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Another donut hole?

January 13, 2008

There’s that squishy, vague feeling from the back again. I pull to the side of the street, across from a row of fancy condos that replaced the funky little houses on Alki Avenue. Dang! The rear tire’s flat. Again.

This time, we used a Lexus scissor jack to lift it

It was sunny, and rather warm for mid-January. A perfect day to ride out to the Skylark Cafe for breakfast. I make the trip without incident, and seemingly with a fully-inflated tire. The squishiness only manifested itself after breakfast, past the curve where Harbor turns into Alki, so maybe it was somewhere between Skylark and here that puncture occurred. Or not.

As I was surveying the flattened tire a guy walking his dog on the trail said, “you got a flat tire.” Yes, I noticed, thanks.

Once again, no violent blowout. While this meme might have resulted from the behavior of tube-type tires of a generation ago, I’ve come to believe it’s not an issue today. Every current scooter tire I’ve ever seen is tubeless, and the ones sized for old-skool scoots have the note “on tube type rim fit a tube” embossed on the sidewall under the word “tubeless.”

What to do, what to do? Yes, I have AAA with the motorcycle upgrade, but there’s still a copay. I unfortunately left the tool kit at home (yeah, I shoulda had it, but it’s heavy). I know… I’ll try Safety Ed.

He’s home. He says, sure, he’ll be out in half an hour. I guess about half an hour had elapsed when Safety Ed showed up on the GT. I had him bring tools, and the scissor jack out of his car.

Unfortunately, due to a major brain fart, I forgot to tell Safety Ed to bring an extender for the 13mm socket you need to remove/reattach the wheel lug nuts. A guy across the street was washing his BMW X3, so I walked over and asked if he had one we could borrow. Sorry, he said, he got rid of all of his tools when he sold his house and moved into the condo.

Safety Ed used to live in West Seattle, and he remembered the Schuck’s on California Avenue, so he was there and back in a relative flash with an extender and a deep socket. The extender was a useful bit longer than the one in the tool pouch that was sitting on the kitchen counter. It afforded more clearance from the battery terminals, a good thing. I should pick one up the next time I’m at Schucks.

I should also resume the search for a scissor jack. Safety Ed’s was a nice, compact size and had a self-contained cranking mechanism. I guess I need to go to a wrecking yard the specializes in Toyota and Lexus. The rear tire was off the ground in no time, the spare mounted even more quickly. I’m getting good at this! 😀

It was interesting to see how much the tread of the punctured tire had worn. You may recall it was new at around 9,500 miles, and at 12,300 now has only marginally more tread than the spare, which was the previous rear tire. Remember, rear tires will wear faster because most of a scooter’s weight (not to mention the riders’) is on the rear tire.

Safety Ed said he was going to go for a ride, anyway, but thanked me for getting him out of the house. My pleasure.

The PX is all buttoned up and ready to go. Where are we going? Favicon

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3 Comments
  1. January 14, 2008 7:23 am

    Nice to have a pit crew when you need one.

    Have fun,
    Bill

  2. Bob permalink
    January 15, 2008 9:51 pm

    Spare? Where did you get a spare?
    Bob

  3. January 15, 2008 10:00 pm

    Bob, in the U.S. and Canada, PX 150s come with a spare tire. So do Stellas. Both wheels and tires are the same size, unlike the modern Vespas, which have a wider rear wheel/tire you need an air wrench to remove. See this post.

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