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Would you plug a sidewall?

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Hello everyone,

I've only been able to find one referrence to someone plugging the sidewall on a trials tire, so I thought I'd ask and see if anyone else has done this successfully.

The tire in question is a Pirelli MT43 (I know, not really a "trials" tire). It's mounted on a 450 dirt bike and has a small puncture on the side wall just below the tread. This puncture will hold air for most of a 24 hour period while sitting in the garage, but I have not ridden it since so I don't know how it would hold air while riding.

I know that there's not much to lose by tryinng, but I thought I'd ask if anyone's had success with this before I went ahead and did it. I have a regualr plug kit, but I've also been looking at Safety Seal Plus, which is painted on the inside of the repair. Alternatively, there are these lead-wire plugs that go in from the inside.

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So, with that said, any thoughts or experiences from the field?

Thanks in advance,

Ken

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In my experience its darn near impossible to plug a sidewall on any tire. They never hold up and the hole usually ends up growing in size! Not worth the hassle IMO.

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I would agree with ftball90. I've never seen anyone successfully plug a sidewall.

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I've seen it done a few times on Michelins, successfully. I wouldn't expect it to last forever though.

I'd be willing to try the safety seal plug, I think you'd have a good chance of sucess on your Pirelli.

I don't think there is much, if any, difference in the casing between the sidewall and tread area of a Trials competition tire, so I think your chances of successs are about the same either way.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

"Just buy a new one."

Already did. What kills me is the one with the small side wall puncture is practically new. As in less than 200 miles on it.

"I would never plug a side wall."

I'll bite, why wouldn't you? You've tried and it's never worked? Have heard of it never working? Swimming in disposable income? Just because has never really been a good answer for me. There's always a reason. Wondering what yours is.

If this were a road tire that I was going to be putting 25 PSI of air in and running at highway speeds, then I would say no plug. But a tire that will have 6-8 PSI and only be run on the dirt? I'm probably still going to give it a try and see how long it holds air. If that doesn't work I may look for a worn out mousse to put in it.

I'm just interested in if someone out there has plugged their side wall and had it work.

Thanks again,

Ken

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Ken,

If this is on your 450, I'd guess you are running a tube? I'd plug the tire and replace the tube. I think it will work fine. You have little to lose in trying other than the inconvenience if it doesn't work. I would be much less confident in a tubeless application.

Just my $02.

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.....

I don't think there is much, if any, difference in the casing between the sidewall and tread area of a Trials competition tire, so I think your chances of successs are about the same either way.

But when comparing the sidewall of a Radial Play and a Bias Ply Trials tire, there IS a big difference, but I don't know if one plugs better than the other... I would be guessing that the MT43 being a Bias Ply tire might have a better chance.

However, since you already have the tire with a small hole in it and a good patch, now is probably as good as any time to test the theory.. :) Please report back as I'm sure this subject will come up again in the not too distant future. :lol:

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I agree with Motojunky....if you are running a tube, jus patch the inside....I'd go for the expensive stuff....duct tape...don't cheap out...2 or 3 layers.

but if you don't have a tube....plug it properly...

and if that doesn't werk....the tire will make a great border for a clock....

ya only live once, experience is the best knowledge...live on the edge....

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Thanks for all of the suggestions. I realize now that I should have mentioned this earlier...I'm running the Tubliss system on these wheels. That's why I've been looking into the plug. When dual sporting on this tire I try and keep it below 50 on the pavement. Besides it's not geared to go much faster anyway without busing the crap out of you.

If I had been running tubes in these tires I wouldn't even had bothered with the hole in the sidewall. The hole is so small, like a pin hole. I am going to try and source a lead wire plug like the one I mentioned earlier as this one has some adhesive or vulcanizing compound that would help seal the interior of the tire.

Now the bad news, I'm running out of time and this little problem may have to wait. You see I am tearing two bikes down to box up and ship to my new home for the next year. The packer/movers are coming in early December to move 600 lbs of stuff to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I've already put a set of Maxxis Desert ITs on my 2nd set of wheels for the 450 and I'm also wrapping up a lighting project for the Gas Gas trials bike. The bikes will both drained of fluids and broken down so that they can be boxed as small as possible. Engines will remain in the frames, but subframes, swing arms, front ends will all be broken down for shipping.

On top of this we are moving from a condo to a townhouse the first week of December so I'm busy moving out of a storage unit and packing up everything in the condo at the same time. I know, no one needed to know of this drama, but I wanted to explain why you most likely will not hear much movement on this issue for a few weeks. I won't be getting to it until I have the move settled, possibly not until after Christmas.

Thanks again for the suggestions. If the plug doesn't work I'll just have to go back to a tube with this tire and run a little more pressure.

Ken

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Radial car and truck tires are patched with plugs, but a proper repair includes an interior patch. The patch seals the casing for tubeless operation and the plug protects the interior of the casing from exterior contamination (water).

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Did you use a regular plug like you put in from the outside or did you plug from the inside? Good to know that a plug can work. I just want to make sure I am using the best method possible. Thanks. - Ken

I have had 3 sidewall plugs in my tubeless wheel Gasgas, they've been holding up for over a year. The tire is a Michelin X11. With the Tubliss system, make sure you move the puncture away from the rimlock. I've seen the rim lock on those take out more than one tire.

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If I'm not mistaken, I believe Lincolnlock (Sam) uses a regular tubeless X-11 on his 2002 Gas Gas 280 Trials and the Tubeliss System on his Husky 450. I don't remember if he uses a Trials tire on the Husky, but he has a great collection of videos on You Tube so it would be easy to see, and some of the videos even include me in there... Just search for the same name "lincolnlock" in You Tube to find his collection... some great stuff there and to think that he's only been riding bikes for about 2 years.

He's also a fantastic Trail Clearing machine... you can see him in action in some of my Vimeo.com Videos too. I've had some great times with him and his brother Russ. Thanks again for the trail help Sam and Russ!

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I have had 3 sidewall plugs in my tubeless wheel Gasgas, they've been holding up for over a year. The tire is a Michelin X11. With the Tubliss system, make sure you move the puncture away from the rimlock. I've seen the rim lock on those take out more than one tire.

I'm wondering why you put a Tubliss system in a tubeless wheel. Can you tell us about it?

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I'm wondering why you put a Tubliss system in a tubeless wheel. Can you tell us about it?

I caught that too, but reading it again, I think you'll see that he runs the tubliss system in his Husky 450. His Gas Gas has the standard tubeless rear wheel and tire

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Plugging a side wall is no problem, done it many times. Heck, by the third day of the TTC national this year my son's tire (Dunlop) had about 5 plugs in it, most in the sidewalls and still holding air.

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I'm wondering why you put a Tubliss system in a tubeless wheel. Can you tell us about it?

Not a tubeless wheel but a tubeless tire. The MT43 is on a stock Yamaha WR 18" rim, so the Tubliss system allowed me to run the trials tire and no tube. I love the grip that the MT43 provide at low pressure. The stiffer sidewall holds up better to the 100lb heavier bike than would a true trials tire.

Sorry for the confusion.

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