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Thread: tubeless tires

  1. #1
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    Default tubeless tires

    anyone know if i can put tubeless tires on my bike?
    i've checked the rims, there's no markings of any kind, and i cant find consistent reliable info online about this
    1985 Suzuki GS450L

  2. #2
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    I have tubeless tires and no tubes. Good chance I'm doing it wrong though.
    KID
    1980 GS1000G Full vetter touring pack (getting closer)

  3. #3
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    What have you got on there now? If it is truly a 1985 model then it will be tubeless applicable if they are mags.
    Current:
    Z1300A5 Locomotive (swapped my Intruder for it), GS450 Cafe Project (might never finish it....), XT500 Commuter (I know - it's a Yamaha )

    Past:
    VL1500 Intruder (swapped for Z1300), ZX9R Streetfighter (lets face it - too fast....), 1984 GSX750EF, 1984 GSX1100EF (AKA GS1150)
    And a bunch of other crap Yamahas....

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyfangR View Post
    anyone know if i can put tubeless tires on my bike?
    i've checked the rims, there's no markings of any kind, and i cant find consistent reliable info online about this
    So you want to convert to tubeless operation or you want to know if you can put tubeless rated tires on your old tech rims with tubes inside?

    There is reliable information on how to convert to tubeless on this forum, but there is no such thing in terms of whether it is safe/reasonable/OK or not. That comes down to a personal decision on whether you can live with running a setup that was not intended to work that way but seems to be pretty sound based on significant anecdotal information. Personally, I have a bit over 10,000km on my tubeless setup and will not ever willingly go back to running tubes on a street bike.


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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmattockx View Post
    So you want to convert to tubeless operation or you want to know if you can put tubeless rated tires on your old tech rims with tubes inside?

    There is reliable information on how to convert to tubeless on this forum, but there is no such thing in terms of whether it is safe/reasonable/OK or not. That comes down to a personal decision on whether you can live with running a setup that was not intended to work that way but seems to be pretty sound based on significant anecdotal information. Personally, I have a bit over 10,000km on my tubeless setup and will not ever willingly go back to running tubes on a street bike.


    Mark
    i wanted to convert to tubeless. thanks
    1985 Suzuki GS450L

  6. #6
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    Been using nothing but tubeless on mine since 1988.
    Correction, a few years ago I bought a rear wheel with a new tyre on it and just ran it. Unknown to me it had a tube in it. If I'd known that, I'd have stripped it out of there.
    ---- Dave
    79 GS850N - Might be a trike soon.
    80 GS850T Single HIF38 S.U. SH775, Tow bar, Pantera II. Gnarly workhorse & daily driver.
    79 XS650SE - Pragmatic Ratter - goes better than a manky old twin should.
    92 XJ900F - Fairly Stock, for now.

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

  7. #7
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    Oh, this is interesting, a subject that's not been brought about before.
    1983 GS1100E, 1983 CB1100F, 1991 GSX1100G, 1996 Kaw. ZL600 Eliminator, 1999 Bandit 1200S, 2005 Bandit 1200S, 2000 Kaw. ZRX 1100

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyfangR View Post
    i wanted to convert to tubeless. thanks
    Just search in this forum for 'tubeless' and you will find a pile of threads covering the details. Basically you buy and install a valve stem that seals the big hole in the rim and then mount and balance your tubeless tires as per usual.

    This is the valve stem I used on my 1100E: https://fortnine.ca/en/bikemaster-ch...ve-stem-151402


    Quote Originally Posted by rphillips View Post
    Oh, this is interesting, a subject that's not been brought about before.
    Now, now. You can't expect new guys to try searching, can you?


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

  9. #9
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    The conversion is possible, and if you do the conversion you should make sure you do it correctly, but I never recommend either way.

    I've never heard of a problem running a correctly converted GS wheel tubeless, but maybe the next of kin just didn't find this website.

    Anyhoo, the correct valve stems are narrower at the bottom than the more common ones you'll find for cars. Fortunately, they're pretty easy to find at Napa:
    https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/NTH90426
    Some stores will have them in stock, some will need to order them.

    Basically, these are the same diameter all the way down; the hole in the rim is about 8mm (AKA 5/16"). Metal valve stems for cars are fatter at the bottom because they use a larger hole in the wheel. There is no need to drill the hole in your GS wheel larger to fit a car valve stem; just buy the correct valve stem.

    When installing the valve stem, be careful not to crush the rubber seal too much; you want to compress the seal by about 1/3. Like any rubber item, these seals do degrade over time, so I usually replace them at around 5 years. You can't get the seals separately, so I just replace the entire valve stem.


    The second step, if needed, is to make sure there's a flat sealing surface inside the wheel. I use a 5/8" counterbore with a 5/16" pilot in a cordless drill to machine a flat surface if this area is curved.

    Thusly -- I borrowed these pics from Bob T., since I can't remember where my photos are:

    Don't go any deeper than you need to. It takes maybe five seconds with the counterbore chucked into a cordless drill.



    This is Bob's pic of the Napa valve stem, and over at the top right is the counterbore/pilot tool:



    Most front wheels are curved and need to be machined inside like this. Some rear wheels are flat inside so it's optional.
    Last edited by bwringer; 07-30-2021 at 12:38 PM.
    1983 GS850G, Cosmos Blue.
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  10. #10
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    I've been doing a fair amount of obsessing about this tube/tubeless question for my 1979 850. I've read many posts and done many internet searches.
    My rim sidewalls are stamped:
    Front: N19 MT 1.85 DOT - there is NO inside bead lip
    Rear: 17 x MT 2.50 DOT TUBELESS TIRE APPLICABLE - there IS an inside bead lip

    Both rims already have a flat countersink for the stem.

    Does MT on the rim indicate Motorcycle Tubeless? I can't find any confirmation online as every time I search I get explanations for Tire numbers and not Rim numbers.

    My understanding is that these GS mag rims came along just as the tubeless tire tech was coming into play and the tubes were phased out even though the factory parts drawings do show tubes installed for my year machine. Later rims have inside bead lips for both wheels. I can imagine that by 1984 they were not longer stamped as all the mag rims were Tubeless Applicable.

    I just ordered a new FRONT rim that in the ad pics shows TUBELESS TYPE APPLICABLE. I noted that the inside rim width profile seems identical to mine with NO bead lip. My intention is to compare with my current front rim and if they are the same Ima gonna just use my original front rim without tube and keep the other rim as a spare.

    As a fun side note, when I removed the existing tires there was a tube in the front and none in the rear. I also discovered the likely cause of the slow leak in the rear. Pics to follow:

    Note the 'stem' that was fit in the rear wheel by PO:

    https://flickr.com/

    Front rim markings:

    https://flickr.com/

    Front rim profile:

    https://flickr.com/

    Rear rim markings:

    https://flickr.com/

    Rear rim profile:

    https://flickr.com/
    Last edited by GSDoubleDyl; 08-12-2021 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Sidewall stamp corrected
    "C'Mon you apes! You wanna live forever?!"

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