Slow Leak - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Slow Leak

The rear tire on my Versys has a slow leak and damned if I can find it!

When I checked the air before a ride yesterday, it was down about 15 pounds after sitting a couple weeks . I put it up on the service stand and examined the tire closely with a shop light and a magnifying lens. There's nothing in the tread, along the shoulder, on the sidewall or along the bead that looks like a puncture, major cut or other damage. There were a couple small cuts, like you'd get from riding over a sharp rock, but I mean <3/16" long and clearly not deep. I made up some soapy water and put it on anything that looked like damage on the tire. No bubbles. I put some around the base of the air valve. No bubbles. I put some in the top of the valve to see if it was leaking from inside. No bubbles. I put in 36 pounds and went for a ride. A couple hours after I got back (when the tires were cold) I took a reading and the tires had lost 6 pounds. By this morning they had lost 11 pounds.

I just went through that whole procedure above (except no ride) a second time. No bubbles. The tire (Michelin Anakee 2) has about 10,000 miles on it but still has a fair amount of tread. None of the wear indicators are flush.

First, am I missing something? What should I should be checking that I didn't mention? The tire has never exhibited leak symptoms before. I've been from Quebec to Ohio and lots of places in between with no leaks.

Second, should I just forget it and put on a new tire?


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 03:00 PM
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I had a leak like that on a lawm tractor once. Took it to a tire shop time and time again they couldn't find anything.Finally put in a bottle of tire sealant and never had another problem with it.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 03:19 PM
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Have you checked the rim for damage.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by King.Versys View Post
Have you checked the rim for damage.
I haven't taken it off the bike yet. No obvious visual damage and no bubbles. I should probably take it off the bike and put it in the beer bathtub (an old tub for parties) to see if there are bubbles when the rim goes under water. Project for after work, maybe.


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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 03:48 PM
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Have a container deep enough to fill with water that you can slowly turn the tire in while it is on the stand? Might find some bubbles that way.

How about having the tire taken off and remounted?


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 05:57 PM
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Just for giggles,try a new valve core. If the guy before you at the air pump had dirty wheels, a little sand on the inner seat can cause this to happen....They're cheap and it's something you should confim.... it might even be a little loose, seen that too

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-23-2012, 06:21 PM
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Check for bubbles after filling tire to 36psi. I had two leaks, right in the middle of the tread of the OEMs. It would leak down to 19psi and stop. Seals when it is soft?
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 08:15 AM
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FWIW, I discovered a slow leak at the base of the valve stem on my front a few weeks ago. That one drove me nuts trying to chase down.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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It's down to 21 lbs this morning. Valve stem would seem like the culprit but I can't get it to create any bubbles at the base or inside the valve itself. Frustrating!


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weljo2001 View Post
I had a leak like that on a lawm tractor once. Took it to a tire shop time and time again they couldn't find anything.Finally put in a bottle of tire sealant and never had another problem with it.
+1 You hate to use that stuff but sometimes! I had a bike that had six tiny leak spots. I don't know what i hit but man how strange. Even the sealant didn't work and I had to buy a new tire! Hope the sealant works for you!





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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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If you've ever changed a tire after leak sealant has been put in, you'll know why I'll never use that unless I had no other choice (like marooned on a desert island).

I'll take out the valve core and reinstall it, hopefully that will shed light on this.


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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Found it! I asked my friend Tim Keel, who owns Keel Brothers Motorcycle Tires in Georgia, for his $.02 on finding a leak. (I'd have asked him before but he's just back in the shop from vacation today).

His recommendation for finding a leak was to spray the tire with Windex. Up on the service stand, spray, turn, spray, turn, spray, turn....bubbles!

It's not a big hole but it's at a tough angle going down the forward side of a tread block (as the tire rotates) just off the center line, so the plug is going to get hit with just about every rotation. No bubbles form around the plug. I'll check the air pressure later to see if it's holding.

Before I go any real distance from home, I'll change out that tire. It's given me more than 10,000 miles so I don't have much to complain about. Thanks for all the suggestions.

Remember Windex!


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 12:43 PM
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Never heard that one before but will keep it in mind! Glad you chased this particular gremlin down!
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 12:58 PM
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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I just ordered up a set of Pirelli Scorpion Trails from Tim (www.discount-motorcycletires.com) and I'll put them on before my next overnight trip. I'll check that plug in the morning and see if there's still 36 pounds in there. If it's not holding air (and it won't surprise me given the angle of the hole) then I'll just go ahead and put on the new tire.


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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 02:19 PM
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Good job Bones! Maybe give us an update on how you like your new tire?





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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Good job Bones! Maybe give us an update on how you like your new tire?
Will do.


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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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Plug seems to be holding air, at least in the garage. It was at 36 pounds and I checked the air twice (last night and this morning) and it's down a pound which I attribute to ssssst! when fitting the air pressure gauge on the valve stem. I'll take it for a ride around town in the next day or two and see how it holds up. New tires on en route from Tim so I'll have them here to put on whenever the need arises.


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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 12:17 PM
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Thanks for the Windex tip.
It seems appropriate, I use Windex as lubricant when I mount tires.

+1 for Keel Brothers Tires as my unprovoked plug for the day. Tim is a nice guy, has great prices, lightning delivery speed.
I also just ordered Scorpion Trials, to be on fresh rubber for the NNESTOC long weekend in Vermont this September.
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Wish I could be at NNESTOC (great riding!) but I have two family events the same weekend.


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