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Tubeless Tires

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
Am interested in understanding the construction of the R-18 spoked wheels and how they accommodate tubeless tires. I assumed the wheels had tubes installed (a purchase concession I reluctantly made) but further reading (several articles) has indicated there are no tubes in these tires.
 

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
Thanks for confirming my original assumption! The last thing I wanted when I purchased the R18 was another biked with spoked wheels and tubes. I'd sworn those off years ago! But...even though my R18's valve stems appeared to be from inner tubes and the spoked wheels on the R18 looked nothing like the other BMW spoked wheels designed for tubeless applications I "bit the bullet" and bought one anyway. Then I began reading in several online articles about these wheels actually being "tubeless" and I hoped they were correct. So it sounds like I will be doing a wheel upgrade before next riding season!
 

theMucker

Well-known member
Premium Member
Tube type spoked wheels can be modified to tubeless! I'll be looking into it myself. I'm thinking of a combination of ideas from the first two YouTube videos. And there are businesses that will do it for you too.
 

estoma

Well-known member
Tube type spoked wheels can be modified to tubeless! I'll be looking into it myself. I'm thinking of a combination of ideas from the first two YouTube videos. And there are businesses that will do it for you too.
I can confirm that the R18 has tubes. I had to replace my front wheel recently, having damaged the original when I hit a pothole. I am generally an 'accomplished pothole spotter' (touch wood), but this one snookered me - it was in the shade, adjacent to a darker patch of tar. I literally saw it when I was on top of it.

The rims are proper tubeless rims, though, featuring slanted shoulders and safety ridges. I would recommend using the OUTEX Tubeless Kits. They are pricey but are the best quality and have literally been used by Ducatisti for decades on their older spoked-wheel bikes, frequently subject to track days. I have a set on my 2015 Indian Chief Vintage since 2016 already.

The thing that sets OUTEX apart is the Spoke Decals that you attach before installing the double-sided tape. Those decals allow adjusting spokes without destroying the tape and starting a spoke-related leak again.
 

Crs443

Member
I was looking at buying the vance and Hines rims or picking up some after market tubeless spoke style rims.
 

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theMucker

Well-known member
Premium Member
I can't say that I like the looks of those rims. The OEM wheels are good looking and sealing them shouldn't be a big deal.
 

estoma

Well-known member
One more thing that I probably should have added is that nobody necessarily needs to worry about experiencing a rapid blow-out as the result of the bike being fitted with tubes.

The rims are pukka tubeless rims, so to the tires, and the rims have tire-flaps installed that thoroughly seal off all the spokes as well as the tube's protruding valve. BMW could have gone the extra mile to make the flaps OUTEX-good to avoid the tubes entirely, but they did not, unfortunately. Intentionally perhaps, to sell accessory wheels as well.

This is a photo taken of the damaged rim, just after I removed the tire from it. The rim and tire-flap are still dirty and has tire-removal paste residue all over - also bits of cement from BMW originally glueing on the flap. Note how well the flap has depressed at the spokes and the impression of the tube's valve rim on it. Those are not cracks there - it is all grime.

IMG_1626.JPG
 

Crs443

Member
I did OUTEX on R ninet, first attempt fail is seal properly but after a few ride its leak air. 2nd Attempt ask the dealer to do it for me, its work and last long. From my experience on R ninet people tend to go for Kineo wheel tubeless spoke wheel. https://www.bikehps.com/acatalog/Kineo-Spoked-Wheels-BMW-R18.html
I'll more then likely buy the kineo wheels eventually. $2800 for both isn't terrible, especially since the Roland sands cast wheels are around $1500 each. Idk if you guys have gotten a flat tire 10 hours from home, with a tubed tire. It really brings down the fun of the road trip.
 

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
I'll more then likely buy the kineo wheels eventually. $2800 for both isn't terrible, especially since the Roland sands cast wheels are around $1500 each. Idk if you guys have gotten a flat tire 10 hours from home, with a tubed tire. It really brings down the fun of the road trip.
As they say, "Been there, done that, have the t-shirt" (actually a few!). Tubed tires on my new R18 was my first and only concern. My last blow-out experience was in 2000...a slow weave developed at speed, as I eased off the throttle, stayed OFF OF THE BRAKES, it turned into a severe head-shaker as I coasted to the side of the road. Had I not installed beach bars I'd never have been able to keep control. I haven't addressed this issue on my R18 yet but it is front and center on my mind whenever I head out with tubes...Berlin Built or not!
 

Crs443

Member
Ya, I picked up a screw in rural Vermont on our way to mt washington. We patched it, but I constantly lost air through the spokes and had to stop for air a lot. Either there was another rip in the tube or we damaged it trying to stuff it back into the wheel.
 

theMucker

Well-known member
Premium Member
I'll more then likely buy the kineo wheels eventually. $2800 for both isn't terrible, especially since the Roland sands cast wheels are around $1500 each. Idk if you guys have gotten a flat tire 10 hours from home, with a tubed tire. It really brings down the fun of the road trip.
Like Gaylord Poe, I too have been there and done that. In my case, we were half way across PA, on the way home to Long Island when the back tire went flat. That day was not fun. And afterwards I had custom, tubeless wheels made for our Road Star. Since then, I have bought only bikes with cast, tubeless wheels... until now! I was considering ordering the R18 to arrive with the "mags" that were shown on the "build your own" website. But the wire wheels are just so pretty. So I'll be sealing them when it comes time to replace the tires.
 

Gaylord Poe

Active member
Premium Member
Like Gaylord Poe, I too have been there and done that. In my case, we were half way across PA, on the way home to Long Island when the back tire went flat. That day was not fun. And afterwards I had custom, tubeless wheels made for our Road Star. Since then, I have bought only bikes with cast, tubeless wheels... until now! I was considering ordering the R18 to arrive with the "mags" that were shown on the "build your own" website. But the wire wheels are just so pretty. So I'll be sealing them when it comes time to replace the tires.
I figured if somebody volunteered to be the first crash test dummy on this that I'd be the second...thanks for stepping up!! heheheh
 

estoma

Well-known member
Like Gaylord Poe, I too have been there and done that. In my case, we were half way across PA, on the way home to Long Island when the back tire went flat. That day was not fun. And afterwards I had custom, tubeless wheels made for our Road Star. Since then, I have bought only bikes with cast, tubeless wheels... until now! I was considering ordering the R18 to arrive with the "mags" that were shown on the "build your own" website. But the wire wheels are just so pretty. So I'll be sealing them when it comes time to replace the tires.
Agreed. Horses for courses. The Kineo® wheels are nice on MV Agusta and select custom bikes. BMW does similar wheels on the GS 1250 and could obviously have done the same here. But they did not since it would not have tied in with the retro theme being pursued with the R18. It applies likewise in the case of my Indian Chief Vintage.

I have OUTEX® installed on my Chief Vintage for six years already, without issue. Ducatisti, often track-daying wire-wheeled collector versions, have been using OUTEX® for decades and swear by it. That is how I got to know about OUTEX®. Preparation is obviously key and not rushing the job. Other than that, it is as straightforward as sticking tape down.
 

theMucker

Well-known member
Premium Member
Agreed. Horses for courses. The Kineo® wheels are nice on MV Agusta and select custom bikes. BMW does similar wheels on the GS 1250 and could obviously have done the same here. But they did not since it would not have tied in with the retro theme being pursued with the R18. It applies likewise in the case of my Indian Chief Vintage.

I have OUTEX® installed on my Chief Vintage for six years already, without issue. Ducatisti, often track-daying wire-wheeled collector versions, have been using OUTEX® for decades and swear by it. That is how I got to know about OUTEX®. Preparation is obviously key and not rushing the job. Other than that, it is as straightforward as sticking tape down.
Outex looks pretty good. Several other methods do as well. I have little fear of leaks with most of the systems shown on YouTube. What I do wonder about is their durability. Depending on the wheel design and the choice of tires, dismounting and remounting tires can be pretty tough in the "valley" of the rim. I'd hate to have a failure that was a result of the tire bead or spoons exerting pressure and/or scuffing on the sealant. For that reason, I'll be looking for a product that seems to be the toughest possible.
 

Bwana

Active member
While cleaning my bike yesterday I actually read the tire tag for the first time.

20220903_102527.jpg


The tag says the tires on my US 21 R18 Base are tubeless?! Has anyone with an early US bike pulled the tires and checked? (For whatever reason) Anyone with tubed tires checked the tire tag to see what it says?
 
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