There are two parts to fixing a flat on a tubeless tire, the first of which—plugging the hole—every repair kit can do. But when it comes to reinflating the tire enough to ride to a shop for a permanent repair, most kits give you a few CO2 cartridges and wish you luck.
The Stop & Go Tubeless Puncture Pilot tire repair kit has the first part covered with rubber mushroom plugs and an insertion tool, but it also comes with a 12-volt electric air pump so you can inflate the tire to full pressure afterward.
There’s been a Stop & Go kit in the saddlebag of every bike I’ve owned for longer than I can remember, and it’s gotten me home more than once. The Tubeless Puncture Pilot kit comes with the Pocket Tire Plugger—which includes a tire plugger, a reamer, a probe tool, a hex wrench, 15 mushroom plugs, a razor knife and instructions—and a 12-volt Mini-Air Compressor with a built-in pressure gauge and a 66-inch power cord that fits Battery Tender connections and SAE electric vest plugs, a 12-inch alligator-clip extension and a 36-inch cigarette-lighter extension.
The repair procedure seems complex until you do it once, and then it’s simple. Pull out whatever made the hole in the tire, then clean out the hole with the reamer. Insert the nozzle into the hole using the pointed probe tool, then remove the probe, leaving the nozzle in the hole.
Next, load a mushroom plug into the tire plugger, thread it into the nozzle, and drive the plug’s head through the hole by turning the plugger with the hex wrench. The plug’s stem will be left outside the tire. Pull it with pliers to seat the plug’s head against the inside of the tire, cut off the stem and reinflate the tire with the Mini-Air.
Stop & Go, like other manufacturers of tire repair kits, says the fix is meant to be temporary, not permanent. I plugged a hole in the back tire of my Gold Wing with the Tubeless Puncture Pilot kit and rode 30 miles to have the tire replaced, with no loss of air. The fix took about 10 minutes, while the Mini-Air took more than 15 to inflate the tire to 41 psi (it’s only meant for motorcycle and smaller tires). The built-in gauge wasn’t much use. It stuck in one place for several minutes, then jumped about 10 psi. I shut the pump off when it read 37 psi because it was getting hot, but a hand-held pressure gauge showed the tire was up to 44 psi. Two more tries with other tires left me with little confidence in the gauge, although the pump itself worked fine both times.
The $65.95 Tubeless Puncture Pilot kit comes in a zippered canvas case that measures 7 x 4 x 3 inches—small enough to fit in a tank bag and leave plenty of room for other things—and weighs less than 2 pounds. The pump is a worthwhile addition to any repair kit, because when you’re out of CO2 you’re done, but the pump keeps going as long as you have electricity. And if you run out of that, a flat tire is no longer your biggest problem.
For more information: Stop & Go, call (800) 747-0238 or visit stopngo.com