Motorcycle Tire Tubes a Decision You Will Regret

Flat on the way to work, FML!

Right now, as I sit on the side of the road, I wish I wouldn’t have taken the cheap way out with my last flat tire. I bought a motorcycle tire tube to remedy that problem. When I saw my rear tire sitting empty two weeks ago and my regular motorcycle shop gave me their ‘tire tubes are great’ sales pitch, I bought into it. Fast forward to today, as soon as my rear suspension started getting squirrelly going down the interstate, I knew instantly without a doubt my new rear tire tube had just popped.

What are the options when you get a flat?

Some might say that I could have walked my butt to a gas station and got a can of sealant.  However, canned sealants are definitely a bad idea.  The tire manufacturers say not to use canned sealants and even the cans themselves state ‘not for Z rated tires’.  I could have done it anyway reasoning that I could just use it to get the bike home, but I’d be risking more than I care too. Not to mention the huge mess I’d have to clean out of the inside of the tire later.

I thought I was taken the better sager route by opting for a $50 tube job instead.  Most motorcycle tire manufacturers are against tire tubes also. Heck, even the motorcycle shop didn’t seem 100% sold on their idea. As they looked over the tire and sold me on putting a tube in, it almost seemed like they had to sell themselves too.  They may have sold me a tire tube but they lost a customer because after this experience I just don’t trust them.

They only real option

Tucked away by a construction entrance along the highway.
Tucked away by a construction entrance along the highway.

I should have forked over the extra $175 when I first brought in the rear tire and rim.  I could have had a nice new tire, ready for our trip to Sam Houston National Forest in a week. As an added bonus, I probably wouldn’t be standing here on the side of the I-35E highway right now. On your street bike, don’t skimp out, keep the tire sealant and tire tubes with your mountain bike. Pay the extra $10 a month for insurance with roadside assistance. You’ll be glad when you’re not paying for a tow out of pocket. Then get yourself a brand new tire that you can depend on.  I’ll never use a tire tube again.

In the end

I was picked up 3 hours later on the side of the highway. I probably could have had a friend with a truck there faster but with road side assistance its a guarantee someone will be there.  While I waited, I was able to explore a nearby creak for fun, walk to a Starbucks for a triple-shot coffee, and go through all levels of frustration speaking with a tow driver who only understood about 30% of the words coming out of my mouth. He was nice when he finally arrived though and the bike is home, safe in the garage. Lesson learned today for sure.

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A Web Developer by trade, find me on Github
A motorcycle enthusiast at heart.
Most days I’d rather be in the woods anywhere.