Tubeless wheels on the klr - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Tubeless wheels on the klr

Has anyone converted the spoked rims to tubeless with success? I was unable to get a tire on the rim using tire irons in my garage without pinching the tube. After the sixth pinch and two tubes I took it to a shop. I started thinking if I am unable to do this at home, there is no way I would be able to do it on the trail somewhere in the middle of nowhere, alone. That is why I am considering the change. Thanks for any opinions/suggestions.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:55 AM
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People have done it, but I wouldn't recommend it in your case. The way you ride you'd have them all bent up in no time. Dual sports and off-road bikes have spoked rims because they are stronger than alloy wheels.

Tire changing is all about technique. It is 95% technique and 5% tools and lubricant. Unfortunately, the only way to get good at it is to practice.

Some tires and tubes are harder to deal with than others because they are stiff/thick. You might want to try the zip-tie method. I think it was the vintage car (Model T vintage) people that came up with the idea. It can be helpful; I have found that it helps keep the tube stuffed away out of harm's way. As far as getting the tire on the rim, it might be marginally easier.
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Old 02-26-2019, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beamwalker View Post
Has anyone converted the spoked rims to tubeless with success? I was unable to get a tire on the rim using tire irons in my garage without pinching the tube. After the sixth pinch and two tubes I took it to a shop. I started thinking if I am unable to do this at home, there is no way I would be able to do it on the trail somewhere in the middle of nowhere, alone. That is why I am considering the change. Thanks for any opinions/suggestions.
On youtube bestrest, the cycle pump guy. Has a detailed video on sealing laced wheels for going tubeless. I have considered it but then I dont do any serious off road riding either.

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Old 02-26-2019, 09:37 AM
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Ditto on Tom's comments; if you have trouble installing a tubed tire, you reeeaaly won't like trying to re-seat a tubeless tire on a rim in the field. Spoked wheels are used on every real dirt bike and all dirt oriented dual sport/dual purpose and ADV bikes for good reason. While you can convert a tube type spoked wheel to a tube-less setup, the issues dealing with re-seating and maintaining the seal make it a poor idea IMO.

Tubes are simple and easy; while it isn't my favorite task, it gets pretty easy after the first 100 or so! LOL....all technique as Tom said.

The Tubliss system may be the best of both worlds but it isn't recommended for highway use and they don't make them in 17".......which is why I just purchased two 18" Excel rims, spoke kits and hubs to make my own KLR Tubliss setup.

Cheers,
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:07 AM
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This KLR is my first ever changing MC tires. I’ve done both front and rear twice so far with little trouble and no tube pinch.
I wonder, did you air up the tube a bit so it expands into the tire some once the tire is about 1/2 on the rim? That gets rid of the “folds” in the tube which otherwise lay there at the rim where you don’t want it. I’m sure I would have pinched it if I’d not done that. I left the valve core out the entire time, so then air will leave it while setting the rest of the tire.

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Old 02-26-2019, 11:46 AM
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I'll try to supply a couple of tubeless conversion threads for your viewing pleasure. Some pics are missing.

https://www.klrforum.com/how-tos-tec...-part-1-a.html by Spec

https://www.klrforum.com/how-tos-tec...-part-2-a.html by Spec

https://www.klrforum.com/how-tos-tec...-new-tire.html by Spec

https://www.klrforum.com/how-tos-tec...date-flat.html by Spec

https://www.klrforum.com/1987-2007-w...re-update.html by Normk

https://www.klrforum.com/how-tos-tec...-new-tire.html by Spec

And always scroll to the very bottom of page to check for similar threads.

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Old 02-26-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by DPelletier View Post
...you reeeaaly won't like trying to re-seat a tubeless tire on a rim in the field...
Aw, heck, Dave, that's what lighter fluid and matches is for.
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Old 02-26-2019, 12:54 PM
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I'll suggest Starter Fluid. I would want to 'pop' them on there, not just light them on fire!

Do it with the Valve Core Removed! I've had tires get sucked right back off the beads because of the vacuum created when too much is used and the fire burns out/cools down inside.

pdwestman
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks gentlemen. I appreciate the time taken to reply. Practice the technique sounds good to me.
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Old 02-27-2019, 10:09 AM
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Thanks gentlemen. I appreciate the time taken to reply. Practice the technique sounds good to me.
Tips;

Get good tire irons that do NOT have sharp ends. I have a long set of motion pro's.
use a HD tube (thicker tubes are harder to pinch)
use WD40, talcum powder or specialty product to help everything move more easily
remember that the opposing bead must be completely in the center of the rim when you're using the irons/spoons.
Having a stand can help, even if it's just a 5 gall bucket

You can also try the zap strap method (search on youtube); it can make life easier - particularly for the less experienced

.....and remember that if it's taking too much effort, you're doing it wrong. Practice does make it quicker and easier though it never just falls into place! We had competitions at our races to see how fast someone could change a tire - lots of guys in at the 2-3 minute range. There are also all kinds of nifty tire tools like the Motion Pro Bead Buddy and the Baja No Pinch Tire tool.......I have the Bead Buddies and have tried the Baja tool but I find I like my old school methods best - you might prefer them though.

Cheers,
Dave
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