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 to 12,000 miles a year and every year I am on a trip where one or
more riders of KTM 950/990 have a puncture. All the KTM riders I know carry 2 inner tubes, patches and tyre levers which is a
major pain. I have helped a friend install a new front tube on his 990 on the side of the road and it completely spoils the day. On
the other hand punctures rarely effect those of us with tubless 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. 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.
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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 Britain.
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 Tubless 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
On some of the links people suggest a front wheel should not be run tubless 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?