Flats happen. If you ride long enough, you will eventually punch a hole in a tire and be faced with a dilemma: Should you repair the tire using one of many available tubeless flat repair kits and keep riding, or slap on fresh rubber ASAP?
For starters, it’s important to recognize that not all punctures can be repaired (and several tire manufacturers including Pirelli, Continental, Michelin, and Shinko, among others, prohibit plugs entirely, due entirely to safety and liability issues). Cuts or tears in the sidewall or holes in the tread bigger than 4mm should never be repaired, and if your tire has less than 8mm of tread remaining, there isn’t enough rubber left to support a repair. For more on the topic of if and when it’s okay to plug a tire, check out this in-depth article from Bonnier’s Testing Manager, Ari Henning.
Need to fix a flat? Here’s the kit we used in this video.
Stop & Go Plug and Patch Kit
But, assuming your tire is fairly new and the puncture is deemed repairable, the best course of action is to apply a combined plug/patch like the Stop & Go piece Ari uses in this video. A plug/patch It’s the safest method of repair, and it’s actually the only technique that any tire manufacturer is going approve of—if they’re going to approve of any repair at all.
A plug/patch is easy to install, too, assuming you have the tools and skills to remove the tire. Need to bust a tire off a rim to repair it? We’ve got an MC Garage video that shows you how to mount and balance your own tires. Give that a watch, then pick up some tire irons and maybe a set of rim protectors and you’re good to go.
Related: How to Tell If You Need New Motorcycle Tires