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Discussion Starter #1
Which will blow out faster, a tire with tubes or one without? I know a tubeless is easier to repair on the side of the road, but it seems to me tubes might actually give a few more seconds to get over there. On the other hand, there's stuff you can put in tubeless to clot the hole that you can't put in tubed (I think?). So which one is actually less likely to put the bike down?

Windman
'06 1500 Classic anniv. ed.
 

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Never ridden a motorcycle with tubes...
 

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I don't think any one is better than the other really. I've ridden both and if something is going to puncture your tire chances are it's going through the tube as well.
 

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Which will blow out faster, a tire with tubes or one without? I know a tubeless is easier to repair on the side of the road, but it seems to me tubes might actually give a few more seconds to get over there. On the other hand, there's stuff you can put in tubeless to clot the hole that you can't put in tubed (I think?). So which one is actually less likely to put the bike down?

Windman
'06 1500 Classic anniv. ed.
Nope, tubes tend to deflate immediately and without warning. Think about the typical scenario of picking up a nail or screw in your tire. As soon as that pointy object gets pushed through your tire it will cut, slice the tube as it keeps getting moved around or through the tire every rotation. On a tubeless tire, sure you'll have a puncture but the tire rubber itself will sort of self heal around the object so that you end up with a slow leak that most times you won't even notice until much later or once your pressure gets low enough you'll feel the bike's steering get sluggish or start to wander etc.

Bottom line, tubeless tires are safer but knocking on wood here, the only bike tires I've ever had go flat were on my dirt bikes. And besides if your bike happens to have spokes, then you don't really have any option except to run tubes anyway. Sure you can get the rims sealed but it isn't always foolproof. Both my wife and I have been riding bikes with spokes and tubes for over 6 years now with no flats.

Check your pressures regularly, at least weekly if not before every ride and inspect your tires the same. I'm in the habit of glancing at my tires every time I get on the bike and at least weekly the bike gets put on the center stand and the tires inspected properly looking for punctures, bubbles, wear etc. Only takes a few minutes and we only have two small contact patches keeping us on the road so I like to make sure they're in good shape.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nope, tubes tend to deflate immediately and without warning. Think about the typical scenario of picking up a nail or screw in your tire. As soon as that pointy object gets pushed through your tire it will cut, slice the tube as it keeps getting moved around or through the tire every rotation. On a tubeless tire, sure you'll have a puncture but the tire rubber itself will sort of self heal around the object so that you end up with a slow leak that most times you won't even notice until much later or once your pressure gets low enough you'll feel the bike's steering get sluggish or start to wander etc.

Bottom line, tubeless tires are safer but knocking on wood here, the only bike tires I've ever had go flat were on my dirt bikes. And besides if your bike happens to have spokes, then you don't really have any option except to run tubes anyway. Sure you can get the rims sealed but it isn't always foolproof. Both my wife and I have been riding bikes with spokes and tubes for over 6 years now with no flats.

Check your pressures regularly, at least weekly if not before every ride and inspect your tires the same. I'm in the habit of glancing at my tires every time I get on the bike and at least weekly the bike gets put on the center stand and the tires inspected properly looking for punctures, bubbles, wear etc. Only takes a few minutes and we only have two small contact patches keeping us on the road so I like to make sure they're in good shape.
Bross,

Thanks. I'm running spoked wheels with tubes... I got a flat in Oct. '08: rear tire, leak was slow, I sensed something was wrong but I cruised another 4 miles before pulling off the road. Only then did I realize the rear tire was going flat.

I asked the question because a few days ago on another forum I linked to a news piece about a guy whose back tire blew out and he was killed. He was wearing a helmet. His bike apparently went down on a bridge and he was thrown into a river. Whether he drowned or not the story didn't say, but it freaked me out.

I'd like to think that in 95% of blowout cases the rider will have enough time to bring the bike to a stop. Or is that just wishful thinking?

I'm going to look further into this. I need to know what the stats. are on this issue--for my own peace of mind.

Windman
'06 1500 Classic anniv. ed.
 

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Bross,

Thanks. I'm running spoked wheels with tubes... I got a flat in Oct. '08: rear tire, leak was slow, I sensed something was wrong but I cruised another 4 miles before pulling off the road. Only then did I realize the rear tire was going flat.

I asked the question because a few days ago on another forum I linked to a news piece about a guy whose back tire blew out and he was killed. He was wearing a helmet. His bike apparently went down on a bridge and he was thrown into a river. Whether he drowned or not the story didn't say, but it freaked me out.

I'd like to think that in 95% of blowout cases the rider will have enough time to bring the bike to a stop. Or is that just wishful thinking?

I'm going to look further into this. I need to know what the stats. are on this issue--for my own peace of mind.

Windman
'06 1500 Classic anniv. ed.
I would not worry to much about it. There is always something to worry about and if it freaks you out that much maybe riding isn't for you. Think about the wheels. If you run spoked wheels you run tubes. Even if tubes blow out easier, not saying they do, the spoked wheels are stronger than other wheels. So you might then learn of someone hitting a pothole and cracking their aluminum wheels and going down. Then what? ;)
 

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Always easier to fix a tubeless on the side of the road...in fact i dont think any sport bikes are tube types anymore...

and if youre running radial theyre tubeless also. always have a plug kit and or smile kits with me...got a mini plug kits with co2 and it just fits under seat of 14
 

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I would like to switch to a tubeless tire but the rims (I have spoked wheels) are real expensive, so for now I will stick with the tubes. I would be interested in the stats if you are able to find any. It is always good to be educated and at least you know what you are in for. Inspection and tire pressure are always a good idea no matter the tire.
 

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Bross,

Thanks. I'm running spoked wheels with tubes... I got a flat in Oct. '08: rear tire, leak was slow, I sensed something was wrong but I cruised another 4 miles before pulling off the road. Only then did I realize the rear tire was going flat.

I asked the question because a few days ago on another forum I linked to a news piece about a guy whose back tire blew out and he was killed. He was wearing a helmet. His bike apparently went down on a bridge and he was thrown into a river. Whether he drowned or not the story didn't say, but it freaked me out.

I'd like to think that in 95% of blowout cases the rider will have enough time to bring the bike to a stop. Or is that just wishful thinking?

I'm going to look further into this. I need to know what the stats. are on this issue--for my own peace of mind.

Windman
'06 1500 Classic anniv. ed.
I prefer tubeless tires but running tubes doesn't keep me awake at night. 4 of our 5 bikes run tubes and as I said, never had a flat on the street. Only flat was on one of the dual sports and it was a weird one, picked up a nail on a trail in the middle of no where. :confused:

Just maintain your tires and pressures which you should be doing with either type of tire. I also install new tubes with every tire change, then just keep the old tube for a spare. Also check the rim tape every tire change to make sure it's in good shape. More a dirt bike thing but a little bit of baby/talcum powder sprinkled into the tire before installing your tube helps your tubes last. Keeps the tube from chafing and wearing prematurely.

If you have tubeless tires you should also be changing your valve stem every tire change but I know lots of riders who have never changed their valve stem. :shock:
 

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"I would not worry to much about it. There is always something to worry about and if it freaks you out that much maybe riding isn't for you. Think about the wheels. If you run spoked wheels you run tubes. Even if tubes blow out easier, not saying they do, the spoked wheels are stronger than other wheels. So you might then learn of someone hitting a pothole and cracking their aluminum wheels and going down. Then what?"

Ain't it the truth......if you dwell on the "what if's", ya might as well buy a tank. I would like to be able to patch one on the side of the road if needed but I prefer the look of the spokes on my bike so I just try to keep a close eye on the tires and keep up my roadside assistance plan. As for going down in the event of a blow out......I try not to think about that.
 

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this debate will never die, sure tubeless tires are easier and maybe go down a little slower but its all about the spokes !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i personally love the classic looks of spokes, never owned a bike that didnt have spoke wheels.

if i was buying a bike for what if's i would buy this

URal | Gear-Up
 
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