Beware the Tomcat

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Beware the Tomcat

Post  suzbandit on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 8:59 am

Well...when in need don't rely on a Tomcat.
On return from Strathgordon to Hobart found a fellow rider with a deflated rear tyre 10 kays out from Strathgorden. No phone reception here. He had decided to return to Hobart earlier than us. The rest of us stayed at the resort, Strathgordon, for a couple more hours. On the way back surprised to see him parked along the road. "Did he crash"? This road is known to cause flat tyres due to the presence quarts particles. Two of us had tyre repair kits and Tomcat tyre inflators. The bike, Bmw XR 1000, thankfully had a centre stand. Hooked the Tomcat up to the deflated tyre and put some air in to find  the leak. After one minute the pump suddenly switched to quarter speed so I turned it off. We found the leak. The first plugging tool was a nicely made item that was supposed to insert a mushroom plug into the tyre and didn't require glue. A threaded end in this tool is turned with an allen key which pushes the mushroom through a tube into the tyre. On retrieval of the tool out of the tyre it leave the end of the plug sticking out. Trim it...job done. The plug refused to be pushed through the tube. More lube on the plug and several attempts later we still had the same outcome. We reverted back to the old trusted dog turd kit. Sorted the leak and it was time to reinflate. Hooked up the Tomcat. It ran for about a minute before it went back to half speed and then 1/4 speed and blew out a cloud of smoke. Pulling it apart the next day found that windings had fried. Bin job. Total running time six minutes..trial run at home and trying to fix the flat.
The two repair kits we had gave us six 16 grams compressed air canisters. Trying to inflate a 190 size tyre gave us 27 psi after using five of these. The bike was rideable...kept it to 80 klmph max until we located a compressor in Westerway. Back to 42 psi.
I've since bought a Slime Power Sport inflator. $ 74 at Repco and less on the Web. It has a much bigger electric motor, makes a hell of a noise and shakes a lot.
Four minutes of pumping gave me 37 psi. No heat apparent or smoke. Do I trust it? After the previous experience not yet.
All I can say is beware the Tomcat
We fixed the other tool by cutting 5 mm off the insertion tube. Practised on an old tyre and it worked perfectly.
Hendrik

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Re: Beware the Tomcat

Post  Bosco15 on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 9:44 am

I carry a micro push bike hand pump along with plug kit. 
It may take a while,  but I think that I can put enough air into a tyre to get me home.

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Re: Beware the Tomcat

Post  barry_mcki on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 10:53 am

I had not heard of the Tomcat playing up, a bunch of us bought one a little while ago.  Mine hasn't been used in anger yet, it's actually my alternative backup and I'm not sure why I even carry it Rolling Eyes

I use those mushroom plugs, but have the handgun insertion tool instead of the allen key jobbie, only used it on the car (three times), never any problems with getting the plugs in:



Call into our place if you are ever after some compressed air up this end of the island Hendrik, I'm sure I can spare a pound or two plus a hot cuppa and mums biscuits.

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Re: Beware the Tomcat

Post  madmax on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 1:20 pm

Ive had a Tomcat for a couple of years now, only used it twice once to test it at home (10 mins on the rear tyre ) and once on a ride when a tyre checker failed another 10mins.
I would never rely on one pice of equipment anything can fail, so i also care 5 cylinders in my repair kit. 3 is not enough to inflate a rear tyre.

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Re: Beware the Tomcat

Post  suzbandit on Sun 17 Jan 2016, 8:38 pm

Thanks Barry, will visit when I get a chance.Do I wear chain mail to prevent getting eaten by your puppies?

The problem with the mushroom tool was twofold. The pin which pushes the rubber shaft of the mushroom was spreading the rubber across it's tip, which is smaller then the rubber shaft it pushes, and locking it in the tapered part prior to entering all of it into the insertion shaft.The mushroom at this stage hadn't fully come out of the end of the tube. We fixed this by cutting a little of the end of the insertion tube so the mushroom head is out before it potentially jams. Another way of getting it through was to wind the pushrod back and have another go at it without taking the plug out of the tube. You can practice this, if you haven't done it before, without a tyre and see if it works for you. Shortening the tube makes it very easy but it might not be long enough to get into 4wd tyres any more.We put a bit more lube on the plugs and tool as well.
Hendrik

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