Motoring

Steps to patch up a punctured tyre on your bike

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Detecting a puncture is not that easy when you have tubeless tyres, as they don’t leak out air instantly

Fixing a puncture is not a complicated job. Your local petrol pump attendant can repair it in just a few minutes and you are good to go. However, detecting a puncture is not that easy when you have tubeless tyres, as they don’t leak out air instantly and take a long time to go completely flat. This can be disconcerting, especially on bikes, as unlike cars, you don’t get a stepney to just toss on. This is where a do-it-yourself puncture repair kit comes handy.

Also read: Five tips on tyre maintenance

To make this guide as cost-efficient as possible, we decided to buy a generic, affordable kit that you can find at most bike accessory stores or online marketplaces. That said, we would recommend getting a higher-quality kit, and a good place to find one is at a premium tyre shop.

1. Get prepped

Steps to patch up a punctured tyre on your bike
 

It is always a good idea to prep up, especially if you are on the highway or in an area with no access to a workbench. Line up all your tools on a bag or your motorcycle seat. Ensure that your motorcycle is in gear and the punctured area on the tyre is accessible. It is also a good idea to place a couple of stones in front of and behind your front tyre to stop the motorcycle from moving. Lastly, clean the area on the tyre you will be working on to not make a mess of your tools and yourself.

2. Pulling the sharp object out

Steps to patch up a punctured tyre on your bike
 

Using pliers, get a good grip on the sharp object that has caused the puncture. Begin pulling straight out with a firm grip and avoid rotating the object. While rotating it would make it easier to remove, it could further the damage. That said, if it does get too difficult, you could wiggle it a little. Keep in mind that you don’t have to remove the object completely because if you do, the tyre will start losing air really quickly. Pull it out about 80 percent of its length and get the next tool ready – the T-handle rasp tool.

3. Cleaning the puncture

Steps to patch up a punctured tyre on your bike
 

This is where your reflexes will be tested. You will have to pull out the object that caused the puncture fully and quickly insert the T-handle rasp tool into the hole. This will not only block the air leakage for the time being, but also make sure that the hole is cleaned out. The rasp tool is used to make the hole more rounded, so the plug that needs to be inserted in the next step will seal the puncture more efficiently.

4. Time to patch up

Steps to patch up a punctured tyre on your bike
 

With the T-handle rasp tool still in, it is time to get the T-handle insert tool ready. The insert tool has a slot similar to a needle and that is where you insert the tyre plug. Once it is in, apply the rubber cement (a bonding agent that seals the plug into place) onto the plug. After that, pull out the rasp tool and quickly insert the plug tool. Like the previous step, this will also have to be quick, to minimise loss of air pressure within the tyre. Once in, all you have to do is pull out the insert tool; the plug will remain in the tyre and you should have a perfect seal.

5. Scrutinise the seal

Steps to patch up a punctured tyre on your bike
 

Slice off the excess tyre plug material with a knife and make it sit flush to the surface of the tyre. Next, pour some water over the plugged area and check for bubbles. If you see bubbles, the leak persists and you will have to repeat the entire process. But if there aren’t any, you are good to go.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 1:48:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/motoring/steps-to-patch-up-a-punctured-tyre-on-your-bike/article29697845.ece

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