While out on a nice motorycle ride this weekend, all of a sudden my back tire started feeling like it was falling off. My backend started swaying back and forth, and I slowed down thinking the wheel was off the axle. My riding partner yelled STOP YOU HAVE A FLAT! Great. It actually could have been a hundred times worse circumstances, but we were on a back road with light traffic so we were able to roll the bike aside and assess the problem. It became obvious relatively easily, I was screwed. What bad luck to run over 2" screw and have it impale my new tire. The tire still have knobbies on, its only got 2600 miles on it. We're hoping we can plug it and fill it up and ride it home.  So I hop on the other bike and we ride two up back home to get the truck, tool bag and our air station. So we get back and realize our plug kit is a little old, probably since 2007 and its lost some of its gooeyness. The first plug didn't hold the air. So we did it again, this time it worked. We rode the bike home and have pretty much decided that the peace of mind would be worth just replacing the tire with a brand new one.
So I call the Honda motorcycle dealer and find out its $51 to replace a flat tire with a new one. Being the frugal pair that we are, we need to continue to investigate and we hope we ask all the right questions. Does this install include balancing and spin test, what about disposal fees. I wonder if I can sell the old patched tire on craigslist? How much would it go for?
It turns out the back tire on my bike is a Bridgestone Mag Mopus 130/90-15M/C G508 which is an import. Great. These are not sold that I can find in the US. The only available tires are Chinese brands like Shenka, or the domestic brand Dunlop. A replacement Dunlop is $72 plus $10 shipping. So will the dealer let me bring in my own tire and they install it? Will it be covered for any warranty, even 30 days?
I probably wouldn't bother to replace the plugged tire if it weren't for the fact that this is a brand new 2009 Honda motorcycle. Its still under warranty through October. I haven't had any problems with it, but would like the dealer to tighten the chain, and tighten a loose rattling on the front headlight. I figure if they replace the back tire, they have to adjust the chain anyway, and I could tighten the bolt on the loose rattle - so bringing this in right away is a little premature. Except, the first evening after the flat tire, we noticed the back tire was flat again. It had drained air. The old dried out plugs weren't working. So we got a new fresh pack of plugs ($2) and re-plugged the hole. It is holding up nicely after 48 hrs, so maybe no replacement would be necessary.
This is a lot of drama for me. Usually I don't have surprise things happen that I'm not prepared for. Actually, we were pretty prepared and didn't have any trouble getting home, fixing it and riding it back home. Its just the next, long term decision that I need to deal with now. Keep or Replace?
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