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Bought an 04 Heritage softail just over a month ago and picked up my first nail. Now the dilemma. Do I take off the rear tire myself, or should I take the whole blasted thing in? I've been reading through the old posts and it seems as though everyone is split on replace the tire or simply put a new tube in it. The bike only has 2800 miles on it and has a lot of good rubber left. What do you guys think? Thanks.
 

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My opinion, fwiw, assuming it was just a nail hole, and not a slice or gouge; I'd reuse the tire. I would replace it if it were a front tire however. I've had a lot of flat rear tires while riding, but only two on the front tire. I don't remember much about the flat rear tires; but I remember very well the two flat fronts!

arjay
 

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Ridin' & Glidin'
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If you are able and competent to remove the rear wheel yourself than go for it.

Don't go cheap on safety.
What is the cost of a new tire and tube compared to being confident of no possibility of a catastrophic tire failure at 75 MPH riding two-up in the middle lane of a five lane expressway full of 18 Wheelers?
 

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Its not too difficult of a job to remove the rear wheel if you have basic mech skills and tools.
I would suggest having the HD service manual on hand as well.
As far as replacing the tire, without a doubt I would do so for safety reasons.
 

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I picked up a nail in my rear tire and tubed it myself yesterday. I originally plugged it to get me home. After removing the wheel, I cut the plug flush with the inside of the tire, tubed it, static balanced it, then put it back together. It's got the same air pressure in it this morning as it did last night so I'm fixin' to go for a ride in these 40mph winds here today to check it. Piece of cake man. I'd never done one before and saved a little chunk of money on a new tire and labor{1500 miles on my tire}. Get a manual if you don't have one, it'll save you a bunch.
 

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Jams said:
What is the cost of a new tire and tube compared to being confident of no possibility of a catastrophic tire failure at 75 MPH riding two-up in the middle lane of a five lane expressway full of 18 Wheelers?
This would indeed make for a very bad day...
 

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Ridin' & Glidin'
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fatboy66 said:
Sure it would, IF in reallity tubing a nailed tire would cause it to happen.
There was a guy who made a lot of money selling bumper stickers that read --->"Sh*t Happens" because it does. ;)
 

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XLIII
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Um, doesn't the Heritage Softail have laced rims? (If not, ignore this post.)
If so, it already has a tube in it, so just replace it with a new tube and be happy.
It'll be fine.
 

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Ridin' & Glidin'
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You would still need to boot the tire casing where the nail punctured the carcass or else the hole will pinch the new tube.
Booting the casing is the issue. Unless a reliable vulcanization of the repaired area is obtained then it will continue to be a matter of concern.
Twisty roads flexing the side wall or the extra weight of a passenger and a new tube can be trashed pretty fast.
 

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Terrorists suck!
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Never give a tire a second chance to kill you. Pull the wheel and put a replacement tire on it.
 

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Jams said:
If you are able and competent to remove the rear wheel yourself than go for it.

Don't go cheap on safety.
What is the cost of a new tire and tube compared to being confident of no possibility of a catastrophic tire failure at 75 MPH riding two-up in the middle lane of a five lane expressway full of 18 Wheelers?
I concur:wavey:
 

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fourty three and seven...
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Oh.........And welcome to this fine forum, of fine human beings, with fine motorcycles.
 

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I put on a new rear Metzler, and within 1 week I had 3 freakin nails in it. I finally tubed the tire($13.00), and it holds air better than the Dunlop did from the factory. I don't ride above 75 mph, so no problems with a tube. I would be on my 4th tire if I replaced it for a nail hole.

Thorns
 

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I had a nail in the rear tire earlier this year. Pulled it and took it to the indy for a new tube. $40 and had it back on the bike in less than 2hrs.:chopper:
 

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Replace Replace

Jams said:
If you are able and competent to remove the rear wheel yourself than go for it.

Don't go cheap on safety.
What is the cost of a new tire and tube compared to being confident of no possibility of a catastrophic tire failure at 75 MPH riding two-up in the middle lane of a five lane expressway full of 18 Wheelers?
Well Said. Ride Safe!
 

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Restless
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I guess everyone has an opinion on this but unless the tire has a cut or puncture in the sidewall, there is no reason to replace the tire. I had a discussion on this with a good friend of mine that works for Coats, the maker of tire changers, balancers, brake lathes etc. He's a regional manager/tech that works alot of trade shows and a few rallys. I mentioned how I heard that alot of people were replacing fairly new tires just because of a nail or screw in the tread. He says it's overkill and that a good interior patch will last the life of the tire as long as the damage is not close to the sidewall. This has been done reliably for many years.

I used to work at a service station when I was a kid and repaired many flats this way myself on car tires and never had a problem. Grab the die grinder and kurling drum and ruff up the affected area. Apply the self vulcanizing glue liberally and put on the patch. You'll know when it's adhered properly because the edges of the patch will basically bond into the tires rubber. The air in the tire keeps pressure against the patch. It ain't goin' nowhere.

Like I said, everyone has their way of doing things though. Just throwing this out there.
 

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Timbo, your friend is exactly right when it comes to automotive tires. IMHO, he's exactly wrong when it comes to motorcycle tires. The carcass of a motorcycle tire undergoes a lot more flex than a car tire does, because we lean when we turn. Flex can cause patches to work loose. Not an industry rep, but I did spend a few years mounting tires (car, truck, semi, farm equipment, you name it...) for a living.
 

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And that is why an inside patch and tube is your best repair.

Thorns
 
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