Tubless tire update - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 38 Old 07-18-2014, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Tubless tire update

I've been running tubless with my tube type tires for ovr 2 months/ 1,000 miles of some highway but mostly back road, city, gravel.

I'm still 100% happy with the conversion and the reliability of the sealing.

When the pressure was dropped to 10 PSI, and panic braking undertaken (with stock and 10 mm master cylinder & braided hose) the tire showed no tendency to move on the wheel. I plan to switch to new tires soon so will see how those compare.
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 03:03 PM
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Have you tried a long distance with them? Mildly curious.

Be passing Chilliwack on the 6th heading to Oregon. I'll wave as I go by. =)
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post #3 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 03:34 PM
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I agree with Fireground -- please post more.

I also searched your posts and didn't find which system you used -- there are people using Goop, silicone, tape, and others.

Which sealing method did you use and what tires so far?

Thx
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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I've done some highway miles of 30 or 40 miles at a time. They are fine. I'm so used to the feel now that will have to swap to a friend's bike again to see if can feel a difference.

If you're in need of space, wrench, or have a few minutes for coffee & pie. Let me know. PM if you might have time and I'll respond my cell #.

If you have a bit more time, you're welcome to test my bike and see what you think. A few thousand miles more and the front tire will be replaced with a Shinko tubeless so will see if that feels any different.







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Originally Posted by Fireground View Post
Have you tried a long distance with them? Mildly curious.

Be passing Chilliwack on the 6th heading to Oregon. I'll wave as I go by. =)
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post #5 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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The tires are Kenda 761 which are tube type. I initially used an RV alkyd roof coating to seal the spokes because it stands heat, weather and is very chemical resistant. It retains some flexibility when cured "hard" and is very tough to scrape or shear from the surface.

Two potential issues were encountered:
1) I could not discover whether this material is glycol tolerant and since the sealers such as Slime are glycol based, I removed the sealer when a sealing fault was discovered. I did not use Slime with this sealer because I wished to achieve a reliable sealer without one of the liquid sealers. The fault was a leak at one spoke due to not having sufficient adhesion when applying the alkyd sealer. I cleaned the rim and spokes more thoroughly before applying the second sealer type. I had initially determined to do only a cursory cleaning in order to discover whether a seal could be achieved without being anal but apparently not. This was a bit of a surprise because the alkyd sealer seems willing to jump ten feet to stick to a good pair of pants.

2) On removing the tire, I recognized that the alkyd had not cured up in the manner generally experienced on RV exterior surfaces so concluded that I should have heat cured with a hot air gun. If I determine that this sealer will tolerate glycols, and decide to seal another set of wheels, I may try that technique.


There was initially some problem with leakage around the beads but after running the wheel bead area onto my bench grinder's wire wheel and applying tire rim grease, all has been well for several thousand miles.

The second sealing attempt was to wire wheel buff, then use a commercial adhesive remover, followed by brake and parts cleaner. I detailed any suspect areas with razor scraper and scotch brite pad by hand.

Some friends have used Permatex silicone gasket maker but since this is not fuel tolerant and has lower adhesion and tensile strength, I decided to use an automotive body seam sealer. I don't thing anything dissolves that stuff.

The sealer is Pro Form PF244 which is a urethane sealer in a calking gun tube because that's easier to apply and poke into reluctant areas than "toothpaste tubes". I didn't check to see if is available in other than calking tubes so may not be.

This sealer has been very good excepting when I attempted adjustment of one spoke and broke the seal on that spoke. I pulled both the front tire (now leaking) and rear to apply a heavier layer.

The tires don't seem to require adding air more often than tube type, FWIW. I've been waiting for the front to wear down further before poking some holes to apply plugs. Having installed thousands of tubeless tire plugs, it's hard to imagine how there will be any new wrinkles excepting perhaps if I run Slime in the tires. Presently I have Slime in the rear only as didn't have enough to do both last time I had the tires off.

Slime is easy to wash off, using garden hose and a soft brush so not a problem. I have not used tire plugs in conjunction with Slime so want to do some experiments.

If I do more tires, I will experiment with applying some grease or other means of preventing the sealer adhering to the spoke. Not certain that it is a big deal but would be a nice touch rather than to reseal.

The weight reduction from both tires is significant which was a not considered benefit since my intention was only to be able to use tire plugs rather than to remove a tube to repair.

If I've left something out or forgotten to consider some aspect, I'd be happy to respond.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinnin View Post
I agree with Fireground -- please post more.

I also searched your posts and didn't find which system you used -- there are people using Goop, silicone, tape, and others.

Which sealing method did you use and what tires so far?

Thx
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 07:43 PM
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Norm -

The front rim is a tubeless rim, while the rear is a tube type. Front tire bead retention should be good in the case of a flat, but I wonder about the rear. It's really the only thing that keeps me from trying to go tubeless.

Have you considered finding a grassy area, loosening the valve core, and seeing what happens when the rear goes flat?

Tom

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post #7 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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I will give it a try one of these days. I've had many rear flats on my previous KLR (something like ten in the first six months) but haven't had any stability issues.

Generally, tube type go flat quite quickly, IME while tubeless often just gradually lose air. I'll see if there's a spot close by when son & DW's SUV are both available in case.

Don't know about you but it's the "I'll try this to see how it works out." experiences which usually bit the buttocks.

Instances such as, "Go in for coffee. I'll just check the headlight bulbs, only takes a minute!" live on and on in the recollection of some people. Wish he'd shut up about it.....



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Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Norm -

The front rim is a tubeless rim, while the rear is a tube type. Front tire bead retention should be good in the case of a flat, but I wonder about the rear. It's really the only thing that keeps me from trying to go tubeless.

Have you considered finding a grassy area, loosening the valve core, and seeing what happens when the rear goes flat?

Tom
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 07:57 PM
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Norm -

It would be an interesting experiment. The loosened valve stem should replicate the normal slow deflation of a tubeless.

What concerns me is whether the bead will stay on that rim. In the field there's not a lot one can do to re-seat a tubeless bead without carrying straps or a can of lighter fluid. The lighter fluid method is a hoot, though. Werks gud.

Tom

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post #9 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Tom, I've had good success with a ratchet strap or rope and cross bar to pull the beads up. Many times one can manage to hold the tire (and one's mouth) just right and seal without any strapping. It's often quite another thing to seat a new tire, especially one which as been stored on its side.

An electric pump is almost mandatory as a small hand one won't allow pumping and shifting the tire. Lighter fluid is dangerous and should never be tried. I much prefer starting fluid.

We had an old tire guy who used to seat skidder tires with gasoline and a thrown match. That was pretty keen too. Impressive didn't quite describe...maybe Nagasaki?

Kidding aside, a high volume can be necessary to plan to carry at least one tube. Since I carry a tube regardless, not much change. I do hope to be able to plug rather than having to use tube as have been able to plug quite a few street bike tubeless.

It would be interesting to hear if others concur but my recollection has been that most flats required breaking both beads in order to remove the tire so it may be that we are worrying too much about the probability? Thoughts?

No question that a bead has to seal so one would be in as big a jam as without a tube to install. An old buddy tends to respond to these sorts of dilemma with the comment, "Better to have the servants handle that job."
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post #10 of 38 Old 07-23-2014, 09:17 PM
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I have only had eight flats on my KLRs. Of course all were on the rear and on only one did the bead break loose. It was at low speed on a dirt two track in the Nevada desert. I was so happy it broke loose because it started raining about that time.

I keep thinking that an air hose with a quarter turn ball valve and a TEE with a Schrader valve in it would be handy for seating beads. Remove the valve cores from both tires, connect the hose between them, close the valve and and pump up the good tire to a high pressure through the Schrader valve in the TEE and pop the ball valve open. Hopefully there would be enough volume and pressure to seat the bead on either tire.
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