ABR’s resident expert of everything bikes answers your questions…
I’ve put my deposit down and I’m eagerly awaiting delivery of my new Africa Twin CRF1000L. On checking, the Africa Twin has tubed tyres fitted on spoked wheels, this would make a roadside puncture a nightmare to fix! Is there a way of converting to a tubeless system?
Jack Britton, Skegness
This isn’t the first time this question has popped up. The obvious answer is to purchase some good quality tyre levers and a pump, make sure the tool kit has sufficient tools to remove either wheel then put the bike in the shed and practise removing them. Easy with a centre stand, not so with just a side stand.
When greenlaning I carry a telescopic prop to help hold the bike with the side stand, mine is a converted fishing rod bank stick. The next thing to do is practice removing and refitting the tyre with the tools you’ll be carrying on the bike, no cheating!
It’s best to carry both front and rear tubes, but many only carry a front. While they’re different sizes, it’ll go in the rear in an emergency.
You can purchase heavy-duty tubes which are more robust than standard ones, they won’t stop a nail but are very useful for preventing pinch punctures.
To remove the tubes altogether requires a system to replace them. The two obvious ones are the Tubliss system that installs a small tube to seal the rim then fit the tyre on tubeless.
The other one is a mousse, not a big Canadian creature, but a foam replacement for the tube. With the mousse, once fitted the pressure cannot be changed, this isn’t the case with the Tubliss. The problem here is both systems are described by the manufacturers as for ‘competition use only’. This doesn’t stop you from fitting them, but there’ll be no guarantees from them and your insurance company wouldn’t be impressed in the event of an accident.
But all is not lost, I recently had a chat with Warren Harding at Central Wheel, a company that must be the biggest motorcycle wheel specialist in the UK. They will soon be stocking a system to convert spoked wheels to tubeless!
It’s called the Outex clear tubeless system, have a quick search on YouTube to see an example. It’s a layered system to seal the spokes, before being fitted with a valve and it’ll take a normal tubeless tyre. You see, someone’s been listening. It’s Japanese made, looks good but recommended specialist fitment only at a cost of approximately £250 for a pair of wheels.
I’ve seen the fitment list and it seems most adventure bikes are on there. We’re hoping to take one of our ABR bikes to them soon for the system to be fitted, and of course, images and an article will follow in a future edition of the mag. I think you’re gonna love that AT, happy riding.