Monday, January 10, 2011

Tire and tube on my Royal Enfield
were far tougher than I thought

Motorcycle inner tube.
Inner tube still holds air.
Classic Royal Enfield motorcycles benefit from a quick walk-around before you ride off. I check the oil, lubricate the clutch cable at the lever and squeeze the tires, feeling for any softness.

Just this once, the other day, I gave the back tire a spin to examine it for nails. Sure enough, to my horror, a quarter-inch of razor sharp wood screw appeared, sticking out of the middle of the tread.

"No riding today," I sighed, and I used a pliers to carefully unscrew the offending object. It just kept on unscrewing; I couldn't believe how much of it was inside the tire, yet no air was gushing out. When it was finally removed it was half an inch long and the tip was needle sharp.

Yet, still, no air came from the tire.

Knowing I shouldn't, I started the bike and went for my ride. And, a few days later, another ride. And another. And another.

Worry finally got the better of me, and I took the wheel to Wes Scott Cycles for a new tire (I needed one anyway) and inner tube. To everyone's surprise, the tube still had no leak at all, although there was a divot where the screw point may have contacted it. Even when deliberately over inflated, it would not leak.

I put the tube away for use as an emergency spare. It's unlikely I ever will need it. But I am delighted to learn that these things are far tougher than I ever imagined.

By the way, I would have liked to have shown a picture of the screw here on this page but, although I set it aside, I can't find it in my garage. It's in there somewhere, maybe on the floor, waiting to get me again!


  1. Anonymous1/10/2011

    I suppose the angle of entry was just right to cause the screw to "side-swipe" the tube.

    While on the subject of tubes, I really can't understand the conventional "wisdom" that demands a new tube with each tire replacement.

    Al in Philadelphia

  2. Anonymous1/12/2011

    It's true that an object can only puncture a tire one time. At shops, the tiremen pull nails and toss them in the driveway. They become "inert". It can harm you no more!
    You will usually get flats on the rear. The front tire stands them up, the the rear tire hits 'em. Wheelbase and speed all come into play. It takes a perfect screw to make a flat tire.
    If the tube was the original from the factory, it might be superior to the new ones available here. Save everything! Phil

  3. Anonymous1/12/2011

    Phil, I've read your posting several times and still am without a clue of what you're trying to say!

    Al in Philadelphia


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