Tube or tubeless?


Information and questions on GL1000 Goldwings (1975-1979)
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Solina Dave
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Tube or tubeless?

Postby Solina Dave » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:10 pm



I've had a 1978 GL1000, with it's tubeless tires, since it was new. Many, many miles have been ridden, with 2 rear flats (luckily both with gently controlled stops), and 1 front flat, that happened while stopped at a red light. Lucky again! That's it for 37 years. The front one happened last year, and has left me with a somewhat anxious feeling ever since, if you know what I'm sayin'. Just previous to stopping at that red light, I'd just spent 10 minutes at 50 mph.
A couple of questions. Do you believe that tubeless tires are safer, and less prone to catastrophic failure, and why do you believe that? Do you also believe that there are any differences, good or bad, in the handling characteristics, and what would they be? I also heard once, that the rim design characteristics of the earlier wings, could more easily result in wheel/tire separation in the event of a flat. Anyone know for sure on that?
Also, the wheels on a 1980 and 1981 GL1100, are the same diameter as they are on earlier wings (19" front and 17" rear), but they can accommodate tubeless tires. Is it possible to install the wheels, used on an '80 or '81 GL1100, on a 1978 GL1000, without any modifications? And if they can be used, but need modification, how extensive would the modifications be? I'm looking for expert advice. I think I'm in the right place. Many thanks for any help, everyone.

Feeling a bit deflated..................Dave
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CMReynolds1
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby CMReynolds1 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:34 pm

I can't answer all your questions, but I have had both types of tires. I will not do tubed tires again. The biggest thing is if you get a flat with a tube, you have to dismantle the whole tire and remove the tube to do a patch. On a tubeless there are kits to get you going again and you can get to a shop for a more permanent fix.

Trying to fix a tube on the side of the road is not a pleasant time. Just a thought.
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Solina Dave
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby Solina Dave » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:18 pm

CMReynolds1 wrote:
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I can't answer all your questions, but I have had both types of tires. I will not do tubed tires again. The biggest thing is if you get a flat with a tube, you have to dismantle the whole tire and remove the tube to do a patch. On a tubeless there are kits to get you going again and you can get to a shop for a more permanent fix.

Trying to fix a tube on the side of the road is not a pleasant time. Just a thought.


I completely agree with all of that CR. That wouldn't be pretty at all!
I use tube type Bridgestone Spitfire II tires. They've been great. I can get the right size, in a Bridgestone Battlax B-45, an upgraded tire that I'd like to try out,but it's a tubeless tire. It was suggested, by a huge retailer up here in Canada, that I use that tire, but put a tube in it to remain compatible with my wheel. I'm not so sure about that because I've also heard that by doing so, the bead may not be a suitable profile for proper use on my '78 GL rim. Also, having a tube in the tubeless style tire, could create an increase in heat causing potential problems.
These are points of interest and discussion. I'm just not sure.

I'd like to get a bead on it.................Dave
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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 3:53 pm

Dave,
I don't know enough about tires to know if there's actually a difference between a tire designed to run a tube and a tubeless tire... but I'm fairly certain there's no difference between the bead profile from one motorcycle tire to the next. I would find a tire dealer you TRUST... like a company with something to lose if they make a mistake, and ask then if there's a difference in tires designed to run tubes and those that aren't.

I've always heard you can run a tube in ANY tire (motorcycle), even radials can be used with radial tubes.. and that the only wheels that require a tube are those with spokes.. Of course, there's a liner (can't recall the correct term) that protects the inside diameter of a tube at the point it comes in contact with the spokes on the inner portion of the inside of the wheel...

I don't care for spoked wheels, and although I do have one bike with them, as soon as I find suitable aluminum wheels to replace them, I'll be changing them to tubeless tires. Tubes are fine, but for me they are just one more thing that can fail that I don't want to mess with while I am riding down the road.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Fred Camper
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby Fred Camper » Mon Mar 16, 2015 4:03 pm

I thought tubes were great until I could not break the bead to get a rear tube patched. Having to get a tow when a plug would have worked tilted the deck to tubeless for me.

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Solina Dave
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby Solina Dave » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:12 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:Dave,
I don't know enough about tires to know if there's actually a difference between a tire designed to run a tube and a tubeless tire... but I'm fairly certain there's no difference between the bead profile from one motorcycle tire to the next. I would find a tire dealer you TRUST... like a company with something to lose if they make a mistake, and ask then if there's a difference in tires designed to run tubes and those that aren't.

I've always heard you can run a tube in ANY tire (motorcycle), even radials can be used with radial tubes.. and that the only wheels that require a tube are those with spokes.. Of course, there's a liner (can't recall the correct term) that protects the inside diameter of a tube at the point it comes in contact with the spokes on the inner portion of the inside of the wheel...

I don't care for spoked wheels, and although I do have one bike with them, as soon as I find suitable aluminum wheels to replace them, I'll be changing them to tubeless tires. Tubes are fine, but for me they are just one more thing that can fail that I don't want to mess with while I am riding down the road.


Well Hawkeye, I'm getting more and more confused by the minute. If I had one of your interstates, there wouldn't be a problem. I'd be tubeless, and that would do it. I agree that wheels with spokes would definitely need a tube, but I am under the impression, from what I've been hearing, that a tube is required with the Comstar wheels on my '78, and also on '79s.
I contacted a very large on-line supplier here in Canada, and there advice was all over the place regarding putting a tubeless tire on a non-tubeless rim, along with the installation of an inner tube. Actually they said that would work just fine, but I was sceptical about it, so I questioned them, and I was told that all of there information was given to them by, in my particular case, Bridgestone Tire. I'll include a link to the info. that Bridgestone gave them. See if you can understand what they're talking about. Scroll down to where it says, "Never mount passenger car tires on motorcycle rims", and read the next couple of lines. That's all that I could see about it. Frankly, I'm not surprised they were all over the place, if this is the info. they're using.

Thanks for your interest.......................Dave
http://www.bridgestonemotorcycletires.c ... etips.aspx
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Solina Dave
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby Solina Dave » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:20 pm

Fred Camper wrote:I thought tubes were great until I could not break the bead to get a rear tube patched. Having to get a tow when a plug would have worked tilted the deck to tubeless for me.


I see that you've got some aftermarket wheels on your fine looking machine Fred. They obviously have the tubeless tires you're talking about. What make are they, and about how much did the cost? Did you paint them red later, or is that another set entirely? It all looks great.

Thanks Fred....................Dave
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HawkeyeGL1200
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1981 GL1100 Interstate

Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:35 pm

I do not want to turn your thread into a "dark side" debate...so, I'm only going to say this about putting a car tire on a motorcycle wheel... the bead(s) are different dimensions... let the rider make their own choice whether they think it is a good idea or not.

As to running tubeless on Comstar wheels. I've got them on both my bikes and I recon I was too stupid to know I wasn't supposed to be running tubes on my bikes, as I don't use them on either the gl1200 or gl1100... Maybe that's why I occasionally need to add some air... I don't know.

If you are puzzled about what to do, I'd go to the Bridgestone web site and call them. I make calls to manufacturers all the time at the job. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to ask the questions I need answered, as you would think anyone with any common sense wouldn't be forced to call and ask some of the stupid things I've asked in the course of my lifetime, but the truth is some of the people I work for don't accept common sense for an answer...so I've had to ask some pretty low level questions over time. I find MOST manufacturers are very forthcoming with information as long as you aren't asking any proprietary information.. and where tires are concerned, questions about composition of the tire probably won't be answered ... ever. When you go to many tire sites online, and search for GL1100 or GL1200 tires, the greater majority (all in my experience) listing they recommend are tires that don't require tubes in them, or at least I've never been "offered" a tube to go along with the tires the sites recommend.

Again, my knowledge regarding tires is pretty limited to the tires I have personally used. Some I would use again and others, not so much... I used to be a strictly "Metzler" tire guy, and lately haven't seen a Metzler tire that looks like it fits a Goldwing.. I've been considering a few other options, and the Spitfires are high on the list of tires I plan to run at least one time. I also have no plans to run tubes in any tires I buy...
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Solina Dave
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby Solina Dave » Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:28 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:I do not want to turn your thread into a "dark side" debate...so, I'm only going to say this about putting a car tire on a motorcycle wheel... the bead(s) are different dimensions... let the rider make their own choice whether they think it is a good idea or not.

As to running tubeless on Comstar wheels. I've got them on both my bikes and I recon I was too stupid to know I wasn't supposed to be running tubes on my bikes, as I don't use them on either the gl1200 or gl1100... Maybe that's why I occasionally need to add some air... I don't know.

If you are puzzled about what to do, I'd go to the Bridgestone web site and call them. I make calls to manufacturers all the time at the job. Sometimes I'm embarrassed to ask the questions I need answered, as you would think anyone with any common sense wouldn't be forced to call and ask some of the stupid things I've asked in the course of my lifetime, but the truth is some of the people I work for don't accept common sense for an answer...so I've had to ask some pretty low level questions over time. I find MOST manufacturers are very forthcoming with information as long as you aren't asking any proprietary information.. and where tires are concerned, questions about composition of the tire probably won't be answered ... ever. When you go to many tire sites online, and search for GL1100 or GL1200 tires, the greater majority (all in my experience) listing they recommend are tires that don't require tubes in them, or at least I've never been "offered" a tube to go along with the tires the sites recommend.

Again, my knowledge regarding tires is pretty limited to the tires I have personally used. Some I would use again and others, not so much... I used to be a strictly "Metzler" tire guy, and lately haven't seen a Metzler tire that looks like it fits a Goldwing.. I've been considering a few other options, and the Spitfires are high on the list of tires I plan to run at least one time. I also have no plans to run tubes in any tires I buy...


Hawkeye, I've contacted a few by email lately and I'm still waiting for a reply from Bridgestone. I contacted them twice. Maybe they're having a nap!
Is the S11 Spitfire a tubeless tire? My motorcycles hibernating way out back in it's den so I won't be going out to have a look, but I've used Spitfires for years, and they're the best tire I've ever used. I was totally impressed with them almost immediately. Confidence building control. That's why I'd like to try-out the newer Battlax BT-45 and see if it's even better. But with the wheels on my '78 wing I need to use tubes. I would imagine the Spitfires are tubeless because I saw where somebody had them on a 1200, and you no doubt would be using a tubeless tire on your Interstate. So if that's the case, I've been using tubeless Spitfires with a tube for years, and they've been working fine. Hallelujah! I think.
My question from the get-go has been, can I use a tubeless tire on my '78 GLs wheel if I also install a tube? I'm getting all kinds of conflicting opinions as to how dangerous it would be, with tire/wheel separation after the loss of air, if the seal between the tire and the rim were to fail. Of course, that would be a definite problem, if you weren't using a tube. In my case, with my wheel design, I wouldn't run any tire without a tube. Just like I wouldn't run a tire, without a tube, on a spoked wheel. Then, if there did happen to be a slight separation of the tire from the rim, due to imperfections in the casting, air would still be confined in the tube. That's what a tube's all about.
I did get a link, in a reply from Dunlop Tire that I'll include. Scroll down a little bit to the sub-section titled "Tube-Type Rims", and read the last line. That's just Dunlops opinion, but If I could get a few confirmations to that statement, I think I'd be good to go. So keep those opinions, pro or con, coming.

http://www.dunlop.eu/dunlop_euen/mc/tyres/tyre_care.jsp

Final stages?........................Dave
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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 8:35 pm

I told a lie. I don't have Comstars on my 84... just on the 81.

I'd like to hear what the MFG. says about tube v tubeless when you hear back from them.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Solina Dave
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Re: Tube or tubeless?

Postby Solina Dave » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:29 pm

Hawkeye,

I just looked at Spitfire tires on Revzilla, Motosport, Bike Bandit, and J.P. Cycles, and all of their ads for Spitfires state that the tire is a tubeless tire, and that a tube must be used with a tube-type rim. Like I said, I've been using Spitfire tires for years, with a tube, on a tube-type rim. So I don't see any problem using the updated Spitfire BT-45, on a tube-type rim, as long as I continue with the use of a tube. I think I'm good-to-go! I think that I was getting confused when so many were saying don't use a tubeless tire on a tube-type rim. Implying that someone might actually use a combination of tire and rim without any tube at all. Who in hell would do that? That sounds really dangerous!
You should seriously consider the Spitfire tires or even look at the newer BT-45s. Like I said, I was really impressed with the positive and responsive feel when I first used the Spitfires. I felt a greater attachment to the road.

Thanks for you assistance. I hope your weather's good!.................Dave


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