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Motorcycle wheel valve stem failure. Figure 1. The motorcycle drive wheel valve stem is indicated by the arrow. (Photo: C. Roberts)

This case study deals with an accident caused by a sudden motorcycle rear tire deflation. According to a witness, the motorcyclist riding ahead suddenly started to weave as a result of a flat rear tire. The motorcycle eventually traveled off the road and into a ditch, causing severe injury to the rider. The rear wheel of the motorcycle is depicted in Figure 1. The tire had been replaced approximately a month before the accident by a motorcycle shop and was a new tire. The tire bead was intact and appeared properly mounted. However, when pressurized, a severe leak was noted at the valve stem that is indicated by the arrow.

Valve stem leakage. Figure 2. The crack in the valve stem where the air leakage occurred. (Photo: C. Roberts)

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