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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
Photo by George Guille, It's going to be a long 300km... Bolivian Amazon

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by George Guille
It's going to be a long 300km...
Bolivian Amazon



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  #16  
Old 17 Feb 2018
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Quote:
wish new Africa Twin had tubeless wheels as well
Why not just fit a conversion tape kit and make them
wheels on an AT "Tubeless"
My DCT AT was converted from new 35.000 KM ago with no problem.
For peace of mind, I fitted a pressure monitoring system to check the pressure in both wheels.
As of today, I have never had a problem.
Works for me.
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  #17  
Old 17 Feb 2018
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KTM tubeless

Quote:
Originally Posted by javkap View Post
Are you completely sure that are tubeless rims???
This is how KTM do it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--Ucwqhd0tI

Maybe different markets receive the bikes with different rims? (i.e. just leave out that internal rubber fitting and fit a tube instead).
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  #18  
Old 17 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyE View Post
I'm looking to compile a list of current (readily available to buy today) adventure and dual-sport motorcycles that are fitted with tubeless spoked wheels as standard. I will edit this post to add any bikes you suggest fit this criteria. Thanks for your help! I am looking to see what my options are for a bike that has both ABS and tubeless (no tubes inside tubeless) spoked wheels fitted.
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In the modern world, it comes down to the big bikes that tend to have the tubeless rims.

The Honda Crosstourer is fitted with a spoked rim that looks like a Behr arrangement, with spokes to the outer edge of the rim, front and back.
Tubeless? Don't know, but they look like it.
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  #19  
Old 17 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuff Said View Post
Why not just fit a conversion tape kit and make them
wheels on an AT "Tubeless"
My DCT AT was converted from new 35.000 KM ago with no problem.
For peace of mind, I fitted a pressure monitoring system to check the pressure in both wheels.
As of today, I have never had a problem.
Works for me.
Good suggestion. I heard about tape kits to convert Tubed to Tubeless maybe 10 years ago. Back then I'm not sure they were 100% reliable. Now, latest UTubes I've seen and forum chatter, indicates they are pretty fool proof.

Woody's Wheel Works (USA) I believe has resumed doing tubeless conversions but still won't do a front wheel, only rear. Fine for me as front is pretty easy to spoon off and replace a tube ... and anyway ... seems we always get a REAR flat! Not a Front!


BTW, I followed a tutorial using a high quality Marine sealer to make my DR650 rims tubeless. I could not get it to work. Not even sure from where it was leaking ... but obviously I did something wrong.

The newest Tape kits seem to work much better.

KTM's solution seems fraught with possible problems. IMO, the wheel needs to be Spoke Free (meaning spoke NOT going into inside of air tight wheel area) to have a proper tubeless set up, even though many are doing well with latest Tape kits. I'd need a PRO to do it for me ... I apparently suck at such operations!
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  #20  
Old 18 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
No, the 800GS and 800GSA have 21/17-in tubed which is why I bought the BMW F650GS twin with 19/17-in alloy tubeless wheels.

Spoked wheels might have some advantage if you are racing but if you are adventure touring then in my opinion there's no reliability disadvantage with an alloys/tubeless mix, which opens your options to a whole new list of bikes to choose from, though the narrower profile and taller 21/17 or 21/18 wheels will always be preferable to 19/17.
As someone who still considers himself a learner rider, ABS and tubeless wheels have always been two must-have options. However I know very little about the benefits of spoked vs alloy wheels, and to keep myself honest here, for my riding needs, I suspect that spoked wheels may be more of a cosmetic rather than practical feature. Expanding my search to include alloy wheels would, as you say, open up my options considerably, which would be most welcome, as many of the bikes on the current list (top post) is beyond my set budget!
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  #21  
Old 18 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyE View Post
As someone who still considers himself a learner rider, ABS and tubeless wheels have always been two must-have options. However I know very little about the benefits of spoked vs alloy wheels, and to keep myself honest here, for my riding needs, I suspect that spoked wheels may be more of a cosmetic rather than practical feature. Expanding my search to include alloy wheels would, as you say, open up my options considerably, which would be most welcome, as many of the bikes on the current list (top post) is beyond my set budget!
Anyone who did the PhD level research to get their doctorate might come up with this:
Spoked wheels are derived from the invention of the bicycle (which initially had solid wheels and evolved into a spoked arrangement as the technology moved along) - and that is the key to it.
Modern technology can produce a cast wheel well within tolerances. light enough in weight and to budget to do the job for, say, 99% of the population.
Tyres ditto.

Job done, PhD earned.
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  #22  
Old 18 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Anyone who did the PhD level research to get their doctorate might come up with this:
Spoked wheels are derived from the invention of the bicycle (which initially had solid wheels and evolved into a spoked arrangement as the technology moved along) - and that is the key to it.
Modern technology can produce a cast wheel well within tolerances. light enough in weight and to budget to do the job for, say, 99% of the population.
Tyres ditto.

Job done, PhD earned.
sorry you failed, please try again

for adventure, off-raod use I'd rather have spoked wheels any time of the day and night. When you crack you cast wheel in the middle of nowhere you pretty much done, not so much with spoked wheel. Not to mention absorption of bumps and S#$% on the road is far better with spokes wheels.
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  #23  
Old 18 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tremens View Post
sorry you failed, please try again

for adventure, off-raod use I'd rather have spoked wheels any time of the day and night. When you crack you cast wheel in the middle of nowhere you pretty much done, not so much with spoked wheel. Not to mention absorption of bumps and S#$% on the road is far better with spokes wheels.
Spot On!
While modern cast wheels can be (some) much stronger than those from 20 years back, they still can have vulnerabilities.

Yes, we all agree changing a flat rear tire is no picnic, can ruin your whole day.
But this skill is something ALL ADV travelers need to master and MUST have the tools and ability to do this in a pinch.

For me, I will ride on a flat for miles to get to a tire repair guy, yes, I hate doing rear flat repair! And ... I really SUCK AT IT! Some tires on some bikes can be very tough to break the bead on.

But if you seriously crack your tubeless cast wheel you could have even more serious problems. If the cast wheel totally breaks apart ... then what?

Spoked wheels provide a bit of Flex and shock absorption. Cast wheels not so much. Many times a spoked wheel can be pounded back into shape. Cast wheels, not so much, but I did have my Vstrom DID cast wheels repaired twice from hard hits in Baja, one finally cracked, could not be repaired.

The Vstrom was so common I was able to find a replacement on the forums for about $150, IIRC.

But the OEM's are showing the way forward with their spoked, tubeless wheels.
Some use the Center rail spoke attach point (Aprilia, Yamaha, et al), others are BMW style where spoke attaches on outer edge. KTM have reinvented the wheel with their system ... and IMHO, is not great! (time will tell!)

I have seen BMW tubeless wheels destroyed off road on two occasions. On one occasion, we lent rider a tube, he was able to continue. A new wheel cost him something like $800.

Something else to consider: Ever tried putting a plug into a knobby tire? Depending where the puncture is ... it is not always straight forward.

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  #24  
Old 19 Feb 2018
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Let's revisit what I wrote...

Spoked wheels might have some advantage if you are racing but if you are adventure touring then in my opinion there's no reliability disadvantage with an alloys/tubeless mix

When I'm adventure touring I am often thousands of miles from home and I ride like I want to get back with the bike in one piece, so considerately! IMO you really have to do something stupid to crack an alloy. I have only met one guy who did that (Nadhim from UKGSer) who ran over a kerb at 70mph and cracked both front and rear.

By comparison the tubed rims fitted to most bikes (e.g. BMW F800GS) seem to be made of chocolate and vary dramatically from the high quality Excel rims you might fit if racing. Alloy wheels also have the advantage of lower unsprung weight.

I've explored the ideas of sealing tubed rims to make them tubeless, the real danger in this is that the tubed rim profile tends to lack the tubeless safety bead near the lip of the rim which is there to keep the tyre on the rim in case of a blowout.


Tubeless knobbly plug
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Last edited by Tim Cullis; 20 Jun 2023 at 21:46.
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  #25  
Old 19 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
The Honda Crosstourer is fitted with a spoked rim that looks like a Behr arrangement, with spokes to the outer edge of the rim, front and back.
Tubeless? Don't know, but they look like it.
Yep, no tubes:-
Specifications – VFR1200X – Adventure – Range – Motorcycles – Honda
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  #26  
Old 19 Feb 2018
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98% rules OK

Quote:
Originally Posted by teevee View Post
new v-stroms 650 and 1000

The XT versions have developed a double flange arrangement for the wheel rim; maybe another way to get around some patent or other?
It makes for an "interesting" pattern of spokes laced to those rims.

https://www.rustsports.com/metal/suz...650xt_405.html
According to the article linked here, these suit 98% of riders.
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  #27  
Old 19 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
The XT versions have developed a double flange arrangement for the wheel rim; maybe another way to get around some patent or other?
It makes for an "interesting" pattern of spokes laced to those rims.

https://www.rustsports.com/metal/suz...650xt_405.html
According to the article linked here, these suit 98% of riders.
Excellent article there in RUST!

Here's a shot of the the XT's Tubeless spoked wheel (Cycle World)
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  #28  
Old 19 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
Let's revisit what I wrote...
Spoked wheels might have some advantage if you are racing but if you are adventure touring then in my opinion there's no reliability disadvantage with an alloys/tubeless mix

When I'm adventure touring I am often thousands of miles from home and I ride like I want to get back with the bike in one piece, so considerately! IMO you really have to do something stupid to crack an alloy. I have only met one guy who did that (from UKGSer) who hit over a kerb at 70mph and cracked both front and rear.
Yes! This is key! When on road most have sense enough to take it a bit easier and not slam onto immovable objects when 2000 miles from home.

Years past, did many "group" Baja rides, going back to late 1980's. On these rides we've seen guys do really stupid things on totally inappropriate machines.
In groups we see over zealous, testosterone addled numbskulls. This is where I saw broken BMW tubeless spoked wheels and worse.

But on longer tours most riders are more sensible so very little problem with cast wheel. But "stuff" can and DOES happen. I really like the Suzuki system shown above ... but I've no idea how this new system will work.
But it's a DID product so I expect it's very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
By comparison the tubed rims fitted to most bikes (e.g. BMW F800GS) seem to be made of chocolate and vary dramatically from the high quality Excel rims you might fit if racing. Alloy wheels also have the advantage of lower unsprung weight.
True. Key part is "vary dramatically". If you happen to be at low end of the quality scale, may end up with breakable/bendable wheels, either cast ones or spoked.

The spoked/tubed DID wheels on my old DR650 are quite tough. I've dented a two of them from going too fast, but was always able to continue.

I agree, some Behr wheels have been bad, very soft. Also, not all Excel wheels are all that tough. For them, lightness is highest priority. They have different spec'd ones, not all are dent resistant.

On a Motocross track, there are NO rocks and nothing to hit. In Hare Scrambles and Enduro we hit LOTS of things ... hard! Guys I know (rode AMA Enduro in 80's/90's) like DID Dirt Star wheels. In the Dakar DID Dirt Star also popular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
I've explored the ideas of sealing tubed rims to make them tubeless, the real danger in this is that the tubed rim profile tends to lack the tubeless safety bead near the lip of the rim which is there to keep the tyre on the rim in case of a blowout.
I'm sure this is true with some wheels. I can confirm that my Suzuki DR650 does have a safety bead on the DR's 21"/17" tube type rims. It is nearly impossible to break that bead, tested by ME riding 50 miles at about 50 MPH on a flat. Bead never broke. The front may be different but I've had only 2 front flats, one off road, one ON road. Tire stayed put in the 60 mph front flat.

Other bikes may not have such secure safety beads. But if they are DID wheels
(many are in Japanese dual sport range) they probably have some form of safety bead to prevent tire coming off rim in event of flat at high speed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
That's the perfect place for a nail. Easy to plug. But seen a few weird puncture locations with nail going in at angle, through a high Knob. Bit tricky sometimes to get the string plug or rubber plug in and may not stay put.

Also, if plug goes in through big knobby, riding hard off road may have that plug pulled out. I've never seen this, but seems it could happen if plug is in a not so ideal place.
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  #29  
Old 19 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Cullis View Post
Let's revisit what I wrote...

Spoked wheels might have some advantage if you are racing but if you are adventure touring then in my opinion there's no reliability disadvantage with an alloys/tubeless mix
I don't agree, sure nobody rides like crazy when traveling far from civilization but accidents happens. I was riding through meadow once in Morocco and I didn't notice sharp rock hidden in the grass, if I was riding alloys my front wheel would be damaged completely.

If you do only on road touring then yes, alloys are fine and even easier to clean.
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  #30  
Old 21 Feb 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post
Excellent article there in RUST!

Here's a shot of the the XT's Tubeless spoked wheel (Cycle World)
So... what's stopping anyone from sourcing a set of those flanged spoked wheels and fitting them to your bike as part of the pre-trip prep?
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