Nailed it! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Nailed it!

As I was riding to the beach to watch my buddy perform with his band I kept hearing a noise that sounded like a bad engine pinging or clanging, which freaked me right out. I pulled over and inspected the tire at a gas station but didn't see anything, so I kept riding thinking maybe the engine would quiet down and not self destruct.

The noise got REALLY loud on the highway whenever I would lean to the side. I was so sure the noise was from the engine, which made me think nothing but the worst. Then I decided to get smart, pulled the clutch, and the noise kept on. Ok, good! Engine isn't about to blow! BUT THEN WHAT THE HELL IS IT?

Pull over again and listen to the clang as I walked the bike with my helmet off, found it was definitely from the rear. Pressed the brake lever, noise stays. Stop the bike, noise goes away. It's rhythmic, like something in the tire, but why is it so loud? Nails don't make that kinda racket at low speeds... So I kept going, noting exactly when the noise was made and traced it back around the tire and BAM! I see a quarter-sized washer nailed into the tire. I guess it was acting kinda like a cymbal, clanging against the pavement. Pull the nail out, remove the washer, plug the tire with the nail to stop the air escaping. Ride it home really slowly and think about my options.

Plugged it with a Tech Permacure string plug (pulled the rear tire once, found no shops that would patch it, nobody with the rear tire for less than $180 installed, didn't wanna hog up my parking lot with a disabled bike) and am going to order a new tire online and get it installed sometime this week. I hate spending $120 for a new tire that I don't really need, but I don't really trust the rope plug too much, maybe I can, though?

It was a silly adventure, but at least the tire doesn't have a nail in it right now and I could probably take it around my neighborhood if I wanted, but will likely refrain from long highway trips until I get a new tire.

Anybody run a rope plug for an extended time?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 01:46 PM
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Last year on my FJ cruiser I did the plug. We went on several trips from Bay Area to LA to LV and back home and no problems. I don't know if I would trust it on a bike though. Logically, when you think about how it works it should be just fine. But, going flat at 80mph on a bike won't be fun.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 02:24 PM
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I've run them in car tires and atvs, never a problem. Even stuck three plugs in one hole on a rear tractor tire, it's filled with liquid so when if it leaks, you look like a sprinkler.

Just seems more sketchy when you're on two wheels, but I've never heard of a plug just falling out.

There's also an item called a patch plug, basically a plug attached to a patch. Have to break the tire down to apply it from the inside. Plug patch actually....


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-14-2018, 04:58 PM
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I've plugged lots of tires over the years... cars, trucks, atvs, tractors, like Spockster.

Had some plugs pulled out from traction grabbing 'em, but this is usually from an elongated cut hole rather than a round puncture.

I've multi-plugged some large holes that usually didn't last either.

I would caution against using a simultaneous plug with a canned aerosol 'fix-a-flat'. The slimy stuff in the can tends to work against the plug adhesive, though if it's a tight round hole and you do the plug first it'll likely work, otherwise the slime can act as a lubricant to prevent plug adhesion... initially.

Personally, I would only use a plug in a motorcycle tire as a 'get by' and get home, until I could replace with a new one.

The patch/plug would be a more permanent and dependable fix. I might go with that if I just couldn't afford a new one.
I would wonder about the wheel balance but it might be negligible.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 03:23 AM
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No issue with a rope plug on the back. I've ran several. You don't want them on the FRONT. If the front goes you're gonna hate life, if the back goes it just gets lower in pressure until you feel like the bike is too wishy washy to keep riding it. No harm done. Plug it and keep ridin! I've gotten years out of plugs on rear tires on bikes. I refuse to plug a front tire.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-15-2018, 11:13 PM
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Just two days ago found a nail in my rear. Can't say I'm pleased. I'll be trying the Ride-On and a plug, respectively.

The good news is this is a push in the right direction to try out some new tires as well. 80/20 is the plan. Always wanna have some comfort zone, even if only to hit the occasional back-road to get a touch higher up the mountain.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I used the same plug kit I used a year or so ago on my Pathfinder (now sold, plug held for 6+ months of abuse) Tech Permacure is the brand and type. Hails itself as better than a tar string plug, but that could be advertising wank.

As soon as I plugged it it stopped losing air, so I'll check the pressure in a day or two and take it around the neighborhood to shake it down. I may well leave it in there for a couple weeks/months until I get around to buying a new tire (no shop will take it off and plug it, and the tire shops who would plug it don't have motorcycle tire machines to take it off, so a plug would wind up costing $50 or so vs. just paying $125 for a new tire)

I put Shinko 230's on here back in January 2017 and they have about 4-6k miles on them, so they've lived an OK life so far.

Good to hear it's a little safer to plug the rear, but I agree I wouldn't even imagine plugging the front unless I was stranded and needed to get to the next town.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 07-16-2018, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheModernLemonade View Post
80/20 is the plan. Always wanna have some comfort zone, even if only to hit the occasional back-road to get a touch higher up the mountain.
Are you talking about 80 street/20 offroad style tires? If you do this please let me know how it goes! I've never seen that style tire for the VN750's, unless you're talking about a different bike.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-15-2018, 10:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ubertalldude View Post
Are you talking about 80 street/20 offroad style tires? If you do this please let me know how it goes! I've never seen that style tire for the VN750's, unless you're talking about a different bike.
Yeah that's what I'm thinking for the VN. I'm heated, just tore up my final drive on the road because of previous owner's lack of maintenance and my lack of follow-up. Now might be the time to get those tires on. Anyway, I'll let you know how it all goes.
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