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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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Tire keeps going flat

When I bought the bike a few months ago, the previous owner said the tires were new. They looked close to new to me and has very good tread. What i'm seeing is the rear tire will deflate when its not ridden. I've had the bike in the garage for about 1 1/2 weeks and the rear tire will go flat. I left it on the kick stand since I was thinking I would have some driving time. The front tire seems fine. Its been colder here (low 20's at night) so not sure if that has something to do with it. I didn't have a time to check for leaks yet since I found out last night while I was installing a new headlight. I will check for leaks tonight. Question is, is this normal for a motorcycle tire to deflate this quickly? I was riding it for about a good month since it was fixed without any issues. I rode approximately 500 miles during that time.

If its a leak, I guess i'll have to get a new tire and get the splines lubed while the tire is off.


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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 05:27 PM
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No, it's not normal. Might just be a bad/old valve core. Wouldn't hurt or be that expensive to change it, as well as check for leaks, especially around the rim. A simple mixture of soap & water will work for that.


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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-14-2009, 05:59 PM
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Cold will give a lower pressure reading, but not make a tire go flat. You have a leak , and if the tire was reasonably new, I would try and plug it before spending moolah on a new one.

If it is not the valve stem and is a hole in the bottom of the tire, I would use one of those "sticky string" patches and then fill the tire with the required amount of Ride On after I was sure the patch was not leaking.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 06:05 PM
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Funny. I am having the same problems. I know the age of my tire and it is no where near the end of its life cycle. But as of late, it has been losing pressure while stowed. I have checked and there is no 'nail in the tire' or anything of the sort. I can only assume that either the valve stem is leaking or it is losing air at the rim bead.

I am planning on having the tire re-mounted and checked as soon as I get a chance. I will let you know the results.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWenhart View Post
Funny. I am having the same problems. I know the age of my tire and it is no where near the end of its life cycle. But as of late, it has been losing pressure while stowed. I have checked and there is no 'nail in the tire' or anything of the sort. I can only assume that either the valve stem is leaking or it is losing air at the rim bead.

I am planning on having the tire re-mounted and checked as soon as I get a chance. I will let you know the results.
The question here is how long and how much....meaning how long is it being "stowed" and how much air are you losing?

I can believe if it sits 4 weeks and loses 3-5 psi... but if it goes flat in 5 days you have a leak.

I was told that cast wheels are a bit more porus and can lose air faster than spoked wheels with tubes. Not sure if this is true, but I have noticed the bike will drop a few psi over the course of few weeks.

I do know that tires themselves a somewhat porus and do slowly lose air... I have not recorded any data, I just know that I always check my tire pressure if it has been more than a few days since I rode last...and many times the tires do need a pound or two.


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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 08:28 PM
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Oxygen (which is 21% of the gases which make up air) will naturally diffuse through the rubber in the tire, but that should only account for about 1-2 PSI per month. Filling your tires with nitrogen instead of air will pretty much solve that issue because there's no oxygen to diffuse. But it sounds like you have some sort of leak, not just a diffusion issue.

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-15-2009, 08:36 PM
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Ok, first thing to do is find where the air is going. Air up the tire to recommended pressure, put the bike on the centerstand, and spray the entire tire tread, valve stem, and around the bead with Windex. Wherever the leak is, it will show up in a hurry, because the Windex will make bubbles. If it is in the tread, and losing air that slowly, Ride-On alone will probably stop it. If it is around the bead, mark the spot, deflate the tire, and break the bead loose. You don't need to remove the wheel to do that. Look for damage to the tire bead, or a gouge in the rim. If the rim has damage, and it's not really bad, you can probably sand it down smooth and stop the leak. If the tire bead is damaged, it depends on how bad. If it is really bad, you will have to replace the tire. It's very possible that someone who didn't know what they were doing damaged the tire or wheel when they replaced the tire. If there is damage, but it's not that bad, you can get some stuff called bead sealer at most tire shops. You put it on the tire bead, then reinflate the tire. It works most of the time. If it's the valve stem, you might get away with just tightening or replacing the core, but if it is leaking between the stem and wheel, you will need to replace the stem, which usually requires removing the tire. If by some chance, and this isn't likely, it's in the tire sidewall, you will have to replace the tire, as there is no known way to patch a hole in a sidewall. It flexes to much.

I am not one to replace a good tire if it is salvageable. I have a Metzler ME880 on the rear of my bike right now, with a plug in it, and Ride-On in it. Fortunately, it was a small puncture, and right in the middle of a tread groove. The tire only has about 2000 miles on it. It is not dangerous, even if the plug came out (I carry a plug kit and a pump), it would lose air so slowly that I would have a chance to slow down and pull over. So far, it has not lost any air where it is plugged. I squirt some Windex on it every once in a while.



However, whatever you wind up doing about the tire, KEEP THOSE SPLINES LUBED. That is one maintenance item that should never be neglected. Jerry.

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 11:02 AM
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I have a sidecar tire mounted on a VN750 front rim that I have to be very careful of since it tends to develop rim leaks if the rim isn't cleaned good when mounting a new tire.

A leak at the bead is probably the most frustrating to find and fix and Ride-On doesn't get up to those areas to help plug it.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 11:42 AM
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If they didn't replace your valve stem, it could be the problem, especially if it is rubber. They eventually crack and leak. I had a bran new ME880 put on my 750 a year or so ago and it was going flat on me. Found the rubber valve stem nearly cracked in half. They didn't offer to replace it, but I assumed they had since they didn't ask. My bad. I should have asked.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-16-2009, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fergy View Post
If they didn't replace your valve stem, it could be the problem, especially if it is rubber. They eventually crack and leak. I had a bran new ME880 put on my 750 a year or so ago and it was going flat on me. Found the rubber valve stem nearly cracked in half. They didn't offer to replace it, but I assumed they had since they didn't ask. My bad. I should have asked.
Every time I have ever bought new tires for my car or truck, the installer automatically yanks the old valve stems and reinstalls new ones. With labor rates as high as they are today, they don`t want customers coming back complaining about tires going flat, or have to replace them under warranty, just because they failed to change a $2 part.

I had one old tire on my truck two winters ago that I cussed every two or three days when I had to fill it up. I was sure I had a puncture, but the tire wasn`t worth patching, and I had plans for getting another truck soon. After 2 months of this, I bent the stem just right one day while putting air in, and saw that the stem was broken half way through. It is amazing that it held air at all.

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