Tyre tape bodge re­vealed

Me­chanic John Birchill got a shock with this out­ra­geously bodged tyre re­pair


‘She’d fixed it by stick­ing loads of tape over the hole’

Stour­bridge Mo­tor­cy­cles boss John Birchill is used to see­ing peo­ple pa­per over the cracks, but he got a bit of a sur­prise when he saw a tyre re­pair where some­one had taped over the crack!

John said: “The best at­tempted fix by a scooter rider we saw was a stu­dent on her way into col­lege who’d picked up a punc­ture in the rear tyre of her Aprilia RS50. It was only a mile down the road, so in the best tra­di­tions of the Beano comic she ‘fixed’ it by stick­ing loads of elec­tri­cal in­su­lat­ing tape over the hole. I’d never seen this be­fore and, fair play, for in­ge­nu­ity. It didn’t work of course, but I gave her a ‘B’ for ef­fort, and if it was a boy he prob­a­bly wouldn’t have no­ticed the punc­ture in the first place and racked up an­other 50 miles un­til he heard the ‘me­chan­i­cal mu­sic’ as the rims made con­tact with the road! “Get­ting into a weekly habit of check­ing your tyre pres­sures is a must. And if it’s your son or daugh­ter on a bike for the first time, make sure they do it too. Re­mem­ber to check when the tyres are at am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture; so be­fore a ride, or maybe an hour af­ter you’ve stopped. If they have lost some pres­sure, that should be your cue to take a longer than usual look at the whole tyre, slowly spin­ning it to check if there’s a nail or tack em­bed­ded in it, as well as for signs of wear, cuts or slits.” But when can a tyre be fixed and when is it fit for the bin? Over to our man John: “The law con­tents it­self with say­ing repairs have to be ‘good and safe’. How­ever, a Bri­tish Stan­dard ex­ists for mo­tor­cy­cle tyre repairs (BSAU159f). As a Bri­tish Stan­dard, it is a rec­om­men­da­tion only, but it de­ter­mines the strength of the re­pair and where it can and can’t be made.”

In other words, bodg­ing it up with sticky tape is a def­i­nite no, no. John con­tin­ued: “The stan­dard says that repairs can only be made in the cen­tre of the tread area, to within 25% of each side of the cen­tre line. Only two repairs per tyre are al­lowed up to the J (62mph) speed rat­ing, and one up to the V (over 130mph with 155mph max­i­mum) speed rat­ing. Up to the J rat­ing, repairs no big­ger than 6mm are al­lowed, and up to the V-rat­ing only up to 3mm is al­lowed.”

The poor owner must have felt rather de­flated

John knows a thing or two about mo­tor­cy­cle tyres


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