Never experienced a flat while riding... what can/will happen? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Never experienced a flat while riding... what can/will happen?

Never had a flat while riding... what happens to handling and stability? What happens at highway speeds?

Appreciate your experiences.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:10 PM
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Great question!!
I also would be curious from actual than written..... anyone?


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:12 PM
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Depends, front or rear, slow leak or blow out, straight or turn, high speed or slow. Worse case, front blow out, high speed, you go into a slapper and get spit off. Rear blow out, some shaking, if you remain calm and get off the gas you can control it to the side of the road.

A slow leak in the front will have the bike weave and shake, if you can slow down without grabbing a fistful of brakes it isn't hard to control. The thing to remember is to remain CLAM, loose on the bars, easy getting off the gas and brake easy. Rear flat, front brakes only, front flat, rear brake with just a LITTLE or no front brakes; most of all DO NOT PANIC.

I would say 90% of the time it is dramatic but controlled, the other 10% anything can happen. Check your tires OFTEN!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 09:13 PM
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I have had two flat tires in my motorcycle life.

One was a flat front, went from full to empty in 30 seconds, but that was around town. When the front goes flat you lean backwards and apply only the rear brake.

The second flat was never really flat, it was a very slow leak that made me lose about 20 psi in 20 minutes. The bike felt oddly loose, as if the back of the frame turned into rubber. I just filled the with my small 12V compressor until I got off the highway and into a little town, where I plugged the tire with "gummy worms" (from Wal Mart) at a garage that would let me use their air.

I have never heard of anyone having an instantaneous blowout, though that doesn't mean it has never happened of course.
At highway speeds you always have 10-20 seconds to react and quickly pull over, and if necessary apply the brake to the wheel that still has air in the tire.
Unless you decide to run over the spike strips that the police just tossed at you, but then you have entirely different problems.

Last edited by Pretbek; 08-05-2010 at 09:15 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:17 PM
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Rear blowout was really ugly 2 up until I pulled the clutch lever. Then everything was fine. This was on a Suzi Intruder. I was all over the road until I disengaged the clutch. Don't know if it works all the time but I'll do the same thing again.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 10:18 PM
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Good explanation and advice from Marc above. Fortunately, with tubeless tires you usually don't have total and sudden deflation. I've had about three or four flats in roughly 30 years of riding. I always had some warning (squishy handling) and never faced imminent death. Another reason I like tubeless tires, especially modern ones.

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-05-2010, 11:54 PM
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Well having experienced sudden deflation of both the front and rear tires I can say both are surprising and exciting! It takes a moment to know what is going on, specially if you have never experienced one.

When you start to experience looseness or weird handling, the main thing to remember is be calm and try not to have a death grip on the bars, or do anything abruptly. Relax and just slow down gently using the appropriate brake as already mentioned.
For rear flats clutch disengagement is a good idea after you are at a neutral throttle setting. The main thing is no sudden application of brakes, throttle, or engine braking.
Rear flats are more nerve-racking in my experience, depending on the bike trailing throttle can stabilise the bike until things settle and you can stop.

I have found front flats less traumatic, I think the lower profile tires help. The main reason they are easier to manage is that you can instinctively control the direction that the tire wants to go with the bars, of course, it works best when you shift your weight back.

On one occasion I rode sedately over 20 miles with a flat front tire! It was on a dirt bike with a lowish profile front tire and yes, about 3 miles was on dirt. I was thinking to myself as I rode home "this was the first time I've ridden my bike under the speed limit" glanced at the speedo ....... whoops I was still speeding slightly!

I could never have done that on a flat rear.

Something worth pointing out.... once you get stopped, if you don't have a flat, give the bike a close inspection for leaks and loose fasteners. Check your fluid levels too. A friend of mine thought he had a flat on his liquid cooled bike, stopped and checked his tires. They looked fine so he just jumped on and kept riding.....about 3 miles........until his engine lost power up a hill and seized! His coolant drain bolt had dropped out and he had self lubed his rear tire causing that loose feeling. A VERY expensive lesson.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 12:53 AM
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for the Question.
and thanks for the feed back. You will never know when and where is will blow up but getting prepared it all the better.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:11 AM
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2010, 02:53 AM
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I ran over a large object kicked into my lane by another vehicle ahead and to my right in the fast lane of a freeway in the dark and experienced rapid deflation -- and a bent front wheel lol. It was pretty exciting. I got it to the shoulder. Then it got real fun trying to push it and then load it in my brother's pickup

Flats on the rears a couple of times at speed but the slow loss of air just felt like an increasing vagueness. "Hmm, is this road rain-grooved? Nope. Uhoh. Time for the plug kit and compressor."
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2010, 04:03 PM
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now that you have the serious and GOOD answers.

Front wheel blow out.
slow to stop


rear wheel blow out
slow to stop


I do not suggest either of these....: )

Ride em if ya got em!
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2010, 06:58 PM
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Good tips, everyone. This is also good advice should your rear wheel start to fall off because the mechanic who just changed your tire forgot to replace the cotter pin.
Ask me how I know... at least the dealer fired the mechanic shortly thereafter...

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-08-2010, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilofox View Post
Never had a flat while riding... what happens to handling and stability? What happens at highway speeds?

Appreciate your experiences.

Thank's for asking ...

It gave me a bit of matter to think about !


Ciao


LOP
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 11:05 AM
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flats

i have had 5 or 6 flats while riding, and most of them start with the feeling your riding in sand. as soon as you feel it look for a place to pull over. i hate that feeling.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-17-2011, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by invisabiker View Post
i have had 5 or 6 flats while riding, and most of them start with the feeling your riding in sand. as soon as you feel it look for a place to pull over. i hate that feeling.
+1

I got a rear tire flat on my V, traveling 65 mph, on my freeway commute one fine summer morning. I felt the bike slewing slightly to the right, so I had to slightly turn the handle bars to continue going straight down the highway. I hoped it was just from the wind or a "bow wave" from a passing semi, so I took a quick look over my shoulders. No semi, no evidence of wind gusts. Yep, a flat from one of the roofing nails that came off of my garage roof, when the roofers scraped off the two layers of old asphalt shingles.

Ever since then, I always carry a tire pluging/CO2 cartrige kit.

I've heard that a blowout with the old tube type bias ply tires can be pretty hairy when they go. But with the tubeless radials we have, it's not bad, other than the inconvienience of getting the tire replaced.
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