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A couple weeks ago, my wife and I went on our semi-weekly Sunday morning ride. We head out in the morning to whereever the roads take us for a breakfast date and some sweet Texas hillcountry views on our recently acquired ST3.
By the way GREAT BIKE!
This particular morning we headed out towards the Lukenbach/Fredericksburg area, via Blanco. Stopped in to the Bowling Alley for some great eats, then we'd be off for some two-lane blacktop that I'd discovered years ago while trying to get lost one day.
This particular morning there was a great splash of machines in the lot. I especially likened to a group that had come in just ahead of us on some vintage Ducs and MotoGuzzis.
After fueling up, we climbed aboard and squirted over to do the same for the ST3. I noticed the bike felt a bit sluggish in the handling but dismissed it to not having adjusted the preload on the rear shock for my passenger, not to mention that extra homemade biscuit! The fuelstop was just a couple blocks away where I made sure to make that shock adjustment while the tank filled up. I steeped back for a visual check of the overall bike and that's when I saw it ... FLAT FRONT TIRE! D*@%it! And I didn't have a repair kit so No ride today! Luckily, there was an airhose available next to the store. I aired it a little over since there would be more than 30 miles to the next possible air source, but couldn't find the source of the leak or any damage.
Needless to say, the ride back home was a little unnerving trying to forsee when the tire would go flat again or which culvert we'd be dropping into once it happened. The ride back was a bit like being in rain in that I couldn't decide if I should be slow and safe or pick it up a bit and get home before it drained again.
We made it back into Dripping Springs and stopped to check everything out, even though I hadn't noticed a change since leaving the gas station. To my surprise, the tire was still full.
Once parked in the garage safe and sound, I checked the pressure ... 48.5 psi (remember, overfilled on purpose). I checked it again after a little yard slaving and 4 hours later: 46.5 psi.
I've put another 250 miles on it since commuting to work and the tire has never gone down.
The only conclusion I can draw, even though I still can't believe it is that someone drained the air from the tire while we were enjoying our meal!
Of course, I picked up a tire repair kit and a guage to keep under the seat ... just in case.

I certainly hope it doesn't happen to others while out enjoying the roads, but please remember to visually check before you ride, everytime.

My only regret is not stopping back at the restaurant to warn the other riders to do the same. But, to be honest, I was so freaked out about trying to get back without crashing or walking. I also realise the safest thing would have been to either call for a tow or leave it to pick up later ... just a choice one has to make. My move was risky, but no looking back.

Ride and be safe.
 

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Check the valve stem of the offending tire. I had the same thing happen to me on the way home from the ST owners rally in Torrey, Utah in 2007. I thought someone had let the air out of my tire when we spent the night in Challis, ID. I could find no sign of a leak and the tire held air for the rest of the trip home.

After I got home, the tire began leaking again. The culprit turned out to be a faulty/damaged valve stem. As someone said, it is the 5 cent item that can sabotage your entire trip.

I now carry spare valve stems along with the tire repair kit and portable air pump that I had always carried.
 

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Beyond how it happened, that is a good safety reminder for us all.Seals on the valve core can seep air as Bill notes and they may do it at lower pressures, so reset the tire to the correct pressure and watch it for a couple of days.If it turns out fine -- making vandalism more likely -- then I would blame it on Waylon,Willie & the boys, you know they're always up for a feud.Take care and enjoy the ride,Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bill, yes, you raise a good point and I wish that were the case.
But, I have monitored these things for two weeks now like the engineers at NASA monitor the space shuttle during a mission and there's been no change. Ug.

Gonna put some new rubber on it anyway in the next few weeks, just t be safe, and also because I'm curious to see the inside for punctures.

Thanks for the tip!
 

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I heard on Friday that it is rare, but not uncommon on a performance bike that the the centrifugal force "pulls" the innervalve and spring (especially an old one) back allowing air to pass through it and as such, the elbow valve is fitted to stop this as well as make filling up easier.. I found this hard to believe, but apparntly this is so as the source of the comment is extremely reputable. In addition, I use an ally valve cap that has a rubber seal in case the valve fails at least there is a cap that can limit air loss, although only to a degree. Sometimes and albeit mainly on offroad bikes, when the tire is inflated, a bit of grit gets into the valve and stops it from sealing properly, so I always check the valve after filling it with air by putting a bit of saliva onto the valve to see if it bubbles before putting the cap on..

In this case though, I'd imagine that some dumb-ass let the tire down.. What an ass as not only is this dangerous, but ended what could have been an enjoyable day out on the bike.. There really are some stupid folks around hey... Glad you got home safe though...
 

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You will never Know ...Harley has cool metal chrome caps with a Bar and Shield logo on them sos you can put a wrench on them and give a good tighten so only a gorilla can get them off, best to always carry a wrench with you tho ,just in case .

Being a former H-D dude we usually try to sit and eat where we can keep an eye on our bikes .

Texas huh , that is why they got the death penalty , should be used in just that kinda situation:rolleyes:

Learned something today and it.s not even 6:30 yet ...
Thanks for the imput:):)
 
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