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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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.

Z
 

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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your detailed feebback

@zarafah

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.

@motorbiker

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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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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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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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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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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Alpina has too many moving parts to be reliable in a long run.

And what moving parts are those you speak off ?

Alpina have been making these wheels since 2005 (and making wheels for over a century) and apart from the odd wheel bearing failure, there doesn’t seem to be any horror stories that I’ve heard or read off to support your reliability concerns. I have read of owners doing tens of thousands of miles on Alpinas without problems.

However, your money, your choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
And what moving parts are those you speak off ?

Alpina have been making these wheels since 2005 (and making wheels for over a century) and apart from the odd wheel bearing failure, there doesn’t seem to be any horror stories that I’ve heard or read off to support your reliability concerns. I have read of owners doing tens of thousands of miles on Alpinas without problems.

However, your money, your choice.
By moving part, obviously, Rainmaker refers to individual parts. And, no matter how good Alpina was, is and will be, there are 36 potential leakage points on the AT rims.

I have seen how the idea on alpinas is realised. Well, nothing really surprising. Those are O-rings, certainly of high grade elastomer, but o-rings no matter what. They are subject to stresses and pressures, fatigue and inevitable aging. I am a mechanical enginneer by proffesion, I know fatigue and aging and obviously I accept them. Cannot accept the fact that for every failure I will need to send the rims to Italy for repairs.

Like Rainmaker said, and we all agree, the Kineo is the only real bulletproof solution. But, like him, I'd rather swap bike than putting 2K++ for a set of wheels.
 

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I paid $10K for my 2017 Africa Twin. Even though I would love to have a set, I can't justify spending >20% of that cost just for Kineo wheels. One of my non-negotiable, must have features on this AT purchase was the DCT. I have no desire to go back to a clutch system. So, I either install a "hole plug" wheel system, the Kineo wheel, or just grin and bear it and carry tire irons and tubes and hope I never have a flat (yeah ..... right). I elected to perform the 3M sealant method, time will tell if this decision was a wise one. If this 3M method does not work out for me, reluctantly, it's back to installing the tubes. $%^# !!

Yes, I believe Honda's release of the AT with tube wheels is centered on a cost savings marketing decision. In my case, I don't lower my tire pressures, I don't ride it like a dirt bike. My bike sees pavement, gravel/dirt roads and occasionally cutting across a pasture at a sane speed. I don't have a need for tube tire system. I'll keep this AT for many years and ride it many miles, maybe someday some other manufacturer will come along with an affordable tubeless wheel system for the AT? I can only imagine the tooling and design costs on such a venture ........... no wonder the Kineo is > $ 2K. But then .... maybe you could investment cast the wheel or 5 axis machine the wheel from 6061 T6 aluminum ring .......or ...??... the possibility is there.
 

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As I posted earlier I have had no issues with my Alpinas after 9 months. I too am a mechanical Engineer and have experience of O rings, service life, ageing, static and dynamic applications.
I was a bit dubious about so many O rings and I agree the Kineo is a better engineered solution. The Alpinas however do look lovely

However I reckoned that any leakage is likely to be slow so I fitted a tyre pressure monitoring system so that I can keep an eye on pressures. I still have my brand new OEM wheels and tyres should the Alpinas develop problems.


I think a lot of people are put off buying the AT because of the tubed tyre. The 2018 ATAS is still the best looking bike ever mind !
 

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Discussion Starter #15
.....

However I reckoned that any leakage is likely to be slow so I fitted a tyre pressure monitoring system so that I can keep an eye on pressures. I still have my brand new OEM wheels and tyres should the Alpinas develop problems.
You are absolutely right on this, Kev. Eventually, the main reason for going tubeless is safety (to me at least) and then convinience in case of a puncture. Alpina definitely meets both.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Please forgive my ignorance; are those wheels the ones produced and offered by Bartubless or different manufacturer that are sent to Bartubless for treatement?
These wheels are made entirely in the UK. and then shipped to Italy to Bartubeless. They are then returned to the UK.. directly to the buyer.

The wheels are made by this company. https://www.smprowheels.co.uk/about-us

I am guessing that these particular wheels are made as a special order as they do not appear on the website. So, it would appear, cannot be purchased direct.
 

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Just my experience of the Alpina and Bartubless, having the spokes replaced on the oem wheels in June I ordered a set of wheels from Alpina to keep oem looking good and convert to tubeless. On fitting the Alpina wheels I found the front was losing 8psi approx. a week then the rear started losing air I took the front off to test and found small leaks from most of the spokes seals. I emailed Alpina UK and told them, the reply was they would get back to me but would have to send them back to Italy, rather than muck around I brought the Rally Raid Bartubless wheels and have no problems with them and if things do go wrong I can talk to Rally Raid UK direct.
 
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