My Horrible Experience With Tyre ProtectorFeatured, Opinions, Riding Friday, August 19th, 2016
Yesterday I removed the Tyre Protector anti-puncture gel from the tyres of my Fat Boy. This is the second vehicle I’ve done this to, the first being my Grand Vitara. In the case of the Vitara, one of the tyres had excess gel and that messed up the balance of the tyre causing a severe shudder at speeds above 100 kmph. It was so bad that the vehicle used to move lanes on the highway on its own. It took me an entire week of spending time and money at the Suzuki service station and the wheel balancing outlet to finally figure out that the culprit was the extra gel. Once I removed the gel from the tyres the SUV drove perfectly.
Now coming to the Fat Boy, I noticed a noticeable wobble at the handlebar at 70 kmph and above. I was in no mood to spend more time and money at the Harley-Davidson service station to figure out the problem. So I instructed the technicians to remove the gel from the tyres. The wobble disappeared instantly.
I understand that after filling the gel you need to drive the vehicle at a certain speed for a certain distance and then gradually increase speed. That was done as can be evidenced by the fact that the gel was spread all around the insides of the tyre.
I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to use this Tyre Protector gel anymore. I’ve had two punctures on my Duke and in both cases the gel didn’t spurt out of the tyre to seal the hole. In the first case the nail or sharp object that caused the puncture wasn’t embedded in the tyre and air escaped from the hole. At that time I was told that the hole may have been two small for the gel to work. I didn’t find that explanation too convincing. But I decided to give the product the benefit of doubt. The second time the nail was still lodged in the tyre and air was escaping out slowly. My friend riding behind me noticed my deflating tyre and asked me to stop. So in spite of the gel being in the tyre and the nail as well, the tyre was still losing air.
I pulled out the nail and expected the gel to spurt out and seal the hole trapping the remaining air in the tyre so that I could continue riding. That didn’t happen. Nothing spurted out and within a few seconds all the air in the tyre escaped, the tyre was flat and the bike couldn’t be ridden.
This time I was given another explanation. Apparently I needed to turn the wheel so that the hole was in the 6 o’clock position since the gel allegedly works on gravity. I found that explanation completely daft because the gel gets lined evenly inside the tyre and doesn’t sit at the bottom. In fact, that the whole damn point of driving the vehicle slowly for some time after installing the gel is so that its spreads out all around the tyre. So common sense tells me that even if the nail is pulled out of the tyre when its at the 12 o’clock position there will be gel at that location and it should spurt out to seal the hole.
But wait. I would like to play out this ridiculous scenario just to prove what a pointless product this is. Obviously I can’t pull out the nail at the 6 o’clock position. So say I pull it out at the 12 o’clock position. Air starts escaping out. Then I mount the motorcycle or get in the car and move the vehicle forward. By the time I do that all the air in the tyre will have escaped out. So now I have a flat tyre. Which means I will need a compressor to pump up the tyre, irrespective of whether the gel has spurted out at the 6 o’clock position or not. So if I’m going to carry a damn compressor with me, I might as well carry a tubeless puncture repair kit as well, no?
The whole point of this product is that you fill the gel in the tyre once and do absolutely nothing till the tyre wears itself out. At the maximum you may need to pluck out the nail. But the gel should take care of everything else. That clearly hasn’t been my experience with this product.
If this product has worked for you please leave a comment explaining in brief what exactly happened, how the gel fixed the problem and whether you needed to do anything. Maybe I’m missing something here.