possible in the tire.
Your rasp is likely to enlarge the existing hole so make to clean out the excess rubber particles.
Thread the sticky string through the needle hole and add a little bit of glue on the sticky string, then insert it into the puncture hole. Be careful here, because you need to make sure you make it through the other side with most of the sticky string but leave about a third of it sticking out of the tire.
The sticky string is usually 4" so you'll have 3" inside the tires and 1" sticking out. The needle should pull right out. When you pull the needle out, only a third of the sticky string should be visible. If you did it correctly, you should see the two folded ends of your sticky string. Inside, you'll have a loop that presses against the hole like a button.
Take your inflator adaptor and and screw it on to your CO2 Canister.
Use as many canisters as you'll need to inflate your tire enough, to make it to the next gas station. Wear your riding gloves when you do this because the canister will get really cold (-60 degrees), so unless you wanna freeze burn your fingers, don't skip this step.
Check your tire pressure using your tire pressure gauge, to make sure you are at the correct PSI. The more CO2 canisters you have, the better. You never know when this could happen and you may not be right near a gas station.
Snip the excess string off so that it's flush with the tire.
Since you're on the side of the road, you'll have to test how well your plug worked by spitting on it. If there is air coming out of the tires, you know because it will create large bubbles.
If no bubbles, then you're good to go. Just make sure to avoid extreme speed, extreme braking, etc, until you can have your tire replaced.
And that's it!
You did it!
Plugging your tubeless tire is easy AF.
More lessons, and news, and fun coming at ya real soon.
Until then my babies, ride safe.