Blog: May 21. Tyre dilemmas

This week I dashed up to Inverell to meet the boss and ride for a day. I had to put some new tyres on the KLR for work, so I set to it.

I was relieved when the Continental TKC70 came off without too much drama. I had to use the Tyre Pliers bead breaker, but that’s what it’s there for. And it wasn’t too tough. If I’d been out on a ride somewhere I reckon the bead would’ve broken without too much trouble. When they’re warm after being ridden on, they’re so much easier. This one was cold and had been sitting in the shed.

So I whipped the Conti off and slipped it on to the rear of the Dominator. I like the TKC70 a lot, and I think it’ll be perfect on the Honda.

So that was good.

Then I turned back to the KLR and the Bridgestone Battleaxs.

Both tyres went on without a problem, but I couldn’t get the bead to set on the rear. I ran it up to about 56PSI in my shed. Then I took it to the servo and give it some more. But still that bead refused to pop.

I phoned Dan Vaughan and he was good enough to look at it straight away (I had to leave the next morning). With some craftiness and a gazillion PSI he had the bead up and I was good to go. I bolted back to the shed and slipped the wheel back into the bike.

All was good.

The next morning I rolled the bike out to the trailer and the rear was flat. Not dead flat, but not properly pumped up, either. According to my gauge it’d lost about eight PSI overnight.

That was weird. Such a tiny amount over about eight hours?

I decided not to bugger about with it. I was meeting the boss at Vince Strang’s. I thought if I could get there a little early I could beg Vince to have a crack at it with his tyre-changing machine.

In an unbelievable chain of events, the boss sent a text to say he had a flat and would be late!

I couldn’t believe my luck.

Vince had his workshop guys whip the tyre off, and they couldn’t find any problem. They wondered if perhaps the valve stem hadn’t seated properly. They fitted a new one, put the tyre and tube back on the rim, and I was good to go.

I’m really getting peeved with tyres where I can’t be certain of doing the repair myself. I think I’m going to have to take a stand and just refuse to fit tyres I can’t deal with alone. Getting caught in Maitland and having to stay overnight a few weeks ago really left a stain, and this incident didn’t make me feel any better.

The boss and I had a great ride on one of Marty’s loops. I whacked my phone in the selfie-stick and banged off a pic…

Then we jumped on the bikes and hooned off.

When I got to the end of the loop I wanted another photo but…no phone.

We fanged back around the loop and after about 70km arrived at the selfie-pic location and, sure enough, there was my phone sitting in the dust. Do you think I was happy?

It turned out to be a great day all around, and the riding was fabulous, thanks to Marty and his ‘Afternoon Delight’ loop from disc three.

It was dusty, but it was so awesome to be away from the desk and on a bike for day.

I have a heap on this coming week. I’ll be late with next week’s blog, but I’ll have ridden the 2018 Triumph XCa 800s and 1200s, and the XRT800. I’ve already ridden the XRT1200, but of course I’ll ride it again if I can.

I’ll jump from the seat of a Triumph straight onto a 2018 650 V-Strom the Suzuki guys have ready. They phoned so I could listen to its first start-up. I thought that was pretty funny.

So a late blog next week, but hopefully a few good stories and pics.


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