Motorcycle tires these days are well made (tubeless) and safe, but they can only take so much abuse from the rider before they give up the ghost. If your tires are under or over inflated, overloaded, worn out or just old and cracked on the sidewalls you might be a candidate for the Big Blowout.
Experiencing the Big Blowout will be something you will tell your grandkids about if you live through it, it will be that exciting. If you do not have a plan, and some knowledge of how to handle a tire failure on a motorcycle, you and your scooter are more than likely going down and you ain’t going to like the skidmarks it might leave.
The first clue of a flat tire might be a loud bang, or not, but your steering will go as flat as your tire very quickly, and it will feel like you are riding across a graded bridge or a down a gravel road. Your first instinct will be to quickly get the motorcycle stopped, but not so fast there Grasshopper. Do not downshift, but do pull in the clutch as you cut the gas. Do not try to steer or lean in any direction other than easing toward the edge of the road. Using your brakes will give you a ride to remember so stay off them and bring the bike to the most gradual, easy, straight, light stop you have ever done, coasting to the shoulder. As you are stopping, treat the wobble and wander of the bike as you would
on a gravel road with knees braced against the tank, easy grip on the handlebars with bent arms, scoot forward, sit up straight and focus. With a rear flat tire using the rear brake at any speed is hazardous, even at less than 5mph, but you can get away with using a light touch on the front brake at slower speeds.
Avoiding a tire blowout by proper maintenance is foremost, but there are instances that we have no control over what is in the road ahead of us, such as debris or stop sticks. This is where the knowledge of what to do in case of a tire failure will take over and get you home, maybe on a trailer, but without the skidmarks. Your laundry will be happy, you will be happy, and your pride and joy will be happy. Now that’s a win, win deal if I never did hear one.
Hammer
Road Captain, American Legion Riders Post 1
Omaha, Neb.

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