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-   -   Any of you travelers tired of carrying tires the "old" way? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/equipping-bike-whats-best-gear/any-you-travelers-tired-carrying-47337)

Tomlen 28 Dec 2009 17:32

Any of you travelers tired of carrying tires the "old" way?
2 Attachment(s)
Hello all!

I have seen it over and over again, an overland bike with extra tires under or over a heap of bags, tents and other bits and pieces. And when you have packed up your gear after a good nights sleep ready to set of you remembers that the bike keys is in the pannier!

I've traveled with a tire rack for 6 months that I made myself. The rack is fixed to the bike but the tires can be swung away from the panniers and rear seat to easily access the panniers. The rack is very light and easy to use, just one strap to hold it in place.
I've been playing around with the thought of making and selling, but feel free to make your own. I just want to share what I like traveling with witch makes life easier.

My camera bag fits perfectly in the tires. (Lowepro drysone)

Cheers Tom

TravellingStrom 28 Dec 2009 23:53

That looks pretty nifty, well done, do you reckon it could fit with a top boxas well?


pecha72 29 Dec 2009 07:04

It you travel 2-up, and need to carry spare tyres, I´d try to hang them on both sides of the fuel tank. Whether this will be possible, depends on the bike, the length of the rider, etc.

I know i could do it on a V-Strom (by modifying the crashbars a little with some welding). Carrying them like this was actually nowhere near the pain in the butt I thought it would be. My knees just touched them lightly, when riding, but I didnt feel it was a problem - but if I were any taller, it could be! We could ride motorway speeds, up to about 140 kms per hour, higher than that and you started to feel the front end vibrate, as the tyres started moving in the wind. May be if you ride serious off-road, you wouldnt want them this way, as they could be blocking you moving your legs freely. But you´re probably not doing that 2-up anyway. And we rode over 30.000 kms like this.

Besides, that way they´re a nice, soft, but durable ´extra protection´ for minor spills, I think the bike could be dropped to either side at walking speeds without a scratch. Plus we could also strap some of our heavy stuff, like tools, to the crashbars, that remained visible at the center of the spare tyres. We could even keep some extra water bottles, etc., inside the tyres!

This solution also shifted the weight forward a bit, which was good for the handling the bike (but I admit it wasnt 100% practical, as we ended up taking at least the tool bags off every evening, and strapping them back on every morning).

Threewheelbonnie 29 Dec 2009 09:04

I put my spare wheel (with snow chains already fitted) in the sidecar. Does that count as a suggestion? :innocent:


oldbmw 29 Dec 2009 20:50

It is the way I carry my folding chair :) straight across the back of the bike over the tops of the saddlebags

Tomlen 30 Dec 2009 16:33

TravellingStrom. Thanks for that! If I traveled with a top box I would mount some brackets onto the box itself to hold the tires. With vertical tires on my tire holder it would be a lot more strain on the hinge and the mounting on the bike.

Threewheelbonnie. That is like cheating isn't it! At least to us two wheelers!! Just pulling your leg!:laugh:

Cheers Tom

backofbeyond 30 Dec 2009 19:07

I would have thought just about every bike is different when it comes to carrying spare tyres.

I spent the best part of three months a couple of years ago playing around with different ways of carrying tyres on my CCM. There's the remains of at least three welded up rack prototypes still knocking around my garage and I ended up back where I started - with them dumped on top of the luggage. Everywhere else had some sort of fatal flaw.

One on each side of the tank either restricted the steering lock, splayed my legs out sideways or I couldn't get on. Mounting right at the back, with the number plate showing through the middle, added enough pendulum weight that the bike was unstable over 50mph and the front tyre got incinerated by the exhaust. Alongside the panniers made the whole thing wider than a car and prone to falling over.

In the end I gave up and figured I'd solve it some other time but my "design dept" is still considering the problem. You can see part of the "at the back" rack over the rear light in the pic below


Margus 31 Dec 2009 03:01

Your rear already carries TOO much weight with panniers+top boxes/luggage rolls and passengers! I reckon weight distribution on most "independent" (camping gear and all the stuff) overland travellers is somewhere 60+/40-% rear/front which is WAY off of a normal properly balanced 50/50 that it should be on a motorcycle.

I always try to put the stuff in the front when possible (i.e. tank bags with side bags are a good compensation).

On a GS the cylinders make a good support and even tankbag's sidebags support tyres. I rode through Europe on our RTW beginning with 4 spare tyres. With proper torquey engine no problem even doing 130+km/h on autobahns although you can FEEL the air-drag :) :



Everybody gave us a strange stare tho, every car we passed people were immediately at the window with eyes wide open :blink:

But the bike felt good and we did lot of offroading in South-America with two spare tyres on the bike. Even (tried hard) following the Dakar race in Argentinian Patagonia:

But at least tyres make proper additional crash bars :innocent:

Ride safe, Margus

pecha72 31 Dec 2009 08:25

Yep, no wonder they were staring at you.... :rofl:

so, who´s gonna top that - anyone ever try carrying a triple set of spares??!?

(I fully agree - if you can somehow mount them up front, do it, as well as every other item you can. All weight on the back is likely to make the bike a pain to handle).

Threewheelbonnie 31 Dec 2009 08:49


Originally Posted by pecha72 (Post 269788)

- anyone ever try carrying a triple set of spares??!?


Yes, but I refer you to my previous answer about how (and only to-from the place I bought them) :rofl:

Why are we trying to carry so many tyres? The outfits rear was puncture prone (sorted with mud flaps) and a swine to change (both exhausts off, takes about 30 minutes to change a tube), hence I carry a spare wheel which also keeps it's M&S tyre and chains year round in case I meet more mud that whatever I'm running can handle. I buy part used tyres (I love the internet experts telling people they need certain brands :innocent:) where I can and can get as little as 5000 miles out of a rear, so for long distances having a months worth of rubber can be useful. Front/sidecar tyres last forever so I've never needed to carry the spare, but have space if I wanted to.

My BM used a rear tyre every 8-10000 miles and when punctured there was always a risk of wrecking the bead or having something in the sidewall, so I can see the point of carrying a spare pair. The second pair in my mind suggests going somewhere more than 15000 miles from home and never passing a tyre shop or DHL place? Maybe it's me who trusts I can buy things as I go (I DHL stuff to places like Mongolia as part of my job which maybe helps)? Do you carry tubes as well?

When you change tyres in the field what do you do with the old ones? (I grow potatos in mine, add a tyre and fill with dirt as the shoots show through and you get a bigger crop :offtopic:)


Redboots 31 Dec 2009 11:06

I set myself a weight limit of 50kg - the weight of a smallish pillion. That included the panniers, but not the rack or tyres.
My bike is fitted with a single seat, as a result the panniers can be mounted further forward to help with balance.
I use Tesch panniers and the rack for these is substantial. I added an alloy plate to the lower rear hoop and an extender pipe to the exhaust:


The idea was to mount the 2 tyres on this plate, but in the event, the diameter of the rear tyre was obscuring the indicators:



So, I settled for the front on the plate and the rear over the roll bag. The tyre on the roll bag was strapped in such a way that it worked like Tom's bracket. I like his idea though:thumbup1:


The tyres were useful for carrying bottles of water/wine/oil/dirty skiddies/socks:blushing: etc.


Margus 31 Dec 2009 11:13


Originally Posted by pecha72 (Post 269788)
so, who´s gonna top that - anyone ever try carrying a triple set of spares??!?

Possible, but no possible need I can think of even in the remotest places on Earth (K60s last around 15-20Kkm range) - unless you like to perform occasional burnouts or crowd pleasing showoffs :innocent:.

I took three rears and one front for South-America. Heidenau K60 is my number one favorite travelling tyre and they were nowhere available in Americas, not even in USA at the time I went there. And 19"/15" tubeless size selection of tyres, especially offroad capable, is still very poor in South-America, with ripoff prices if you can find one (the only exception being Colombia where I found from BMW dealer the best selection in S-Am at affordable prices). I used the old K60s through Europe, didn't bother to change them before since they still had some thread left. Just mounted new ones on in Argentina and carried one set spare from there on that covered most of our South-American leg being proper offroad capable tyres :thumbup1:

Nath 31 Dec 2009 12:10

I'm not so keen on the idea of carrying tyres vertically, behind the bike. Yes it's unobtrusive, but being so far back they're applying maximum possible leverage on the suspension. Tom's moving rack does seem a good way to have the 'best of both worlds'.

I used smallish soft bags as panniers, small enough to fit inside an 18" rear. I was able to carry a tyre each side of the bike without adding any width, leaving space ontop for two fronts. Only of use if you're travelling solo and light.

Carrying the tyres up front does make sense if riding 2-up, though I'm not sure how many bikes would be big enough to accomodate them without fouling the steering or your legs.

lhendrick 9 Apr 2010 03:59

I think I will ship spare tires to points along my route before I would carry any on the bike. There comes a point at which riding just isn't fun anymore. Of course I say this never having started my adventure...experience may temper my plan....

markharf 9 Apr 2010 15:36

Hmmmm. I'm just wondering idly about these percentages for weight distribution. My KLR doesn't like a lot of weight added in front: I keep only a tool tube down low plus camping gear (lightweight tent, bag, bike cover, etc.) in front panniers. More weight up there yields a scary oscillation in the steering.

My added weight distribution, excluding myself, is probably about 85/15. That's what works.


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