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post #1 of 7 Old 05-14-2015, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Tubes: should I be worried? More info inside...

Hi guys. I'm seriously considering getting a KLR, but I seem to have a mental hangup on the fact the KLR uses tubes. I've never owned a bike with tubes and am wondering if I'm in for a world of maintenance nightmares/flat tires due to the tubes.

All of my previous bikes, including my current R1, used regular tubeless sportbike tires. I do carry a flat repair kit with me, and knock on wood, in over 25 years of riding I've never gotten a flat. Even if I did, the flat repair kit makes it easy: insert mug and rein late the tire using CO2 cartridges.

I may be fading more into it or "getting lost in the weeds", but I'm an engineer by trade, so over analyzing things to the Nth degree is what I do, haha.

Thanks for any and all help you guys can offer.
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-14-2015, 05:40 AM
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I really like tubeless tires. The plug is just SO easy to install.

There are a few spoked rims that take tubeless tires, but the old standby is to have the spoke nipples inside the rim. Some people have sealed these but most people use tubes.

And I have had days when I cursed tubes. But MOST of the time it just rolls around with no problem at all. Tubes allow you to use a lower pressure off pavement than tubeless would allow.

There are some tires that fit tighter on the KLR, such as the Heinedau K60 Scout. I can break the bead with some work, but seating the bead can take more pressure than other tires. That's easy enough when I change tires at home, but can challenge my pumps when fixing a flat on the road. Running the same tire tubeless would usually mean not seating the bead along the trailside.

Your experience with tubes will be better in the long run if you practice changing them early. You COULD probably ride for years without ever touching your tubes but that invites the chance that your first test would be by the roadside. Practice probably won't be fun. It's not a cheery first experience.

While I prefer tubeless, tubes are usually just not an issue. But I also have lots of practice changing both types.

Last edited by Grinnin; 05-14-2015 at 05:42 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-14-2015, 05:49 AM
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Yeah, you can't just put a plug in a tubed tire, air it up and ride on, but how often are you going to get a flat? Maybe I'm lucky, but I've had one in the last 25 years and that was due to a nail puncture because I was stupidly riding in an area where the roads had been cleared of flood debris and should have known better. A roadside tube replacement was done in a little over an hour and I was back on the road with a completely functional rear tire, not one with a plug in it.

I always carry everything I need to a fix a flat on site: tools, jack, spare tubes, air compressor.



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post #4 of 7 Old 05-14-2015, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinnin View Post
I really like tubeless tires. The plug is just SO easy to install.

There are a few spoked rims that take tubeless tires, but the old standby is to have the spoke nipples inside the rim. Some people have sealed these but most people use tubes.

And I have had days when I cursed tubes. But MOST of the time it just rolls around with no problem at all. Tubes allow you to use a lower pressure off pavement than tubeless would allow.

There are some tires that fit tighter on the KLR, such as the Heinedau K60 Scout. I can break the bead with some work, but seating the bead can take more pressure than other tires. That's easy enough when I change tires at home, but can challenge my pumps when fixing a flat on the road. Running the same tire tubeless would usually mean not seating the bead along the trailside.

Your experience with tubes will be better in the long run if you practice changing them early. You COULD probably ride for years without ever touching your tubes but that invites the chance that your first test would be by the roadside. Practice probably won't be fun. It's not a cheery first experience.

While I prefer tubeless, tubes are usually just not an issue. But I also have lots of practice changing both types.
Not true at all. Running a Scout tubeless means you can fix a flat without breaking the bead.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-14-2015, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shil View Post
Not true at all. Running a Scout tubeless means you can fix a flat without breaking the bead.
Right. And if you don't have to break the bead you also don't have to seat the bead.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-14-2015, 03:01 PM
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Right then. We all agree.
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-14-2015, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad German View Post
Hi guys. I'm seriously considering getting a KLR, but I seem to have a mental hangup on the fact the KLR uses tubes. I've never owned a bike with tubes and am wondering if I'm in for a world of maintenance nightmares/flat tires due to the tubes.

All of my previous bikes, including my current R1, used regular tubeless sportbike tires. I do carry a flat repair kit with me, and knock on wood, in over 25 years of riding I've never gotten a flat. Even if I did, the flat repair kit makes it easy: insert mug and rein late the tire using CO2 cartridges.

I may be fading more into it or "getting lost in the weeds", but I'm an engineer by trade, so over analyzing things to the Nth degree is what I do, haha.

Thanks for any and all help you guys can offer.
If you've never had a flat with a tubeless tire, riding the same way you'll never get a flat with a tube tire, either.

The only flats I've ever had with the klr were caused by pinching the tube during a tire change. And those were because I didn't know how to change them before I spent a few days trashing tubes learning to change tires in the garage.
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