Do motorbicycles have more flat tires?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by John-Forrest, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    I am curious if anyone notices an increase in flat tires after they install a motor on a bicycle. Last year I got kevlar tires (supposedly puncture proof) for a WildFire Bike with 49 cc engine. (Their tires went flat the first week!) I was doing fine - until this past spring I put a Zoomcycle 80cc motor on. Then within weeks, I had a flat on front tire and another flat yesterday on rear tire. Both flats didn't seem to be from puncture, they were slow leaks.

    Do more powerful motors make more flats from vibration of engine? Should we use special tires, not regular bike tires? Anyone have experiences with this?

  2. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Hi John
    To your question of just adding a few cc's in engine size or vibration, I don't think that is going to effect much in your tires performance at all.

    There are however, multiple other variables.
    From your description you mention non-puncture but slow leak.
    Are the tubes of sufficient durability?
    I'm wondering if you have checked the tubes or looked for leaks there, including the valve stems? Is there any damage visible in the tubes or around the valves? Any pinching going on in the tubes, what is commonly referred to as pinch flats or snakebites? Are your rims wound with rim tape to protect the tube from spoke ends, flats can come from both sides.

    Seems you would want find out where the air is getting out to be able to address the situation.

    In my experience, things being equal, MBs don't suffer more flats than any bicycle, the cause is elsewhere.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  3. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    liners seem to be the ticket for me -- at least to this point in time

    have a good day -- from - MM
  4. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    Well, today I did discover a puncture in tube, but no glass or anything within the tube. Then after spending all afternoon removing rear wheel and replacing tube, tire went flat again!

    Someone looked at it and saw piece of sharp rock on outside of tire that did the damage. He commented tires looked worn (after about 1000 miles use). He put on a mountain bike tire and told me to keep it at 30 psi, but it felt wobbly to me like that. I think I prefer the hybrid type, about 50 psi feels right to me.

    Any recommendations for good tires, superthick tubes, or whatever? Oh yeah, does anyone have suggestions for a good motorbike jack to lift the thing off the ground? Or a good stand for middle of bike that'll lift it at least an inch off the ground? That's why it took me four hours to change the tire.
  5. AlexRSS8

    AlexRSS8 Member

    Couple of cinder blocks to hold the bike up
    and not going for cheap tubes, consider the really exepensive thick tubes, as well as taking a pump and slime with you when you ride
    And every good MBer knows to check the bike from head to toe before riding
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    not sure this one counts

    not sure this one counts as a new flat
    was that piece of sharp rock possible left in the tire from the earlier flat ?

    not to forget some tire liners might have saved that

  7. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    If you do the punctureproofing, forget the pump and bring a small can of air, or one of those nitrous looking cartridges the Mountain Bikers use....

    My can of air has always been ready, but never been used.
  8. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    I was doing some research; those slime self-repair tubes look pretty good, they're only $10. That in combo with some kevlar tires should hold up for awhile.

    I always heard that you ruin your tire if you use that nitrous oxide you ruin your tire. But that would be a nice solution if you're in the middle of nowhere and it's getting dark or starting to rain!
  9. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I was using both the slime/punctureproof and the Pyramid punctureproof without slime....and for the time being, going to forego and use the Pyramids only.

    A plump customer had a seam break on a slime type, and it really makes a mess on the road to repair.

    I think its the thick rubber that does the trick.

    (I don't think it's real nitrous, just a gas cartridge, I don't use them, my can of air was $2, and I have two small, made in china, road trip pumps that don't work all that well.)
  10. MotorMac

    MotorMac Member

    a tire how to

    Heres what to do to have strong punctureproof tires,keep the old tires when you replace them or find some old thrown out old tires same size or slightly smaller, cut the wire beads off and back about 1/2 inch using tin snips or heavy duty scissors and insert the old tire into the new tire. Now go ahead and put the tube in and reinstall on the wheel. you now have a double thick wall tire that will never go flat, unless you run over a giant nail thats sharp enough to go thru 2 tires!
    P.S make sure you have rim tape on the wheel too.
  11. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    That's a pretty cool idea! What a way to save money AND recycle!

    Another question: Has anyone tried to use those airless tubes? Are they any good?
  12. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    I think riding mostly next to curbs where the debri is causes most of our flats.
  13. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    On that doubled up tire, I tried that before discovering tire liners...the road heat and friction may rub a lot of rubber off the tube, esp. on long rides. Maybe it has to do with never having a chance to cool down.

    Down in this thread, I may have built my best combo yet, for my personal bike. If my customers want to buy the $25 Serfas Tire, I may offer it on new installs.

    I may not even carry spare tubes on the recumbent.

    It's raining, so the test ride is hours away, but I just got through pulling off the old steel wheel, mounted the Serfas Drifter on the Weinmann 12 g. alloy wheel.

    (2) rubber spokeend gaskets and (5) layers of electric tape on the inside.

    Pyramid punctureproof tube AND tire liner.

    Then the Serfas.

    I reckon I have this thing 50-100 mils thick.

    Bonus, when I aired it up, the heftier set up was much lighter than the steel wheel I just took off.
  14. Saddletramp

    Saddletramp Member

    MB's are for the most part ridden much farther than bicycles. More miles, more flats.
  15. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    For repairs on the road you might want to carry a bit of rope. You can hang your bike from a sign or a tree limb.

    I think I got that suggestion from Large Fillipino. (thanks)

    I've never had to use it yet, but I carry it. It gives me peace of mind.
  16. John-Forrest

    John-Forrest Member

    Roadside Debris

    Lately they've been talking re-constructing roads with the Obama stimulus money. We should demand increased maintenance on roadsides, fines for throwing glass on roadsides, AND special lanes for us, mopeds, and bicycles! I'll be happy to volunteer for a project like that.

    I sort of picture a double lane, slow lane for bikes, slow MBs and mopeds, fast lane for scooters and souped up MBs.

    When I'm going faster, I keep about a yard from side of road. That also makes me more visible to people coming from right.

    As gas prices soar and oil becomes scarce, there will be a lot more of us. They should prepare for that!
  17. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    A customer with a 4 lb. trailer, with flags, (which he says you can't even tell is back there), claims he gets a LOT more room from cars w/ the trailer.

    It's all a matter of the neighborhoods and commuters getting used to seeing the same bikes at the same time nearly every morning.

    At first you are a novelty, a "surprise"....then you become the same as the old man on the slow John Deere tractor, just another vehicle to watch out for.
  18. 5-7HEAVEN

    5-7HEAVEN Guest

    I have a two-legged bike stand. To raise the tire off the ground I place a phone book under the stand and the tire lifts off the ground.

    Orrr, I have a tiny 6" X 6" stool I place under the bike stand.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2009
  19. Learner4life

    Learner4life New Member

    If you are mainly street/smooth surface, get slicks, unless u have snow u are dealing with I guess. Thick slicks are awesome. Look up Fatboy tires. They are not that expensive, amazing ride, nice and meaty, the most amount of traction possible, great around corners and for breaking just a huge improvement and I couldnt live without them, they come with specialized flak jacket technology making them flat-proof pretty much

    Have you checked pully/hoist bike lifts? LOVE... for exactly what you are trying to do, I dont miss that feeling of the bike about to fall to one side as Im holding it up cursing the chain/rim etc ahahhahah. When I get home I just pull down, attach clip to frame, pull and up it goes. There are also really cool(usually expensive) motorcycle lift/roller jacks too you can check out. Another option is replace the stock kickstand with a double leg kickstand, that way no matter where you are, even away from home (no hoist) you can pull off either wheel and your hog doesn't misbehave and start tipping on you.
  20. joe trammel

    joe trammel Member

    maxxis ringworm tire,Mr.tuffy bike liner,double tuff tubes ,and some slime. Havent got a flat in about 2 years ive replaced the tires twice but not the tubes. And there is really poor roads in Fremont/San jose area with huge pot holes, sharp rocks, etc. You just have to find the right tires/tubes/liner for your road conditions