This month I’m returning to a subject that is related to that most critical of components; tires.
First of all, let me preface today’s discussion by saying that I am a firm believer and vocal advocate for tubeless motorcycle tires. There is a much lower chance for a sudden catastrophic failure event with tubeless tires than with tubed tires.
Unfortunately, many among us still prefer the traditional look of spoked wheels, necessitating the continued use of tubed tire & wheel assemblies. For those who prefer this traditional look, this talk’s for you.
When you have your flat, I hope it happens in your garage. If you’re riding though, you should:
Caution: Using the brake on the wheel with the bad tire can cause the tire to separate from the rim, resulting in immediate loss of control. Be aware, however, that integrated braking systems don't permit “rear-brake-only” applications, while linked braking systems do not allow for single-brake operation. On motorcycles with either of these two systems, braking with the “good tire only” may not be possible. Any braking necessary should be done very lightly and with great care. Avoid downshifting too. Like braking, this will only make your bike less stable.
Finally, if this occurs during a group ride, everyone around the rider experiencing the flat needs to give that rider the entire and exclusive use of the lane and roadway to get stopped safely. If traveling at any rate of speed at all, they’re going to need it.