Inner tubes? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-10-2010, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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Inner tubes?

So I am not finding any satisfying answers to my questions about inner tubes. I got stock tubes inside my stock tires right now and I am looking to get better tires soon for Death Valley. How are the stock tubes? How long do they last? What do I replace them with?

I am looking to get either Metzeler, TKC80, or Mefo tires if that helps. From what I read, bang for buck they seem to last longest and do well in twisties and dirt.

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post #2 of 7 Old 11-10-2010, 10:52 AM
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I think Happy Trails carries some great tubes at a great price.

http://www.happy-trail.com/Products/...s__IRC-XX.aspx
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-10-2010, 04:29 PM
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RB, when it comes to anything rubber on the outer perimeter of your wheels, you will not find two agreeing opinions on a motorcycle forum. In time, I believe we all find a confidence in our equipment we can live with. That confidence level and method of acquisition will differ for each of us.

I am frugal. Sometimes, so much so I embarrass myself. Even with that acknowledgement, I can say with total honesty I won't shop for the cheapest parachute or tire tubes. They both serve the same purpose, keeping me from smacking the ground real hard. I whole heartedly endorse anything that will keep that from happening.

When I have to, I have used whatever tube was available. My rear tube is an 18" Continental I found in West Virginia at an old Western Auto store. A sheet rock screw shredded the tube I had in the tire. I'm running it till I put new rubber on. When given the freedom to choose, I have stuck with Michelin T-6 tubes. They are heavier duty than an STD protective device, which some of the economy tubes resemble in thickness.
They are thin enough that they can be manipulated within the tire when mounting on the rim. Important if you have fingers larger than a fourth grader.
I subscribe to the idea that tubes must adjust to their cavity as they are aired up. Too thick of a tube may pinch, if not flexible enough to make the adjustment, making too thick of a tube a liability.

They also are constructed with an over lap at the seam, whereas many tubes today are butt-spliced. I have more faith in the over lap joint. The lap joint is directly opposite the valve stem, evening out the balancing act. They also will take a patch, and retain it once the tire and tube heat up from use. Having a flat and patching a tire can take the fun out of a ride. Having the patch come off a few miles later will clinch it as a bad day.

IMO, anything that will puncture the casing of the tire will penetrate the tube. Looking for a tube that is more puncture resistant than the tire is an effort in futility, again, IMO. Seeking out a tube that won't rot out in a short amount of time because of the low grade material it was made from is worth while. Higher rubber content = longer life and better patch adhesion.

I have a Michelin T-R6 on the front of the KLR that has about 33,000 miles on it, inside its third tire. It showed no indication that it was weakening or required replacement the last time it was remounted. Would another brand and model do the same? Probably. My experience with this tube has been consistent on a number of motorcycles, ranging from dirt bikes to cruisers. It is a medium price ranged tube and has good reviews. I currently am satisfied with its performance, and it gives me confidence in reliability and safety. YMMV.

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post #4 of 7 Old 11-10-2010, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vatrader View Post
I subscribe to the idea that tubes must adjust to their cavity as they are aired up. Too thick of a tube may pinch, if not flexible enough to make the adjustment, making too thick of a tube a liability.
+1 ...... Use PLENTY of talc.

I just bought some Michelin heavy duty tubes. Wow, at 4mm thick they seem twice the thickness of the Metzlers I have in now. I worry more about heat build up at highway speeds. Should I be concerned? Im on the fence sending them back.

Gray-haired riders don’t get that way from pure luck.

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post #5 of 7 Old 11-10-2010, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you vatrader! There is so much info on tires my head hurts but I didn't really know what to think of tubes with almost no one talking about them anywhere.

You said your on the 3rd tire using the same tube so that helps answer my biggest question on how long they last. I wasn't sure if every time I change a tire I needed to change tubes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flash View Post
+1 ...... Use PLENTY of talc.

I just bought some Michelin heavy duty tubes. Wow, at 4mm thick they seem twice the thickness of the Metzlers I have in now. I worry more about heat build up at highway speeds. Should I be concerned? Im on the fence sending them back.
That is a good question as I spend tons of time at highway speeds just to get to the dirt. From what I read of vatrader so does he so maybe they will be fine?

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post #6 of 7 Old 11-10-2010, 09:06 PM
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I've run everything under the sun as far as tubes and the only failure (other than pinching when installing) was a rusted valve stem failing over winter..

I air up, down, and replace a tube after every other tire.. I ride offroad on rocks and down the interstate at 75mph..

In other words, there's more important things to worry about than tubes..
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-15-2011, 08:27 AM
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I'm using both the heavy duty ones and some regular ones.

I'm thinking now that the standard tubes should be fine for everything. If something is sharp enough to get through the tire it's probably going to puncture either tube.

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