In the last issue we covered how to do some field repairs on a dirt bike, including fixing a flat tire. While stuffing a knobby with paper and foliage can work on a small dirt bike, you won’t get far on a 750+ pound cruiser that way.
Most cruisers – at least the ones without spokes – have tubeless tires. That makes repairing them a lot easier and typically can be done with a plug kit if the hole isn’t too big.
A plug kit should come with a tool that looks like a shorter version of a rat-tail rasp with either a screwdriver or T-shaped handle. Pull out the nail, then use that tool to ream the hole to make it easier to insert the plug material.
Take a strip of the plug material, be sure to peel off the backing, and thread it into the insertion tool (not the same as the reaming tool) just like you would thread into a needle. Then cover the plug material with the glue, insert that into the hole until it is completely inside the tire. Slowly withdraw the tool until the plug material is just clearing the outside surface of the tire. The plug should stay put. Trim what’s showing so it’s flush with the surface.
Now, get some air in it and you’re good to go.
Some guys claim they can go thousands of miles with a tire plugged like this. We don’t recommend it. Once you get a hole, the chances of a slow leak at minimum are still pretty high. So once you get that plugged up tire back home, then spring for a new one. You won’t be sorry.