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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been riding for 14 years and have had 4 flats in all that time. 1 about 8 years ago and threee in the past two weeks

1. Two weeks ago came out to a flat. Took the tire off and went to a mc tire shop. Had a small diameter nail. I have the S so they replaced the tube.

2.This week I go on a mc camping trip. Wake up Thursday morning to a flat. Thankfully I found a shop that said they could get me in. I added air, rode it 7 miles to the shop, nervous all the way. When I got to the shop the tire was still inflated. He checked the valve stem first. It was tight with no apparent leaks. He found a small chunk of metal in the tire but said it barely penetrated the inside and was surprised it caused my flat. Installed a new tube.

3.Tire was fine yesterday morning. I packed up and headed home. This morning I go out to clean the bike up and the rear tire is flat again. I put it in my jack, aired up the tire and inspected with soapy water. I can’t find a leak anywhere.

My issues and suspicions:
1. The tire only goes flat when sitting over night on the side stand.

2. I suspect the second flat wasn’t due to the metal chunk. I suspect the 90 degree chrome stem has an issue that only presents when left on the side stand over night.

I think it screws on to the tube stem and mounts from the inside of the wheel. So $280 later I am considering trying to fix this myself.

How hard is it to break the bead on a vtx rear tire? When I had a Vstar 650 I used to change my own tires. When I owned a Goldwing I tried one time and gave up. How does the X compare?

Have any of you ever heard of the 90 degree metal stem going bad but only leaking intermittently?

I appreciate any advice. I would love to avoid shelling out more money.
 

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Could you take the wheel/tire off the bike and set in in a bathtub full of water. Then slowly rotate it in the water looking for a leak. I do not believe you can have a leak ONLY when on the side stand. There is 35-40 psi of pressure inside that tire. Any tiny difference based on the bike standing upright versus on the sidestand would be overwhelmed by all that air pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Could you take the wheel/tire off the bike and set in in a bathtub full of water. Then slowly rotate it in the water looking for a leak. I do not believe you can have a leak ONLY when on the side stand. There is 35-40 psi of pressure inside that tire. Any tiny difference based on the bike standing upright versus on the sidestand would be overwhelmed by all that air pressure.
I could but then I would have to find a new wife and this one has grown accustomed to my quirks 😂

Do you know how the 90 degree stem attaches to the tube and wheel?
 

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Many years ago, my wife let me move my bike into the living room for the entire ~5 months of winter (central Michigan). While there, I did a bunch of work to it including new bars and ran all the electrical wires internal in the bars. Of course, she is a biker herself and had a beautiful VTX1300 at the time. All you would be doing is putting the wheel in the tub for a little while. No harm done :)

Regarding the inner tube stems - I am not sure but is it possible that your 90° stem is what comes on the tube? If you do a Google search for "inner tubes motorcycle 90 degree stem" you will find that there are numerous inner tubes that come with 90° stems already installed onto the inner tube. These are not a separate stem that attaches to the stock inner tube stem. Rather, the stock stem on the inner tube is a 90° stem.
 

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I could but then I would have to find a new wife and this one has grown accustomed to my quirks 😂

Do you know how the 90 degree stem attaches to the tube and wheel?
I have only heard of the steel 90* stems when used with an aluminum rim. IDK how you could use one otherwise.
 

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When an inner tube has a stock 90° stem, you have a nut on the threaded part of this stem. You then insert the 90° stem of the inner tube through the hole in the rim and attach it in place with a second nut. The two nuts (one on either side of the rim) hold the inner tube stem in place.
 

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I just changed the rear on my 1800s like 3 weeks ago. It is not horrible, but takes some time and patience. I broke the bead loose with a large c-clamp. One of the toughest parts was getting the valve stem in since the tire kept pulling over the hole when I tried to reach in to get it started. Like I said took some patience. If you do it yourself, make sure the dot on the tire is lined up with the stem when you re-mount the tire. It is also a good idea to lightly dust the inside of the tire and the tube with some talcum powder to help it get seated well in the tire when you reinflate. After I inflate it enough to seat the bead I let the air back out until the tire is pretty soft and bounce it on the ground while rotating it just to make sure the tube is settled in. Be careful you do not pinch the tube when you are using the tire spoons to get the tire back on. Having a little air in the tube helps pull it away from the bead to prevent pinching.
 

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I have not before heard of using talcum powder for helping to mount, dismount, or seat a tire. I would think that a powder, even one as fine as talcum powder might interfere with sealing of tire to rim although I suppose this is not a concern for a spoked tire that uses an inner tube. Rather thank talcum powder, I thought there were liquid lubricants used. I do not know if these are just soapy water or something solvent based. You see shops using some liquid very liberally on the rims and tire beads when mounting tires.
 

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I have not before heard of using talcum powder for helping to mount, dismount, or seat a tire. I would think that a powder, even one as fine as talcum powder might interfere with sealing of tire to rim although I suppose this is not a concern for a spoked tire that uses an inner tube. Rather thank talcum powder, I thought there were liquid lubricants used. I do not know if these are just soapy water or something solvent based. You see shops using some liquid very liberally on the rims and tire beads when mounting tires.
Sorry, guess I was not clear. The talcum powder is only to be used on the tube and inside the tire. Just a very light dusting. It acts as a lubricant between the tube and tire to help with positioning the tube and allow it seat well without folding or pinching. You definitely want to use some soapy water to seat the bead of the tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I have a lot of life stuff going on right now so I took the tire off and took it to the shop. $84 later I have my 3rd new tube in 5 weeks. Believe it or not I had another really small thin nail. I’m thinking I picked up some metal trash and the last two flats have been those bits of metal working through the tire at different speeds.

I really hope this is the last one.
 

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Well, I have a lot of life stuff going on right now so I took the tire off and took it to the shop. $84 later I have my 3rd new tube in 5 weeks. Believe it or not I had another really small thin nail. I’m thinking I picked up some metal trash and the last two flats have been those bits of metal working through the tire at different speeds.

I really hope this is the last one.
I wish you the best! Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well. I’m about to lose my mind. Flat again this morning. It hasn’t even been ridden. 3 different m/c tire shops. They all say there are no spoke issues. Any ideas?
I’m beginning to think tire shops keep a small piece of metal or nail around so they can show the customer “what they took out” when they really can’t figure out what is causing the flat.
 

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Well. I’m about to lose my mind. Flat again this morning. It hasn’t even been ridden. 3 different m/c tire shops. They all say there are no spoke issues. Any ideas?
I’m beginning to think tire shops keep a small piece of metal or nail around so they can show the customer “what they took out” when they really can’t figure out what is causing the flat.
If it has gone flat without being ridden, then my guess would be the tube was pinched during installation. I would think the shop would fix it for free, but you never know these days. If they won't I would tear it down myself and inspect it. Check every inch of the inside of the tire for something sharp. Not just by looking, by running a hand along the inside of the tire. Check the spoke liner, and remove any scale or rust on the rim. On mine, once I had the tire off, I took 3m abrasive pads and scrubbed off the rust scale that inevitably builds up between the rim and tube along the edges of the spoke liner. I am sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. For me there is not much as frustrating as not having my bike running! Something is definitely going on with either that tire, or the rim. Perhaps get a new tire and tube, and start fresh, mounting it yourself?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It is at the shop. Left it with them yesterday and told them to keep it 24 hours “after they fix it”. If I get it back and it goes flat again I will be sealing the spokes and fixing it myself
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update: The M/C shop said they couldn't find anything wrong with my tube. After all the back and forth I think I probably paid for 2 tubes unnecessarily. When I picked up the tire/wheel from them this last time it had a different valve cap on it. I think the chrome, low profile cap was somehow causing a leak. I really wish I didn't need to be suspicious about the last two "repairs" but nothing else makes sense. I think they showed me a piece of metal they had on hand to "explain" the flat, charged me big bucks for a new tube and sent me on my way.

I think the cap was compressing the valve core needle just enough to make it go flat over night. I have ridden it and it has set for 3 days with no loss of air with the new cap on it.

I'm glad to have it fixed. It just angers me to believe that I was taken advantage of because of their unwillingness to find the real problem.
 
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