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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are wire laced wheels on my 2001 H-D Road King Classic. Wire laced wheels are supposed to be used with the tubes mounted (on the wheels, "inside" the tires).

Since I'd like to run my bike without the tubes (tubes in the tires = danger!), and taking into account that Dunlop 402 tires are desgned to be used as the tubeless or as the tube type tires, can anyone advise me how to seal myself my wire laced wheels (there are no H-D dealers here in Bosnia, so I have to do that myself somehow).

I appreciate any input, thank you very much in advance.

P.S.
Are there any web links related to this issue?
 

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bagga said:
there have been tubes in tires for over 100 years.why do you think it is dangerous?
Ditto!

I've never had a problem with a tubed tire. Granted, you can't just plug them, but beyond that what's the big deal? So, you carry an extra tube and a few tire tools if you're away from home.

The biggest issue with tubes is putting them in the tire improperly or not making sure the inside of the tire and the tube itself is clean. Also make sure the rim is clean and the rubber strip or seal around the spoke ends is good.

As with anything, all it takes is a little effort to make sure everything is as it should be.
 

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The rims on my chopper are spokes and I run tubeless tires on them.

There is a layer of silicone about 1/4" thick covering the spoke nipples inside the rim.

No problems so far.


Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, my thought is that if I get a nail in the tire, i.e. in the tube, I shall loose the air immediately (dangerous situation), but if I get a nail into the tire with no tube inside, the air will leak very slowly, or will not leak at all, so I shall have my chance to stop the bike. Correct? My friend died just because he got the nail in the TUBE through the tire wall, lost the control and hit the wall.

Tell me that I am wrong and I shall be more that happy to hear that.

Thanks guys for your inputs and for taking care.

P.S.
I am somehow persistent (read as: stubborn!), so I shall keep on looking for an information related to the idea to have sealed wheels (at the moment, it is expensive for me to buy cast weels). Any help?
 

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A nail in a sidewall is going to be bad, tube or no tube. Sucks about your buddy and I can see this could have an influence on your decision, but I also have to believe this accident to be somewhat of a freak thing.
 

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I just switched my laced wheels to cast ultra wheels. With all the holes in spokes, the air does leak out quickly as you stated. And if you pressure wash your laced wheels, you might get some water in the rim and between the tube which will rust the laced wheel and cause it to crack while riding. Carrying a tube is fine but taking the rear wheel off to put the tube in the tire is a PITA. I just bought a Slime air compressor and a tubeless tire plug kit for the cast spoked Ultra wheels I just put on. To answer your question, I have heard about using slicone to seal the wheels/spoke holes as stated above. A company in California USA does it for about $50 per wheel and does it heavy duty, not just a bead of silicone. The other solution is adapt BMW type laced wheels to a harley, if possible, since the spokes are on the outside of the rim and you can use tubeless tires.

STB
 

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Emirharley, since most flats occur on the back wheel (greater weight on it pushes sharp objects through much easier), you may want to consider using your limited funds to replace the rear only with a used cast wheel. They aren't that hard to find on ebay as many guys like to put custom wheels on their hogs and are usually priced pretty cheap. I'm replacing my FXST spoke rear wheel with a FXSTB dish wheel to save myself the hassle of fixing a flat in the middle of nowhere. I'm not worried about the front -- even if it goes flat it's not that different than fixing a bicycle wheel :laugh:
 

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emirharley said:
There are wire laced wheels on my 2001 H-D Road King Classic. Wire laced wheels are supposed to be used with the tubes mounted (on the wheels, "inside" the tires).

Since I'd like to run my bike without the tubes (tubes in the tires = danger!), and taking into account that Dunlop 402 tires are desgned to be used as the tubeless or as the tube type tires, can anyone advise me how to seal myself my wire laced wheels (there are no H-D dealers here in Bosnia, so I have to do that myself somehow).
There is no reliable way to seal stock HD laced wheels so that they will allow tubeless tires to be installed.
You will need to switch to an aluminum wheel or you can purchase laced wheels that are designed for tubeless tire operation. One such company is American Wire Wheel, there are others as well.
 

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I just bought a set of American Wire 80 spoke laced. The 16" rear is designed for a tubeless tire. I'm changing out the stock 19" cast front for a 21" laced, which I will need to use a tube in.
 

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Emirharley, maybe it will ease your fears to know that I picked up a 1/4" x 1" sheet metal screw in the tubed tire of my rear laced wheel and didn't even know it until I got home. No loss of pressure at all, so not every puncture in a tubed tire results in an immediate blow out.

There's at least one company in California that can do what you want, but I don't know how cost effective it is.

Anyway, you can check it out at this link.
 

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emirharley said:
Well, my thought is that if I get a nail in the tire, i.e. in the tube, I shall loose the air immediately (dangerous situation), but if I get a nail into the tire with no tube inside, the air will leak very slowly, or will not leak at all, so I shall have my chance to stop the bike. Correct? My friend died just because he got the nail in the TUBE through the tire wall, lost the control and hit the wall.

Tell me that I am wrong and I shall be more that happy to hear that.

Thanks guys for your inputs and for taking care.

P.S.
I am somehow persistent (read as: stubborn!), so I shall keep on looking for an information related to the idea to have sealed wheels (at the moment, it is expensive for me to buy cast weels). Any help?


Couldn't agree more. In a 100,000 miles or so on my Harleys, I had two flats with spoke (laced) wheels. They go flat immediately:(
One was very dangerous, the other just scary as hell.

I could not figure any way to seal the wheels so I purchases new tubeless wheels for my RK (would sell the laced wheels cheap).

The only bike I would ride with spoked wheels is my BMW GS, their laced wheels are made differently so as to use tubeless tires.

I ride 35-40,000 miles a year, so perhaps flats seem unavoidable to me. Laced wheels are more dangerous...

imho

greg

greg
 

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Google found this
http://faq.f650.com/FAQs/WheelsGeneralFAQ.htm

Q: Is it possible to convert wheels to tubeless by sealing them?

A: Possibly. Although not common it may be possible to do this. People have been sealing spoke rims in the US for years.

What is used is a two part (like epoxy) aircraft gas tank sealant. This stuff is available in 2 weights, thick (trowel on) and thin (brush on). Each of those are available in two setting time versions 1/2 hour or 2 hour. One down side is, if you need to true your rim, you will probably need to reseal the affected spokes. Some folks recommend fitting with heavy duty stainless spokes before attempting, to make the rim more stable. The specifics:

PRC-DeSoto Int'l Polysulfide sealant PR 1440 A/B
PR 1440A (thin/brush-on)
PR 1440B (thick)

Some have used Silicone RTV sealant. However, this material is heavy and could offset the benefit of the tubeless setup being lighter.
 

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All too true

I had a close encounter with a 16D nail on my Heritage last month. It didn't really blow out but things got really exciting for a few seconds as I tried to stop before running out of tube air. By the time I did get stopped, the bead had popped and the tube wrapped itself around the rear wheel pully. All together a not very good time.

Interestingly enough, my son who works for a tire company showed up to help in his service truck and by just popping the bead back on the Dunlop gave us plenty of air and time to get the thing on a transport. Apparently the the tire goes down a whole lot faster with a blown tube than with leaks around the spoke and/or nail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Dear friends from the USA,

Since my thread is now already an old thread, it is time to thank you for all of your inputs and help. Especially I'd like to thank to STB for his input related to the pressure wash of the laced wheels and getting some water in the rim and between the tube which could rust the laced wheel and cause it to crack while riding. I have never been thinking about this issue and this is very good remark.

Also, I'd like to thank to The Snowman for his important information about the sealants.

Best regards and keep your tires on the ground.

Emirharley
www.sarajevobikersclub.ba
 

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I Have been riding for over 50 years and have never had trouble with spoke wheels, my latest bike 2006 fxdci is a gem and in ozz come standard with the new profile laced wheels, great, over the years "fart snoor" when riding in the outback it does not matter whether you have laced or alloy rims you will get a flat, but what i use lately is a product sold here in ozz called tyre shield it is injected into the tube or tire "tubeless" and is guaranteed to seal holes in tubeless tyres by puncturing objects up to 6mm or in tubed tyres up to 3mm as the vehicle is being driven, the product prevents rust, heat build up, and seals porous leaks and maintains tyre pressure. it does not affect tyres and rims, helps to extend tyre life by maintaining correct balance, it balances tyrs in motion.
the product is sold in over 300 stores australia wide email address [email protected]
by Winiam Investments Pty Ltd
Aust phone no (02)6372-0055 Fax:(02)6372-6692
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Well Chip_3, thanks, this products seems to be very good. But, even though I already thanked the guys from this forum for their inputs, honestly, I have not found what I was looking for: the whole PROCEDURE, including the products to be used to help me seal my wire laced wheels MYSELF
(this link http://streetchopperweb.com/tech/0106stc_spoke/ helps, but that is not enough)!

So, I hope that I shall "get" some more posts and info, i.e. replies.

Enjoy the sun "down under" since here in Europe our bikes are away and quite alone in their garages, to tell you the truth, we visit and caress 'em from time to time, but definitely it is time to ski.

Best

Emir
www.sarajevobikersclub.ba
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have just discovered that this thread "How to Seal Wire Laced Wheels" is almost the most viewed thread with 456 visits/views. This is the proof that the bikers are interested in this problem.

We have gotten quite good replies, but I think that we have not found what we have been looking for.

So, since we have not found the right answer how to seal wire laced wheels, are there any further inputs related to this issue? We wishes if we could get full instruction, i.e. PROCEDURES how to do that and what to use in order to accomplish everything up to the end.

Thanks again and have my excuses for "pushing" my problem so much.
 
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