How To Repair A Cut In A Motorcycle Tyre

Today, we’re gonna look at how you repair a slash in your tyre. Now, depending if you run inner tubes, or tubeless, you do have some trail-side options. So, if you’re running an inner tube in your tyre, you can put a tyre boot in there, which would temporarily enable you to reinflate your tyre and get back home. Like wise with tubeless set ups, you can put one of those tyre plugs into the tyre, which effectively seals up the hole. But, it’s not a longterm solution because the air will naturally start pushing that slug back out again.

So, this is how you can permanently fix a tyre and still keep using it tubeless.

Okay, so to repair your tyre, you’re gonna need a few things here. You gotta firstly have a lot of patience because it’s quite a tricky fiddely little job. But, I can assure you, it is worth while doin’ this, especially if you got a fairly new tyre or your tyre has a lot of mileage left in it. Because they’re not cheap, so it’s definitely worth keepin’ them going.

If nothing else, keep it going as a spare. Keep it in the back of your car, your van, whatever for that day when you do need a tyre ’cause you’ve damaged one so badly. Now, first you’re gonna need a decent needle and thread. Now, to get through a tyre, you’re gonna need quite a substantial needle. But, it can’t be so big that you create big holes in the tyre.

So, what you want is a sort of leather needle. They’ve quite a sort of, spear headed tip on them to actually penetrate through and pull through a decent set of thread. Now, as far as thread goes, there’s a few schools of thought on this.

You can different sort of stuff. So, the traditional stuff you’d use with leather, is a waxed thread.

And the reason for that is so that you can get through the leather itself. Now, that’s obviously a great idea to use with a tyre. You could also use fishing line because it’s very strong and it’s not gonna rot over time. I’ve been recommended to use linen thread because the tensile strength of this stuff is really, really strong and it’s easier to get into the needle in the first place. The point of this, is as long as you’ve a strong thread and you’ve got a decent needle to get through your tyre, You’re sorted.

Obviously to go along with that thread, you’re gonna need a decent pair of scissors.

Get the sharpest ones possible, because otherwise when you cut the thread to put through the needle, it’s gonna fray constantly. You’ll get, if you’re anything like me, really angry doing this. Next up you’re gonna need to prepare the tyre itself to do this job. Now, on the inside of the tyre, if you’ve been using the tyre tubeless set up, you’re gonna have all the sort of, rubberized gunk that left on the tyre.

So, you’re gonna need to remove that first. So, you want some sort of solvent cleaner. But, you definitely do not want a cleaner that’s got any sort of lubricant in it. Because that will make the surface of that tyre shiny and the patch will never stick to it. So, something that evaporates, like a brake cleaner or some contact cleaner, any sort of isopropyl alcohol would work.

Just make sure that it is something that is zero, sort of, lubricant in there. And you’re also gonna need a block and some emery paper. Now, what you wanna do is just finely roughen the area around the cut just so the vulcanising solution has the best chance of gettin’ a good grip.

Now, if you’re out on the trail, you can patch up a tyre using these plugs. I’m gonna demonstrate to you why this is really good.

But, also why it won’t last in the long term. This is a sort of a solution so you can finish a race or finish a holiday for example on that tyre. But, it will not last in the longterm. But, they are however, very good to have. So, you’re gonna need some sort of decent patch to patch up the cut from the inside of the tyre.

So, not only does this help stop the cut growing, but it also ensures that later, you can about set the same tyre up tubeless again. Now, look for stuff in the sort of, motor industry, stuff suitable for ATV’s or motorcycle tyres and tubes to repair those. That is the sort of stuff that you want. This is made by Schrader. It’s heavy duty rubber and it makes really well with the industrial strength vulcanising solution.

You can also get, purpose made, again for motorcycles and other things, giant patches. Which are suitable for both the tyre carcass and an inner tube in this case, a tyre carcass.

So, this is the perfect tool for the job. Just to make the job a little bit easier, I recommend some parchment or grease-proof baking paper, and a couple of these little clamps, or a big one if you’ve got one. Now, the reason for that is just to hold the patch in place while it’s setting.

You really wanna give it the longest time to set you possibly can. So, you don’t wanna ride this the same day. This is like a long term fix, basically, And if you put a bit of parchment over the patch when you clamp it, the clamp’s not gonna stick to the rubber. The parchment itself is really easy to remove if it does stick to the tyre itself. And finally, the last thing you’re gonna need, is something to finish the job on the outside.

So, the idea is to stitch up the hole and then you wanna patch it on the inside.

But, because the stitches are still exposed on the outside, I wanna give it some protection to make sure it stays fixed. Now, if any of you have ever been into skateboarding, you’ll be familiar with this stuff. It’s called Shoe Goo. This is the sort of stuff you would smear on the leading edge of your ollie foot or your favourite foot forward to protect your shoe against scuffing against the board when you’re doing ollie’s and kick-flips and stuff like that.

This can also be used to repair the soles of shoes, when you’ve got a bit of crocodile shoes. So, a lot of 5/10’s sometimes need a bit of help with that department, this stuff is fantastic for it. And because it puts a very rubbery coat on the top afterwards and it’s very flexible, this is ideal for protecting the tyre afterwards on the outside. Now depending on where exactly you get the hole in your tyre does effect if you can long term fix it or not.

If it’s really close to the bead, then basically forget it because it will tear.

You’ll never gonna be able to reinforce it properly. You could arguably just put loads of stitching ’round it just to hold it in place. But, you won’t really be able to seal this up in a tubeless way. Now, if it’s on the main part of the tread, you are gonna be able to seal this up.

But, it’s gonna be very hard to stitch on this part of the tyre.

So, you do need to consider that. Now, finally the sidewall, which is pretty much the sort of place you get a tear in tyre, that writes off a tyre. That is where this technique comes in really, really handy. So, I just wanna demonstrate to you how this sort of tyre plugs, or slugs work if you’re gonna use these out on the trail. I’ll just demonstrate to you why they’re not gonna stay in there long term and why stitching the tyre is actually a better solution.

So, if you encounter one of these when you’re at the side of the trail and the first thing you wanna do, is get a sort of, reaming tool and you just clear the hole out a bit and make sure it’s a good enough size to actually get that plug into place. When you’re doing this with a tyre on the wheel, like you would at the side of the trail, it gives it a bit more support. So, it’s actually easier to do it. There you go. So, I’ve got the plug into place and then you need to pull the tool back out again.

It’s quite tricky to do it, and there you go. And the plug stays into the tyre there. Now, these sort of kits, do come with a little knife. So, you can just trim off the excess. Obviously be very careful with doing that, you don’t wanna cut yourself.

I recommend not cutting it too close to the actual tyre, for obvious reasons, don’t wanna make it any worse.

And there you go. That’s gonna stay in place and hold pressure, so you can finish your ride, or finish the race. But, it’s not a permanent solution. You can add to this by, afterwards, putting some vulcanising solution around it on both sides.

But, just the nature of the air pressure inside of the tyre, this will start to push this out over time, just like this I’m doing from the inside. And you’ll find it actually does come out. So, this is why you need to repair it properly. And this is what we’re gonna get into now. Okay, so we’ve got the hole that we’re gonna fix here.

Again, I emphasise the point: if it’s on the centre of the tread, you can still do this but it’s going to be incredibly hard to get the stitching accurate because of the nobbles and the other stuff going on This is really focused on the sidewall of the tyre.

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You can still patch a tyre up from the inside and you can glue the hole from the outside. And it will definitely get you a few more miles out of the tyre. But this sidewall method is the one that kind of writes us off a tyre, so we’re focus on. Flip your tyre inside out first, then you wanna clean the surfaces of it.

Now, this particular tyre hasn’t been set up tubeless. So, I don’t need to worry too much about cleaning the gunk off there. But, it’s still like, it’s not the best surface to be working on. So, I wanna make sure this is being cleaned up with something that’s gonna evaporate and not effect the adhesive glue on there. (rubbing) So, that’s gonna be just enough to make sure it take on there.

Next step, you want some sort of medium grade emery paper. And you wanna roughen around the patch. Now, you’re doing this so the vulcanising glue has the best chance of taking and the patch gets good contact on there.

Now, don’t go too crazy, because if you start exposing the threads of the tyres, the tyre will deteriorate rapidly. So, just enough, literally, just to roughen the surface there.

Now, the next step is to flip it back the other way and start to get sewing. Okay, so first up, you might wonder why I’m going to the hassle of stitching the slash up on a tyre, when you could just patch it from the inside and just get on with it. But, the thing is, just ’cause the nature of the tyres are made, the slash will grow. So, what you’re doing, it doesn’t have to be a super neat job. And if I was to be fair, I’d get someone who’s good at stitching to do it, not myself.

But, you just need to basically cover up that slash on there just enough so it won’t grow anymore. If you’re doing this with fishing wire or anything else, you’re gonna still have the same problems, ’cause the tyre carcass itself is quite tough.

But I promise you it’s worth persevering with this. Now, you can really go to town on this. I’m doing three basic stitch, then will do across to go over and to make sure that they can’t go anywhere.

Now, I’m gonna tie it off after that and hopefully, that will be my stitching part of this process done. And as I mentioned earlier, I’m gonna cover the stitches externally in another step later on just so make sure they don’t come undone and the stitches themselves won’t rot. Alright, let’s just tie a knot in this. And, I’m happy that that is gonna hold. Despite it not looking like the best work, if there’s any surgeons out there, you’d probably be absolutely disgusted with this.

But, it’s a tyre so, I don’t really care. Knot in that. Great. So, that is the tyre stitched from the outside. Purpose of that is to stop that slash growing anymore.

So, obviously it’s no longer tubeless compatible. But, we’re gonna remedy that from the inside out now. So, now I’ve successfully stitched the slash in the tyre up.

So, now the job to do, is to patch it from the inside. So, this seals it completely.

So, you wanna do this whether it’s set up tubeless or you just planning on running inner tubes. Because obviously make sure the tyre is water proof as well Of course, in this case, I wanna set up tubeless again. So, I’m gonna do the best effort to make a really, really good job on this. Now, I’ve already roughened up the inside here. So the next job is to put some of this industrial vulcanising solution on there.

Now, when cutting this stuff, I think the best technique is to not leave any square edges. To make rounded edges ’cause they’re less likely to lift. This is a fiddley thing to do because of the size and the shape of you tyre. But you need to try and get it into a position where it’s not gonna move around too much and your patch can take on there.

Hoping that this is gonna be tacky enough now.

And the patch is going to take on there. Now, it does take a while. You need to make sure your patch stays put. Now, what I like to do is just put a little bit of baking parchment just around the edges here. Put a couple of clamps on it just to hold it in place.

Then, I wanna leave it for as long as possible to make sure it’s completely taken. As you can see, it’s already just sticking nicely into place here and then later, I will go around the edges as well. Make sure they’re firmly stuck down. Now, as you can see it is a waiting game. This is where you have to be patient, otherwise it simply will not take.

Remember that the inside of your tyre is very different to inner tubes and of course, the insides of tyres are very different as well, so it’s really important that you give it enough time to take.

This is pretty good, but it’s still very tacky. So, it needs probably another hour or so just to really take to the tyre. Now, what you can do is put a little bit more vulcanising solution around the outside of the patch when you know it’s going to stay in place. At this stage, you wanna make sure you don’t flip the tyre inside out to do the outside repair.

You need to wait until this is fully set, because otherwise as soon as you turn it inside out, there’s a chance you’re gonna wrinkle it up around the edges and it’ll start unpeeling. So the tyre is patched successfully patched on the inside here now. It’s still a tiny bit tacky ’round the outside.

But, the patch is absolutely rock solid around the edges and it’s stuck quite well here over the stitching itself, so I’m happy with that. So, the next stage is to put some glue on the outside of the tyre now.

Now, this is where I like to use Shoe Glue. Because of the nature of how this was designed for skateboarding to patch up shoes for the sort of abrasion and that.

It’s a similar sort of concept and it’s very flexible. So, once this is set, it will provide a nice barrier on the outside of the tyre as well. Now, when reinstalling to your bike, take into account whether it’s tubeless or not.

If you’re running with an inner tube, if this is still tacky, then you wanna put some talcum powder or some chalk on the inside here just to stop your inner tube sticking to it. Because if that happens, just with movement on the bike, the tube can tear and obviously the tube can remove that patch. You want a patch to be a permanent fix and stay on there, so just take that into account. So, the final part of this repair, and this is an essential part is just to cover up the outside. I like to do this because tyres are subject to abrasion when you’re riding.

If you snag those threads, they can come undone and just effect the job that you’ve done. But also, you want to make sure it’s water proof and fully sealed and this stuff is just going to help add an extra dimension to that.

So, I’m just gonna pierce that. Put the lid in there. Snip some this off.

And get some on. Now this stuff, I can’t emphasise how sticky this is. So, you just wanna get a small little layer on there and they provide a spatula just so you can just get it into the place that you want. Now, you can go to town on this because it is flexible, so it’s going to be fine if there’s too much in place. The idea is that it just protects the job that you’ve done and makes a barrier on the outside of the tyre there.

There you go.

You gotta bare in mind that it’s pretty toxic stuff, so try and use this in a well ventilated area. Not the nicest stuff to work with. Now, quite simply, I have to leave that to dry now. So, I’ll leave that for a couple of hours and then this is good to put back on my bike and reinflate.

So there you have it, that is how you repair a sidewall slash or slash in the carcass of the tyre. I have successfully stitched up and repaired a tubeless tyre here and this is ready, once it’s dry, to go back on my bike. And that tyre will be fine a few more months, get some good use out of it, saves a bit of money, better for the environment, all of that sort of stuff. Now of course you might not be so lucky, it might be straight across the main centre of the tyre. And you can stitch this, but there’s more likelihood that it’s gonna come open again at a later date.


Perform general repair and maintenance work on motorcycles Assist with washing and detailing motorbikes Diagnose problems with motorbike transmissions Troubleshoot issues with knocking and shimmying Handle maintenance tasks on fuel lines and tires Perform fluid change tasks and ensure that bolts are lubricated properly Confer with customers to determine problems with motorcycles to determine issues Start motorbikes in order to assess impending problems Inspect motorbikes to figure out repair needs Work with apprentices and mechanics in order to diagnose and fix problems Perform both preventative and regular maintenance on motorcycles and mopeds Select appropriate tools to handle repair procedures

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