Fix a flat scooter tire
We all love to ride our scooters against the wind and feel the wind whiz past our body but we have that enjoyment only on fully inflated, hard tires. At least , full pressure tires makes riding fun. But there is coming a day when you may have to deal with a flat tire and then you wished you had read this article on how to fix a flat scooter tire.
HOW TO DETECT A FLAT TIRE
A deflated tire increases traction and slows the speed of the scooter. Aside that, the slightest bump on the road is felt sharply by the rider. A deflated tire can eventually damage the rim . It is therefore essential that you immediately patch your tire to forestall any inconvenience.
CAUSES OF FLAT TIRE
There are several causes of punctured tires. A small imperceptible puncture can make the tire to lose pressure gradually. You have this type of flat if you need to inflate your tire everyday. A flat tire can also occur if the rim is not properly aligned to the inner tube, and a pinch of the tub occurs as the rim rolls over the ground, gripping the tube. A puncture can also be caused by a nail or a piece of glass or another sharp pointed object.
The type of repair you can give to the flat tire will depend on the cause and extent of puncture.
TOOLS NEEDED TO PATCH A FLAT SCOOTER TIRE
- Inner tube patch
- sand paper
- rubber cement
- A small pincers
- Soapy water in trough
- Long blunt bar
- A large file
- A glass of rubbing alcohol
All these tools are obtainable from home or from your local tool shop. Although you may not need all the above tools, you should have it handy for until you remove the tube, you cannot fully estimate the extent the nature of the puncture.
REMOVING THE TIRE
STEP 1 The first approach is to remove the spare tire. It is assumed that you have the spare tire inside the leg shield or under the cowling. If you have the spare wheel at the rear shack, then you may not have the problem of removing any wheel at all.
On some bikes, there are quick-releases. If you have this type, then flip the lever to open them. Next gently loosen the nuts and then pull off the tire. It is advisable to use the right wrench to loosen up the nuts so that you do not damage the shape of the top bolt.
STEP 2 If it is the front wheel that you are removing, leave a lot of space beneath the tire so that you have a lot of room to maneuver when you are putting back the tire. A bigger space also ensures that you have room around to manage your tools. It is recommended that you increase the height of the bike during the tire removal by placing a piece of wood under the stand. A higher bike will give you more working room and then make the tire removal easy.
The back tire will have to be removed with greater care and the construction of the mechanical objects around it is quite different from the front one. It is advisable to turn the bike on its side if you are removing the back wheel. For precaution, tighten the gasoline cap so that fuel does not leak out whilst in this position.
STEP 3 Lastly, remove the nuts off the wheel with a wrench. Be careful to keep the nuts and washers in a pan as you will need them back. It is recommended that you lay a cloth inside the pan so that the nuts do not get into contact with dirt. Small particles of dust can make screwing back very difficult.
REMOVING THE INNER TUBE
To remove the inner tube, turn the upside down and then remove any extra air inside the tube by pressing on the valve gently. Next remove the nuts holding the two rims together and pull the tube out by holding firmly the base of the valve.
PATCHING THE TUBE
The first thing to do is to determine if there is an object inside the tube which caused the puncture. If it is so, then either press the inner tube outwards to push the object up the small object for removal or use a pincers to take out a larger object, such as a piece of glass. Next, locate the exact point at which the puncture occurred. To work around this, you can inflate back the tube to look out for any leakage or you can feel your palm around the tube to feel for any object stuck inside the tube. You can also listen out for air leakages. Inspect inside the tire for sharp objects or glass.
Sometimes, a hole may be very difficult to find because of its minuteness. In this case, you will have to dip the tube inside a trough of soapy water to see if any bubbles will be coming up. If you notice any bubble, take note of the direction. Take the tube out of the water and then mark the area.
Next, dry the tube especially if you used the soapy water method to detect the puncture. The reason is, glue will stick well on dry surfaces. Clean the area around the puncture thoroughly, maybe using alcohol. Using a file or sandpaper, abrade the area near the puncture until you have a smooth appearance. This procedure is to remove dust and other materials that will prevent the glue from sticking properly.
There are two ways to patch the tire. You can use a glueless patch which comes in most motorcycle repair kits or a piece of separately sold patch.
If you are using the separate patch, then you will have to smear some glue around the area where the puncture occurred and then wait to dry. After ten minutes, apply the patch, pressing firmly on it to make sure that there is maximum contact. Then leave to dry again for about an hour. If you are suing the glueless patch, then peel off the patch from the adhesive protector and press the patch firmly onto the tube. Be careful about the glueless patch. Make sure you only hold the outer edges and any contact with the adhesive area will result in poor patching.
PUTTING BACK THE WHEEL
Now you are ready to put back the wheel. Fixing the wheel into its position is just the opposite of removing but there are a lot of measures you will have to take to ensure that the wheel does not come off. After putting back the wheel, tighten the nuts slightly with your hand. Then put the bike back on its stand and then tighten up the nuts in turns. Tighten one nut slightly, go to the next one, tighten that also slightly until you have all of them tightened all of them to the same tightness.
It is essential to test that you have properly fixed the tire well otherwise misalignment will cause the tire to wobble on its axis, resulting in unnecessary tire wire and even in a wheel removal whilst the bike is in motion.
- The Racing & High-Performance Tire: Using Tires to Tune for Grip & Balance
- Tire and Wheel Technology
- Tires, Suspension, and Handling, Second Edition
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- The original tutorial at www.airfreetires.com published here with permission
- cowling wp:Cowling
- file wp:File_(tool)
- Inner tube
- leg shield
- rim wp:Rim_(wheel)
- rubbing alcohol wp:Rubbing_alcohol
- rubber cement wp:Rubber_cement
- sand paper wp:Sand_paper
- scooter wp:Motor_scooter
- tire wp:Tire
- valve wp:Valve_stem
- wrench wp:wrench