a brief history,,,,
the notion of having genuine tubeless wheels/rims has intriqued many over the years as evidenced by the variety of ways that riders and manufacturers have adapted to achieve that end,,,,we could break their efforts down into four main genres,,
Group A...those that try to seal traditional wire/spoked wheels,, it is the older of the groups ,,,,the methodologies/techniques utilized by these questors has ranged from a variety of sealants and application techniques with and without vacuum assistance ...everything from numerous layers of electrical tape,,,silicone sealants ,,,low and hi-end exotic epoxies,,,special single and double sided adhesive rubber bands and carpet tape,,,sealants protected with nylon strapping tape and/or kevlar/carbon fiber impregnated strips,,,rim bands glued on with rubber cement,,gorilla glue,,,,large O-rings on the outer bead corners ,,,,often unwittingly performed on rims never intended for tubeless tires....some techniques work better than others, some hardly at all,,,alot has to do with the care in applying and cleanliness of the sealing area not to mention only sealing rims designed for tubeless application,,,,and YES i know major manufacturers that routinely seal ANYthing.....most of these technigues are price conscious,,,,and others will run you several hundred dollars for the sealing kits,,,,
the biggest drawback is that at excessive speeds above our national mandates circa 75-84MPH,,,one moves into the territory where centrifugal force has a tendency to want to sling off the sealants,,hey it's basic physics....and what happens if a spoke breaks,,,,these are the main advantages that the next goup has over this one..
Group B,,,those that provide the motorcycle public with wheels /rims specifically made to use tubeless tires on them,,,that quest has burdgeoned in the last 30 years,,,,,some examples are Honda's Comstar wheels in the '70-80s,,numerous cast and forged wheels of every description,,,,,
and in the last 15 years,BMW,Aprillia/caponord,Moto Guzzi and a few trials bike Mfgs have offered wire wheels assembled with specially designed tubeless rims whose spokes attach from the outside edges of the rim in a x-lace pattern to the hub,,,commonly referred to as tubeless x-laced wheels...BWOE the techniques differ only in where the nipple is located,,,BMW with the oldest patent runs the spoke thru the rim's edge to the opposite side of the hub where the nipple is anchored and adjusted,,,the others reverse this process,,,their nipples are in the rims edge,,,,the trials folks have rims with a special rib running down the center of the rim,,the spokes thread thru and are adjusted in the hub ala BMW,,,,,
these wheel assemblies range in price from $250-1300...most are in the $350-450 range,,,,he BMWx-laced wheels are all circa $950-1300each the caponards/moto-guzzi not much less....hit something and bend them and you will need a specialist to repair them,,,Yes,,they can be straightened more often than not,,,,
Group C,,, is what i call the new hybrid technology,,,where a variety of mechanical techniques are utilized to seal the nipple in the rim...the Alpina company,,spoke and nipple suppliers to the bicycle/mc kingdom for 80 some years,,have bought practically every patent on the planet that deals with any notions surrounding sealing a traditional wire wheel in this manner....
some years ago i designed a special sealing and locking nipple waiting for the ''right time '',,,although different than anything alpina has,,,the ''idea'' of mine bangs into the ''idea'' of what they own from what i have gathered in speaking with them,,,,,we'll see if we can collaborate,,,you will see this technology spread in the next few years....several mainstream manufacturers have already bit into their apple,,,
Group D,,,is largely composed of folks that cross-pollinate existing tubeless rims from certain brands /models and make them work on other brands/models,,,BWOE the numerous transformations available for the BMW GS/HP-2 crowd,,,,converting these models from touring to mega-moto to off-road to....even better offroad/competition...Baja-1000/Paris-Dakar specials.....or..
from brand to brand ala taking the 19/17 36hole tubeless Aprilia Caponord rims and x-lacing them to oem KTM or aftermarket RAD hubs on the LC-4/8 Adventure models,,,voila,,,now a KTM adv rider has all the benefits of genuine tubeless tire specific rims,,,,their merits have been posted too numerously already,,,
that's it for today,,,,will post phase two of what it took to create these and the lessons learned along the way,,,
Pics of the 19/17 tubeless Caponord rim conversion to KTM LC4/8 hubs
here's a pic of the 2.50x19'' front on sidestands's bike
and here's the 4x17'' rear...trick Superlace pattern on powdercoated 60%glossy oem hub to satin black anodized rim
kudos to ''zune'' for the great pics
here's a link to see a black anodized RAD/hub to polished black Caponord rim
the Gobbler in action on MT. Palomar with his new Caponords
one pic is worth a thousand words.....+++++