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Old 02-19-2013, 03:59 PM   #1
ironjack63 OP
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Tubes or tubeless

Okay, as I have said earlier, I am new to the airhead world just acquiring an '81 R100RT. I bought new Metzlers at Motorcycle Superstore and took them to be installed by a fellow Patriot Guard member that has a motorcycle shop. He called me and asked if I knew that the old wheels and tires had tubes installed. I told him no, and that I thought the wheels were set up for tubeless tires, but I deferred to what he found when he removed the old tires. I thought the so called "snowflake" wheels were tubeless rims. Anyone with more knowledge than me care to comment? I went ahead and had him put tubes back in with the new tires. This old girl keeps throwing me curves as I restore her.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:25 PM   #2
Twin headlight Ernie
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Tires

I've always been under the impression that BMW didn't go tubeless till about 1984. I have tubes in my 78 /7. 2HE
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:28 PM   #3
kaput13
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Welcome. Your snowflakes require tubes but some have modified their older wheels to go tubeless. Stay with tubes.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:44 PM   #4
ME 109
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81 require tubes as there is no safety bead on a snowflake,.
Whether or not you use tubes, is up to you.

I couldn't make my mind up so I have a tubeless rear, and a tubed front

There is no winner in this argument, it would appear.
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:47 PM   #5
supershaft
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Snow flakes are made for tube type tires. They don't have the tubeless safety bead. Even without the tubeless safety bead, I think tubeless tire non-safety bead rims are much safer with tubeless tires than tires with tubes. I know of many people that have converted snowflakes to tubeless. If I had them I would. My dad insisted that I convert my LS to tubeless for my safety before the bike ever hit the road but LS rims are safety bead rims although they came with tubes in them with warnings NOT to use tubeless tires on them. It's kind of a joke but then again it isn't: I always advise drilling a screw into a tubed tire and then drilling a screw into a tubeless tire and watching what happens. The tubed tire will be completely flat in seconds. The tubeless tire will take anywhere from a few minutes to a few years to be completely flat. IF it ever goes flat! Call me crazy but I prefer the latter scenario. Good Luck!

supershaft screwed with this post 02-19-2013 at 04:54 PM
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
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I've run tubes on my 81 R100cs for the past 30 years never an issue. Last time I re-did the front I installed the tubeless valve stem from BMW on the front wheel . So far so good, 18 months 5,000 miles. I kind of like the ease of changing tires without tubes. My back up plan, in case of slow leaks through the cast rim was to slime the tire. I'd say it's your bike give it a try.
I had an r65 with cast rims, without tubes, the hole for the stem was smaller then my R100. The BMW stem on the r65 was not a pull through rubber deal like a car but a gasket type deal. KISS
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:42 PM   #7
100RT
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Run with tubes. I have for years as that is the way the rims were designed. My friend hit a pot hole with his 82 R100RT with snowflakes. The rim cracked but the tube kept the tire inflated. Try that with a tubeless snowflake!
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:57 PM   #8
DaveBall
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They were designed to use tubes. I have never had an issue in 35+ years of riding on tube tires with tubes on all my BMWs. Sure, they are more difficult to patch on the road, in that you would have to remove the wheel and pull out the tube and patch it, or replace the tube. But, I have had very few flats in over 500,000 of riding these things. I usually wear out 2 sets of tires a year and always use brand new tubes with each tire change.

Just put in tubes and ride it.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
ironjack63 OP
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My thanks to all who replied. I have not been on this site very long, but have learned much. I would have bet money before having tires installed today that snowflakes were designed for tubeless tires, so shows what I know. Anyway, much thanks for the info and wisdom. This r100rt has already been quite the ride, and it is not even on the road yet.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 100RT View Post
Run with tubes. I have for years as that is the way the rims were designed. My friend hit a pot hole with his 82 R100RT with snowflakes. The rim cracked but the tube kept the tire inflated. Try that with a tubeless snowflake!
YEP! same here, 4 inch crack and you could SEE the tube, never lost pressure though, able to safely ride off the highway. actually beat the rim back in place and rode VERY gently and slowly to a friends house about 40 miles away and stole his front wheel so I could make it the 500 miles home.
tubes all the way, hell, on my r100r, it has tubeless tires, but I still carry a spare tube. even if the tire gets cut, a tube and some well placed duck tape will get you down the road to a better fix.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:58 AM   #11
boxerboy81
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Tubed on the front when I hit a big truck brake on the road! It deflated...slowly in a 3 lane tunnel at peak hour.



I have the valve to mod my rear wheel, but haven't just yet.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
supershaft
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If I was going to go tubeless with only one rim, it would be the rear rim. Typically speaking (every rule has exceptions) rear tire flats are a lot more dangerous that flats in the front despite a lot of urban legend about front tire flats. The back tire has more weight on it and the tire carcass is much more likely to become a lot softer for it. Total loss of air on a new tire and the tire is a lot more likely to keep its shape longer while coming to a stop. A well worn tire with softer side walls is much more like to collaspe at higher speed. When the tire collaspes and the rim drops down on the road is when the fishtailing starts. The back of the bike will start doing what it wants to regardless. The front tire can be manhandled via the handlebars. Plus that whole scenario is a way less likely to happen in front to start with for the rear having much more weight bias.

Plus getting a flat in the rear is way more likely. 9 out of 10 flats are in the rear for the front tire kicking up the whatever to poke the rear tire. That's the same reason behind being much more likely to get a flat with new tires. The newer, deeper tread blocks are much more likely to kick whatever up to poke the rear tire.

Of course, the rim dropping down to the pavement doesn't happen until all the air is out of the tire and all the air leaving the tire before you get stopped is way, way less likely to happen with tubeless tires to start with. Personally, I love all the flats I have had with tubeless with bikes and cars that I didn't even now I had until I saw something sticking in my tire. 9 out of 10 times I then pull it out and repair the flat right there with a galvanizing plug and it's fixed without even removing the wheel. Since I switched to tubeless, I fix most of my flats on my lift when I see something sticking in my tire versus loosing all tire pressure out on the road. IMO, that is one huge safety factor! Convenient too!

These observations aren't just mine. I have worked with many a long time mechanic that have noticed the same things.

Tube type tires? Be sure and remove the inspection sticker out of your new tire if it has one. Those stickers can rub a whole in your tube. I have seen it happen numerous times and comparatively I haven't done nearly as many tube types as tubeless. My dad showed me that for the first time while he was repairing a flat at the shop.

supershaft screwed with this post 02-20-2013 at 12:27 PM
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
When the tire collaspes and the rim drops down on the road is when the fishtailing starts. The back of the bike will start doing what it wants to regardless. The front tire can be manhandled via the handlebars.
You can steer the rear with the bars, your feet, and your ass. I know you can.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:25 PM   #14
DaveBall
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Almost all tires sold today are tubeless, so when running them with a tube on a rim designed for tubes, they should react somewhat similar to a tubeless tire mounted to a proper tubeless rim. But, I am probably wrong in that assumption.

Either way, I will continue to run tubes on any rim that is designed for them. I figure that the engineers that designed them probably know a whole lot more about it than I do.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:18 PM   #15
supershaft
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I know you can cholo9. Up to a point and then you aren't doing squat about it. I have had a rear flat take me to both sides of the road despite me trying to keep it straight and I grew up riding MX, TT, and short track. Good thing there wasn't any cars coming the other way!

DB, the air comes out so much faster with tubes from the air getting out of the tube and then out of the tire via the valve stem hole and the spokes. Well, those places and the hole in the tire but the hole around the valve stem is so much bigger. Conversely the hole in the tire is the only place air is getting out of a tubeless tire and very often it doesn't get out at all there for the puncture being air tight or close to it. Sometimes I wonder how it is that tubes on new street bikes haven't been litigated out of existence?
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