Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nail in the tire, bleeding the brakes, oil change

Now that the ST3 was done with trips for a while, it was time for some maintenance. CJ came over a few days ago with a torque wrench - my torque wrench for some reason didn’t survive the move from IL to CO and is now broken and in many pieces. I have not replaced it yet. He was also helping me adjust the chain on the Duc, which is a major pain. The ST3’s chain started making major noise when I was riding back from Gunnison over 4th of July weekend. My guess was that when it was originally installed it just wasn’t tight enough to begin with. In all the miles I’ve owned the ST3, and this being the third chain on this bike. I've never had to adjust a chain on the ST3.

When CJ and I were done with the chain, I went ahead and lubed it. As we were rotating the rear tire CJ noticed something silver on my rear tire. I’m pretty good at checking my tires when I'm riding. Even when I park the bike I will take a look at the exposed sections of the front and back tire looking for anything strange. I never noticed this. Thinking about though, it might have happened on the last trip, probably on the last day coming home when we were riding the shoulder, there is always lots of debris on the shoulders. I haven’t checked my tires since then.

A rusty nail in my rear tire

Usually a nail in the tire is a very bad thing. After such discovery a plug or a new tire is required right away. I was so lucky. The nail went in sideways and only the outer rubber was damaged. I already had over 6,200 miles on this rear tire and I figured since the puncture didn’t really damage anything I could still putt around on it a bit until it got replaced.

First a nail, then 95 miles later the cords are showing

I was planning to replace the tires on this bike soon anyway, the Continental Road Attacks weren’t lasting as long as I had hoped. I must admit though, I was very hard on my tires - especially this past Colorado and Utah trip. Chasing Sandy and Dalton around required lots of high performance riding since they both ride faster than me, especially in the twisties.

Since putting on the new brake pads, the brakes never really did improve very much. The brake lever was still squishy. So this weekend I rode over to Dalton’s so we could bleed the brakes. The ST3 also needed an oil change. When I pulled in to Dalton’s garage I was shocked to see the cords showing in my rear tire. In the last 95 miles, somewhere between my garage and Dalton’s garage, the Continental Road Attacks were done.

After Dalton and I bled the brakes on the ST3, there was a bit of improvement and the brake lever wasn’t as squashy anymore. It never did get as firm as the brake lever on my 954RR. Maybe I should stop comparing the ST3 to the 954RR - the two bikes are different. With the cords showing on my rear tire I made it back home, riding nice and easy. I checked the rear tire when I got home and it didn't show any further deterioration. It looked the same as it did at Dalton’s and we live 95 miles away from each other. I guess it’s time to get shopping for some new tires.


Anonymous said...

How the new job search coming with dalton? Stefan in Portland

Anna said...


I’m confused by the question. Dalton has a job, I'm the one that is looking for work.


Wudscrasher said...

That was funny, Anonymous. Anna, I didn't think the chain adjustment was all that hard, easier than the SV, I'm just glad I saw the nail! I forgot about this - it was after the big trips in June/July...

Anna said...


I didn't say the chain adj. was hard, it's a pain. You adjust the both sides just right but when you torque the axle nut everything kind of moves. It's not very precise. My Honda isn't like that.

Anna said...

OK.... so did I miss a joke from Anonymous (Stefan from Portland)?

I did work for a short period of time this past summer, it wasn't all fun and riding :-)

FATTKAW said...

I've been using this place for years if your mounting and balancing you own tires..

Anna said...


I've used SW Moto before many times.

I usually shop around for tires. I look a few websites. Lately I've been getting tires from the Motorcycle Superstore. I've found some good deals there.

Payne said...

Good timing, getting the nail right when the tire was toast anyway. Really stinks to get a nail in a brand new tire.