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Thread: tube or tubeless tyres for 1980 Suzuki's?

  1. #1
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    Default tube or tubeless tyres for 1980 Suzuki's?

    I was just wandering what the thoughts are
    for whether to use on 1980 Suzuki's with
    mag wheels tubeless tyres ?
    I am about to buy an Avon road rider for the front.
    .

    I have just checked on my Yamaha rd 1977 and the
    mag wheels on it as standard
    are not right for tubeless tyres. this just found out.

    What are the thoughts ?
    1980 gs550e
    1980 gsx250
    both with mag wheels.
    UKJULES
    ---------------------------------
    Owner of following bikes:
    1980 Suzuki GS550ET
    1977 Yamaha RD 250D
    1982 Kawasaki GPZ 750 R1
    1980 Suzuki GSX 250E

  2. #2
    Nessism's Avatar
    Nessism is offline Forum LongTimer GSResource Superstar
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    This topic has been debated here many times before and there is no consensus. Your bike came with tube tires, and the rims don't have the safety bumps to hold the tire close to the rim edge in case of sudden deflation. Some early tubeless rims didn't have these bumps, including the first GS tubeless front rims, so it's not strictly required, but it's highly desirable. So the decision as to whether or not you want to convert is up to you. Personally, I run tubes in the tires unless it originally was tubeless.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
    ...I run tubes in the tires unless it originally was tubeless.
    Ditto.....
    1982 GS1100E V&H "SS" exhaust, APE pods, 1150 oil cooler, 140 speedo, 99.3 rear wheel HP, black engine, '83 red

    2016 XL883L Two-tone blue and white. Almost 42 hp! Status: destroyed, now owned by the insurance company. The hole in my memory starts an hour before the accident and ends 24 hours after.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessism View Post
    So the decision as to whether or not you want to convert is up to you.
    This sums it up. It isn't obviously safe or dangerous and everyone needs to make their own decision on running tubeless on rims not designed for it. Lots of people do it without issue, but I'm sure there have been issues for someone, somewhere.

    Just to offer a contrary voice here, I run tubeless on both ends of my 1100E. The rear rim is the correct 'MT' type for tubeless tires while the front is not. In ~10,000km I have had no problems with either end beyond the rubber seal on the front valve stem rotting and leaking a bit this year. It will be replaced next spring and I expect to carry on without issues in the future.


    Mark
    1982 GS1100E
    1998 ZX-6R
    2005 KTM 450EXC

  5. #5
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    Ditto that. I've been running tubeless in the GSs for more than 30 years and never had a tyre come off its seating due to deflation.
    Might be dumb luck, of course.
    ---- Dave
    79 GS850N - Might be a trike soon.
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    92 XJ900F - Fairly Stock, for now.

    Only a dog knows why a motorcyclist sticks his head out of a car window

  6. #6
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    I have been running tubeless on the 850 for 4 years with no problems, gives peace of mind when touring in case of a puncture no messing around with tubes. Well that's my two pence worth.
    The big guy up there rides a Suzuki (this I know)
    1981 gs850gx

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    past bikes. RF900
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  7. #7
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    Never tubes on any GS cast wheels, for me. Biggest problem, many places won't mount tubeless unless "TUBELESS" is clearly visible on the wheel (liability concerns). Many GS wheels don't have that notation.
    1983 GS1100E, 1983 CB1100F, 1991 GSX1100G, 1996 Kaw. ZL600 Eliminator, 1999 Bandit 1200S, 2005 Bandit 1200S, 2000 Kaw. ZRX 1100

  8. #8
    bwringer's Avatar
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    I've converted many to tubeless, using a 5/8" counterbore with a 5/16" pilot in a drill to machine a flat seating surface for the valve stem.

    NAPA NTH 90426 valve stems are easy to get or order from your friendly local Napa store, they're the correct diameter for motorcycle wheels, they look good, and they're inexpensive ($4.69 each around here). I would not drill a GS wheel to a larger diameter in order to fit a car valve stem.
    https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/NTH90426


    That said, I've never advised anyone to convert. But if that's what you want, I'll do it correctly with the correct special tool.

    If you're not 110% decided, use a tube. And if you convert to tubeless and want to change back at some point later, just remove the valve stem and install a tube.

    I've also never heard of a problem with converting a GS cast wheel to tubeless. Or maybe it's just that the next of kin didn't say anything...


    As noted, this also requires that you mount your own tires. Which is better for your health, sanity, and wallet in many other ways besides.

    If you have to pay someone to mount tires, very few shops, if any, will mount without tubes unless the wheel says "Tubeless".
    Last edited by bwringer; 12-08-2020 at 09:31 PM.
    1983 GS850G, Cosmos Blue.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rphillips View Post
    Biggest problem, many places won't mount tubeless unless "TUBELESS" is clearly visible on the wheel
    That is easily solved with a set of tire irons and a bit of swearing on a saturday afternoon.


    Mark
    1982 GS1100E
    1998 ZX-6R
    2005 KTM 450EXC

  10. #10
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    My bike is a mongrel with bits from 79 through 82.
    Both wheels have the tubeless mark but the front is not drilled for the tubeless valve?
    80 GS850GT
    79 Z400B

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