Triumph Tiger 800 - Converting to Tubeless Tyres
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In October 2015 I successfully converted my Tubed wheels to Tubeless - My biggest reservation about buying the XCx version
of the Tiger 800 is the fact it comes with tubed tyres. I ride 8,000 miles a year and every year I am on a trip where one or more
riders of KTM 950/990 or Honda Africa Twin have a puncture. All the KTM riders I know carry 2 inner tubes, patches and tyre
levers which is a major pain. I have twice helped a friend install a new front tube on the side of the road and it completely spoils
the day. On the other hand punctures rarely effect those of us with tubeless tyres. If it does happen it is so easy to plug and reflate
a tubeless tyre. I promised myself that if I bought the Tiger 800 with spoked wheels I would attempt to convert them to tubeless.
Stop Press - Still airtight after 15,000 miles. Here below are useful links to relevant articles on the WWW.
Adventure Rider Forum - Goop
Adventure Rider Forum Options
Adventure Pulse site - Options
I purchased a tube of Goop Automotive Adhesive from eBay and a pair of 8mm Tubeless Tyre valves. £10 spent.
Having gone tubeless I want to
monitor my Tyre pressures so I
have purchased a Fobo Tire
Pressure Monitoring System
(TPMS). A sensor is fitted to the
valve on each wheel and they
connect via Bluetooth to a Fobo
App on my Samsung Galaxy
phone. I have tested the system
and it works perfectly which gives
me confidence that my tyres are
holding pressure. Fobo can be
set to give off a continuous 30
second alarm if a sensor detects
a tyre falling below a preset
pressure I use my phone or
tablet as my GPS so all I have to
do is run Fobo in the background.
As I walk up to my bike I can check
the pressures and Fobo will
monitor them on the move, perfect.
Cost is £64 plus shipping and tax
from USA or £83 here in rip off
I took the wheels off and had the tyres removed. I noticed that the rim tape on the rear wheel had
been installed off-centre and a section of spoke was rubbing the inner tube! Not good because
the spoke nipples on the Tiger 800 have really sharp edges.
When I converted my wheels my tiger had only done 1,000 miles so the spokes and rims were clean, although some
water had already penetrated the rear wheel. I cleaned both wheels thoroughly and sprayed with Brake Cleaner to ensure
everything was free from grease. I applied Goop to each spoke nipple 4 spokes at a time. Goop automotive is a clear,
waterproof adhesive, it sets semi hard and retaining some flexibility. It is easy to apply, starts to set after 20 minutes, after
40 minutes the wheel can be rotated round without fear of the Goop running so the next 4 spokes can be sealed. It is
easier to seal the rear wheel as the spokes are in deep pockets, sealing the front wheel is more difficult. The Picture
below shows the goop freshly applied. Goop shrinks as it dries so after 3 hours I had to apply a second coat on some
spokes. Goop should fully harden in 72 hours, I was going on holiday so I applied 1 or 2 thick layers and left my wheels
off the bike for 4 weeks. At the same time I fitted the 8mm Tubeless Valves with plenty of Goop to seal them in place.
Why did I choose the Goop option? I like the existing write-ups, it is a waterproof adhesive not a sealant, being clear I
could check there are no trapped air bubbles, when set Goop grips tenaciously. Once the tyre is installed and inflated air
pressure will force the Goop into the spoke wells, this together with the strong adhesive strength should resit the
centrifugal forces at work. A loose spoke could spoil the party however in all my years I have never had a spoke work lose
on a road bike.
On some of the links people suggest a front wheel should not be run tubeless because if a
tyre deflates the front rim does not have an inner step to hold the tyre in place. I tend to
disagree, the whole point of tubeless tyres is there rarely let go with a bang, they deflate in a
more controlled manner than a tubed tyre, this provides more warning to the rider to slow and
stop. I have raced Enduro's and I have seen tubed rear tyres rapidly deflate and in spite of
the moulded inner step the tyre comes off the rim and the inner tube wraps itself round the
rear axle locking the wheel. I prefer to place my faith in a Tubeless front tyre.
While the wheels were off I weighed everything. Converting to Tubeless has reduced
unsprung weight by 1.8kgs, cheaper than buying fancy aftermarket rims. I have read on
Tiger forums that wire wheels add 10kgs, what are these guys on?