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Thread: Tube Type Tires Run Tubeless

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    Tube Type Tires Run Tubeless

    I just bought some Mefo Explorers, marked 'tube-type' for my GSPD. I don't wanna run tubes, hate the things. Leak in a tube is a major PITA, all day misery, puncture in a tubeless is a 15-minute non-event. Any issues running Mefo tires tubeless on a GSPD?

    Anyone have any tips on how to get the 90/90 21 front tire to get the bead rubber to touch the metal rim all around at the same time so as to build up air pressure to seat the bead. Always been a real PITA before, hadda take it downtown to the moto guys, and they needed three guys and six hands to press the tire there and there to get it to hold air and seat.

    Someone told me to spray some ether starting fluid inside the tire and touch it off with a long nose BBQ lighter; the sudden explosion/expansion of air would partially seat the bead and air pressure would do the rest. Whacha thing? Think I'll die trying?
    Roger Wiles
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    I'm not sure the bead area on a tube type tire has the correct rubber compound or shape to hold air. It might be an invitation to perpetual bead leaks.

    The old ether and a lighter trick may be an invitation to injury. I don't think I'd try it.

  3. #3
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WooDmEn View Post
    Anyone have any tips on how to get the 90/90 21 front tire to get the bead rubber to touch the metal rim all around at the same time so as to build up air pressure to seat the bead.
    Tire shops often use an air snake that straps around the circumference of the center of the tread of the tire. When the nsake is inflated its ID is reduced forcing the edges of the bead outward by pressing in on the center of the tread.

    See for example: http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Tool-31433.../dp/B000J1Y31W

    I don't happen to own one of these so what I use instead is a ratcheting tie down strap to accomplish the same thing. One or two soft tie straps can be added to the length as needed to reach all the way around the tire.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Tire shops often use an air snake that straps around the circumference of the center of the tread of the tire. When the nsake is inflated its ID is reduced forcing the edges of the bead outward by pressing in on the center of the tread.

    See for example: http://www.amazon.com/Ken-Tool-31433.../dp/B000J1Y31W

    I don't happen to own one of these so what I use instead is a ratcheting tie down strap to accomplish the same thing. One or two soft tie straps can be added to the length as needed to reach all the way around the tire.
    I tried that several times to no avail. Always a leak somewhere. PITA.
    Roger Wiles
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    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    No one in their right mind would run a tube-type tire without a tube.

    But, you could win a Darwin Award.
    Kent Christensen
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  6. #6
    Registered User krpntr's Avatar
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    The reason you can not get the tire to seal is because it is designed to capture a tube. Not air. I never heard of anyone trying to run tube type tires sans tubes. The logic escapes me. Mess with the timing or the carbonation or cam lift or any number of performance modifications, but when you put your life on the line, which you do with your choice of tires and brakes, it would be foolish to do anything but that which is proven to work. Tube type vs tubeless labels are not marketing ploys. Run a tube in a tubeless tire if you want or if your rim calls for it, but tube type tires require a tube.





    1982 R100cs 1992R100RT

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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    No one in their right mind would run a tube-type tire without a tube.

    But, you could win a Darwin Award.
    There you go again, Kent. You just have a way with words.

    You must have won Darwin's Predator of the Year award!

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    Tubeless

    Tubeless on tube rims - I don't know about that. I have an 80 R100T with the snowflake mags. I was told by the PO that the wheels required tubes. After the first set of tires went south I went to a shop and had new tires put on. The installer said "why are you running tubes?". He put in a set of tubeless valve stems and installed some Metzelers. 20 years later and many sets of tires, not one leak or incident. Were the old snowflakes meant to run tubeless or is all this talk about tires flying off just a bunch of guff?

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    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FELAW View Post
    Were the old snowflakes meant to run tubeless or is all this talk about tires flying off just a bunch of guff?
    Plenty of discussion on this topic over the years...the most recent here:

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...irhead-wheels&

    The way I see it, the snowflakes don't have the proper bead to run the tubeless tires without a tube. However, people do it all the time and point to the "non-issue" when doing it as an indication that is it OK. And the beat goes on...
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
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    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    For those that have said that Snowflakes will never be safe with tubeless tires must have never changed a set of tires.
    Even with a tire machine it is hard to get the tires to seat on the rim. How will a deflated tube prevent a tire from coming off
    the rim.
    I am on my 3rd season running tubeless Snowflakes and a friend has run them for over 300,000 miles and had several flats without incident!
    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Plenty of discussion on this topic over the years...the most recent here:

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...irhead-wheels&

    The way I see it, the snowflakes don't have the proper bead to run the tubeless tires without a tube. However, people do it all the time and point to the "non-issue" when doing it as an indication that is it OK. And the beat goes on...
    Kurt,

    This discussion is slightly different than any I have seen. Here, the person wants to use TUBE TYPE tire without a tube on a TUBE-TYPE rim. the similar threads were directed at using TUBELESS tires on a TUBE-TYPE rim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    Plenty of discussion on this topic over the years...the most recent here:

    http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...irhead-wheels&

    The way I see it, the snowflakes don't have the proper bead to run the tubeless tires without a tube. However, people do it all the time and point to the "non-issue" when doing it as an indication that is it OK. And the beat goes on...
    I still fail to see your argument. I have heard you (an others) SAY that there is a difference in the configuration between a TUBE-TYPE rim (like the snowflakes) versus a TUBELESS-TYPE rim. Can someone please point out the detailed engineering differences like seat angle, or distance, or anything. No one has other than speculation. I would venture that if I could get both of these style rims side by side on a comparetor and compared there would be very little difference and that would be, if there were a difference, due to convenience for mounting, not seating.

    Secondly, how many miles are necessary before the testing is good enough to prove that it can be done. I have heard of hundreds of thousands of miles with out a failure that one could point to using a TUBELESS tire on a TUBE-TYPE rim, as a matter of fact, I have not heard of ONE failure - ever!

    Having worked in a testing facility testing new products, when we tested a proposed product design, the above experiment with its results would have been more than enough to "prove" that the design/function was acceptable.

    As a matter of fact, I would bet (speculate) that there is FAR more history of TUBE-TYPE tires failing on TUBE-TYPE rims AND running them with a TUBE than ever of the above example.

    Though I probably will never try the situation with my snowflakes, I could. Ironically my recently purchased new tire with its also newly purchased new tube - installed by a dealership has had a chronic slow leak. Tubes don't solve anything or make anything safer.

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    O.K., I will piss on all specifications, designs and manufacturers recommendations and I will run diesel fuel in my gasoline engines....

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    It seems the questions at hand are

    Q: How do you get the bead to set on a tubeless motorcycle tire that is being used without a tube?

    A: Any number of methods can be tried. You can strap it, pull the valve core and use a high CFM air source while you manipulate the tire in order to get it to seat.
    A: You can use the parking lot trick of loading it with an explosive gas (propane, acetylene, Etc...) and drop a match in there to do it.
    I'm sure there are some other methods out there that would work just as well or just as poorly.

    Aside from the obvious safety concerns of running a tube type tire without a tube some consideration should be made toward the convenience factor also referred to by the OP.

    Q:What will you do if your tire goes flat while on the road and need to get the bead set in order to plug it and re inflate if and when you can complete a repair?

    A: Carry all that crap with you on the road such as a a high CFM flow air source to set the bead and re-inflate the tire.
    A: Carry the strap and any other device in case of a flat.
    A: Pack a propane torch, safety glasses and a nice glove so you can try the parking lot trick after a flat on the road.

    Now for my 2 1/2 cents
    The side wall of a tube type tire is very soft and pliable unlike the one on a tubeless type tire which is why the tubeless tire is such a nightmare to mount and dismount on the side of the road. It also is a built in safety feature of sorts that will get you out of traffic and off the road in the event of a rapid deflation of your tire. If you are tricky enough to get you tube type tires mounted, bead set and inflated you may very well not have the same luck if you have a flat on the road. I would speculate if you can get the bike off the road to repair just a flat tire (and not a wreck) you will wish you had a tube handy so you can make that repair and be on your way.

    Conclusion: Where is the convenience of running your tube type tire without a tube if you can't even get the tire inflated in your garage never mind on the side of the road in less than ideal conditions and with basic repair tools.

    Advise: Buy the tubes and use the tires as the manufacturer recommends.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EMSimon View Post
    O.K., I will piss on all specifications, designs and manufacturers recommendations and I will run diesel fuel in my gasoline engines....
    That has been proven NOT to work! Matter of fact it fails every time! Nice try, Mike!

    However, running a tubeless tire on a tube-type rim without the tube, HAS been proven to work - without a known single failure due to the setup.

    However in THIS thread, the idea was proposed to run a TUBE-TYPE TIRE without a tube on a TUBE-TYPE rim. This situation is a new wrinkle.

    The danger here, as I see it, is that tube-type tires are usually bias ply as opposed to the newer radial plies. Bias plies do not lend themselves to holding air under pressure as air can penetrate between the plies, eventually separating them. This phenomenon HAS been proven many times to happen to bias ply tires.

    It was the perfecting of the radial tires that ultimately made tubeless the norm for today.

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