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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I came home after work yesterday I noticed that my rear tire has lot quite a bit of air, not too much where it was flattening out but enough where if you pushed it, it would compress. I immediately put the bike on the rear stand to see if I had run over a nail or some sharp object, to which I found nothing in my tire. :(

Just two days ago I rode my sv with no problems. There is a fine amount of tread on the tire still. Do you guys have any idea why it might be leaking? I think im going to re-fill it and bring it to my friends house about 20 minutes away so we can take the tire off the bike and do a better search for leaks. (with soapy water because I didnt do that)

If no leak is found I think I will just replace the tire, currently I have pilot road 2's I have no complaints right now with them, I think I want to experiment with a new tire, probably a stickier tire. What do you guys usually run tire wise? I might get a Pirelli Angel I have heard some good things about them. Let me know what you guys think!
 

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Why does the water need to be soapy if you're removing the wheel? I assume to immerse it.
Maybe i'm missing something here.
Also, check to make sure your valve stem is snug.
 

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Why does the water need to be soapy if you're removing the wheel? I assume to immerse it.
Maybe i'm missing something here.
You can put soapy water around to check for leaks; what were hard-to-detect slow leaks can become apparent as evidenced by bubbling.
 

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BEFORE you dismount the tire/wheel, soapy water can help to identify where the leak is coming from. It's about taking an easy step to potentially save yourself work.

If there's a nail in the tread, you may not have to dismount the tire/wheel. If the stem is leaking, you may be able to replace the stem without totally dismounting the tire from the wheel. If the bead is leaking, then you need to dismount the tire from the wheel.
 

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Same was happening to my car. The guys at Big O tires dunked the tire in water to find the leak. Ended up being the stem. They did change it without removing the tire though. But thats a car tire not sure if it would be different on a bike.
 

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A lot of times its a leaking stem. Unfortunately, I believe you have to remount the tire to replace the stem.

A little spit on top of the valve with show if the valve core is leaking. It's pretty common, esp if you run w/o caps. (dirt gets in when you add air) Sometimes they just get old & tired even with caps.

A new core is easy to install. You need a core wrench of some kind: Either a cap with special end, or spoke wrench T-type. The longer screwdriver type is more for car/truck applications because it's sort of long to get at a motorcycle stem. Unscrew the old one and put in a new one and re-inflate to proper pressure.

The actual valve stem can leak when they get old or go multiple tire changes without getting replaced. They can crack at the base and/or lose their seal with the rim. It is possible to swap out on the bike, but it's not real easy.

I bought some 90* stems on eBay and plan to swap them sometime soon. I hate the normal stems and the tight access for checking/adding air.
 

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I used to work as a car mechanic years ago. Changing tires and fixing leaks was a big part of my job. There are only four reasons why a tire leaks:
1. Hole in tire (whether a puncture or a factory defect - though with today's tires, factory defects like that are very rare)
2. Inadequate seal around bead
3. Leaky valve stem
4. Crack/hole/defect in rim

These are listed in order of most to least likely (based upon my experience anyhow).

Sometimes small punctures are incredibly hard to find. If you have a tank large enough to dunk the tire in (or at least a good portion of the tire and then spin it), that's the easiest way to find the leak. If not, soapy water will work. Sometimes you can't find a leak when the tire is dunked and can't find a puncture mark in the tread. However, once the tire is removed, it can be painfully obvious looking on the inside of the tire.

When you dunk the tire or use soapy water, wiggle the valve stem around. One in good working order shouldn't leak. Often a valve stem won't leak appreciably just sitting there. However, once you start messing with it, the leak will become apparent.

A crack or hole in the rim should produce bubbles when dunked, and will be pretty obvious upon closer inspection... At least it always has been the few times I've dealt with these types of leaks.

A leaky bead rarely produces any bubbles when dunked. They're usually slow insidious leaks. A leaky bead is often 'diagnosed' only after failing to find a leak anywhere else. A good cleaning of the inside of the rim where the bead seals will usually solve the problem. If you can't find the leak and clean the rims, also replace the valve stem. The best way to clean the rim is with a dremel with a very, very fine grit soft bit on the end.

I wouldn't give up and just replace the tire until you've tried everything I listed. It is quite likely that the problem will follow you if you replace the tire without fully checking everything out. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It turned out to be the valve stem was cracked. the second place I asked to fix it was 40 dollars including the valve stem, the huge motorcycle dealer place wanted 89 plus whatever the valve stem was. I thought that was a rip off. What size tires and brand you guys usually run? I am getting a new pair sometime in the foreseeable future.
 
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