I bet you are wondering how I found myself here, sitting on the side of the road with a flat rear tire on my '09 Kawasaki Versys 650?
It's a little bit funny, it's a little bit sad, let me tell you all about the ride we had.
Facebook marketplace is a great way to find used gear at affordable prices, and I'd seen someone advertise some Alpinestars SMX 4 boots for sale that I knew from past experience would fit me like a glove (one I got them wet while riding lol), and for less than 1/2 the cost of retail!
Trouble was they were located a bit out of town and I missed them the first time I tried for a pickup, then they moved to a new house in Burlington Prince Edward Island, so it took a good weekend with some lovely warm July weather before I invited Caroline to come ride with me on her still new to her 2006 KLR and get some use out of it.
|Are you kidding me?! A piece of glass!?|
She agreed, and I met up with her at her place in Tryon, waited until she'd geared up and we had our Cardo Scala G4s paired up and ready to go, then I let her lead the way as there were some back roads she knew of that were sure to have more fun factor then allowing Google to take us straight there, but we also dropped in to see my sister Wendy-Sue and her husband Kirk.
|Stick around and have a drink, Ron. |
H2O or H2O?
The garden was looking lovely, and so it should after all the effort they make to keep it looking good.
I'd been messaging Tara and she'd put the boots out at the end of their long drive in a plastic bag, so it was time to say so long to Kirk and Wendy and head up to Burlington and collect them, as I'd already paid for them via interac e-transfer, and as there was COVID in the air, this was contact-less pickup.
Right. So after a fun little ride, we end up on a well known to us corner on highway 6, but we would need to make the corner off of 6 onto Route 104 that heads up to Burlington via Irishtown road. But Caroline, leading on the knobby tired KLR opted to obey the rules of the road and made a horribly tight left turn and onto route 104. Can you see what I was going to do? Yep, ride straight across the grassy verge and shave seconds of time and possibly beat her through the intersection where she was going to have to stop.
Hahahaha! Oh what fun to see the surprise on her face... Well, I'd have to imagine it as she had a helmet on, right? Darn it! I got across the verge, but lost out on the race to the intersection as I had to yield to a slower moving truck and Caroline beat me onto the 104. **Sigh.
Well, it was only a few minutes further before we'd stopped at the end of the farm lane and picked up the plastic bag with the boots in it. I strapped them down with my rock straps onto the pillion seat, but as I was tugging the straps tighter, I wasn't happy with the way the bike was leaning on the kickstand, and when making those last corners, I had to fight the turn in a bit too hard I thought, and now I tied it all together, and with a muffled curse (ladies present), I hauled off and kicked the center of the tire only to confirm my suspicions... Dead flat. Thankfully the Shinko 705 has a quite stiff carcass in the 170 width on what should have been the 160 rear and you can ride on it when totally flat. Don't ask me how I know.
I rolled the bike forward while Caroline looked on, and there it was, a lovely shiner that looked a bit like a streak of chalk on the tire, but it was what was left of a sliver of glass that must have sat in the grass of that verge that I'd been so pleased to have cut across not so long ago.
<INSERT CURSE WORDS HERE> Oh darn it. The tires had barely even been worn in this season! I'd had the Kawasaki dealer Bolgers Motorsports
install them in mid March, and I think I'd only put about 700 kilometers on them! I have a new theory that Shinko 705s are susceptible to damage as they are a soft tire compound. Change my mind.
I had to remove the boots to get my seat off the bike as my tool kit was under the seat, and I surprised Caroline when I pulled out a tire patch kit, and a pair of CO2 cartridges and settled down to work on the tire, handing her my phone and asking her to take some pictures. I think when it happens again next season, I'll get her to take some video of it. :D
A small set of locking needle nose Vice Grips. I'd used these in 2019 to bodge a clutch cable and rode over 1000 km from Maine to Ontario with it working as a clutch cable lever. Hahaha! 2019 Ontario, Yours to Discover
. Now they came in handy extracting that little devil!
I've gotten good at this with practice, and once I had the glass out, went straight for the rasp and made the hole a bit more symmetrical so the sticky string plugs I was going to use would hold better.
|Reaming the hole|
I'd picked up a small Slime brand tire plugging kit that was really for ATVs and lawn tractors, but it should be perfect for motorcycles as the handles were straight and small, and the string appeared long enough to make that lovely double loop we all love and enjoy.
|Super basic, super cheap|
Now for the important bit, flowing some rubber glue onto the sticky string so it would have a healthy coat inside the tire and out. I'd even put some on the reamer and done a pass or two in the hole just to say that I'd coated both the hole and the string.
|hitting that string with beaucoup de goop|
|Whoops, too far into the tire!|
Whoops! There wasn't as much spare on the exterior of the tire as I wanted to see, so I used the vice grips to reach in and pull the plug back out toward me. Success! I'd left exposed a bit more than 1/4 inch and there was enough rubber glue for my liking.
Post a Comment