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Discussion Starter #1
I’m new to this forum and to off-road/adventure bikes having ridden sports or sports-tourer bikes mostly. I do a lot of mountain biking though and really enjoy it so as I get older and my knees and wrists object more violently to sports bikes I want to get a more a versatile motorbike that can combine my interests and go on and off road.

The Africa Twin seems perfect – reliable, well made and relatively compact.

But I can’t get my head round tubed tires. Whenever I’ve been on a trip – most rides in fact – I’ve just had a plug-kit to hand. On the one occasion I had a puncture it was sorted within minutes.

Fixing a tubed tyre on the other hand sounds like a nightmare – especially if you have a mechanically unsympathetic pillion and loads of luggage strapped on. Scratched rims followed by a pickup truck seems to be the ultimate scenario to me!

I should add that I’ll more than likely be 80% road usage so the Africa Twin is maybe on the cusp of suitability.

Anyone got any experience of fixing a tubed tyre at the side of an autobahn/Alpine pass (assuming you’ve survived the deflation…)?

Many thanks in advance.
 

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Carry some Motul Tyre Repair with you on long trips. Should get you to the nearest station to repair.

Alternatively, a set of tyre levers, an extra tube, some dish washing liquid and a bit of muscle ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll have to get hold of an old wheel and practice. Trouble is most breakers only have bent front wheels!

Whilst at the bike show at the NEC last week I asked a Honda rep why they didn't have a tubed option for softies like me. His reply was "they will" somewhat surprisingly. When I pushed him on it he backtracked a bit so I've no idea if they will or not.
 

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It's all about the wheel diameter... 21" and 18" wheels have always been wire spoked, so the tires in these sizes have always been tube type.

And to this day, Dual Sport bikes continue to use 21" & 18" wire spoked wheels, for a number of reasons. At the top of the list is the significantly lighter unsprung weight over that of a cast aluminum wheel, as well as a much wider variety of D/S and knobby tire choices.

The simple and easy solution to the OP's question is to use a product called Slime (google it) in the tubes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks MotoMike

I've used Slime in my MTB tubes and also in my MTB tubeless tyres. In my limited experience it doesn't work that well in the tubes - it seems that if the item that punctures the outer tyre remains embedded then the tube is effectively sawed against it to produce a slightly larger hole than the Slime can cope with. I would imagine on a bike like the AT the forces would be larger and so the problem would be worse. But I'm guessing here as I've no experience. I certainly wouldn't feel as relaxed as I have done on regular tubeless tyres.

The article on advpulse (thanks Marsbeetle) is interesting but the solutions put forward seem either a bodge or perhaps not suitable for my 80/20 road usage because of the heat build-up issues.

And I guess that is my problem really. Honda claim it knows the usage will be predominantly road but it has equipped the bike with wheels that are more suited for extended off-roading. I know that some of you guys go off-road for days on end out of sight and out of mind from anyone who could help you if your tubeless tyre got a slash or the rim was bent so you perhaps need to additional robustness of the tubed tyres on a spoked wheel.

My usage will be less extreme and as I'll be mostly in Europe I can normally hike somewhere if I get into real trouble. Everywhere else I could normally put a plug in if I were using tubes.

I'm can't blame Honda - they are replacing a legend and have a substantial heritage to live up to. From my perspective I would just have preferred the option of tubeless. It may well be a deal-breaker for me. Honda may address it in the future who knows? Maybe they feel they already have with the CrossRunner/CrossTourer but maybe not - I do want to do some off-road rather than pretend.

Vielleicht muss ich zum BMW oder KTM gehen...
 

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A deal breaker? Not surely...

Think about it this way, how often do you get a flat during regular road riding?

I just feel that here and elsewhere there has been a ton of worry expressed about a typically rare situation.
 

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I think Honda's intention was to make this an off road bike and tubed tires would have compromised that goal a little (lot?). As it stands, it looks like it will blow away anything from BMW once the rough stuff starts. I'm not sure about KTM....does the 1290 Adv have tubeless wheels? I know I was hoping the AT would be big off road bike that could handle interstates and I'm not disappointed. It seems the "soft-road" market was already pretty crowded so I don't think they are trying to compete in that segment.

I'm a very average off road rider with only a few years experience on my KLX250. I have a friend who I would call an expert rider. His father was a trials rider and he's been riding since he was a tiny kid. He can blow away everyone else I know and some of them are professional off road instructors. In short, he is pretty dam good. This past summer we went on a trip in terrain similar to what I've seen in those South Africa test rides. He was on his BMW 1200GS with tubeless spoked wheels, I'm on my KLX250S. On the rougher sections (ie. not just gravel roads) I had to wait pretty long for him to catch up. I can't stress enough how much this stunned me. When I asked him about it he said he was taking it easy as he didn't want get a flat. We are in remote high desert country, probably 2 hours riding away from the nearest shack, in 90º temperatures. Although we were all carrying extra water getting stuck out there would have been bad news. If I got a flat I would just swap out the tube. If he bent a rim on one of the countless baby head rocks....

So for me, tubed tires are a necessary requirement for the riding I want to do. No getting away from the fact it would be a major pain if you get a flat in the city but I would prefer that hassle to getting stranded out in some remote location with a bent rim.

If anyone's interested, here is a short video of our trip showing the scenery of south east Oregon. I didn't include much of the rough section but it was one full day of riding.

 

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A deal breaker? Not surely...

Think about it this way, how often do you get a flat during regular road riding?

I just feel that here and elsewhere there has been a ton of worry expressed about a typically rare situation.
You obviously don't do many miles because for me and most of my acquaintances, punctures occur often enough to be a consideration. With most punctures in a tubeless tyre being repairable in minutes without wheel removal, I prefer tubeless tyres. Why would you want to either remove wheels and replace inner tubes or fill them with preventative gunge. Isn't this why other manufacturers use spoke wheels for strength and reparability but of a design that allows tubeless tyres to be fitted?
 

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Apparently, the choice of tubed or tubeless tires is one of those emotionally charged, irreconcilable issues -- like motor oil and politics. But, since you can use inner tubes in most, if not all tubeless motorcycle tires, Honda could have provided "tubeless" wire spoke wheels with the spokes outboard of the air chamber (same as R1200GS, SuperTenere, others do) and allowed owners to choose tube or tubeless tires. In fact, if your bike had tubeless rims and tires and bent a rim out in the bush, you could pop a tube in, inflate it and go on your way. Of course you'd need a tube and pump but so do the tube tire guys.
 

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A) fairly certain spoked wheels that accommodate tubeless tires are more expensive. It may have been content triage for all we know.

B) Where are you riding on the road that you experience flats regularly? Do you people not look out for debris and such, please don't equate your puncture ratio with how many miles I lay down (theres next to no corroboration big guy)
 

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A) fairly certain spoked wheels that accommodate tubeless tires are more expensive. It may have been content triage for all we know.

B) Where are you riding on the road that you experience flats regularly? Do you people not look out for debris and such, please don't equate your puncture ratio with how many miles I lay down (theres next to no corroboration big guy)
A) The added cost of tubeless spoke rims to a volume buyer like Honda wouldn't be much greater (like $5 each?) than tube type rims. My understanding is that aluminum alloy rims are made of extruded material, formed into a ring, welded, then ground and polished. Machining operations (spoke, rim locks and valve stem holes, as needed) follow. Those processes are the same for tube and tubeless rims. Unless tubeless rims are patented and royalty payment are involved, the only difference in manufacturing would be they require additional aluminum, so would cost slightly more. For complete wheels, longer spokes are needed but that cost is really negligible. But if "content triage" is your term for Honda "cheaping out" Nessuno, maybe you're on to something. :wink2:

B) Not me.
 

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A) fairly certain spoked wheels that accommodate tubeless tires are more expensive. It may have been content triage for all we know.

B) Where are you riding on the road that you experience flats regularly? Do you people not look out for debris and such, please don't equate your puncture ratio with how many miles I lay down (theres next to no corroboration big guy)
I don't think we need to take a poll, however, I'm sure that as riders and drivers, most will have experienced more punctures on bikes than other types of vehicle. Personally, most of my punctures have been due to screws and nails that I couldn't have possibly seen or avoided. Nobody deliberately rides over debris.

If and when I'm unconvieniced by a puncture, I'd rather it was a tubeless tyre that I can repair with a plug and inflate with a CO2 cartridge. I appreciate that if your in Outer Mongolia with a badly damaged wheel, an inner tube might keep you going.

IMHO most prospective owners of an A T would rather have tubeless tyres over tubed.
 

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Apparently, the choice of tubed or tubeless tires is one of those emotionally charged, irreconcilable issues -- like motor oil and politics. But, since you can use inner tubes in most, if not all tubeless motorcycle tires, Honda could have provided "tubeless" wire spoke wheels with the spokes outboard of the air chamber (same as R1200GS, SuperTenere, others do) and allowed owners to choose tube or tubeless tires. In fact, if your bike had tubeless rims and tires and bent a rim out in the bush, you could pop a tube in, inflate it and go on your way. Of course you'd need a tube and pump but so do the tube tire guys.
Only an update: add Honda's VFR1200X Crosstourer to the list of ADV bikes sporting tubeless, wire spoke wheels. So Honda is already using those rims on it's flagship model, but chose not to put them on the AT. I'm sure there's a marketing engineer ready to explain how tube tires are a benefit in the outback where ingenious mechanics knit inner tubes from weeds (after hammer welding a broken steel frame) :grin2: but I'm inclined to put it on the bean counters.
 

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Only an update: add Honda's VFR1200X Crosstourer to the list of ADV bikes sporting tubeless, wire spoke wheels. So Honda is already using those rims on it's flagship model, but chose not to put them on the AT. I'm sure there's a marketing engineer ready to explain how tube tires are a benefit in the outback where ingenious mechanics knit inner tubes from weeds (after hammer welding a broken steel frame) :grin2: but I'm inclined to put it on the bean counters.
Haha... yeah, I think it is probably partly cost, and partly Honda wanting to sell this as a true off-road bike. Most smaller off-road bikes run tubes, so there's your excuse for saving the cash right there.

I don't see it as the end of the world though as punctures don't happen that often. It'll just motivate me to get off my arse and learn how to change tyres/tubes on bikes at some point, which is probably no bad thing.

I hear that it's a lot harder to break the bead of a tubeless tyre anyway, so I suppose there are situations where the plugging of a tubeless tyre doesn't work that you'd rather be taking off a tubed tyre than having to take a punctured tubeless one off to put a tube in it.
 

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Changing a tubed MC tire is the same as changing a tubed tyre on a bicycle. Carry those little C02 cans for inflation. Centre stand seems nice for this, or just tip it on the side in a field ;)

Do any CRF series bikes run tubeless tires?
 
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