I've had a scooter (Kinetic Honda) for the last 15 years. I have observed that whenever a tire (tube to be precise) is punctured it's almost always the rear wheel. A typical reason for a puncture is nails. I'd expect that the front wheel crosses a nail before rear wheel and hence it should get punctured more often than rear wheel, but my experience shows otherwise. Can anyone suggest the possible reason for this?


There are scientific explanations for this. The long and short of it is that the rear tire bears the most weight just the same as a bicycle. ( Brian, if you weren't in OH I'd say let's go for a ride so that I can witness your phenomenon )



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    These are excellent examples of what I was trying to explain. +1 to you. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 25 '14 at 19:19

While I don't think there can be a specific answer (it may be due to your bad luck, or whatever), it may come down to the fact there is more weight on the back tire than on the front. The front tire can more easily overcome a puncturing obstacle such a nail or a screw, which the back tire picks up. It may also be that the front tire kicks up the obstacle and is subsequently picked up by the back tire. This is all conjecture as I don't think you'll get a "scientific" reason for this.

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  • Sounds reasonable. You'd think the same would impact bicycles though (similar weight distribution), but I only ever get punctures in front bicycle tires. Interesting. Coincidence perhaps? – Brian Knoblauch Feb 25 '14 at 16:15
  • Most scooters I've seen have the motors towards the rear. As well, the rider sits to the rear as well. The center of gravity is well towards the rear wheel. With most bicycles, the center of gravity is towards the front as the rider leans forward towards the handles. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 25 '14 at 18:51
  • Incorrect, on a typical bicycle, the rider's weight is more on the rear than the front. You can test that very simply by looking at the compression of the tire in a normal riding position. The rear deforms more as it carries more load. – Brian Knoblauch Feb 25 '14 at 19:10
  • I guess my point is, the COG on a bicycle is far forward of where it would be on a rear engine scooter. You've got an extra 100lbs or so back there ... I understand your point, though. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Feb 25 '14 at 19:20

The front tire raises the nails lying flat on the road and before it falls, the rear tire hits it - in to the rear tire, the nail shoots straight up. That's the logic.

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    I've seen video of experiments showing this exact phenomenon. The more weight argument is nonsense. How exactly would a tire with more weight load on it be more susceptible to puncture than a tire with less weight load? – Tim Nevins Feb 13 '19 at 13:43
  • +1. This should be the accepted answer. – juhist Feb 13 '19 at 17:54

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