Note: Only punctures on the threaded area of your tyre can be repaired. If the tyre wall is ruptured, it’s time to call a recovery vehicle.
They belong in the “hope I don’t need it – glad I have it” category right next to your rain gear, but puncture repair kits can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and a day-ruining ordeal.
With just a few basic products, you can quickly fix most issues and be back on the road in no time. Check out our two compact and easily carried recommendations below:
Our Fool-Proof Combo
The bottle contains a valve core removal tool, liquid to patch the puncture and compressed air to re-inflate the tyre. It’s simple to fit too.
Everyone should have a can of this under their seat just in case anything goes wrong with their regular puncture repair kit.
Let’s look at our various options for roadside repairs.
Gear Gremlin Tyre Repair Kit
At 16cm long, 11cm wide and 5cm deep, Gear Gremlin’s Tyre Repair Kit will fit under the seat, in a pannier, or even in a large pocket.
Most bikers will be familiar with this system for tubeless tyre repair. A reaming tool to prime the puncture, strips of thick sealing rubber and an insertion tool are all present. A fold-out knife for trimming the excess rubber is also included.
Gear Gremlin’s repair kit also comes with cans of compressed air and an adapter to connect to your tyre’s valve. These compressed air cans can be bought separately.
This is not intended to be a permanent fix but to get you back home/to a mechanic where a permanent solution can be installed.
It comes with a ‘Tyre Repair For Dummies’ leaflet that explains it well.
- Complete solution
- Easy to store
- Multiple uses
- Not as simple as Holts Tyreweld
Holts Tyreweld 400ml
This is puncture repair in a can. It threads onto the valve, sprays in sealant, and then re-inflates the tyre – all in one go. It’s simple, quick and doesn’t require any additional tools.
Like with the application of slime, staying under 50mph for 5-10km after using Tyreweld is recommended to let the repair settle.
Though this stuff is intended as a temporary solution, you can find lots of people online (and in real life) who are happy to ride around on a tyre repaired in this way indefinitely.
When this is on sale, buy several cans.
- Fit and forget – couldn’t be easier
- Worth having as a last resort or to save another rider
- Single-use only
Dynaplug Ultralite Tubeless Tire Repair Tool
Like the Slime solution, this Dynaplug tool will require the addition of a mini air compressor or some cans of compressed air to complete a repair job.
It works on the same principle as the Gear Gremlins kit but differs in a few key ways. Typically, this style of repair kit will ship with a reaming tool and an insertion tool with an eye (like a sewing needle) to thread the sticky repair rubber through.
The Ultralite kit eliminates the need for the reaming tool by using a sharp brass point to widen and prime the puncture. The repair strip is loaded behind the point.
When the tool is drawn out, the brass tip will remain on the inside of the tyre, and the viscous rubber sealant will continue to ‘flow’ slightly, filling the entire puncture.
One thing to note is that you will need some pressure in your tyre to insert the tool and plug successfully. Slime or Holts Tyreweld are better if a tyre is completely flat.
- Super lightweight and easy to pack
- Quality product made in the US
- You’ll need a way to inflate the tyre
- Won’t work on fully-deflated tyres
Slime For Tubeless Tyres
Slime For Tubeless Tyres is not a complete solution like others on our list but can be used to preemptively protect against punctures ruining your day.
If you have a way of inflating your tyres away from home (mini-compressor or compressed air cans and adapter kit), this stuff can get you back on the road in the event of a puncture.
Slime is pumped into the tyre through the valve and coats the inside of your tyre. If you’ve got a puncture, the slime will flow into the hole/tear and harden on contact with the air outside. Then your tyre must be re-inflated.
For preventative purposes, many people pump slime into their tyres, so when a puncture does occur, only a small amount of air will escape before the slime coating the inside hardens and seals.
The green colour on the outside of your tyre will alert you to the fact you’ve had an issue. We’ve used the same company’s bicycle product to great success in this regard, but I can’t personally vouch for it on motorcycles.
Slime will wash off in water if you have the tyre replaced or professionally repaired. This stuff is intended as a temporary fix, and riders should keep speeds below 50mph until the repair has had a chance to settle fully.
Of course, some people ride around indefinitely on a Slime-patched wheel. Do so at your own risk.
- Simple application – no tools required
- Can be used as a preventative measure
- You’ll need something to re-inflate the tyre after application
Bike It CO2 Canister Kit
This kit includes two cans of compressed air and an adapter to fit it to your tyre’s valve. This, paired with either Slime, Gear Gremlins Repair Kit or the Dynaplug Ultralite, are all you’ll need to get you back on the road in a pinch.
These tyre accessories are not essential but will make life easier when it comes to ongoing maintenance.
Bike Tek Pro Pressure Tyre Monitor
This neatly packaged analogue pressure reader gives a PSI rating on a large dial display. It includes a ‘pressure off’ system meaning you can take a reading and store its result until you push a release button.
This design is easier and more accurate than the older ‘pencil’ type designs. We like its analogue design, shockproof housing and neat carry case.
Bike It Rubber Tyre Valve 90 Degree
We like it when someone makes something that makes us say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’
This little valve replacement does precisely that. Designed to replace your existing valve, its 90-degree angle makes your tyre easier to top up, check the pressure and re-inflate in the event of a puncture.
Clever, inexpensive and convenient.
Bike It Pressure Alert Valve Cap
Another clever and innovative design from Bike It, the Pressure Alert Valve Cap will show green if pressure is above the recommended PSI and red if it has dropped.
These are a handy way to check that everything is OK at a glance, but given that they thread onto the valve and are a fairly obvious add-on – we’d be worried someone might nick them.
Tyre Repair Guide and Options
Tyre Repair Guidelines
The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association deems any tyre fixed using liquid sealant or externally applied plugs as ‘unacceptable’ as a tyre repair.
This list is an advisory reference intended to give recommendations and not state the law.
The reason for including these types of repairs in the ‘unacceptable’ category (in our opinion) is to discourage people from riding around indefinitely on quick-patched tyres.
What’s Needed In A Kit?
Ideally, a repair kit should have
- Something to pull or prise out the foreign object
- Something to plug the hole left by that object
- Something to trim/clean the excess rubber
- A means of re-inflating the tyre.
You can probably bodge together something for the pulling, prising and cutting (decent pliers or leatherman will do all three), but you’ll need job-specific gear for the other steps.
For plugging the puncture, we can use traditional patching strips. They look like sticky pieces of beef jerky held between two plastic sheets.
Or, we could opt for the newer liquid/slime/goo options sprayed through the valve and seal the puncture from the inside.
To re-inflate the tyre, you can use a cordless micro air compressor, a can of compressed air and a valve adapter or in the case of Holts Tyreweld, attach the tube to the valve, turn it on and wait.
Tube VS Tubeless
Before the advent of the one-piece wheel, manufactured spokes were the only way to lace rims to their hub. It isn’t easy to seal a chamber with so many little spoke holes dotted around it, so tyres themselves could not be pressurized.
This led to the two-piece tyre and inner tube solution that most bicycles still depend on today.
Unless you’re riding a retro-themed bike, a genuine old-school bike or are off-roading, it’s unlikely that you’ll be on tyres with inner tubes.
Spokes are still used for aesthetic purposes, and their shock absorbency makes them a favourite for rugged and rough terrain, but one-piece, ‘mag’ style wheels almost universally use tubeless tyres these days.
The repair kits on our list today are designed for tubeless tyres, but the CO2 canisters and adapter can be used to re-inflate anything with the correct valve.
Tubed tyres are repaired similarly to bicycle tyres, meaning you’ll need tyre irons and a spanner to fix the wheel.
We strongly recommend bringing a spare inner tube and doing any patching at home later.
Also, see our guide to motorcycle tyre changers.
If you want a single, no-getting-your-hands-dirty solution, a can of Holt’s Tyreweld won’t do you wrong.
If you’re comfortable with tools and expect you might need to repair more than one puncture on an epic adventure, then the Gear Gremlin kit will get the job done.
Either way – don’t get stuck with no repair options. Motorcycle recovery is expensive. Lots of places will charge you a 50GBP minimum fee.
Buy a decent kit and save that money for a professional repair once you’ve gotten out of trouble.