So I had an experience this past weekend and it wasn’t the first time. Nor will it be the last despite my continued efforts to not be “That Guy”. This time it was totally my fault and maybe due largely to me putting stuff off and forgetting about it. But enough about my failures in life, allow me to dispel wisdom from such a major screw up. And tell you about some cool stuff too.
Not that I wasn’t aware the tubless tire on my KTM1190 had been leaking. Not that it had gone flat a few times before and I managed to way over inflate it to get it to leak less or take longer to go flat. And even putting aside that I was sure debris, mostly grass, had gotten between bead and rim making the problem worse. I managed to forget or ignore this.
Then take off on a ride with my wife and her brother in tow on a free afternoon at the Touratech West Rally in Plain, Washington. Just out riding for fun and taking in some challenging terrain where I’m sure the bumps helped the tire leak more and I now had a flat 20 miles from nowhere just above Shitcreek. Not really a big deal since I was the only one knowing the full back story, everyone gets flats, right?. Without tools (I took for granted the bike would have a tool kit of some sort under the seat, WRONG!) and not even a tube, I was lucky my wife Heather was carrying all of the above except the rather large 32mm wrench necessary to get the axle nut off. Good thing I’m handy at rigging stuff and the JCR Toolkit (See Test Here) has a nice pair of pliers! And a hand pump too!
So needless to say, unprepared and lucky to have riding partners who covered for me and didn’t even complain, we got going again. After even more follies I care not to discuss, all my doing, everyone got out uninjured and in good spirits, including me.
But things happen for a reason. Being at the Touratech Rally I was later walking Vender Row. I ran into a friendly face in Dave Petersen of Best Rest Products. I almost always carry one of his most excellent pumps when riding an adventure bike, for sure if I have my panniers on. So I proceeded to tell him how unprepared I was for today’s ride and the evolving story. I couldn’t have been in a better place to make the case for some of the products that were magically sitting right in front of me. Lattice of coincidence or divine intervention he had an awesome 32mm Hex tool that operates with a tire iron (the classic Motion Pro one I really like) and the tool is the size of a mini candy bar. Another thing I could have used–a simple bead spreader that would have allowed me to take out the pressure sensing valve core and install the tube without removing the tire all the way off the rim. A little too late and you guessed it, I now have these things tucked away in the area where my tool bag will now reside in the KTM 1190’s under seat area. Simple, smart and compact to get me out of a situation that I’m sure will happen again. Or it won’t because you never need stuff when you have it. That is the preventive kind of maintenance I can go for. And I love it when you are “that guy” and I have the solution.
Here are some links to the products (below or click the images) I’m talking about and if you are ever looking for some innovative motorcycle tools, click around Best Rest’s site.