What do you do about the possibility of a flat? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
Versys-X 300 General Discussion Please post any 2017+ Kawasaki Versys-X 300 related topics that DO NOT fit into any of the other topics here.

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Question What do you do about the possibility of a flat?

What do you guys do about flat tires?

Do you rely on road side service?
Do you carry extra tubes and tools to change a tube yourself? if so what tools do you recommend?
Do you carry a tube patch system?
Do the heavy duty tubes help any?

I recently got a Versys and have been riding backroads where I don't have phone service and often worry about a flat since I carry nothing to repair a flat with.

Any comments appreciated.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:19 AM
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My other bike has Alpina tubeless spoked wheels so I carry a tire plug & inflater kit. I've only had to use it once and I was back on the road in ten minutes. With the Versys, the truck and my wifes car I have a road side service plan with my insurance company, my credit cards and cell phone as backups.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:54 AM
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A mini compressor , tire patch kit , spare tube (if your versys is tube.) and necessary tools to handle tire repair work.

Proper tire pressure / thread depth, prevents tires picking up foreign objects.

https://www.adventurebikewarehouse.c...yre-Repair-Kit
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Last edited by Fastoman; 05-28-2019 at 02:01 AM. Reason: additional info
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airrick View Post
What do you guys do about flat tires?

Do you rely on road side service?
Do you carry extra tubes and tools to change a tube yourself? if so what tools do you recommend?
Do you carry a tube patch system?
Do the heavy duty tubes help any?

I recently got a Versys and have been riding backroads where I don't have phone service and often worry about a flat since I carry nothing to repair a flat with.

Any comments appreciated.
If I am leaving the local area, all of the above. If local, i expect a wife or friend will recue me and then i can work on the bike in my shop.

When i got a flat on my Concours 60 miles from home, at the end of a 4000 mile ride, I called roadside assistance for a trailer ride home because i couldnt find the puncture in the rain.

My Versys Travels:


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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 09:50 AM
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V-650 tubeless tires here.

I do a bit of all options. My insurance covers roadside service and towing. Most of the time in the city/suburbs I don't carry tools beyond the underseat kit from the factory (but it would probably be smart if I did). A flat in town would require using my insurance. Alternatively, I always have my phone, so one of my adult children could help out.

On long day trips or overnight trips I carry a plug kit, a patch kit, an electric air pump, a small manual pump (in case the electric pump fails), tire irons, a pack-jack, duck tape, and a good set of tools. A simple nail hole can be plugged. A more extensive hole could be patched.

If you ride with a group away from civilization you can stage some emergency supplies such as spare tires, spare chain, spare clutch cable, and a more extensive tool kit. If needed, someone can retrieve the needed items and bring them to you.

If you'll be solo back country you have several rescue options. One is to carry more. I carry a spare clutch cable on overnight trips. I've used a pair of vice grips as a foot peg after one was torn off in the back country. With tube tires carry spare tubes and a patch kit. Have fresh glue for the patches! Have all the tools necessary to remove your wheels.

Practice at home using your kit to be sure you have everything you need and you can actually do the repairs with them.

One guy I've ridden with carries a satellite phone with texting and GPS position functions. About once per hour he sends his wife a quick GPS position and a message that he's ok.

I leave my adult children a detailed ride plan of where I will be and when I will contact them. If they don't hear from me they can send help.
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Last edited by Fly-Sig; 05-28-2019 at 05:13 PM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:56 AM
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Hi Airrick - I'm going through the same conundrum with my V-x 300. I'm planning on a trip on a forest service road where I'll be well out of cell service. As I don't have a 'Spot' , I was thinking I would need both tubes, tire irons, a patch kit, pump (or mini compressor) and maybe get a center stand (though I'm sure there will be ample rocks or logs to prop up bike).

Either that or wait for another vehicle to go by and hope to get rescued...or walk.

Last edited by Pekes17; 05-28-2019 at 01:31 PM.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airrick View Post
What do you guys do about flat tires?

Do you rely on road side service?
Do you carry extra tubes and tools to change a tube yourself? if so what tools do you recommend?
Do you carry a tube patch system?
Do the heavy duty tubes help any?

I recently got a Versys and have been riding backroads where I don't have phone service and often worry about a flat since I carry nothing to repair a flat with.

Any comments appreciated.
I carry a plug kit, a patch kit, an electric air pump on my V650s (which use tubeless tires). My last 'tube-type' bike was a KLR650, and I converted those wheels to tubeless which worked VERY well (I carried a plug kit, a patch kit, an electric air pump). There's a STICKY W/ pics of 'How-to-do-It' on the Forum, that I posted some time ago.

Ed
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:36 PM
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A tire plug kit and a mini compressor are a must have, always in my on road kit. Learned my lesson returning on an early road trip from Jasper on a long weekend Monday,slow leak there (OEM Dunlops,not a stout road tire) and the tire shop was lined up for days. Rode all the way back to Vancouver with a screw stuck in my rear! If you find a screw,dont take it out unless youre ready to fix it.The only variable is the compressor, check it once a year. They dont make a bombproof small hand pump thats worthwhile. I tried inflating a motorcycle tire with my little bicycle pump one time for the hell of it ,what an epic!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:42 PM
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Remember that Versys-x 300 has tube tires.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:53 PM
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Stop & Go system works soooooo well. I've not had to use it roadside yet, but not worried. Obviously won't work for tubed tires like the x300, but tubeless, yeah only thing I'll use.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pekes17 View Post
Remember that Versys-x 300 has tube tires.
Check out the Fasteddie tube to tubeless wheel conversion!
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 03:38 PM
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I had 2 nails in my tires on my both Vs.
One noticed at work, 11km from home, one in a trip.... 200km from home.

I was able to get home with no problem with both.
Now ...fixing it.
The first one I used the Canadian tire kit, take out the nail, let if deflate completely, rim the hole, put the rubber with glue in, cut it, inflate the tire.
It didn't hold well and I replaced the tire soon after.

Second one, I bought the Dynaplug. It took seconds, just remove the nail, stick the head of the tool inside the tire, remove, cut the extra.
I didn't add any air since I have the tire installed, and it still holds great. I did about 5k since then, no problem.
I will take the Dynaplug with me now, thank you.

I do have road assistance with my insurance and I plan to buy a Stop&go electrical pump.

Versys 2015 Green
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airrick View Post
What do you guys do about flat tires?

Do you rely on road side service?
Do you carry extra tubes and tools to change a tube yourself? if so what tools do you recommend?
Do you carry a tube patch system?
Do the heavy duty tubes help any?

I recently got a Versys and have been riding backroads where I don't have phone service and often worry about a flat since I carry nothing to repair a flat with.

Any comments appreciated.

With nails, I have tried self-sealing slime. It does not work. Leave the nail in the tire and keep topping up the tire with an air pump until you get home if possible, otherwise, you will need to trailer the bike home.

The tire plugs designed for cars I have never been able to get to work on a bike tire as the carcass of a bike tire is not stiff enough to resist the pressure required to insert a plug.

What has worked very well for me is:

1) mark the nail location on the outside with a grease pencil and remove the tire. It can be almost impossible to locate after you remove the nail
2) remove the tire and mark the hole location on the inside too
3) scuff the rubber on the inside of the tire to make rubber glue adhere to it
4) apply a rubber patch to the inside of the tire with glue and seal it around the edges with more glue. Be sure to let the glue dry completely over a few hours before reinstalling the tire.
5) reinstall and balance

This works beautifully on punctured tires as long as the puncture is not on the side wall. I have been running 7000km on my previously punctured rear tire with no issues.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 09:17 PM
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I have fixed numerous flats (tubed and tubeless) while riding and always carry a small compressor, plugs for tubeless, tubes for tubed tires, tire irons, lube, etc. I will ride on a flat tire for some distance if in a rural area.....there is a "happy" speed for riding on most flat tires and I recently rode my KTM 690 Enduro R with a rear flat for 19 miles at a speed of around 45 mph. Mainly, because my KTM does not have a centerstand and is more difficult to change than the X 300.

Some tires are better than others.

One problem I have encountered two times in the last ten years is compressor failure......apparently from lack of use. The cheap compressor runs, but does not pump air. So, I check my compressors every so often. I replaced one last year before a big trip on one of my bikes......never used, but did not pump air.

I carry one tube only for the X300......a 19" tube which can in an emergency be stuffed in the rear 17" X 300 wheel as well as being standard for the front tire.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the replies!
I might give the tube to tubeless conversion some thought. I've plugged many tires on my old Kubota rtv and that is so easy.
In the mean time I guess I need to purchase a spare tube and compressor and probably practice in my garage.

Thanks again
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 12:44 PM
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On my post about making a 'tubed' wheel into a 'tubeless' one, I failed to mention that UNTIL I did that, I carried TWO tubes plus the necessary tools everywhere I rode that KLR.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-02-2019, 11:58 PM
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I always carry a bicycle pump instead of a mini compressor. It takes a lot of pumping (~700 pumps for a KLR rear tire, maybe 400-500 for a front) to inflate the tire, but it's significantly smaller and lighter than a mini compressor, it's simpler, so less chance of failure, and (hopefully) you're only going to need it once in a blue moon. At least you have a way to get air in the tire.

If you prefer not to expend the time (10-15 minutes) and energy (700 pumps, increasing in difficulty as tire pressure rises) then feel free to carry a mini compressor instead.

Keep in mind, you can pump the tire to 15-18 psi or so and then ride carefully to the nearest garage/gas station with compressed air available, so you don't have to completely fill the tire to get out of trouble.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 08:16 AM
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I carry a mini compressor and a flat tire repair kit. it has helped me several times in the past when i got stuck in the middle of nowhere. The last time I patched my tire was almost 2 years ago and 10k miles and the patch still holds.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 09:47 PM
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Honestly, I don't worry about that much with my Weesys, mostly because I use it as a commuter bike and rely on the motorcycle tow service to take it back home if I have a flat. Back when I had a KLR-650 and rode it in the middle of nowhere where there was no cell phone signal and maybe one person a week coming through, I carried a spare tube in a pouch strapped to the fender and, in the tail bag, a small electric air pump and a couple of tire irons and a bead stop widget (all of which I'd tested beforehand). No patch kit because in my experience when a tube type tire lets go it rips the valve stem off the tube first thing, at which point a patch is useless. I had also swapped out to heavy duty tubes after my first flat, which thankfully happened in the city while I was commuting and at which point I found out the uselessness of a tube patch kit (it ripped the valve stem off). They caused the tires to run hot and have a fairly short life, but I didn't have any flats after that, they were quite effective at keeping me from having a flat.

2018 Versys-X 300 ABS. Former bikes: 1983 Honda FT500 Ascot, 1985 Honda XL-350, 2001 Kawasaki KLR-650, 2003 Kawasaki Concours, 2008 Suzuki V-Strom 650.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-09-2019, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pekes17 View Post
Hi Airrick - I'm going through the same conundrum with my V-x 300. I'm planning on a trip on a forest service road where I'll be well out of cell service. As I don't have a 'Spot' , I was thinking I would need both tubes, tire irons, a patch kit, pump (or mini compressor) and maybe get a center stand (though I'm sure there will be ample rocks or logs to prop up bike).

Either that or wait for another vehicle to go by and hope to get rescued...or walk.
If I only had room for a the parts and tools you listed, or water and snacks, I would choose water and snacks.

When I was on this ride I was prepared to walk out rather than try and repair the bike trail side. I would have limped along with a flat tire as long as it didn't cause me to ride on the rim.
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