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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Howdy everyone,
I just got my new tires installed at the dealership two weeks ago. Riding home from work with wifey on the back, I felt the motorcycle kick a little to the left and then the steering went a little wonky and I got that familiar sinking feeling in my stomach. I pulled into a church parking lot, and sure enough, I could hear the ssshhhhh sound of air leaking out of the back tire. I quickly put the bike up on the center stand (remembering that it would be almost impossible with the tire flat), and spun the wheel to see what happened. A shark-tooth-shaped piece of aluminum was protruding from my tire, leaving me with an inch-long gash running parallel to my tire's direction of travel. I managed to jam in enough plugs to hold air while I got the bike on a friend's trailer, and it's still holding air, but there is no way I can ride it at all, so it looks like I will be removing the wheel and taking it to the shop. I only had about 200 miles on that tire, and 100 of those was just getting the bike home from getting the new tires put on. Here we go again!
 
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Bummer squared @shane ,
I got the tire replacement/towing package and run over all kinds of crap just before my tires were due for replacement and couldn't even get a low tire.
A few years ago, on a Goldwing, I had the same thing happen after 80 miles. Sliced the sidewall.
Not to diminish your experience but to express my full understanding.
 
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400 miles. I feel your pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Misery loves company! :)
Thanks for commiserating, fellas. Now here's the real dilemma: do I go with the "perfect match" Bridgestone, or should I consider this a sign that Fate wanted me to put on one of those taller Battlax numbers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
OK, so I went with the "normal" Bridgestone. I ordered it and it came in yesterday. Since I didn't want to drive 200 miles round-trip again just to have a tire mounted, I took the wheel to a local bike shop that specializes in Harleys. The guys there were nice, but wow did they have a hard time getting the new-but-damaged tire off the rim, then the brand new one back on the rim. It would have been funny if it weren't my own tire. As I watched them circling around the tire-mounting machine, pushing and pulling and prying and cursing each other, all I could think was "This needs the Yakkety Sax theme from Benny Hill playing in the background." I haven't been this nervous since I was in the operating room with my wife as my son was being delivered by C-section. Anyway, here are a few pics of the bike without it's back sneaker. :) Now, I just have to hope the rain stops so I can go for a ride tomorrow. Oh, I should mention: the wheel is pretty easy to take off and put back on. I discovered that it's MUCH easier to get to the bolts for the licence plate with that entire back assembly off the bike. It's just held on with four bolts under the rear of the bike.
 

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I would start, but I've got 30 minutes worth of stories where HD shops made mistakes with tires.....Personal experience I mean...geeezzz.
It feels like going to a dentist in someone's garage. :350x700px-LL-66dd6d
 
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I would start, but I've got 30 minutes worth of stories where HD shops made mistakes with tires.....Personal experience I mean...geeezzz.
It feels like going to a dentist in someone's garage. :350x700px-LL-66dd6d
Perhaps they get confused when there are no spokes or tubes ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would start, but I've got 30 minutes worth of stories where HD shops made mistakes with tires.....Personal experience I mean...geeezzz.
It feels like going to a dentist in someone's garage. :350x700px-LL-66dd6d
Tell me about it! The whole reason I didn't go to this guy when I first needed tires is because they screwed up on a tire installation for my Virago ten years ago. Here's what happened: I bought my own back tire online (a feat a decade ago). I got the cheapest one I could because money was tight. I took the tire and my bike to the shop, and the guy tells me to come back in a couple of days. When I pick the bike up, he tells me there was a little problem. See, another dude had his bike in the shop too, also for a tire replacement. The shop had put his tire on my bike, and my tire on his bike. Yesterday. The other guy had deeper pockets than mine, and his tire was very expensive. The mechanic looked at me sheepishly, said "Don't worry, he'll never notice" and told me to have a good day. I rode off with someone else's tire and it really turned me off that shop. Today, I stood behind the counter and watched them like a hawk. It was the same mechanic (he's the owner) plus his helper, and it looked for all the world like ten years' experience didn't help them. I think it took them half an hour to get the new rubber on the rim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Perhaps they get confused when there are no spokes or tubes ...
Confused isn't the word! Do you know that they actually tried to argue with me about which side of the wheel was the drive-side and which was the brake-side?? The guy looked me dead in the face and said he'd never seen a bike with the brake disc on the left. I told him that I took the wheel off myself, I remembered. He said that shaft-drive bikes have the shaft on the left. I told him that I remember distinctly that the directions in the manual said that I only had to take off the left saddlebag. You know, the side with the brakes. He still didn't believe me, so I whipped out my phone and showed him those pictures that I posted above. He scratched his beard, said "Well I'll be damned..." and walked off to finish with the tire. I showed the pic to his helper (a grizzled, tattooed old biker), and he said "Don't show those pictures to people, it will put us out of a job" then he laughed hysterically until it became uncomfortable and he fixed his gaze on something just above my left shoulder. I think the 60's were not kind to this guy. Honestly, the whole experience was surreal now that I think back about it. You should have seen them trying to get the glass balance beads out of the old tire and into the new one. It looked like two guys trying to put a pony saddle on a hamster. I really have to start wearing my Go-Pro ALL THE TIME.
 

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Perhaps they get confused when there are no spokes or tubes ...
Confused isn't the word! Do you know that they actually tried to argue with me about which side of the wheel was the drive-side and which was the brake-side?? The guy looked me dead in the face and said he'd never seen a bike with the brake disc on the left. I told him that I took the wheel off myself, I remembered. He said that shaft-drive bikes have the shaft on the left. I told him that I remember distinctly that the directions in the manual said that I only had to take off the left saddlebag. You know, the side with the brakes. He still didn't believe me, so I whipped out my phone and showed him those pictures that I posted above. He scratched his beard, said "Well I'll be damned..." and walked off to finish with the tire. I showed the pic to his helper (a grizzled, tattooed old biker), and he said "Don't show those pictures to people, it will put us out of a job" then he laughed hysterically until it became uncomfortable and he fixed his gaze on something just above my left shoulder. I think the 60's were not kind to this guy. Honestly, the whole experience was surreal now that I think back about it. You should have seen them trying to get the glass balance beads out of the old tire and into the new one. It looked like two guys trying to put a pony saddle on a hamster. I really have to start wearing my Go-Pro ALL THE TIME.
LOL! Creepy...guys like that make me nervous, you never know what they'll do to your bike. I think watching them was a good idea :)
 

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Grab it with your right hand where the passenger grabs with their left.
Right below where passenger sits on the left, if that makes sense:confused:
 

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Shane, All of this is quite hilarious. But I missed the part about why you patronize that shop. Surely you can find comedy videos to watch on your phone in the waiting room of a competent mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hey Shane, where do you grab with your right hand to get the bike onto the center stand? I'm getting one put on this weekend while the bike's in for its 8K mile service and don't want to look like a goof.
Grab it with your right hand where the passenger grabs with their left.
Right below where passenger sits on the left, if that makes sense:confused:
Yep, just what togojeff said. There are "hidden" passenger grab handles just below the seat. They aren't obvious because they are painted and look like just part of the bodywork. I try to center my body where the feet of the centerstand touch down, then push down with my leg. I don't think of it as lifting with my hand; it's really a pushing-down force exerted with my leg. It certainly helps that I'm 6'0 and weigh as much as a Volkswagon Beetle. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Shane, All of this is quite hilarious. But I missed the part about why you patronize that shop. Surely you can find comedy videos to watch on your phone in the waiting room of a competent mechanic.
I know it's a LOT of reading, but it's in there. I would have had to travel 200 miles round-trip to get to my closest Honda dealership, and I don't know any other local mechanics with a better reputation than the place I went because there aren't any other local mechanics. In order for me to go to a different one, I would have had to travel... and if I am going to do that, I may as well suck it up and head for Dover where the dealership is. This Harley-ish shop is 7 miles from my house. Also, I had visited this shop exactly once before. And I didn't patronize them for an entire decade because of how that turned out. Desperate to get back on two wheels without sacrificing my weekend, I took my wheel and tire to them yesterday. I had no idea that it would be a fiasco or that I would be writing about it on a forum later on. The upside: They *did* get the tire installed on the wheel, and they *were* friendly. The owner even said "that's a nice bike" when I showed him the pics on my phone. So I'm willing to cut them a little slack, and I definately won't give them my business unless I have to. So far, that comes out to about once ever 10 years. :)
 

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Shane,

I hate to join the misery loves company crowd, but it is amazing how an old tire about to be replaced doesn't pick up the nail, or in your case, this jagged hunk of mettle. It seems to me that the tires for bikes are so expensive, especially when you consider much less material than a tire tread, yet the car tires are so much less money. I know...the economy of scale and all that, but I am always surprised at the price of tires for motorcycles. AND they wear out so quickly too!

I purchased a new Victory Cross Country about two months ago, traded the CTX in on the new bike and did get a good trade in number for a bike with 8,000 miles on it. Anyway, two weeks later the dealer has the Victory in the shop to service the bike, and they call me to tell me I have a nail in the rear tire! 500 miles on the tire, a smaller nail and they do not repair tires, so I will have to buy a new one. I tell them to leave the nail alone, ride home, 10 minutes and I have a plug in the tire holding air like there has never been a nail in the tire. It was just irritating to me, a new bike, and the fix was a $300 tire swap!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
...but it is amazing how an old tire about to be replaced doesn't pick up the nail, or in your case, this jagged hunk of mettle.
Exactly! I just hope it doesn't happen again. I think, if this had been a puncture instead of a gaping gash, I would have gone with a plug. It sure hurts to have to buy the exact same tire twice in the same month.
 
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