Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada
Rep Power: 1
The manufacturers of tire plugs, for obvious liability reasons, recommend "temporary use only - replace tire as soon as possible". They only need one or two stories of a plug popping out in a dangerous situation to destroy their business.
I have used tire plugs on sport bikes, dual sports, ATVs, my old F-150... I have never seen a properly-installed plug go bad. I trust the plugs more than I trust most cheap brands of tires. I think both the mushroom type and the good fibre type (there are some cheap ones that don't work too well) will plug a nail puncture very well - they don't do as well on rips / splits / slashes. You could make the argument, "why try to cheap out on as plugged tire?" - but there are usually a bunch of other safety compromises on a bike. It's a matter of prioritizing - you could get rid of the plugged tire and spend $200 on a new tire; or you could spend the $200 on new, better brake pads; or you could do a track day; or you could buy some good gloves. Personally, I would put replacing the plugged tire pretty low on the safety priority list (assuming it was a good tire before you got the puncture, and the person who did the plug did a good job). I agree that I feel better with a rear tire being plugged, vs the front - a rear flat is not nearly as scary as the front. I don't think it's possible to 'blow out the tire plug while leaned over' - if the plug came out, even a fairly large puncture hole would leak slowly enough to finish the turn.
It's definitely a personal choice but I don't mind riding on a well-installed plug. (I just realized I don't have a pocket tire plugger on my 9er... gotta get another one. They really are lifesavers - especially with the C02.) Just my 2 cents...