Alpina or Bartubless - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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Alpina or Bartubless

I am thinking the possibility to swap to tubless for the known reasons.

I do not want to do any conversion like Outex. 3M or similar, so I am looking for new wheels.

There are 2 options drawn my attention (please feel free to suggest others if you like so, just need to be shipped from EU country).

One is ALPINA and the other is Bartubless.

Alpina features o-rings at each and every spoke; to me, this means 36 potential leakage points. They offer 2 yrs. guarantee.

Bartubless uses a polymer covering all spokes. So, in a sense, it is a "proffesional" application similar to the OUTEX concept. They offer 4 yrs Warranty and also their cost is significantly lower than the Alpinas.

Please share your opinions and possibly your own experiences.
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 03:38 PM
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I have Alpinas fitted to my ATAS. They look great. No air loss. Good delivery. Like you I was concerned that there were a lot of potential leakage paths but no leakage so far after 9 months.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 04:03 PM
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I went for SM pro Bartubless mainly because of the 4 year warranty.

The "system" is great - the only pressure loss was me testing the pressures every day for the first month or two.

Now only check once a week and they are still good after 6K.

Now the down side - The wheels are built by Central Wheel Company - sent to Italy for the Bartubeless process and, in my case purchased from Rugged Roads.

After fitting I felt that the rear wheel was "out of true" in some way - felt it on smooth tarmac and suspected tyre fitment/tyre After checking it seems that the rim is about 8mm out in both registers.

A call to Rugged Roads was not productive which was disappointing. I cannot believe that Central Wheel sent it out to Bartubeless out of true so I wonder if the process in some way distorts the wheel.

The rear wheel bearings also had to be replaced by Central as they were seized - I imagine the Bartubless process which includes some heat treatment had done the damage.

My advice is that you check that the wheels run true and that the bearings are not compromised before fitting. If that checks out then I see no problem other than the fact that to adjust spokes will be difficult compared to the other options.

Why Honda could not offer a crossover spoked wheel as on the 1200X is beyond me.

Yes, I know I should have pressed Rugged Roads to make good but I had lost the will to live trying to sort the various issues out and that, for the most part, the roads in my area are full of potholes and I don't notice the issue too much.

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2016 AT manual. 2005 TA. 1949 Scott 600.
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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 04:09 PM
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The 3 year warranty on the Alpinas were no good to me, get a leak under warranty and I believe it means returning the wheels to Italy... The positive results from other owners mean nothing to me as they can and do leak and thats not something I want to risk. (if its going to happen.. it will probably happen to me.) Similarly.. the 4 year guarantee for Bartubeless. a lot of money for a non-permanent result. My reasoning, if it were permanent then they would offer a guarantee without any time limit.

In both cases any problem.. leakage can only be fixed short term. by adding a tube. which doesn't suit my needs at all.

I wanted a permanent 'fix' something that keeps the spoked wheels but where leakage is impossible unless the rim itself is damaged, just the same 'risk' as on any wheel.

It would have been great if Honda had given buyers the option.. even at an additional cost to opt for wheels built in the same way as they are on the X-ADV or VFR-X. which bear some similarity to the tubeless spoked wheels on BMWs

But.. sadly that isnt going to happen unless or until Honda release a more 'road' oriented bike. or recognise a demand.

So.. I bit the bullet and ordered, 5 weeks ago a pair of Kineo Wheels.. which are spoked, but these are mounted external to the rim on the internal circumference, with zero chance of them leaking. the wheels have just one hole, for the valve.

They are considerably more expensive even than the Alpinas. 47% more. at a minimum.

here on a standard bike.. image from this forum via google images.

Im eagerly anticipating their arrival from Italy. And will have more to say once they are fitted.
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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 04:16 PM
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BarTubeless on SmPro rims, so far 10k Kms to Almaty, no issues on tarmac or gravel and two consecutive washouts which the wheels survived no problem which was more than can be said for the rear shock - it blew!. Went through the same thought processes, Alpina - rumours of leakage, Kineo - expensive but no 'o' rings, Outex - reliant on cleaning for seal if DIY so opted for the BarTubeless and not disappointed. Aiming Cairo to Cape Town in March and have 1 tube packed for unforeseen incident rather than failure of the seal, but confident. Recommend Central Wheel Components direct, good service and advice. My friend recently also went BarTubeless after much discussion and deliberation, his friend has Alpina….which are now losing pressure on multiple spokes, presumably due to 'o' ring issues??
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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your detailed feebback


I understand you send your wheels, right? If I will do it, I will bite the bullet and buy new ones from them. The reason is that, when and if fails, I will still have my OEM wheels until I resolve the issue. Still, it is absolutely not excusable that they returned your wheels with issues.

@motorbike r

Kineo, is DEFINITELY the best way to go. The spokes are outside the air chamber, so it is absolutely perfect solution....but the cost is simply way too high.

By the way, Bartubless provide a repair kit and the process does not look that bad if you need to repair a spoke. What happens with Alpinas in the case of air leak or a spoke failure? do you need to send them back to Italy?
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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-26-2019, 04:49 PM
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I just converted to the tubeless setup via the 3M method. I'm holding air and all is good. When you think about it, comparing the Kineo wheel to the others is like comparing apples and oranges. The 3M method, Bartubeless and Alpina all revolve around plugging a hole to keep it from leaking. The Kineo is vastly superior, no holes to plug, period. Engineering wise, everything is a compromise to the Kineo wheel. A superior product with a superior price. If I had the extra bucks, I'd pop for a set of Kineo wheels , most certainly.
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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-27-2019, 05:14 AM
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I've recently taken the plunge and ordered a pair of Rally Raid 19"/17" wheels - they use the Bartubeless system.
As others have said, Kineo look the best option, but much too expensive for me.
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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-27-2019, 10:51 AM
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My Alpinas are 2 1/2 years on now and 10k miles or so. No issues at all. BTW, the O rings aren’t ordinary rubber, they are elastomer which outlives normal rubber by some margin.
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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 01-27-2019, 09:08 PM
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I also looked at the options and it seems there are not too many.

To me Bartubeless is not that different to Outex or 3M solutions and the main issue in my opinion is that they do seal the spokes and they become non-serviceable.

Alpina has too many moving parts to be reliable in a long run and both Alpina and Bartubeless are quite expensive to experiment with.

Kineo are the only real tubeless wheels, but they are ridiculous price and I'd rather swap the whole bike, than splash that amount on just two wheels.

At the end decided to do nothing. Instead bought portable tyre spoons kit for the hypothetical long and wild journeys and would relay on road assistance for everything else.

Shame on Honda for doing a modern and expensive bike with tubed wheels though. No excuse for that as it is nothing but cost cutting exercise.
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