Running a Patched and Plugged TIRE?


.020 Over
May 31, 2006
Just got a good deal on a NEW Tire for the R3. Problem is it has a small nail hole about center on the tread. Should I have it plugged and patched? Or should I just get a new tire and not use this 1? What are everyones ideas? Any down side to using the Plugged and Patched tire? Anyone running a plugged tire?
I have always been a fan of tire plugs. I've probably installed around 100 or so. I do it all the time, for myself & for friends. There are tire repair kits out there for bikes which include plugs and CO2 cartridges (reinflation) for tire repairs when on the road. The weight of a plug is very minimal and should not effect tire balance. If it does, the tire could be rebalanced. I would guess that you would never know the plug was installed. Make sure you know how to use the plug fand tools or proper installation & a positive seal.

Now, if another expert offers some information that contradicts my comments, go with their recommendations. I have never had to plug a Rocket tire but if I do get a nail or something similar, I will use one. Good luck.
If you've got the tire dismounted, i'd go ahead and have a patch installed. This is the best way to totally seal the hole from the inside. I'm not against plugging a tire especially in an emergency...but i'd rather patch it if i had a choice. Plugging a tire has several disadvantages. When you shove a plug in a steel belted tire such as a Rockets, you physically push apart or possibly damage steel cords in the tire to insert the plug, and most of the time, you end up making the hole larger just to fit the plug all of which could lead to belt seperation and/ or a blow out. Also plugs are not truely cappable of a total seal inside the tire. And they do come loose and leak. My original tire on my Rocket was just about worn out when i had to plug a small leak while i awaited a back ordered replacement tire. I must of replaced that plug three times in a couple of months before i finally got my new tire. Patching forms a chemical bond/seal repair that will last the lifetime of the tire if done properly. Bigern
Well I hate to swim up stream but here goes.....


We live on a gravel road in farm country. We've had about 30 flats in the past 11 years. 50% were from nails and screws, 25% were from metal wire bits(lots of fence repair I imagine), and 25 from flint rock(stuff the injuns made arrows from). Every patch was fine and held until new tires were purchased, except three. One was never fixed right because of damage to the laminated rubber and steel. Two needed repatching then were fine. That's a 10% chance a patch didn't work out the first time.

If you plan on driving 40mph or under i would trust the patch,...maybe!

The reason i would get a new tire would be speed. If I planned on speeds in excess of 80mph every now and then, I would want a whole tire under me(after all, you only got two anyway). Even more so if speeds get higher.

Do you know the dynamics of an improperly patched tire at 130mph? I don't, and I care little about joining a test group to find out. According to my findings you have a one in ten chance of telling us all about it.

Don't dink around with your life man, get a new tire.

.......and now a word from our sponsers......
Say no to patches and plugs

Victory Dave, when it comes to motorcycles, the two wheeled kind, there is no margin for error left when it comes to tire problems. I too have been a fan of plugging tires for my cars and trucks, as long as the hole was clear of the sidewall by about 1 inch, I would say that is fine. But when it comes to your bike that is no time to take that kind of chance.
I have had my bike for about 2 years now, 8850 miles, my tire is still in pretty good shape but I have already bought my new rear tire, a little under 200 dollars, its sitting in my garage (on standby) I couldnt bear to think of having to wait for it, backorder or whatever.
Well thats all I got to say about that.
VictoryDaveAZ.I have a plug in my tire that I put in two months ago at 5000 miles.I have a pictorial essay I will post as an emergency only proceedure.I've put in many plugs in cager tires over the years and had no problems with any of them.Since I'm the only one on the bike and check the pressure regularly with my new Griots compact tire guage.I do live somewhat dangerously,and what biker doesn't but we have differences in degrees.I'm of the mind to run it to the cords but each to his own.
Even motorsikle tires are made up of steel belts. If something punches a hole through the tire there is a possibility that it could damgae the steel. On a car.. when you have 4 tires and are in a safety cage the risks aren't very great for injury if something goes wrong. On a bike its a different story.

There are plugs and then there are plugs.. There is a high dollar one called "Monkey Grip" from Winzer that is brown and very thick, its almost impossible to put in but when you do it stays in. There is a patch that is half plug and is installed from the inside... that would be the way to go if the tire is already off... I wouldn't trust those cheapy skinny black ones, they always seem to leak air...
If I told you guys what we do to truck tires, youd hold your breath everytime you passed one...

Personally, if I put a nail or whatever through the tread, so long as it was either in the center of the tire or no more than an inch from center, I'd pull the tire off one side of the rim and "boot" it inside with a vulcanizing patch. Anything close to the sidewall and the tire is scrap. Problem with those stick through gooey string plugs as well as the black rubber ones is that you have to actually enlarge the hole first and then ream it out and that is pushing and possibly compromising the steel cords inside the carcass. I've had good luck with the gooey ones on car and implement tires, but I'd always "boot" a bike tire.

Don't ask about truck tires.:D
I have been running a plugged tire, pulled out a nail, for several thousand miles and it does not concern me at all. I will get a new tire soon before any long trips.
Repairing a tire that has some sort of sharp, pointy object such as a nail or staple puncture with a patch doesn't really bother me since chances are the belts or cords were pushed aside. Force blunt truama holes like those from bolts, or cuts and slices that expose belt or cord on the inside of the tire at the puncture site, definatly require tire replacement.