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Old 10 Feb 2014
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tubes perishing?

Has anyone encountered their tubes perishing?

I've just changed my tyre, and the tube (2yrs old now) looked in good condition... so I carried on with it...

but just seen this in the news...

Tubed tyres safety concern - news - motoring | Stuff.co.nz

The coroner has highlighted safety issues with tubed tyres in his report into the death of a motorcyclist in 2012 .

On July 20, 2012, Bryan Wyness, 71, a retired businessman living in Pukekohe, was riding his BMW motorcycle on State Highway 1 when he was killed in a crash at Rangiriri, in the northern Waikato.

Wyness was riding the same BMW F 650GS touring bike that had carried him across central Asia during the famed travels of the "Silk Riders" in 2005.

In a report released today, Coroner Gordon Matenga said Wyness was riding in the left of two southbound lanes travelling towards Hamilton and police had said Wyness was travelling slowly at the time of the crash.

A driver of a car behind Wyness pulled out to overtake him, but at the same time the motorcycle began to drift from the left lane into the right lane, its handlebars began to wobble and Wyness lost control.

The bike and its rider fell and slid into the median barrier. Wyness suffered multiple injuries including a fatal spinal injury, the coroner said.

There was no collision between the motorcycle and the car, and "no evidence of a precipitating medical event".

The crash is believed to have been caused by a slow air leak from the front tyre, which, upon reaching a critical point, caused the tyre walls to collapse and sudden loss of all remaining pressure in the tyre.

It was discovered that the front tyre tube was as old as the eight-year-old motorcycle and "may well have been the original".

The report found tubes expanded over time due to "ordinary use". In this case, the expanded tube chafed against the tyre, resulting in the leak, and ultimately the tyre's sudden deflation and Wyness's loss of control.

Matenga ruled the death was "accidental".

However, he recommended that a copy of the findings be sent to the New Zealand Transport Agency and ACC, and that all those who rode motorcycles in New Zealand were warned to be aware of tyre manufacturers' recommendations - if a tyre is replaced then the tube should also be replaced.

"This inquest has highlighted an important safety issue for those who ride motorcycles with tubed tyres," Matenga said.

"The evidence I have ... is that in Germany, America and England, if a tyre is changed on a wheel that has a tube, then the tube must also be changed.

"The tyre manufacturers, Pirelli, have it written on the tyre in German. I am advised that it translates as, "New tyre, new tube."

The coroner said this did not reflect the law in New Zealand. Motorcycle tyre mechanics were able to reuse the old tube when replacing worn tyres and this was "clearly a concern".

Wyness was one of six "Silk Riders" - a group that included high-profile economist Gareth Morgan - that rode the three-month, nearly 20,000-kilometre Silk Road trip from Venice to Beijing, in 2005 following the footsteps of 13th century trader and explorer Marco Polo.

The tour received widespread publicity with Morgan and his wife Jo writing a book – Silk Riders – about their travels.

Wyness had a passion for motorsport, owning three motorbikes and four Jaguar cars.
'Life begins at the end of your comfort zone'-
http://fernsforays.com/ UK to Asia on a DRZ400 2012-2013
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Old 10 Feb 2014
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My own anecdotal experience is that this can happen to cheaper tubes after a few years but have had better quality one such as Michelin last a lot longer. I of never had a blow out as a result of the tube degrading but have had them become porous resulting in a slow puncture.
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Old 10 Feb 2014
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That's bad luck for the old fella in NZ. Stuff happens.
The "new tire, new tube" theme has been around for decades ... and it's good advice. But the fact is ... few follow it. Especially riders out in Bum-f##k Bolivia with no tubes for sale in a 1000 miles.
Out there ... Tubes are GOLD!

Here is the thing with tubed tires:
1. When a tube is punctured it can often deflate pretty much INSTANTLY.
this is of concern if traveling at high speed in a turn or on a crowded motorway. Sounds like this is what got the old boy on the F650. Your bike can get out of control quickly .. before you have a chance to react and get off the road. A tiny hole may not do this ... but a good size nail will ...I know because I've had it happen several times to me.

What to do?

2. I use either SLIME or Ride-On in my tubes. This is not Fix-a-flat, it's something a lot better. It's goop you put it in ahead of time and leave it in. It can prevent a puncture by sealing up the hole ... in some but not all cases.
Overall, it works pretty well but breaks down over time (over a year)

BUT ... what it most ALWAYS DOES DO ...is to slow air loss. This gives the rider a fighting chance of realizing he's got a flat and pulling off the road safely without binning it. So that there is the life saving part of why I use it.

SLIME and Ride-On are sold in USA. No idea whats on in Oz or NZ. But the stuff WORKS and will save your life.

3. Natural rubber tubes tend to last longer than Butyl tubes. YES, they are more expensive ... I also find they are easier to patch and they last longer.
Patches won't stick to some Butyl tubes. (synthetic rubber)
One caveat ... with SLIME in tube it's hard to patch a hole, you have to wash off ALL the SLIME for the patch to stick on the tube. Not sure about Ride-On.

When on the road for weeks or months ... I carry 3 spare tubes on board.

A few times I have seen tubes that split for no obvious reason. Rare, but I witnessed it so I know it happens. But mostly the split is from a puncture ... which can sometimes cause a split if it's an old, dried out tube.

Ride Safe!
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Old 10 Feb 2014
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Slime? yucky stuff! I much prefer Ultraseal.
For some £5 IMHO, it's a false economy not to replace inner tubes at least once a year.
I change mine once a year usually when prepping for a trip. The more expensive part, but worth it for me, is replacing the Ultraseal.
(which is water soluble btw so- albeit a slow process, you can wash out a punctured inner tube if needs must.)
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Old 10 Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
For some £5 IMHO, it's a false economy not to replace inner tubes at least once a year.
I change mine once a year usually when prepping for a trip.

Do you really change your tubes once a year ? I usually do it when either I change the tyre or I get a puncture and the damage is beyond what's safe for a patch. No critisism, just interested in different people's practice.

Where do you get your £5 tubes from btw? Most of the tubes I've bought recently have been two or three times that. It's probably why I don't bin them so frequently.
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Old 10 Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by Bertrand View Post
Slime? yucky stuff! I much prefer Ultraseal.
For some £5 IMHO, it's a false economy not to replace inner tubes at least once a year.
I change mine once a year usually when prepping for a trip. The more expensive part, but worth it for me, is replacing the Ultraseal.
(which is water soluble btw so- albeit a slow process, you can wash out a punctured inner tube if needs must.)
I think you may have missed my point ... which was that the use of any sort of Anti-deflation product is better than NONE. Anything to slow air loss ... that is my point. Slime, Ride-On or Ultra-Seal ... all good!

Me thinks you've never actually used SLIME ... I first used it riding Baja and Copper Canyon in 1998. And guess what? ... IT IS water soluble and always has been. BUT ... Ride-On is the better product, but more expensive.

We don't get Ultraseal here ... any good?

The GOOD thing about SLIME is that you can see little green dots on your tire when you've run over something. (Like Cactus thorns or small nails) The green dots are Slime coming through the tire ... filling the nail hole. Nice to know it's actually doing it's job!

Totally agree regards starting off a big ride with NEW tubes. But once out on the road for a while ... sometimes you are only left with what you've managed to salvage or repair. (Been there, done that )

In certain countries you will not find quality, real rubber inner tubes ... only very thin, cheapo, Made In China ones made of Butyl synthetic rubber.
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Old 11 Feb 2014
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I have had both modern tyres and tubes replaced because of perishing. Tyres you can see easily. tubes not. I always carry at least one spare tube AND rim tapes.
Re the crash, If a front tube leaks slowly it will ride fine until it doesn't. at that point the bike becomes unstable and difficult to control. The tendency is to slow down which puts more weight on the front causing a feedback loop which can often be terminal.
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