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Old 10-25-2009, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Slow Leak (tubeless tire) - what are my options ???

Got an issue with my 97 FXSTC.
I had new rear tire mounted up back in early June and all was good.
In the last 2 months, it has gotten a slow leak, slightly faster now that it's gotten colder. It'll leak down about 5 psi a day, give or take a pound.

anyway...
There are no signs of leaking around the valve stem (or from the core itself),
there is also no signs of leaking around the bead.
I am using a product that works very well for finding air leaks, called SNOOP.
We use it at work regularly and it works great...just no help for me with whatever leak I have now.
Visually, I cannot see anything in the tire (nail, screw, staple, etc.).

Has anyone ever used any type of "fix-a-flat" or similar product?

I'm thinking it leaks the worst when sitting...at least that what it seems like.

The reputable independent cycle shops around me do not do any tire "repairs", and the local HD dealer won't even consider looking at it because it isn't an "official" HD tire, nor was it bought from them, so I'm kind of stuck as to what I can do. I've been pumping it up before riding for the last two months, but now that riding season is all but over for now, I'd like to "fix" it if possible.

Any ideas how best to accomplish this?

Thanks.

.
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Last edited by rel3rd; 10-25-2009 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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leak

I don't know much about snoop, but 40 psi on a tire might not be enough for that to help. Try the soapy water with 45 psi in the tire and air it very slowly until you find the leak. With all the construction around here I have had my share of tire leaks, nails, screws, etc. If I have to take the tire off the bike, my thoughts are my life is considerably worth more than the cost of a new back tire.

Last edited by maddogg4; 10-25-2009 at 07:01 PM. Reason: more specific info needed
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't know about Snoop, but I use a mixture of dish-soap and water with a scrub brush. Load the brush up with soapy/sudsy water and scrub every inch of the tire and outer rim, including the stem with the stem cap off. Within a short period of time you should start seeing a blob of bubbles form at the leak point.

I had a similar problem a while ago and it turned out to be the core of the valve stem. Replacing it fixed the problem for me.

Since you've already rules out the valve stem/core and tire beed (I assume by using Snoop), I'd check the rest of the tire itself. It could have a crack or small pin or whatever causing the leak. I picked up a small sowing needle once in between the groves in the tire on my truck a while ago. Took forever to find (even with the soapy water test) because it would only leak while driving.

If you still can't find the leak after all that, it might be worth taking the rim to an indy tire shop and have them take the tire off and check the inside of the tire to see if there is something stick through the tire that may not be visible from the outside.

Good luck...
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Old 10-25-2009, 09:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Replace the TIRE

At 80 MPH, the last thing I am thinking about is a slow leak I KNOW I have in MY rear tire.......................
REPLACE THE TIRE and move on. Is it really worth the hassle to play with a potential disaster??????????
I feel your pain, having to buy another tire before it is worn oput but I have felt the sting of pavement before and the itemization of the damage to a bike before. I'll take the sting mof a premature purchase of a rear tirer any day
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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yeah dude...while I can see wanting to figure it out...get a new tire.

what size is it?
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Pull the wheel, tank it to find the leak and inside patch it if no belts are broken.
No reason to toss out a patchable tire unless you have lots of money to waste.

Last edited by tunnelrat; 10-25-2009 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 10-25-2009, 10:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you have the abilitly to pull the wheel, bring it to an auto repair shop that has a dunk tank. Air it to 50 psi and look for leaks there. That usually finds 'em...
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Are you sure she is losing air? Or is she gaining weight?
How about a can of fix a flat?
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No one has mentioned about a porus rim. The cast might be the problem.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:54 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the replies guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrock View Post
If you still can't find the leak after all that, it might be worth taking the rim to an indy tire shop and have them take the tire off and check the inside of the tire to see if there is something stick through the tire that may not be visible from the outside.

Good luck...
Thanks. I didn't even think about simply asking them to dismount the tire, as opposed to "fixing" a slow leak. Just the mention of a leak, made the one guy walk away, lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDave71 View Post
yeah dude...while I can see wanting to figure it out...get a new tire.

what size is it?
130/70/18 if I remember right, I'd have to double check to be 100% sure. With only 3000 miles on it, I just hate to toss it without "knowing" it's the actual problem. That would really suck to buy a new tire and the tire not even be the problem. I'm not going to patch or plug it though. If the tire has picked something up, then I'll get a new one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tunnelrat View Post
Pull the wheel, tank it to find the leak and inside patch it if no belts are broken.
No reason to toss out a patchable tire unless you have lots of money to waste.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TXCHOP View Post
If you have the abilitly to pull the wheel, bring it to an auto repair shop that has a dunk tank. Air it to 50 psi and look for leaks there. That usually finds 'em...
I think that will be my next step. If the tire itself has a defect, than I'll surely replace it. Just didn't want to throw around money I don't have at this time of year. Since I have a portable lift, it won't be a bad job...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbmc View Post
Are you sure she is losing air? Or is she gaining weight?
How about a can of fix a flat?
LOL...I actually was hoping to hear some feedback from anyone who had used, or tried, fix a flat, but evidently nobody has, or will admit to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kemo View Post
No one has mentioned about a porus rim. The cast might be the problem.
I sure hope not. It's a RevTech custom wheel. I know that's a possibility, but knowing the bike had sat for 2 years without losing one psi, I doubt (and hope) that isn't the problem.


I guess I'll pull it off and try the water tank thing, and hope it's a valve stem leak or something. If it's anything tire related (as in defect or whatnot), then I'll go ahead and get a new one.

Thanks guys.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I would NOT use fix a flat except for an emergency to get you off the road and home. I worked at a tire shop and some of that stuff is very corrosive to alluminum which is what most rims are , its your call but if you read most of the products it even says it is for emergency use only and to have the tire fixed properly as soon as possible .

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Old 10-26-2009, 03:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dude, get a new tire...cheap fix for safety
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougbeth View Post
Dude, get a new tire...cheap fix for safety
You are right.

As soon as I verify that it is indeed the tire, then I'll replace it.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a 1986 Softail and the back wheel has been leaking for the past 20 years. I solved the problem by putting a tube in it every time I put a new tire on. Problem solved.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:28 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by relxn88 View Post
I have a 1986 Softail and the back wheel has been leaking for the past 20 years. I solved the problem by putting a tube in it every time I put a new tire on. Problem solved.
hmmm. Didn't even consider that...until now. Thanks.
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