I always carry 18- and 21-inch spare tubes, along with the tools necessary to change them on the trail. Luckily, I have never needed a third tube to get myself or a riding buddy out of a trail flat situation. When I started riding the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike, I found myself going deeper into the woods and with more than one or two other riders. The odds of multiple flats have gone up significantly.
Stop & Go International has produced high-quality tire repair kits for over 40 years. Stop & Go has kits for tube and tubeless tires. I chose the Deluxe Tube-Type Motorcycle Tire Repair Kit, the company’s top-of-the-line offering.
The Stop & Go Deluxe tube repair kit contains three 9.5-inch steel tire irons, eight patches, a thumb buffer, a tube of glue, four threaded-end 16-gram CO2 cartridges with a cartridge discharge adapter, a plastic valve cap with core remover, and laminated instructions. This all fits in a durable zippered vinyl bag that weighs 2.5 pounds and measures 9.5-by-4-by-1.5 inches. Nothing can fix the hole created by a ripped-out valve stem, so rim locks are needed to keep your tire from rotating when the tube goes flat.
When I rode the Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike home, I went through my storage boxes aptly marked “old stuff” and found my last set of spare tubes. They had been in that box for eight years, so the stems showed rust. They became my test tubes to attempt a practice repair in the comfort of my garage. I inflated the 21-inch tube with a hand pump and then punctured it with the tip of my pocketknife. I made sure to make the hole 1/8-inch, just like the hole I remember seeing in my tube from a buried nail in a Mojave ghost town.
Following the instructions, I deflated the tube, roughed up the patch area, cleaned the area, applied the glue, waited for it to become tacky, and applied the patch. I rubbed the patch flat to make sure any air bubbles were out. I waited 10 minutes for the patch to fully attach and then got the CO2 cartridge ready.
The instructions warn that you should not be holding anything with your bare hands when the cartridge empties, as it drops to minus 65 degrees and will frostbite your skin. To prevent that, the kit provides a hand wrap for the cartridge, and I used a channel lock to hold the end of the adapter tube. This was my first CO2 cartridge experience—trust me, everything freezes. Even if you have to take your shirt and a sock off to hold the cartridge and adapter, do it! The tube filled up. However, I couldn’t accurately check the pressure because it wasn’t inside a tire. Stop & Go claims each cartridge is good for about nine psi, depending on the size of the tube.
Of course, a non-emergency garage repair is easy to accomplish. I didn’t test the tire irons, though they’re a proven basic design—look into Motion Pro offerings if you want to upgrade. However, this tube repair kit provides everything needed to patch a tube wherever it happens. Conditions are rarely ideal when we have a mechanical issue, so I always strive to have the right tools for trail repairs.
At $40, the kit pays for itself in one use, even if it’s a product you hope you never use. The Stop & Go Deluxe Tube-Type Motorcycle Tire Repair Kit is now a permanent fixture in the panniers of Ultimate Motorcycling Yamaha Ténéré 700 Project Bike.