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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for the truth.

I'm looking at buying a KLR 650. I've seen an add for a used bike that says the rims have been sealed so that no innertubes are needed.

Is that possible and is it dependable.

I would appreciate any insight into this issue.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the response Flash.

I'm a bit slow on the uptake - this whole forum use thing is completely new to me. I'm still trying to figure out how to get around in here.

My main concern about getting a KLR is the possible necessity of changing a tire somewhere in the boonies. Heck, I've never changed a motorcycle tire anywhere. My wee strom didn't present such a problem.

Maybe I'm scared of something thats not that big of deal.

What do ya think?
 

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My main concern about getting a KLR is the possible necessity of changing a tire somewhere in the boonies. Heck, I've never changed a motorcycle tire anywhere. My wee strom didn't present such a problem.

Maybe I'm scared of something thats not that big of deal.

What do ya think?
If you are getting a KLR that doesn't use a tube, a trail-side tire repair would be the same as a road-side tire repair on your Suzuki. Remove foreign object, install plug, air-up tire and continue.

If you go with tubes because you don't trust the tube-less 'conversion' then a repair would entail pulling a wheel, etc...

Not that big of a deal, plenty have had to do it over the past century - builds character and teaches humility.
 

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Getting the tire itself on and off the rim is more than 9/10 of the work: the tube itself is no big deal. Not to detract from your original question, but...

Trust me: if I can change a tubed tire, so can you. It seems kind of intimidating, but it's really very simple.

It would seem to me that you have a lot more and better repair options with a tire and a tube than just a tubeless tire alone.

If you want to practice in your spare time, you can find an old wheel/tire to practice with. I bought one on eBay for $20 and spent the off-season peeling the tire off, poking holes in the tire and tube, repairing them, then remounting. It's a good way to figure out what tools and repair items work for you. If you don't have somebody with experience to help you, there are a lot of good videos available on YouTube that show the basics and folks on this forum are more than willing to answer your questions and recommend the tools they prefer.

I haven't had to do it yet, but carry everything with me and no longer worry about repairing a flat tire roadside because I know I can do it. I had very little experience with tubed motorcycle tires before this.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Building character and learning humility - sounds like me talking to my kids. There's growth potential here.

Buying an old tire/rim assembly and practicing sounds like very sound advice.

I was just wondering if there was an easy way out.

Thanks for the input!
 

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My goal for the next off-season was to practice repairs without even taking the wheels off by getting the tire off the rim on one side and just pulling the tube out enough to do so, but don't really see the point since it's no big deal to just take either wheel off and work on it on a stable surface if you have the right tools with you. Of course, this entails carrying more than the standard issue KLR "tool kit."

I just don't see the tubeless thing. How would you ever keep air from leaking out around where the spokes meet the rim? I figure if it was feasible or doable, somebody would have done it by now. Maybe it is, but I know of no popular offerings in this area.

Good question.

I've had a garden tiller and a couple of lawn mowers where I had problems with the tubeless tires going flat all the time, mostly due to the inherent low pressure and dust/dirt that got into the bead. The solution from the local tire store? Just put a tube in them. They haven't gone flat since.
 

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Bad thing I heard about tubliss is you have to keep it at 100psi which can be hard to do.
They make a tube that's not a full 360 (think of a C that's almost closed) but I don't know if it would get out of balance doing 65mph.
Luckily I have yet to get a flat out in the boonies, which is a good thing because I seldomly carry everything I'd need to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The big BMW GS bikes, the Yamaha Super Tenere, and, it appears, the new Honda adventure bike coming out all have spoked rims with tubeless tires. The fix is that the spokes are attached to the rims at the outer edges instead of into the air cavity of the tire. So, there is no chance of air leakage around the spokes. It's a darned smart idea, I think.

The cheapest one of any of those bikes is at least $7000 more than a KLR though. And, I don't need that much bike or so many farkles. But, they show you can have the wire spokes and still be tubless.

The expense of those type of rims must be prohibitively high or they would be on the smaller BMW adv bikes and probably the KLRs too.
 

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Hmmm, interesting info; hadn't really thought much about it. Didn't realize all those bikes had spoked wheels with tubeless tires.
 

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Indeed, it would be nice if the KLR had rims that didn't require tubes but no such luck... I don't know much about the method of epoxying the spokes to seal them but I can't see it being too reliable. Plus, how the heck would you tighten the spokes after that? Another thing to consider is that if one of the sealed spokes fails the tire would deflate... Pretty much instantaneously!

As far as the Tubliss tires are concerned, I think they are mostly designed for dirt bikes. Here's a link with some info: http://www.aviciouscycle.ca/tubliss.html

They run a high pressure "bead sealing" tube at 100 psi and then you run the tire itself at much lower pressure. I don't have any experience with them personally, but I've heard that the high pressure bladder tends to bleed down it's pressure over time so it has to be pumped up again. I've also heard that they're hard to balance for road use due to the design of the inner bladder and have a "lumpy" ride on the highway. Plus, they're $$$!

In the end I much prefer a tube to trying to make a tube rim into a tubeless rim. The technology is proven and very reliable, millions of bikes tooling around with tubes in their tires :). I subscribe to the KISS method.
 

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What's your take on this "tubliss" thing, flash?
Well, not really something I'm interested in. Just passing along the info for someone that may. It would be easy to just pull and plug in the field but
I think you're just swapping one evil for another.....at more expense.

I like spokes and chains.
 

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Ever tried to get the bead to seat on a tubeless? Aint the easiest thing to do. Especially with our little slime pumps we carry around.
 

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Ever tried to get the bead to seat on a tubeless? Aint the easiest thing to do. Especially with our little slime pumps we carry around.
Good point. I know a far cry from a motorcycle tire, but with some of my mowers and tillers, I've had to try to seal the gap between the tire and wheel with duct tape to try to hold the air in long enough to get the bead to seat and that was with a 120psi shop compressor.

Either that, or shoot some starter fluid in there, light it to pop it out and get all the hair burned off my arm.

If you had this trouble with a motorcycle tire, I can't imagine getting the bead to seat using a slime pump.
 

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I'm always having to use a ratchet strap to cinch up the tubeless tires on our mowers. It's a pain in the ass trying to get the tube to seat enough to allow air to stay. We are now in the process of converting all mowers to tubes.

I think these guys are right for dual sporting when you could be miles away from a station or you don't have a pit crew like Charley Boorman. I would stick with tubes.
 

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I use a can of fix a flat to gimp home and deal with it later. That only works with tubes since gunk in the tire makes it near impossible to plug if you're counting on the tire itself to be completely airtight. Just replace the tube when you get home and it's all good. I get the can that's bigger than it seems like I would need since not all the air and goo goes into the tire, there's always some rogue goop fizzling out somewhere between the can and the valve stem.

As far as tubeless goes, I've seen good success with Gorilla tape over the spoke nipples as a sealing rim strip. Go as wide as you can without interfering with the bead. I use Gorilla tape over rubber rim strips with tubes as well since it stays put better and doesn't crack.
 

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This thread is five years old. I'm too carry a bottle of slime designed for tube type tires. I am also a member of ROK, which includes towing to a degree.
 
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