Anyone who has been riding will experience or has experienced a flat on the trail. A flat has no conscience as to where or when it will occur, but rest assure, when it does you will need to be prepared. Now by no means is this a reason to panic. It usually can be handled without a great deal of difficulty. Do I hear an air leak?
All but the most severe flats can be repaired on the trail. I have personally fixed holes as big as 2-inches. This large of a repair will usually get you through the day, but a new tire may be needed to avoid future headaches. Naturally, you will need to ALWAYS carry a few things. It is best to have some place to store these items on your ATV, so when the inevitable occurs, you will be ready. Remembering to replace the items used when a repair is made is also very important. Here is a list of what you will need.
1. A tire repair kit. This consists of a reamer and a plug insertion tool.
2. Tire plugs! You will be surprised how fast these can disappear. I prefer the long shoestring type. They are about 4-in. long and are very tacky.
3. Tire pump. There are many types available. I use the fold up Mt. bike type. They work very well, are used to being in dirt, and are compact. This is a personal preference as to what you can use.
4. Tire repair glue. I have gotten by without it, but having it makes for a better job.
5. Air gauge. Your ATV should have one in its tool kit.
Once you realize there is a leak, the tire being flat is one indication; you will need to find the hole or holes. Putting some air in the tire may help. First look for the obvious, nails, screws, sticks etc. in the tire. If nothing is found, you will have to slowly rotate the tire. Listen for air leaks and look for cuts in the tire. If you still can’t find it, try rolling it through a puddle, or put a little water from your water bottle on it. Only a small amount is needed. Do not waste all your drinking water on your tire. In some cases, the leak may be coming from a defective valve stem or possibly a bad seal on the tires bead. This is where the tire seats on the rim.
Now that the hole is found, take the reamer and roughen the edges of the hole so the plug will hold. Then take the plug tool, thread the plug, apply a little glue on the plug, and put it in the tire about half way. Now, briskly pull the tool out and the plug should stay. This may take a little practice because the plug may follow the tool out of the tire. It should be noted that on all but the smallest holes you would need to put more then one plug in the tire. Just keep following the procedure until the tire holds air. When you get it to stop leaking air, give the glue a few minutes to dry. You will also want to trim the excess plug sticking out of the tire. Try to leave about 1/8 of an inch sticking out. If too much is left hanging, the plug may get ripped out as you ride. Now fill the tire up with air, check the pressure, and continue to ride. Good luck!
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