Converting wire spoked wheels to tubeless - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Converting wire spoked wheels to tubeless

Hi, Folks,

Well I'm receiving Dunlop D404 tires for my 650 along with tubes but have been looking at YouTube and the 'net about converting the wire spoke wheels to tubeless.

It seems that it is a matter of using some type of sealant around the spokes along the wheel inner circumference - I've seen Outex and pure silicon sealant being used.

Anybody have any experience with this good or bad????

This is what happens when you shovel snow for 5 straight days and no motorcycle riding for reward!!!!

Just came across this site
http://supermotojunkie.com/showthrea...-with-pictures

Bill
2015 Yamaha V-Star XVS65A Classic
NOS purchased April, 2017
0.9 km on the odometer

Last edited by bfrench; 02-07-2018 at 08:26 PM. Reason: Added info link
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 07:47 PM
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I have not done this, but there is information here . . . https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1...cations/wheels

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 07:58 PM
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I researched this several years ago. What I found out is it does not do well long term. In order to work every spoke must be sealed 100 percent where it goes through the wheel. The issue people where having is the smallest piece of debris between a spoke and wheel would cause a leak. I now have over 50k on my spoked wheels without any issues. Good luck on your decision.
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Last edited by lesblank; 02-07-2018 at 08:36 PM.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, Les,

That's exactly the kind of info I'm looking for - most of this year's riding will be away from home so worrying about tire leaks is the last thing I'll want.

Bill
2015 Yamaha V-Star XVS65A Classic
NOS purchased April, 2017
0.9 km on the odometer
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 08:38 PM
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IF you want to be able to run tubeless tires on your 650 (I assume so you can temporally fix a flat with a plug)
then consider what every MC manufacturer did, put cast aluminum wheels on the bike instead of spokes.

The bike can certainly handle a bit more weight in the wheels, and it will make the steering feel more stable with more weight in the wheels or tires.

I don't know if the amount of time you would spend making a spoke wheel hold air without tubes, would be offset by being able to plug a flat, instead of having someone with a trailer or pickup come and haul your bike to get the tire replaced.

If you put a plug in a tire you really need to take the tire off the rim and put a patch inside it anyway. Most riders would replace a punctured tire no matter what, so for all your efforts the return on your invested time might not be all that much better.

Spoke wheels have a great vintage MC look, and cast aluminum wheels are virtually indestructible - so they both have merits.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-07-2018, 09:37 PM
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Yeah I would like to ditch the spoked wheels and swap for mags any day. Spoked wheels are a pain to clean.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-08-2018, 07:32 AM
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I've done the conversion several times over the last several decades using different methods, combinations of various glues and tapes. Sure changing to cast wheels would be the best bet but I love the look of spoked wheels and on a bike with a belt or shaft drive keeping them clean isn't such a big deal. A few months ago I tried a different method on my XVS650 using hot glue to seal the spoke holes and nipples and then ran Gorilla tape (hi tack premium tape) over that, we'll see how long it lasts. So far the best and longest lasting liquid sealer I've used is brush on truck bed liner and the 'tape' used as insurance over the liquid sealer was fish pond liner tape which is extremely tacky, stays flexible indefinitely and is of course water proof. It lasted about 7 years IIRC. The down sides of both the truck bed liner and fish pond liner tape is that they are relatively expensive which is why I'm now testing the hot glue and Gorilla tape. All of the methods I have used lasted longer than the life of two rear tires and even if I had to redo the conversion with every tire change I consider it well worthwhile just for the convenience when installing a new tire and the ease of fixing a puncture if it should occur, especially in the middle of nowhere.

FYI, of course the most important part of this process is prep... scuff the rim where the sealant is going with a wire brush or wheel in a die grinder and then wipe everything down with acetone to ensure a perfectly clean surface.
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