Let’s just get the disclaimers out of the way right up front, shall we? No tire manufacturer wants you to plug its tire if you run over a nail, not even a brand new one. Some of them might tell you it’s okay to patch a tire, with a permanent patch glued on from the inside. But that’s not what the plugs here are for: The Stop&Go mushroom-style plug and the Dynaplug pointy-style are here to keep you from having to ride a tow truck to your destination when you pick up a nail en route and don’t have a tire mounting machine at hand. Stop&Go says “Safety experts all agree that a punctured and/or plugged motorcycle tire should be replaced as soon as possible. That is our opinion also.”

Dynaplug, interestingly, says its plugs are a permanent fix, as certified by an independent testing outfit called UTAC. UTAC did the testing on a car tire, and refines that the plug is a permanent fix for holes up to the size of a 16-penny nail (about ⅛-inch or 3mm), at speeds up to 90 mph. Does that apply to motorcycle tires, too, I asked? Dynaplug’s spokesperson says it does. Brave words.


As mentioned last week in our KTM Super Duke R long-term report, that bike’s rear Pirelli picked up a nail 500 or so miles ago, which I plugged with a Stop&Go mushroom style plug kit I had on hand. I could’ve put a new tire on the bike, but it was scheduled to return to KTM HQ sometime in the near future – we just weren’t certain how near – so why bother? I rode other bikes. After a week I noticed the tire hadn’t lost any air. I started riding it again, gently and slowly at first, then faster – all for the sake of science of course. At no time did I exceed about 90 mph on the plugged rear. It’s been six or eight weeks now and 500 miles, no problems. I plugged the rear tire in my R1 once before with the Stop&Go with the same success.

Looking for something to write about on a slow news day and googling up other Stop&Go experiences to compare to mine, of course I found that small percentage of people who wouldn’t plug Obama’s golf-cart tire with a Stop&Go in a lightning storm with FDR caddying. All the S&G haters seemed to be big fans of the Dynaplug … a comparo is born!

Stop&Go mushroom plug and tool at left (the kit’s bounced around in many motorcycles over the last six or eight years), Dynaplug at right.

Stop&Go mushroom plug and tool at left (the kit’s bounced around in many motorcycles over the last six or eight years), Dynaplug at right.

The Stop&Go is more complex and impressive to deploy than the Dyna. Basically you’re inserting a big steel syringe into the tire, then using the handle’s internal screw mechanism to squeeze that pre-lubricated mushroom head into the tire with the included hex wrench. Once that’s accomplished, pull out the syringe, yank on the mushroom stem a few times to seat the head inside the casing (there’s no glue involved), trim off the excess, and you’re probably good to go – slowly at first please. A little water or saliva poured on the repair will let you see if air is escaping. It’s a little bit MacGyver.

… by the time you remove the object and use the included reamer to make the hole big enough for the tool to fit, you’ve lost all your air…

The main complaint people have with the S&G is it needs a pretty big hole: 6.25mm. Most nails and things don’t leave a hole that big, and by the time you remove the object and use the included reamer to make the hole big enough for the tool to fit, you’ve lost all your air. (No worries with my Pocket Tire Plugger Plus CO2 Inflation kit, which comes with four CO2 cartridges I’ve never had to use since all my flats have luckily made themselves known at my dwelling.)

A fresh Stop&Go plug in place. Yank on it to seat the plug, trim the excess and ride on. The stem of the mushroom is 8mm in diameter, and was squeezed into the tire through a syringe with a 5mm inner diameter. Curiously satisfying ...

A fresh Stop&Go plug in place. Yank on it to seat the plug, trim the excess and ride on. The stem of the mushroom is 8mm in diameter, and was squeezed into the tire through a syringe with a 5mm inner diameter. Curiously satisfying …

Intuitively, the S&G feels like a pretty good repair. Deployed inside the tire, the head of that mushroom plug is 14mm in diameter and the stem is 8mm wide, with air pressure and centrifugal force both holding it in place. Stop&Go says what can go wrong, but usually doesn’t, is that the tire flexing can cause the steel belt to slice through the stem.

You can tell how the Dynaplug works by looking at it: Load the brass-tipped sticky plug in the handle and jab it in the hole like a jailhouse shiv, then pull it back out: The shoulder on the brass tip and the gooey nature of the plug are both going to hold it in place. As opposed to the 6.25mm hole you need for the S&G, the widest part of the Dynaplug’s brass tip is only 4.6mm. If you load a plug in the handle and have it ready to go, and the nail is still in your tire along with most of its air, you should be able to yank the nail and plug the hole so quick you won’t lose much more air pressure.

It’s amazing how hard you have to pound to drive a rusty drywall screw into a worn-out rear Pirelli. When I yanked it back out (you need pliers) and went to shank the tire with the spit-moistened Dynaplug, though, no way was the 4.6mm tool going into the 3mm hole, in spite of its sharp tip, in spite of a few hammer blows. Those steel belts are tough!

Dynaplug instructions say never enlarge the hole with a reamer, but there’s a tool included that looks suspiciously like one, which Dynaplug says is a “clearing attachment.” I “cleared” quite a few metal shavings from the puncture with it before I could get the plug in, by which time the tire was totally flat. When I aired it back up and sprayed on a little soapy water, we were still losing air. Dynaplug says feel free to insert up to four plugs (but the UTAC guarantee is only good if you only use one). The gooey goodness of the first plug actually made it pretty easy to shove the second one right into the same hole. Hah! Airtight!

It took two Dynaplugs to seal the hole made by one 3mm drywall screw. Dynaplug says using up to four is okay. Once trimmed and ridden on, it looks like one big happy plug from the outside.

It took two Dynaplugs to seal the hole made by one 3mm drywall screw. Dynaplug says using up to four is okay. Once trimmed and ridden on, it looks like one big happy plug from the outside.

While I was having fun playing with all of it, I rotated the tire 180 degrees to check out the old Stop&Go plug in the other side with the soapy water treatment. What the? Apparently the deflation had caused it to start leaking. I loaded a fresh mushroom into the tool and shoved it in right on top of the old one. Fixed. Dynaplug says it makes its points from brass specifically because they’ll disintegrate inside the tire should they come loose from the plug, and that they will not damage TPMS sensors.

Right, I’ve put another 60 miles on the bike with two Dynaplugs and one Stop&Go plug in the back tire, at speeds up to 90-ish, and haven’t lost a pound of air after one week. We thought about spinning the thing up to speed on the dyno to really test things, but our dyno operator pointed out potential liability concerns and said he’d prefer not to. We don’t want to give anyone the slightest bit of encouragement to ride at high speed on a plugged tire.

Experienced motorcyclists have known about simple gooey string tire patches for years, of course. You only have to be stranded once in the middle of nowhere to appreciate how convenient having a flat repair kit on your bike can be. Both the Dynaplug and Stop&Go plugs, to my mind anyway, just add a little extra sense of security.


The S&G kit here ($49.95) takes up a bit more room (5 x 7.5 x 1-inch), is more capable of plugging bigger holes, and also has an air source in the form of its CO2 cartridges. The Dynaplug Pro ($59.99 or $29.99 for the new Ultralite) is good too, and super-compact – but you’ll need air if your tire goes all the way down. In any case, most people will tell you: The greatest deterrent to nails and screws is having some kind of repair kit handy. Either of these should keep you rolling.

For more information, visit the official Stop&Go or Dynaplug websites.

  • Mike Simmons

    I have used the S&G kit several times with great success. I heartily recommend it for emergency repairs.

  • Old MOron

    Yup, I’ve used the S&G on a handful of occasions. Curiously satisfying…

  • Tim Quinn

    I must be some kind of anal retentive motorcyclist because I have both a S&G kit and a Dynaplug kit. The saddlebags on our V Star 1300 Deluxe are pretty big and so is the storage area under the seat of our Burgman 400 ABS, so what the heck, I have the room to for both repair kits. I’ve never had to use either of them yet, but I would like to get an old tire and practice a little with the S&G kit. The Dynaplug kit does look easier to use on the side of the road if one has never practiced on an old tire before doing it “for real”.
    Can anyone suggest a good mini air compressor to throw in the saddlebag along with the repair kits? I have a S&G CO2 Inflation kit, but those cartridges don’t last forever.

  • Mike Simmons

    I bought the S&G compressor at the same time as the repair kit…. from Dennis Kirk IIRC. The compressor is about 4″ square and 1-1/2″ thick. Comes with its own pouch… works great.

  • Jake

    Harley sells a compact compressor; I keep that with a conventional plug kit (under $10 at Walmart). I’ve used these on my car and bike with no issues. I always replace the bike tire ASAP; the car tire goes on the right rear until it’s worn out. These plug kits solve a problem that I do not see….my sticky strings work just fine!

  • DickRuble

    I’ve used a standard tire patch kit from Kmart (less than $10) and the repair worked fine. Tire still holding air six months later. I don’t really see the advantage of these two so called innovations. Used a regular bicycle pump.

    • Vrooom

      They don’t require tire irons to remove the tire. You can plug them still on the bike. To patch a bike tire you’ve got to be able to access the interior of the tire. Not always practical on the road side 4 states from home.

      • DickRuble

        ” To patch a bike tire you’ve got to be able to access the interior of the tire.” Huh? Why would this be any different from a car tire? I repaired my tire (tubeless) while still mounted on the bike. Not sure what you’re talking about.

        • ‘Mike Smith

          You patched your tire while still on the bike or you PLUGGED your tire while still on the bike? There’s a big difference.

          • DickRuble

            Plugged, used the tire kit for cars sold at Kmart with flexible, gooey mesh.

          • artist_formally_known_as_cWj

            Semantics which I wish the industry would standardize.

            In reference to tubed tires, patching is applying a patch
            to the outside of the tube. It works because tube is inflated against the tire, thereby holding the patch against air pressure.

            In reference to tubeless tires, patching is fixing a patch to the INSIDE of the tire. In this case air pressure is pushing the the repair material against the puncture.

            The two devices above are PLUGGING methods. Plugging a tubeless tire doesn’t require a break down; patching a tubeless tire does.

            It bugs me that even tire shops will use the colloquial “patching” to refer to plugging.

  • Jack Meoph

    I’ve had a S&G kit in my bikes for years now, and I keep one in my 2006 Pontiac Solstice as well (there is no spare and they give you a can of Slime, no thanks, and a handy electric pump). I’ve run tires on my MCs with an S&G plug in them until they were worn, and didn’t have a problem, as long as I kept shoving a new one in when the original looked sketchy. And yes, when you’re about to change out your tires, practice a couple times with the S&G, as your first time using it shouldn’t be in the wild, on a dark night. Also, I carry a small electric pump and some air cartridges. Tire plugs are a must have piece of equipment that you should carry on every ride.

  • DickRuble

    “most people will tell you:The greatest deterrent to nails”. And the rest of the people, obviously fewer, will tell you that you don’t know what deterrent means.

    • Doug S

      I believe he was being sarcastic, saying that if you have a repair kit, you won’t get nails in your tires. Kinda like saying the best way to make it rain is to wash your car.

      • DickRuble

        Not sure that was his intent, but your interpretation is a good save.. I’ll take that..

        • Old MOron

          Richard, where have you been?
          There’s been such a void of hostile pedantry without you. :-)

          • john burns

            “hostile pedantry” is awesome. Yeah Dick where you been man?

      • Christopher Murdock

        This was also my impression, the comment is tongue-in-cheek.

      • http://ern.reeders.net.au/blog/ Ern Reeders

        He was being ironic.

  • Warprints

    Luckily, I’ve only had to use my dynaplug kit on a car tire (which the tire place said they could not repair because the nail was too far into the shoulder of the tire). Easy repair. That was several thousand miles ago. Tire hasn’t lost any air since.

  • Brody Isola

    The great thing about the Dynaplug is how compact and small the tire
    repair tool is. You can literally fit the entire application in your
    pocket. The contents are very high quality and are all made in the US. I
    bought one for my dad (2 Harley’s) and my brother for Christmas. My
    brother owns a fencing company so I ended up buying him the Dynaplug
    Xtreme because he picks up multiple nails in a weeks time. He had
    nothing but great things to say about the tool. It works fast and is
    very effective on all
    types of nail punctures. The Xtreme has a larger surface handle for tough
    repairs on heavy duty tires. He can use this tool on his motorcycle too. GREAT
    Also, Dynaplug makes a nice pump. Its exactly the same as the moto
    pumps inflator because I believe they private label for moto pumps. I
    read that on a You Tube post. Good READ!!

  • Vrooom

    I’ve ridden about 5K miles on a plugged tire when I got a flat on the first day of a road trip. No issues at all. Forgot about it after the first day, and this included some off pavement miles on a big adventure tourer. This was with the mushroom style plug.

  • Behind Blue Eyes

    I’ve put over 5k on a rear tire (2000 Triumph Sprint with Shinko 009’s) with a rope style plug Yes, the old car tire ones. Don’t recall breaking 100 mph with it. I WILL NOT plug a front tire except if needed for a short ride home or the tire shop with speeds UNDER 50mph…

  • Gerard Gatineau

    I have the “deluxe” S&G kit which includes a pump handle extruder in lieu of the hex wrench gizmo. Much easier to use.

  • yanassi

    I had the dyna plugs. Bought about 5 years ago. Used twice, good results. The plugs come in a plastic bag. Opened, the remaining plugs gooey substance dried out in a couple of years. I dont know if dyna folks have fix this. But each plug should come in its own wrap.

  • yanassi

    Ps. After 2nd plug. Each followed by a regular fix, the mechanic said he wouldnt fix it a third. Is there any real danger? Why not more than two?

    • http://ern.reeders.net.au/blog/ Ern Reeders

      In my jurisdiction it’s illegal to run a tyre with more than 1 plug. Maybe 2 in yours.

  • Proof Follows Belief

    Add a Slime 12-volt compressor (about $30) to your saddle bags along with any of these repair kits and you’ll be good to go!