PRODUCT EVALUATION: KAWASAKI KPO TIRE SEALANT
One-time tubeless-and tubed-tire additive By the staff of Dirt Wheels
Kawasaki backs all of its powersports vehicles with a full line of accessories with a lot of engineering, development and testing going into each one. Their KPO tire sealant is one of the newest chemical accessories, and Dirt Wheels received samples to evaluate. The KPO tire sealant is designed for use in off-road motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-sides in both tubeless and tubed tires.
The KPO tire sealant comes in 32-ounce bottles. Kawasaki recommends adding 8 ounces to dirt bike tires, 32 ounces per ATV or UTV tires that’s less than 28 inches in diameter, or 1.5 bottles (48 ounces) to SxS tires 28 inches and larger. This one-time additive provides insurance against flats from thorns and nails and is designed to stop leaks from holes in the tread up to a half-inch in diameter. This is a latex-free sealant containing state-of-the-art synthetic fibers and ethylene glycol that are designed to last the life of the tire.
INSTALLING KPO TIRE SEALANT
We tried the KPO tire sealant out with a Kawasaki Teryx KRX1000, which sports 31×10.0R15 Maxxis Carnivores on beadlock rims. You want the valve stem to be at or near the top for each tire treatment, and remove each tire’s valve-stem cap. The KPO tire sealant packaging is impressive, as it’s designed to install the sealant without removing the cap. Pry the textured upper lip of the cap up out of its seat, exposing the hose. Pull it up about 6 inches until it’s seated. Pry the black cap from the hose, and use the disc tool to remove the core from the valve stem. Place the hose over the valve stem, invert the bottle, and squeeze the recommended amount of sealant into the tire. No mess, no fuss! For the KRX, repeat with the second bottle and squeeze another 16 ounces into the tire. Replace the valve core and inflate to the recommended tire pressure. Repeat for each tire.
LOOKING FOR FLATS IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES
While the Mojave Desert has plenty of cactus species, you’re not supposed to run them over. Instead of waiting for a random nail from people burning pallets in the desert, we decided to test Kawasaki’s 1/2-inch-hole claim and drilled a 5/16-inch hole in the tire after driving the KRX to distribute the KPO tire sealant. We drove it some more and stopped to check if had stopped the leak. Where Slime’s formula is bright green, the KPO tire sealant is grey, so we easily found the hole. Sure enough, the leak soon stopped completely. Figuring all was well, we aired the tire back up to 20 psi, and the “plug” blew out of the hole! We drove around some more so it would reseal, which it eventually did, but we lost a couple of ounces of sealant. A nail or cactus needle puncturing a tire creates a jagged hole, while a drill bit removes rubber and leaves a smoother surface that’s harder to seal, but the KPO tire sealant did its job as designed.
At $21.95 for 32 ounces, Kawasaki’s KPO tire sealant is good insurance against flats from cactus needles, nails, screws and every prickly plant in Arizona. The packaging makes it easy to install the flat-prevention formula into tires, and the sealant does its job. For comparison, we found Slime’s 2-in-1 sealant at Auto Zone for $16.49 for 32 ounces, but the hose is shorter, and you have to install the hose on the bottle (the cap is the valve-core tool). Monster Seal’s Heavy-Duty tire sealant is $31.95 for 32 ounces at www.utvraceshop.com. With the KPO tire sealant in each of your ATV’s tires, it would cost $87.80 plus any taxes. On UTVs with tires 28 inches or bigger, it would be $131.70 plus tax. Over the life of a set of tires, that’s a lot of peace of mind every time you complete a ride without getting a flat. We would still carry a flat-repair kit and compressor for larger punctures. Find your local dealer on www.kawasaki.com.