Thursday, ring home from back east, I passed a rider roadside.
His bike was on the side stand, his top case was open and he was off the road talking on his cell phone.
My thermometer was showing over 100 F, i couldn't stop right then because i was in the left lane and had just passed a truck.
The next exit i got off and looped back and stopped.
He had a flat tire and one small bottle of water. He had tried to fix his flat with one of this aerosol-bottles of flat repair goo and the wrecker was at least 3-4 hours away.
I checked the tire and it was a nail in- nail out puncture. His bike was a 1000 V Strom 4 years old, he bought it new and it has less than 3,000 miles on it and he was off on his first big trip to WA State.
Mentally he was already showing the signs too much heat and too little water.
I said I can have your tire plugged and get you ready to go in 10 minutes. It took longer than that because we had to turn his bike around so that the side stand would have the bike leaning on it.
He was so ill prepared it was sad. he was saving his water for when he really needed a drink. He had no sunhat. He had no repair kit, no pump and had no idea how to plug his tire.
When I told him that I could plug his tire and get him going in 10 minutes, he relayed this information to the tow truck dispatcher and cancelled his tow. Minutes later the driver called him back and told him it was possibly fatal to plug a tire and he would be there in 4-6 hours.
He decided to go with the tire plugging option rather than wait in the heat. So we plugged his tire.
His only job was to stand down the road from the bikes in his hi-viz T shirt and wave cars out of the right lane. The trucks all moved over as expected. He was so overheated that he could not manage this task very well
He took photos of my pump,the tire plugging kit and how I could run the pump off the bike.
He asked me if there were cheaper options and I explained that there were but that today would not have been the day to find out cheaper didn't work out as well and he might still be stranded.
I have had lots of issues roadside over the years and the only one that is always easy to fix is a tire-unless you tear out a sidewall and unless you are carrying the right tools to remove the wheel, install a tire boot and an inner tube you are likely SOL
I used to carry one of these with the mushroom plugs
but they are temporary, at best ,and have conditions 50 miles at no more than 50 MPH.
The new set-up I have had for over 10 years is faster and lasts. I had bolt in my rear tire in Duluth and rode to CA and then home, no issues, and I just wore out a rear tire that I
plugged two years ago.
I would suggest that if you want to assemble a kit Go to Canadian tire and buy one of these kits
get some extra sticky strings and a tube of rubber cement
buy one of these pumps
I know they are costly, bigger than one wants and ugly but they really work well.
and carry extra water, lots of water
Some people carry the CO2 cartridges, they are fine if you get the tire patched perfectly the first time, and if there is not a second hole, and if you have enough extra cartridges to fill your tire right up to pressure.
A final note in Europe everyone including motorcyclists are required to put on a Hi-viz vest when broken down, I bought a few at Walmart $4.00 each and was glad I had mine to put on. It scrunches up smaller than a softball.