There’s never a right time to pick up a puncture on your motorcycle. But even so, they have an irritating habit of happening right when you need them the least.
This was the case one rainy, windy day on Ireland’s Ring of Kerry. Arriving sodden in Ballinskelligs after hours in heavy rain, I noticed my rear was feeling a bit soft. It didn’t take long to find the culprit, my tubeless tyre had picked up a nail.
After much fuss and a fair amount of swearing, I patched the hole using a puncture repair kit stashed under my seat. The next day was spent hunting down a garage with a replacement in stock, before limping my bike over and waiting three hours for fitting. Not ideal and a fair chunk of my short trip wasted.
How can we prevent punctures?
Since then, I’ve kept my eye on products that suggest they can prevent punctures. But after an afternoon servicing my bike alongside my local mechanic he put me off the idea of filling my tyres with many of the chemical-based products on offer.
The problem is, many of these have shelf lives. Often he would pop off tyres to discover gloopy masses had formed as the chemicals hardened and bonded over time. The tyres were unbalanced, the rims were corroded, and punctures weren’t being filled anyway.
Dissuaded, I went back to relying on blind luck and a puncture repair kit as insurance. But recently I came across a product that seeks to avoid the trappings of other internal puncture-sealants. It’s called Bike-Seal.
How does it work?
Bike-Seal is a water-based, non-corrosive, solution that you squirt inside your tyre. Inside the solution there are a variety of lengths and sizes of fibre and filler particles.
So, when a nail punches a hole in your tyre as you ride along, the internal air pressure and the rotation of the tyre forces the solution through the gap. Those fibres within the solution then essentially mesh together as they’re forced through the small gap, clogging up and plugging the puncture.
The filler particles then fill any final gaps for the air to escape from. The only evidence you’ve had a puncture? A few wispy fibres sticking out of your tyre.
Unlike plugs, or other ‘get home’ puncture repair solutions, Bike-Seal is designed to be ridden on. There are no speed or time limits with the fix meaning you can use your tyre to its legal limit. And with it repairing punctures up to 15mm (the maximum that can be sealed with the solution) chances are you’ll be able to carry on riding while on tour.
As my only form of transport, keeping my bike on the road is crucial, and knowing that my tyres are protected gives me that extra peace of mind when it comes to motorcycle punctures.
If you’re interested in picking up a bottle of Bike-Seal, head over to their website. On my BMW F 650 GS, one bottle (£30) is enough to protect both hoops, not bad when you consider a new tyre can set you back around three times that amount.
You can watch a demonstration showing how the solution works below.