Many years ago (around 1978) I was travelling along the Trans Canada Highway around the north side of Lake Superior. Coming down a hill I noticed about 500 yards in front of me three moose, a bull, a cow and a calf. They were crossing the highway as I watched, so I didn't bother to slow down much, as they were gone into the bush by the time I got to their crossing point. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw the bull come charging back across the highway right in front of me. One of his hind hoofs clipped my windscreen, but did not damage it. I learned a good lesson that day....never trust an animal on the highway to do what you think it's going to do. Slow down and stay alive!
I have a couple of Z1B's restored, an '80 KZ1000LTD restored, a 1981 KZ550 restored and a 2008 KLR 650 for off road fun. My wife has a 2019 Suzuki DR 650 for on and off road.
My wife insists on riding in the left position, she doesn't like riding the shoulders, and we ride a lot of curvy wooded roads.
Every once in a while I have to remind her to come over to my lane on the hard left handers ,cars and bikes cross over the double yellow all the time.
This is why riding the Tail of the Dragon on the weekend should be avoided
A variation of a close call. More like a a slow-motion close call.
This happened while riding my '93 CB750 Nighthawk.
The Lovely Z1BEBE & I was at the 2018 VJMC National Rally close to Mitchell, IN. We'd trailered both of our '93 CB750 Nighthawks there not due to distance from home (only 50 mi.), but because we were traveling on to central Michigan for another VJMC event the following weekend.
I was riding along a two-lane IN state road road that was wet from a passing rain shower. Moving at ~55 mph. Hear a soft "pop", and the rear tire just sorta twitched a tiny amount, but nothing more. Figured I'd just hit an unseen piece of larger gravel a glancing blow. I rode on to my destination about 5 mi. away without further incident.
Next morning the rear tire was flat. Discovered a large nail (more like a spike) in the tread. We were far enough from home to make returning improbable, and it was Sunday morning anyway, so no bike shops were open, or close. We'd committed to being in MI that evening and already had the bikes on the trailer. Stopped by an auto parts store and bought some tire cement and gummy worms, removed the object & plugged the tire. The hole was a clean puncture, center tread on a tire that only had ~3,000 mi. on it. Reamed & wet the hole with cement, inserted the plug and left the tire uninflated for the next 9 hrs. to cure while we drove to MI. Once there I inflated the tire, checked for leak (none) and checked again the following morning. Still no leak.
Over the next few days we rode ~500mi. in MI with my tire plugged. No leaks. Rode another ~150 mi. after returning home before the plug began a slow leak.
From this point on in this post the pics illustrate the tire and rim damage after dismounting the tire at home once the plug began its slow leak. It had been my intent to apply a more permanent vulcanizing plug-patch (mushroom patch) from the inside. However, upon discovering the additional damage to the tire carcass I decided to document the damage & just use the opportunity to practice the prep & application of a plug-patch with no intent of placing the tire into service again.
This is what I saw the first time I noticed the spike that Sun. morning away from home. This is taken at home after removing the gummy worm plug & re-inserting the spike to take pics.:
It was difficult to remove the first time. It was quite rusty & had obviously weathered for a long time prior to my encounter with it. Channellocks, much grunting & gnashing of teeth produced something akin to a paraphrase of that battery commercial; it just kept coming... and coming... and coming...:
It's a dual-compound tire. The seam between hard & soft is visible just below the puncture. The spike left a reasonably clean puncture in the meat of the tread:
The offending object; 13 cm. (about 3.5"). Not sure, but I believe it was bent prior to my encounter with it:
Before I ever looked at the inside of the tire, the first thing I noticed after dismounting the tire was the hundreds of "pekker marks" on the inside of the rim. They had to have happened during that 5 mi. after the puncture occurred:
This next thing really spooked me, and will always make me carefully consider the wisdom of plugging a tire:
The tip of the awl is pointing to the deepest damage to the inside of the carcass. It's a hole about 3 mm. deep. This is NOT the puncture made by the spike; that puncture is out of the frame of this pic. The rest of the damage runs between 1~2 mm. deep. Cords in the carcass are obviously cut. Best guess is that the arc was created as the point of the spike swept across the surface each time the spike hit the road. The staining is from dried rubber slickum I used during tire dismount.
I'd ordered a new tire from my favorite home bike shop the Tuesday following our arrival in MI, so I had one to mount this same day I took these pics a few weeks later.
No need to fuss at me for running the punctured tire with a worm. I'm perfectly capable of beating myself up about it and have been doing so on a regular basis. I'm posting this in hopes of making others aware that there may be additional, unseen damage to the inside of a tire resulting from a puncture.
I did apply the plug-patch as practice. If anyone's interested I'll post pics of the process and completed repair. Had the area of the carcass not been damaged by the point of the spike sweeping across it, I would confidently have placed the tire into service again once the plug-patch was applied.
I'm considering cutting a section of the damaged area out of the tire, mounting it on a nice piece of wood complete with spike and having a plaque made, thereby creating a "Rusty Spike Award". It will be to recognize the next VJMC member who experiences a puncture during a VJMC National event.
slmjim & Z1BEBE
A biker looks at your engine and chrome.
A Rider looks at your odometer and tags.
Thanks for bringing this story back to life. I hadn't seen it before and it was a very good reminder of how things can seem fine, but in reality can have hidden damage that could be disastrous. When looking at the arc ripped into the inside of the tyre I guess you were lucky that the 'spike ride' was only 5 miles.
A very good reminder to think beyond what you can see.
Oh, and that is a very nice trophy - but I hope I never get the award