Sep 2, 2010
Product Review: Aerostich Compact Tire Repair Kit with Mini Compressor
All Rights Reserved © 2010 Thomas W. Day
The question is, "Can a motorcyclist visit Duluth and not stop at RiderWearhouse?"
The answer is, "Probably not."
On our 43rd anniversary trip this summer, my wife and I planned a cage trip to Duluth to escape the August heat. There was no motorcycle component to this trip because she isn't a comfortable passenger and that week offered exceptionally uncomfortable weather; afternoon temperatures above 100oF and thunderstorms in the evening.
However, I'd received an Aerostich sale email earlier that week advertising a bit off of the tire repair kit and a disappointing experience with my Mini Foot Pump convinced me that yet another piece of modern technology belonged in my emergency bike tools kit.
The Aerostich Compact Tire Repair Kit is exactly that; compact and a complete tire repair kit. Aerostich has stuffed at least 10 pounds of kit into a 5 pound bag, with accommodations for even more if you have the space. I don't. The storage space I have on my V-Strom is exactly right for the area taken up by my old foot pump and my new 'stich kit. No more and I'm serious about that. In fact, my only complaint about this kit is that, like practically everything I buy, getting it all back in the packaging as neatly and compactly as the factory could probably use a manual. If I were to do it over again, I'd take a picture of the pump as I removed it from the extremely well-designed stuff bag. I didn't, so I wrestled with putting it all back together after my first use.
The Aerostich Compact Tire Repair Kit contains a nice set of tube and tubeless tire repair tools, three connector sets to wire the electric pump to your electrical system, and a very compact 12VDC air compressor with enough wire and 26" of hose to get you to either tire from either end of any bike, a power switch, and a carbiner to clip to a convenient attachment to relieve strain from the compressor wiring. The well-made stuff sack has 4 small outer pockets to hold other tools, like a flashlight and tire gauge, if you have the real estate for that on your bike.
The Aerostich catalog claims this is "the smallest and most packable tire kit available" and at 1.2 pounds and a packed size of 7"x3"x5.25" I have no reason to argue with them. My old foot pump took up about the same space in the rear cowling of my V-Strom, but when it came time to fill a dead flat 150/70R-17 rear tire the foot pump completely failed the task. Repairing and refilling an equally flat 110/80R-19 took about 45 minutes and 40 of that was finding the nail, pulling it, and plugging the hole. From the moment I pulled off the handy and huge rubber band, untangled the pump wiring, and inserted the valve adapter, it took less than 5 minutes (end-to-end) to fill the tire and put away the tools. The tire's rim seal had not broken and if that were the case the fill-up would be more difficult.
As usual, I give this product the usual five-star recommendation for all things Aerostich. Nice work, guys. Now, I just have to explain to my wife why stopping at RiderWearhouse is part of an anniversary celebration.