Motorcycle Repair Question

I have a 1981 Yamaha “Exciter.” A little 250cc gem of a bike. Unfortunately, I got a flat tire tonight. The front tire is completely flat, but there is no sign of a puncture. It has a main stand and I was able to fully inspect the tire – I didn’t see any trace of a hole. But it still won’t hold air. Anyway, I have to take it to a shop, but here’s my problem: how do I get it there? I can’t really afford a tow truck and I don’t know anyone that owns a pickup. Is it possible with minimal tools to remove the front tire of a bike like this? If I push it to the nearby Goodyear Auto Center, will they be able to repair it?

Somehow I have to do all of this before work tomorrow. :frowning:


When you try to put air in the tire is there any indication at all where it’s coming out? Do you have a container of water you could partially submerge the bottom section of the tire in to see where the air is leaking out?

Putting a tire underwater can make it difficult to find the leak since the rubber naturally repels water. Use a squirt bottle full of soapy water or windex.

Ditto what Padeye said.

If that doesn’t work with two wrenches you should be able to take the tire right off. Loosen and remove the nut holding the axle. As you slide the axle out, support the tire and gently slide it out from the pad of the brake.

You might have to take the brake caliper off first if it interfers with easily removing the tire.

While the disc isn’t between the pads of the bike **DO NOT ** squeeze the front brake lever. It will slam the pads into each other and is a royal pan to set to rights.

As another aside, might want to tie the back tire down to something sturdy, it can help keep the bike from tipping forward.

Here’s a Yamaha Exciter (ST185?) It has a drum front brake and spoke wheels. The tube probably blew inside the tire, which is why you don’t see any obvious damage.

I suspect that it’s a little late to get the job done before work, but it’s fairly easy to fix a flat. Removing the wheel is relatively easy; you will need a few metric wrenches, possibly a metric Allen wrench (6mm, I think) and a Crescent wrench or a big socket to remove the axle nut. The shop can check the tire, replace the tube and balance the rim without the rest of the bike. Remember to use a new cotter pin when you put it together.

Thanks for the advice. I’ll report back soon!

It CAN be a bit tricky getting the tire back on without pinching the tube. Also, it is critical that you understand putting the bead into the dropped center of the rim while levering the remaining bead over the lip. The first time may tax your patience. It doesn’t seem easy untill about the 3-5th time you do it.

You can improvise with cresent wrench handles, etc. But a pair of high quality tire levers will set you back about $20 and are worth every penny. You want the forged ones, not the stamped steel ones. For tubed tires, the short ones are fine (tubless tires are much harder to mount, and the extral leverage of long tire levers can be useful)