The Perfect Hurricane Motorcycle Part 3: Tires, Mousses, and Avoiding Flats

One thing that is critical when trying to escape a hurricane is to avoid a flat tire at all costs.

First off, most (if not all motorcycle shops) will be closed up for the storm.

Second, you don’t want to be out there on the side of the road repairing a tire if you don’t have to.

Third, time is of the essence.  You may have only a few critical hours to get yourself out of the cone of the hurricane.

For those new to motorcycle tire terminology, there are generally three varieties: tube, tubeless, and the lesser-known mousse.  There are others (tire balls, lol, for example), but let’s keep this discussion mainstream.

The first two definition-ally are exactly how they sound.  A tube tire has an air-filled tube between the rim and the rubber tire.  Tubes are generally required where the rim is spoked because otherwise air could escape through the gaps between spoke and outer rim.  The advantage is that a spare tube and some tools are easy to carry, so theoretically a tube tire could be patched or replaced on the side of the road in a pinch.  Tubes also come in different thicknesses or varieties, so the heavy-duty more puncture resistant option is available.  Regular duty tubes are easier to patch though, so either run a regular duty tube and carry a patch or a heavy duty tube and carry a spare.

A tubeless tire holds air between the rim and the tire without the need of a tube.  They are the preference of street riders with solid rims, but are not ideal for the hurricane motorcycle.  A spare tubeless tire cannot be carried and they are more difficult to change ad hoc.  A tubeless tire can be successfully patched, but this isn’t something I would want to do on the side of the road and rely on in a life or death situation.  These patches should always be considered temporary unlike a patched tube, which can essentially be considered back to full service.

Mousses or the Bib Mousse, named after the Michelin mascot, are the go to choice of motorcycle endurance racers.  Mousses are essentially a ring of honeycomb foam with the pockets or spaces filled with nitrogen.  Mousses replace a tube and provides puncture free riding.  The disadvantages to mousses are weight, price, and ease of fitment, but none of these are deal-breakers with respect to the perfect hurricane motorcycle.

So my recommendation is simple, go with mousses or a combination of tubes and/or patches.  Stay safe out there.

If you missed the other parts of my series of the perfect hurricane motorcycle, you can get to them here.

Come back for more related posts in the weeks to come.  Also, please forgive any typos, I wrote a good portion of this post from my phone.

The Perfect Hurricane Motorcycle Part 2: Gasoline Capacity

The Perfect Hurricane Motorcycle Part 1: The Engine or Powerplant

The Perfect Hurricane Motorcycle Part 4: Communications Equipment

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