Dear Stuart – All metal tyre valves

Hi Stuart,

Can you tell me where Ii can get bolt on tyre valves for my GoldWing GL 1500SE as the rubber one’s keep leaking. I have to blow tyres up every two days, have checked all web sites and can not locate valves anywhere apart from the USA, hope you can help.

Cheers Andy

Hi Andy,

Found some on EBay which I think will do the job.

I searched on “90 tyre valves” but “bridgeport tyre valve” would also work.

These valves are also available in UK from Demon Tweeks to fit two wheel hole sizes (8.3 and 11.3 mm) and in a choice of silver, black or gold finish. I suspect that the larger one is needed for a GL1500 (or a GL1800).

Ian Duxbury wrote an article about fitting this type of valve (because of rotting rubber at the base of the valve and a risk of catastrophic deflation) which might help:

GL1500 Owners – When did you last really check your tyre valves?

Hope this is useful.


Tyre repairs – what’s possible, what’s legal and what’s actually available?

The proper kit does a proper (if only temporary) job

If you get a puncture in a tyre which has plenty of tread on it you will probably be reluctant to discard and replace the tyre.  Tyres are expensive and some punctures are repairable, so why not?

And there’s sometimes the need for a “get you home” repair anyway, because GoldWing tyres are widely stocked and can’t always be bought without delay.

If you still rode a BSA  Bantam 125 you might well be able to remove and replace a tyre after patching a hole in the inner tube  but roadside repairs of GoldWing tyres are simply not practical.  Safe repairs to tubeless tyres require the use of a special plug-patch device from the inside of the tyre and therefore tyre removal.

You need a proper bead seal breaker and a tyre removal and fitting machine to do a repair so professional recovery to a professional repairer – and maybe even unavoidable tyre replacement  is becoming the norm for GoldWings.

The ere is also the issue of keeping your motorcycle insurance valid.  It’s no accident or trivial matter that insurance documents these days include conditions like “kept in roadworthy condition”; illegal repairs would be regarded as failure to do so and therefore grounds for repudiation of the policy.  If you are riding with a temporary tyre repair when you have an accident, these days you will need to have a good story ready in case it gets noticed and if a temporary repair fails and causes an accident you’ll definitely need one.

So, if you experience tyre deflation or see a nail sticking out of your tyre all you can sensibly consider doing for yourself in the way of roadside repairs to a GoldWing tyre these days is a temporary repair to allow you to ride a reasonable distance home or to a professional repairer.  And you need to make sure it’s a good temporary repair, which is what this article is mostly about.


When should you be changing your tyres?

Old and new, wear markers indicated by arrows

I’ve always taken a lead on these things from my motorcycling Guru, Ian Cardwell, and until recently my understanding of best practice from him was to change both tyres as soon as the rear tyre was flatting off enough to affect the handling, even though the tread depth was still good and the wear indicators had not been reached.

The idea behind this was that a flatted tyre rides up on to a ridge as you lean, reducing the area of contact with the road and thereby reducing grip.  You would start to notice this loss of grip on a roundabout where the back end would become prone to suddenly break away; not so much as to cause loss of control but you would feel an unnerving outwards twitch of the back end, or at least that’s what I tended to associate with a well worn rear tyre.

It’s OK to go for a better safe than sorry approach if you can afford it and if want to keep your tyres capable of their peak performance but I’m quite a bit more cost-conscious in retirement and I’m not really concerned about peak performance either. So when should I be changing tyres and do I really need to change both tyres at the same time?

The first picture shows a worn rear Avon Cobra tyre side by side with a new one of the same make, taken by Ian at my request when he told me that he had just worn out his rear tyre unexpectedly quickly on a touring holiday to Portugal.  The picture was taken at a bit of an angle which makes the tyres look distorted but this is an artefact which should be ignored.

What matters and what the photo shows is that the old tyre was flatted but only slightly and that two wear indicators are showing on the centreline, as marked by arrows.  The bottom one in the photo illustrates the wear marker as a narrow band bridging the rain groove, i.e. just beginning to appear, and the upper one shows a wider bridging band across the rain groove, so more wear.  Click on the photo to get an enlarged view of the photo which makes it easier to see these wear bands. continues………

The Contrarotating Front Tyre

Illustrating the cut and cupping, visible here as a sharper edge on one side of the valleys of the tread pattern. The grey lines are merely scratch marks.


I mentioned in a recent article that when my bike had its first MOT Test recently it was discovered that the front tyre had been fitted the wrong way around.  Apart from a bit of cupping on the edge of the tread pattern the tyre didn’t seem to have suffered any obvious damage and when I rode the bike home – the Dealer’s Techie having kindly re-fitted the tyre the right way round – it seems to handle very well, slightly better than it had on the way there.

I did however take the precaution of ringing Graham Matcham, a contact at Coopers Tyres (the manufacturers of Avon Tyres) to take advice – expecting to be advised not to take any risks and to replace it.

By this time there were two deepish curved circumferential cuts in the tyre too, where I had run over some road debris which suddenly appeared from under a car I was shaping up to overtake, probably a chunk of exhaust system because it sounded like a collapsing metal can as I ran over it.

At Graham’s suggestion I sent photos of the tread cuts to Graham and waited somewhat gloomily for his continues………

MOT Failure at 13,000 miles? Surely not?

During the past two weeks or so, while the Blog’s had to do without me except for approving the odd Comment, I hadn’t actually been transported to the colonies for a stint of hard labour, it just felt a bit like it. I was merely in Suffolk, without broadband internet access, finishing off a DIY project.

It’s not Suffolk’s fault that I felt this way of course, they do have broadband, and electricity and stuff like that, and Adnams local beverages are very palatable; it was just the grind of doing a lot of odd jobs and having to de-clutter the accumulated unnecessaries of ten years of occupation, when I wanted to be out on the bike.  Driving around the country lanes in Suffolk, which are not all flat and boring, quite the opposite, made it even worse; the weather was good and these were good biking roads – it was purgatory!

But the bike was in Lancashire and despite my successful struggle, eventually, to re-tax it, the bike needed to have an MOT before my riding season could get going properly.  This was top of the list of things to do as soon as I got back home.

Well, a three year old GL1800 with only 13,000 miles on the clock which has been properly serviced regularly serviced would take that in its stride wouldn’t it? continues………

Choosing Tyres for the GL1800 by Ian Cardwell


Ian astride a 2001 GL1800 shod with early Bridgestones

Ian astride a 2001 GL1800 shod with early Bridgestones


To put my experiences and views into context, I’ve ridden Goldwings continuously and exclusively since 1998 and I am now on my seventh. The first Wing was a GL1500SE but the rest have all been GL1800s, all US models and all with ABS – as of course do all UK model GL1800s.

I’ve ridden upwards of 160,000miles on a Wing, some of it in straight lines but as much as possible on non-motorway roads.  I enjoy exploiting the excellent handling of a GL1800 and I ride to make progress more often than I dawdle along.  So my tyres are sometimes working hard for their living.

I have used tyres from four different manufacturers including two different designs of tyre from two of them, so continues………