Tyre inner-tube questions - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Tyre inner-tube questions

I'm running a new pair of D606's, which came with the bike fortunately. These are the tyres which I will require for upcoming events and will be sticking with from here-on, but would like to know what the best inner-tubes are for these tyres. I want proper hardcore inner-tubes, cost is irrelevant, so please share your suggestions, experiences, best places to buy them from, etc!
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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I would also like some advice regarding tyre tube repairs, changing tyres on the side of the road, complete repair kits, etc. I've always had tubeless tyres (which are a cinch!), so would really value your opinions!
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:07 PM
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My .02. It doesn't really matter what kind of tube you use. That being said, if money is no object, why not go for an Ultra Heavy-Duty? I've used them and have found they're no harder to get in the tire than a regular one. I will say, though, after using the UHD tubes once and having my rear tube explode after it was punctured by a nail, I wont' bother paying the money for them again.

I think they might be worthwhile for those who do low-psi off-roading, but that's something I never do.

I carry a spare rear tube and a spare front tube. I carry a tube patch kit, but really don't plan on ever using it. If you're going to the trouble of fixing a roadside flat, why dick around with a patch kit when you have the tube out, anyway? Might as well just put a new tube in and be done with it all at once. That's the same reason I carry one of each, although it is claimed that the front tube will work in the rear tire in a pinch. But, you can't leave it in there indefinitely, so you'll eventually have to go to all the trouble to swap it out when you get home, anyway: double the work.

That's just me, though. If I patched a tube, I wouldn't plan on leaving it in the tire indefinitely: I'd want a new tube in there soon. A couple of spare tubes don't take up much room, but the heavier tubes are harder to fold up and take up more storage space, so I would recommend standard tubes for spares.

If you've never done tubed tires, look around for an old used wheel and tire that approximates the size of the KLR rear wheel. You can use it for practice whenever you want: saves wear and tear on your good rims and practice makes perfect when it comes to changing tires and tubes. You can usually find one on eBay for less than $50: money well spent in my book.

I use an Eagle Mike Quick Jack to get either wheel off the ground but there are lots of other options for doing that, from home-made jack stands to center stands, etc.

A portable compressor such as a Slime compressor is a must-have, in my book. I'd much rather use one of those than those CO2 cylinders.

Two things I really wished I had when I fixed a roadside flat were something to put on the ground to use as a work surface under the tire (I wound up using my riding jacket) and either something to clean my hands with when I was done or some rubber gloves to wear while doing the work.

You can use the Search function on here to find threads with opinions about inner tubes, changing tubed tires, etc.

Flat tires don't really seem to be all that common, but it's nice to have the stuff with you to fix one and then continue on your way if it does happen.



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Old 08-02-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planalp View Post

...

I carry a tube patch kit, but really don't plan on ever using it. If you're going to the trouble of fixing a roadside flat, why dick around with a patch kit when you have the tube out, anyway? Might as well just put a new tube in and be done with it all at once. That's the same reason I carry one of each, although it is claimed that the front tube will work in the rear tire in a pinch. But, you can't leave it in there indefinitely, so you'll eventually have to go to all the trouble to swap it out when you get home, anyway: double the work.

That's just me, though. If I patched a tube, I wouldn't plan on leaving it in the tire indefinitely: I'd want a new tube in there soon. A couple of spare tubes don't take up much room, but the heavier tubes are harder to fold up and take up more storage space, so I would recommend standard tubes for spares.

...

I haven't patched a tube without taking the wheel off but under the right circumstances...





I've run patched tubes in dirt bikes without problems. If it's not losing air why replace it?

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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I haven't patched a tube without taking the wheel off but under the right circumstances...





I've run patched tubes in dirt bikes without problems. If it's not losing air why replace it?
Spec, I LOVE your quick answers mate! That looks gnarly!!!! As this bike's going to be doing solo desert navigational rides and a "lap of Aus" (maybe South Africa to France if it's showing the love), the issue of tyre inner tube choices and how to repair them is a very critical thing for me...on a par with fuel ranges and drinkable water supplies! I've a LOT of distance to cover through some rough terrain as you can well appreciate, and there's a huge amount of distance to cover between help down here...you might have days between seeing anyone if you have a problem depending upon where you are. We can fit over 7x of France and then some within our borders, and we have every type of terrain imaginable...it's not all sunny beaches like the glossy brochures yeah?

I've ridden in snow, black ice, on gravel, dirt roads, dodged roos galore, done sub-zero temperatures, in sweltering tropic heat, monsoonal rains, etc and all on sportsbikes so far. My experiences was what made me choose a KLR...simplicity and proven performance in all conditions, oh and the ability to venture wherever I want.

That's why having suggestions for the most hardcore tubes, how to repair them, and what kits you advise to repair them is so important to my question. A quick-fix might be ok for you (wrong for me) but please don't bag-out my questions, I'm just asking for some genuine advice which will dictate my choices for important things mate.

Last edited by KLR Kaos; 08-02-2012 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLR Kaos View Post

...

That's why having suggestions for the most hardcore tubes, how to repair them, and what kits you advise to repair them is so important to my question. A quick-fix might be ok for you (wrong for me) but please don't bag-out my questions, I'm just asking for some genuine advice which will dictate my choices for important things mate.


No disrespect intended. Lots of off-road use Ultra Heavy tubes like these. They are thicker rubber (duh!) and resist pinch flats better. Also they seem to last forever, don't rot away like thin tubes. You can run an 18" tube in the rear (get the smaller size).

Also you'll probably want rim locks at least in the rear. Reducing tire pressure helps off-road but without rim locks you have a chance of spinning the tire on the rim and ripping the valve.

There are tire sealants like Ride-On that some people like. I don't have experience with Ride-On but have seen Slime used in tubes, makes a mess and doesn't work that well IMHO.

As far as repairing them Planalp has good advice especially about getting a wheel to practice on.

My .02 - I carry 3 full size tire irons on the bike (and a Bead Buddy, see the video below), compact irons aren't as useful IMHO.

This series of videos is the best instructional tire change that I've seen. Here's part 1.


No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Cor 2:9

Last edited by Spec; 08-02-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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Planalp and Spec, thankyou so much for your straight-shooting advice on this matter! You've both given me heaps of useful info to work with already, and I've taken on-board what you're saying. Bead-locks are a high priority for me already (my housemate confirmed this over a morning coffee while perving once again on my new bike, hehe!).

Planalp, I am already getting the feeling that you're keen to see how I build my bike up and what kinds of things it gets used for...you've been VERY supportive from the second I joined here, and cheers for that mate! Spec, you were a total smart-arse to begin with and were grating against me initially, but your last post proved that you know your stuff and are willing to help...thanks heaps for that mate, and now you know the direction of this bikes build, would love your input!

Whilst I'm a dumbarse first-hand for owning such a type of bike and never having ridden offroad, I know the issues very well...destroying 2 new Bridgestone Duellers on my Land Rover on an easy drive in lesser terrain which I'll be ridingsums it up.

Flat tyres are a massive concern for me given the terrain and distances, so thanks for your assistance. I know I'm going to stake the tyres a few times, and be well away from any help...oh yeah, and nursing my mates new Triumph Tiger 800 along for the lap, hahahahaha!
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:03 PM
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Ain't read all the responses, KLR Kaos, but . . . some consider EXTRA THICK inner tubes an advantage at avoiding flats.

Then, there's SLIME for tubes, not to be confused with SLIME for tubeless.

And, there are mousse balls (run flat), and . . . what's the name of that run-flat tire? Terra-something?

I've found a BEAD BUDDY useful when mounting tires; maybe I don't use it as intended, but it helps keeping the off-side bead in the drop center of the rim, allowing enough "slack" to spoon the bead onto the rim, about 180-degrees away . . .

Make sure you've plenty of lubricant (e.g., dish soap, Windex) when mounting a tire, and . . . at least three tire irons are a blessing.

Good luck!

------------------

Oh, yes; should all this good advice and logistical recommendations fail you, something can be said for using heavy-duty zip ties to lash a flat casing to the rim and run on in to where proper repair can be effected.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:06 AM
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KL Kaos, I would say the best tubes to get here in Oz by far are Bridgestone Ultra Heavy Duty or second pick would be Metzeler Heavy Duty. Both are 4mm, lots of other “Heavy Duty” are only 3mm or even less.

They are both also natural rubber not Butyl rubber, this is good as Butyl rubber can burst and shred if it gets punctured whereas natural rubber will just get a hole in it, very important if trying to repair it. Also natural rubber takes a patch, glued or vulcanised, much better.

However, natural rubber has a tendency to slowly loose air due to its molecular structure and therefore pressures must be checked more often. If left unridden a natural rubber tube may actually drop from say 20 PSI to only having like 3 or 4 PSI left in it after only a few months.

I think Michelin also do a 4mm HD but I don’t know about these or if they are natural rubber so can’t comment on them.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 270win View Post
They are both also natural rubber not Butyl rubber, this is good as Butyl rubber can burst and shred if it gets punctured whereas natural rubber will just get a hole in it, very important if trying to repair it.
I knew natural rubber tended to lose air more than butyl, but didn't know that butyl tubes can burst and shred if punctured. That's exactly what happened to mine when it was punctured by a nail. There wasn't no fixin' that thing: it literally ripped apart:



It was an IRC tube that's advertised as being made of a blend of natural and butyl rubber. So, I'm guessing a natural/butyl blend can exhibit the same characteristic of possibly shredding and being un-patchable when punctured just like a straight butyl tube.

Thanks for pointing this out.



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