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Thread: Airhead wheels

  1. #16
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    "if you are willing to take the risk and suffer the irritation of trying to ever get the tubless tire off the rim with ordinary tools in your kit for a road fix or home tire change then have at it"

    I guess I just don't see this.

    For example, the Michelin Activ 3.50-18 is in the size of the older bikes, yet it is a tubeless tire and by their own instructions can be used for BOTH tube-type wheels AND tubeless wheels. They, do, however, say to use a tube on a tube-type rim with their tire.

    But how would removing THIS tubeless tire off a tube-type rim require any special tools? I have changed my tires myself on my '78 R100 both front and rear, and used all tubeless tires (with tubes except for one and it was a tube-type tire) with NO special problems in removing or installing. Why the special tools?

    The only problem I have ever had was recently when I installed a Michelin on the rear of my bike, I, nor a local dealer could get it to seat - I think that the tolerances were too tight. I had to go back to a Dunlop, and it worked fine - a tubeless one none-the-less.


    My issue is this.

    I am not sure why one would want to eliminate the tube in these wheels? If a tubeless tire will work anyway, why not just run a tube inside as Michelin recommends?

  2. #17
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=jimmylee;889602

    My issue is this.

    I am not sure why one would want to eliminate the tube in these wheels? If a tubeless tire will work anyway, why not just run a tube inside as Michelin recommends?[/QUOTE]

    The reason is you can use a tire plugging kit from the outside if you get a flat, instead of removing the tire and patching or replacing a tube.
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 44006 View Post
    Really need to know what bike you are trying to fit to

    If your older bike will fit the snowflake wheels then yes you can go tubeless
    This is not recommended but will work and many swear by it

    The valve stem hole need not be modified - there is a metal stem that will fit with
    rubber washers inside and outside retained by the nut - had one of these on a bike
    I purchased used - I ran it that way till the tire was used up and then converted back
    to the proper tube type

    As I said using tubless tires without tubes inside on the snowflake wheels is not recommended by BMW and therefore probably a liability for a professional mechanic to do for you but if you are willing to take the risk and suffer the irritation of trying to ever get the tubless tire off the rim with ordinary tools in your kit for a road fix or home tire change then have at it

    The snoflake wheel was not designed for tubless use but seems to hold air and work.

    So in my opinion your question really should be "Which bikes will fit snowflake wheels?"


    I do not want the snowflakes, I want wire spoke wheels. Doing some checking it looks like [so-far] nothing pre-made, but there are available aluminium tubeless rims. So I may have to do as suggested by another poster, have them laced to my hubs, or do it my self. I have a hand spin balancer and have "trued" wheels....so to save some cost, if the project comes together?...I might give it shot.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darryl Cainey View Post
    If you can live with BMW Snowflakes they can easily be switched to tubeless, I have been running them for 3 years now & a friend has over 300,000 miles on his conversion without any problems. You have to buy a special Shreader Valve that fits the stock hole size.
    WOW!

    Mr. Know-it-all above (the guy further up the thread, not the person who wrote this quote) said it just couldn't be done because the rims weren't "special" tubeless rims!! This quote proves that it can be done SAFELY! And LOTS of people have done it with literally THOUSANDS of miles.

    Guess the "expert" with his dogmatic advice was just blowing smoke out is a$$ !!

    I think these guys see some "novice" ask a simple question and see the opportunity to take advantage of the questioner's lack of knowledge. Later...others who have the experience to back them up prove the "expert" so-called wrong.

    I think the snowflake wheels are perfect candidates for this switch.

  5. #20
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    "I think the snowflake wheels are perfect candidates for this switch."


    LOL! if that was an answer to me? The OP....I'll say one more time....I DO NOT want snowflakes ....I am after wire spoke tubeless wheel/rim/tires...combination...


    BUT!!...speaking {of} snowflakes, I did use tubeless tires on them, on an 81 RS. several sets, adding up to [I believe] 56000+/- miles. And had no problems.

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    Darryl--I suspect that buying the BMW outside spoke hole rims won't work for a conversion--the geometry at the hub won't match up. But you might put that proposition to the guys at Woody's.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71243 View Post
    "I think the snowflake wheels are perfect candidates for this switch."


    LOL! if that was an answer to me? The OP....I'll say one more time....I DO NOT want snowflakes ....I am after wire spoke tubeless wheel/rim/tires...combination...


    BUT!!...speaking {of} snowflakes, I did use tubeless tires on them, on an 81 RS. several sets, adding up to [I believe] 56000+/- miles. And had no problems.
    No, I wasn't referring to your desire not to have Snowflake wheels! In fact, I hadn't even seen that comment until just now. My previous remarks were simply an observation. I think that each has his own likes/dislikes. I used to have spoked wheel with steel rim on my /2, and then spoked wheels with alloy rims on my /6. But, I personally prefer the Snowflakes, and am considering myself converting them to tubeless (w/o the tube), but am not sure it is worth the effort.


    But I am curious. Why go tubeless rims at all? What would be the benefit other than saving about $14 at a tire change?

    Just curious!

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    No, I wasn't referring to your desire not to have Snowflake wheels! In fact, I hadn't even seen that comment until just now. My previous remarks were simply an observation. I think that each has his own likes/dislikes. I used to have spoked wheel with steel rim on my /2, and then spoked wheels with alloy rims on my /6. But, I personally prefer the Snowflakes, and am considering myself converting them to tubeless (w/o the tube), but am not sure it is worth the effort.


    But I am curious. Why go tubeless rims at all? What would be the benefit other than saving about $14 at a tire change?

    Just curious!
    A benefit would be you could plug a puncture with the tire on the bike rather than removing the wheel, removing the tire, removing the tube, replacing the tube and remounting the wheel.

    IMHO no more handsome wheel has ever graced a motorcycle than the snowflake.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    No, I wasn't referring to your desire not to have Snowflake wheels! In fact, I hadn't even seen that comment until just now. My previous remarks were simply an observation. I think that each has his own likes/dislikes. I used to have spoked wheel with steel rim on my /2, and then spoked wheels with alloy rims on my /6. But, I personally prefer the Snowflakes, and am considering myself converting them to tubeless (w/o the tube), but am not sure it is worth the effort.


    But I am curious. Why go tubeless rims at all? What would be the benefit other than saving about $14 at a tire change?

    Just curious!


    well,what Bob,M said + tubeless tires run cooler..not that, that is a big deal for street riding. But also they deflate at a slower rate in the case of a puncture. Might buy ya precious seconds in that scenario ?

    And yes Too Bob,M I like the snowflakes as well, I just want a different look, and "spokes" are more fitting to a vintage / nostalgia bike.....{JMO}

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_M View Post
    A benefit would be you could plug a puncture with the tire on the bike rather than removing the wheel, removing the tire, removing the tube, replacing the tube and remounting the wheel.

    IMHO no more handsome wheel has ever graced a motorcycle than the snowflake.
    Ironically, 25 years ago, I built a trailer from scratch to pull behind my then spoked /6. I actually purchased snowflake wheels for it before I knew anything about BMW snowflakes. I sold that bike because my kids were little, and when I rode everyday to work, I would have about 2 close calls per week. I sold because I didn't want the kids to grow up without a Dad.

    I just hung the trailer up in my garage from the ceiling.

    About 6 months ago, I purchased this /7 and the wheels on the bike are very close in design to the wheels on the trailer. Looks like I made the trailer to match!

    I like the Snowflakes too.

  11. #26
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    Woody's will seal spoked rims for use with tubeless tires. It's on their website and I think it's a pretty popular request.

    http://www.woodyswheelworks.com/Moto...eelRepair.html

    Seal Rims For Tubeless Tires $99.00
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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    Wow. You really are full of yourself.

    The person I discussed this with was a man who worked at a very large motorcycle shop that sold about 10 brands of motorcycles and had changed hundreds and hundreds of tires, both tube-type and tubeless. How many have you changed?

    Also how do you account for the fact that running a tubeless tire on a tube-type rim with no tube HAS been successfully done?

    I just would bet that again, you have NO experience with this, but just conjecture.
    Well, you're really poorly educated.

    Everone knows that manufacturers are cheap but why don't you wonder why BMW went to all the trouble of sending these bikes from the factory with tubes in them when all they had to do was request the manufacturer drill the valve stem hole a little larger and then they could eliminate all the expense of buying and installing tubes and then just use tubeless tires? No, they didn't do it because the rest of the wheel does not meet industry standards for what constitutes a tubeless wheel.

    One thing that separates the educated from the not is an understanding of statistics. The fact there are a few samples of folks that have gotten away with something doesn't prove that sort of shade-tree engineering correct. To think having "changed lots of tires" makes one an engineering expert is laughable. Sad, actually. But, if you're not, how would you know?

    Of course, if you could read, you'd note I've never said running tubeless tires tubeless on snowflake wheels is impossible--I've only said the wheels don't meet industry standards for doing this and you won't find a wheel manufacturer or tire manufacturer that will approve the process.

    And I do understand the tubeless tire is less likely to suffer massive deflation compared to a tire with a tube. Yet, I'd still run them with tubes simply because I don't suffer the delusion I'm smarter than the designers and industry standard setters and because the instructions from the tire manufacturer tell me to.

    The fact you're a legend in your own mind is of little consequence. Owning a motorcycle makes nobody a genius, but there sure are lots with that delusion. Glad you're not in aviation.
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  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    Well, you're really poorly educated.

    Everone knows that manufacturers are cheap but why don't you wonder why BMW went to all the trouble of sending these bikes from the factory with tubes in them when all they had to do was request the manufacturer drill the valve stem hole a little larger and then they could eliminate all the expense of buying and installing tubes and then just use tubeless tires? No, they didn't do it because the rest of the wheel does not meet industry standards for what constitutes a tubeless wheel.

    One thing that separates the educated from the not is an understanding of statistics. The fact there are a few samples of folks that have gotten away with something doesn't prove that sort of shade-tree engineering correct. To think having "changed lots of tires" makes one an engineering expert is laughable. Sad, actually. But, if you're not, how would you know?

    Of course, if you could read, you'd note I've never said running tubeless tires tubeless on snowflake wheels is impossible--I've only said the wheels don't meet industry standards for doing this and you won't find a wheel manufacturer or tire manufacturer that will approve the process.

    And I do understand the tubeless tire is less likely to suffer massive deflation compared to a tire with a tube. Yet, I'd still run them with tubes simply because I don't suffer the delusion I'm smarter than the designers and industry standard setters and because the instructions from the tire manufacturer tell me to.

    The fact you're a legend in your own mind is of little consequence. Owning a motorcycle makes nobody a genius, but there sure are lots with that delusion. Glad you're not in aviation.

    Well, I am just as educated as you, and there are literally thousands of those "shade-tree" mechanics out there.

    You REALLY are full of yourself! Talk about arrogant?

    Maybe you need some help?

    To answer your question about why BMW engineers went to all that trouble to use tubes? It is because these older bikes preceded the "tubeless" generation when tubeless got popular. Hardly anything was tubeless at that time - esp. motorcycles!

    I still question your first contention that the profile of a tubeless rim is that much different. Show me the technical data and back up with pics.

    Where is your data? Are we to believe YOU when there are literally hundreds of those who have converted with NO problems and have run hundreds of thousands of miles? Guess your education should be questioned. It works!

  14. #29
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    As I read back through the whole thread, YOU are the only one who said it couldn't be done. Yet many others said it worked and one suggested that there is a company specializing in sealing older spoked rims to do it.

    Guess you just can't accept defeat.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    As I read back through the whole thread, YOU are the only one who said it couldn't be done. Yet many others said it worked and one suggested that there is a company specializing in sealing older spoked rims to do it.
    Not sure what you mean by "it couldn't be done". Probably you're talking about the idea of newer tubless-style rims on an older Airhead. I myself thought there wasn't a way to do that for various reasons...an other reason were suggested.

    But now I see that if one really wants to work for it, it might be possible. I agree with Kent...at what cost and will there be an affect on the handling of the bike. But I suppose it's worth an experiment.

    I hear a lot about how people have run snowflakes with out tubes. It is a fact that the rim design for tubeless tires and tube-type tires are different...and the snowflake doesn't fall into the tubeless tire category. Therefore, it shouldn't be done. People do it, haven't had a problem (dare I say yet! ) but that doesn't make it right or totally safe. There are enough issues with tubes, tires, etc., that for me, I would not want to add another variable that could put me on the ground. That's my choice...but the rims are not correct for running tubeless...that's a fact.
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