May 7, 2011

Ride-On® Motorcycle Tire Protection System

All Rights Reserved © 2007 Thomas W. Day

If buying stuff on user recommendations is they way you like to shop, you're going to feel solidly confident about buying Ride-On Tire Protection System (http://www.ride-on.com). When I first started looking for a tire sealant for my 10,000 mile 2007 Alaskan expedition, I went on-line to the adventure sports sites and found a few recommendations for slime® Tube Sealant, mostly from KLR riders. I ordered slime® from an adventure touring gear website and the the first clue I got that this wouldn't be useful to me was a warning on the bottle "for high speed application (over 45mph/75kph) use only as a repair . . ."

The website hadn't identified slime® as "tube sealant" (which is what it is) and I planned to ride a good bit faster than 45mph between the Cities and Prudhoe Bay and back, so slime®  was clearly the wrong stuff for my application. When I mentioned this dilemma on a V-Strom riders' list, I received a couple of strong recommendations for Ride-On. I did some more research and found that Rider Magazine gave Ride-On an unrestrained recommendation. Ride-On--"a tire sealant containing fibers six times stronger than steel--" is claimed to "eliminate 85-95% of your flats in tubeless tires from objects up to 1/4" that penetrate the contact area of your tire." That sounded good to me. Ride-On is also "designed to actually hydrodynamically balance tires at highway speeds . . . as high as 150mph." Now that's more like the kind of road speed I'm looking for, if only the V-Strom would go that fast. A whole list of tire manufacturers recommend the use of Ride-On and using it does not void their warranties. That's a pretty strong recommendation, too.


I got four bottles of the stuff and, before I took off for the thawing north. , I loaded up my tires with Ride-On and ended up with a little more than 1 bottle of Ride-On left for future repairs after applying the recommended dosage to my tires. The documentation that comes with a direct factory order is extensive and I followed their advice as accurately as possible. Immediately after refilling my tires, I took a long ride to distribute Ride-On. A few days later and I was on the road to Alaska. A real engineer would have intentionally punctured a perfectly good tire a few times to test this stuff, but I have abandoned my real engineer credentials in exchange for a moto-journalist's whims. I just figured, if my usual luck held, I'd find a way to test Ride-On somewhere between Alaska and home. 

The tires used in this "test" were Metzler ME880 bias-plies. They were recommended by several LD riders and their recommendations implied that I could expect nearly 20,000 miles from the tires. Being the gullible type, I accepted this advice as gospel and left my backup tires sitting in my garage, instead of shipping them ahead to Glenallen, AK as I'd originally planned.

One of the things I worried about, regarding using a tire sealer like Ride-On, was heat build-up and rapid tire wear. I've seen how quickly a tubeless tire dies when you install an emergency tube and I half-expected something like that to happen with a tire sealer. There is no way for me to prove, or disprove, that Ride-On caused my tires to wear faster than expected, but they did. At 6,000 miles, the rear tire was down to the wear bars. At 6,600 miles, threads were showing and I yanked the tire. The front was also wearing weirdly, but I left it on for the ride back home. At 10,000 miles, I replaced the rear tire, again, and installed a new front tire.


When the good folks at Seattle Cycle pulled the back tire, the mechanic said the goop was slightly less messy than other tire sealants. The remaining sealant was still gooey and had pretty well covered the area inside the tire's contact path. The Dempster Highway had nicked chunks out of the tire and in the center of the tire (see the dent in the goo, pictured at right) a fairly large puncture had been filled by Ride-On. I have no idea when this damage occurred, but I'm glad Ride-On worked.

3 comments:

  1. Interesting. Would you buy it again? Might think about putting some in my tires for my great lakes ride later this year.

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  2. I don't think I'd use Ride-On for my usual commuting and local riding, but for going into the wilderness, absolutely.

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  3. Thanks Geezer with a Grudge for the info.

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