What to Do if Your Motorcycle Gets a Flat Tire: Safety Tips and More

What to Do if Your Motorcycle Gets a Flat Tire: Safety Tips and More

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Studies show vehicle failure accounts for less than three percent of motorcycle accidents, and most are single vehicle accidents where control is lost due to a puncture flat.

You can prevent flats over time with regular maintenance, but it’s still important to know what to do if it happens to you. 

Use this guide to prepare for a potential flat on and off the road. 

Learn other Motorcycle Safety Tips Here

Before You Ride

It’s always better to fix a flat or low tire before heading out on the road. Make sure you inspect the condition of your tires before hopping on the back of your bike. Use a tire pressure gauge to measure air pressure instead of assuming they’re fully inflated. Underinflated tires are more susceptible to punctures and leaks, so don’t forget to pump them up before each trip.

Dealing with a Flat While Riding Your Motorcycle

You should know how to spot the signs that you have a flat tire when driving. Noticing an underinflated tire can be tricky when you’re cruising down the road at 60+ MPH, but you should always be sensitive to changes in your bike. a person pulling a nail out of a motorcycle tire with a pair of pliers

Experts say that if you have a flat, you may notice a bit of wobbling. The bike might be harder to steer. You may also hear a humming sound when traveling at high speeds. In other cases, the bike might feel like it’s losing power. It’s harder to power a bike with underinflated tires than it is to power one with fully inflated tires. 

If you notice any of these warning signs, pull over as soon as possible to address the issue. Gently ease off the throttle and tap the brake slowly until you come to a stop. Avoid turning suddenly, as you may lose control of the bike. 

How to Fix a Flat on a Motorcycle 

Fixing the flat all depends on what kind of tires you have.  If the tires are tubeless, you might be able to temporarily plug the flat until you make it home or visit your local mechanic. Avoid using one-and-done repair tools like “Fix a Flat.” The goo will only make it harder to drive without fixing the flat. 

However, tubed tires need to be removed before you can replace the tube. Doing this on the side of the road can be tricky, so you may have to wait for roadside assistance. Make sure you have everything you need to replace the tube before you get your hands dirty. It’s best to lay the bike on its side before taking off the wheel.

To fix the flat yourself, you’ll need to carry around a flat repair kit. Cheaper kits usually don’t come with a way to reinflate the tire after the flat has been patched, which won’t help you get home. You may want to upgrade to a more expensive kit so you can pump more air into the tire on the spot. The kit should also come with T-handled tools, so you can easily use it on the side of the road without accidentally stabbing yourself. The plug itself should be mushroom-shaped to help it stay in place until you can fix the flat permanently. 

a close up of a flat tire on a parked motorcycle

Read the instructions thoroughly to make sure the tire is ready to go before heading back on the road. You should never drive with a flat tire, even if it’s been plugged, as this may damage your rims. 

Calling for Help

Most drivers aren’t equipped to fix flats themselves. You need training and experience to solve the problem on the spot. That’s why most of us keep a fully charged cell phone on our persons when riding. You can easily call for help. Make sure you have a few local tow and repair shops on file so you can find what you need without accessing the internet. 

Use a motorcycle Bluetooth headset to send and receive calls hands-free. You can call for help as soon as you notice something’s wrong with your bike. The headset should fit into your helmet so you don’t have to take your hands off the handlebars.

Shop Bluetooth Motorcycle Headsets

Look for a Bluetooth motorcycle helmet with built-in audio for maximum volume on the road. The helmet should block out the noise of the road so you can hear everything the person is saying. They come with Bluetooth motorcycle speakers for a better listening experience. 

A flat tire shouldn’t be a recipe for disaster. Use these tips to make the best of an otherwise difficult situation.