V-Twin Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I was headed to work when my 2004 Heritage Softail started feeling unstable while banking a turn. I pulled to the side of the road and noticed my rear tire was flat. Great..., I'm screwed. Looks like I'm going to be late for work. The tire had about 8500 miles on it, and while it looked a little worn, the tread indicators weren't observable. I hoped to get 10,000 out of it.

I looked around and saw a construction site with a crew just arriving to work. My scooter and I "limped" over to the site to see if they had an air compressor. They pulled out a DeWalt compressor and plugged in the power. I filled my rear wheel with 40 psi of air and noticed air shooting out of the spokes but the tire remained firm. I started it up and headed straight for the Harley shop which was about eight miles away. I stopped about halfway there and the tire was still firm so I continued on. As soon as I made it to the shop, the tire went flat. Fortunately I was able to get a ride to work so I only lost about an hour. Next time this happens, I could lose a day or more.

I changed out both the front and rear tires so I'm good for another 8,000? I do a lot of cross-country riding and the next time this happens, chances are I'm not going to be as lucky. What are my options? Fix-a-Flat is not an option with a tube. Do I buy cast wheels with a quality plug kit and a couple of CO2 cartridges? Are there other options?

Thanks,
Will Robinson
 

·
Huge Member
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
Nope, there's not really any other options to eliminate the possibility of it happening again. I guess you have to decide how much insurance you need against a flat. As you know, the tubeless wheels/tires will reduce your chances but nothing will eliminate them. Spending another grand may give you some peace of mind and enhance the appearance of your ride but you could get a flat as soon as you leave the shop. Or not...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
581 Posts
Since my ride is HD RKC 2001 WITH spoke/wire laced wheels, one thing is for sure: CAST WHEELS WITH TUBELESS TIRES ARE THE RIGHT THING! We need no tubes at all, tubes are very dangerous thing, since you will loose the air from tubes immediatelly, but from the tubeless tire you will loose an air step by step and you will be able to stop the bike.

So, honestly, taking into account that it is difficult (and expensive) for me to get here in Bosnia cast wheels, I'd like to SEAL my wire laced wheels so I have already asked on this forum if anyone can give me an advice how to seal my weels.

So, no doubt about that, get cast wheels for more safety!
 

·
XLIII
Joined
·
10,078 Posts
While tubeless tires on cast wheels have their advantages, they aren't magic.
My buddy had a blowout at 75 MPH on his Ultra and totalled it. Cast and tubeless.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
581 Posts
MegaGlide, you know that I respect you, but I have to emphasize that my frined from the USA died last year (60 MPH!) when he got flat/lost the air suddenly from his front TUBE/tube tire, as well as my friend from Croatia. Side by side with that, I know several people who lost the air from their tubeless tires and they managed to stop their bikes safely.

Tubeless tires-safe ride: that is just MY impression and opinion related to this issue. Maybe I am wrong, but I am quite sure what I am going to do as soon as it is possible.

And yes, we can not expect miracles from nothing or from anybody, since everything is in HIS hands!

Respect, brother!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,799 Posts
If you want to keep laced wheels on your bike, there are manufactures out there that have sealed laced wheels that allow you to run tubeless tires. American Wire Wheel is one, there are others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Slime and Safety

I have been told that slime will make quite a mess, particularly if the tube is gone. I could see that it will stop a leak for a short period if there is only a small hole in the tube. In my case where I was able to add air and travel an additional eight miles, I suspect slime would have worked okay. In fact, it probably would make less of a mess than a tubeless tire would since the rim is protected from the slime by the tube.

As far as safety is concerned, I certainly don't want to be caught going 75 MPH and have a blow-out. However the tire is pretty stout and I am assuming that it has been designed to survive a blow-out without catastrophic consequences to the rider, although I imagine that if it happened while going around a curve, there is a good chance the rider could lose control. Of course, the same thing would happen with a tubeless tire so I don't see much of a difference between tube versus tubeless in this situation. I suspect that with the lower center of gravity provided with a Harley as compared to a crotch rocket, for example, the Harley is inherently a safer ride in these conditions. Does anyone know if tire manufacturers directly address this issue?

I don't have any emotional attachment to spokes in my wheels, but in comparison to cast wheels, it does look like spokes provides a distinct weight advantage.

Thanks,
Will Robinson
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top