Water in BST Front Wheel - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 9:20 am Thread Starter
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Water in BST Front Wheel

While changing tires on by buddy's 848, we noticed there was water in his 848's front 7 spoke BST wheel. He has about 70K miles on them. We pulled the bearings, dried the wheel out, and installed new bearings. After 3K miles the water is back. Several emails were sent to BST with no response.

Here's what it sounds like. As you can imagine, its impossible to balance... lol

Has anyone run into this?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 9:46 am
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BST likely isn't responding because they know it's a problem and there's nothing they can do about it.

I heard of another guy who had that problem. The solution was to only use the wheel in dry conditions. (this was a race bike) he went back to OEMs for wets and only used the BSTs for slicks.

But if they do come up with something I'd be interested in what it is.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 10:00 am
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Is water it getting into the air chamber of the tire? Is the water in the spokes?

Does the tire pressure drop significantly over time indicating a leak in the bead somewhere? How can water be getting in without air getting out at a leak point?

Is the water pushing through the bearing seals and pooling in the axle space and leaking into the spokes?

Could it be condensation of the water content in the inflation air in the tire?

Does it seem to have the same collection of moisture when the tires are hot and cold?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 11:07 am
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Id use bearings sealed on both sides. When greasing the bearings use boat trailer grease. Any way a hole could be drilled to let it drain ? Have you figured out how it gets in yet ? Maybe fill the void with spray foam ?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 11:41 am
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I would be concerned that if water can get in there has to be a crack or hole (porosity) for that to happen. I would have the wheel inspected to make sure it is not on its way to a failure.

If BST came back and tell you to fill the hole with silicone I would think they are going to be telling you from experience.
I assume the wheel does not lose air?
Does the water also drain out?
Can you find the location ?

I would stop using them until you get an answer from BST as it is not worth risking failure. It might be good that you found this.
Are you talking with the US importer or BST direct? I have had 2 front BST wheels go back to BST importers for repairs but BST the manufacturer was very helpful and responded quickly.

How old is the wheel?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 11:53 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pard View Post
Is water it getting into the air chamber of the tire? Is the water in the spokes?

Does the tire pressure drop significantly over time indicating a leak in the bead somewhere? How can water be getting in without air getting out at a leak point?

Is the water pushing through the bearing seals and pooling in the axle space and leaking into the spokes?

Could it be condensation of the water content in the inflation air in the tire?

Does it seem to have the same collection of moisture when the tires are hot and cold?
If it were a situation of water actually in the tire, when spinning it as slowly as was shown in the video you'd not hear water sloshing like that since the water would just remain pooled up in the lowest part of the tire as it spun.

Just a guess, but my money is on water inside of the spoked part of the wheel itself, and not inside of the pressurized tire. There is no way water could entire a pressurized vessel unless the water pressure was greater than the pressure inside of the vessel ("vessel" being the tire). As such, the tire would deflate if there were some entry point for water to enter it since even though technically "air" is a fluid, it is far less dense than water and the air would leak out before water could ever entire.

That said, the water is inside of the hollow spokes.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 12:27 pm
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I wasnt even thinking of the wheel failing. No experience with cf wheels. Ducvet is right, you definitely need to look into that.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 2:11 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses.

The wheel was manufactured in 2011. The water is in the spokes, not in the tire or high pressure area. The rim holds air very well.

The water is either getting in through the hub, the bearings, around the outer race, or in by the inner race and the axel. One thing I haven't though of is a cracked axel. That would allow water in too.

Its good to hear that someone else has seen this problem. Outside the forum, we got the suggestion to drill a hole in the spokes to allow the water to drain.. but that didn't sound like the best option.

Right now we're waiting on the next set of bearings to arrive, and will most likely silicone up the spoke holes before installing the bearings. That will atleast keep the water at the center of the rim, where balancing won't be as affected.

Good point as well to submerge the wheel and see if any of the spokes are cracked.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 2:25 pm
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Right now we're waiting on the next set of bearings to arrive, and will most likely silicone up the spoke holes before installing the bearings. That will atleast keep the water at the center of the rim, where balancing won't be as affected.
So wait, am I understanding correctly that the spokes have some type of vent holes in them as delivered from the manufacturer? If so, given the region of the USA in your profile (as well as your moniker), there is also the chance that the wheel heats up a bit from radiated heat off the brakes, then as it cools condensation forms and collects in the spokes. Your geographic region comes into play due to higher humidity levels and higher dew points. Condensation from the heating/cooling cycle is the same phenomenon that allows water to enter the engine cases, as well as exhaust systems (steam coming out on colder mornings before the heat of the exhaust evaporates it). Stands to reason the same thing could be happening in the wheels' spokes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idinmaine View Post
Good point as well to submerge the wheel and see if any of the spokes are cracked.
Yea ... but I'm not sure that test would reveal pinholes (aka "porosity") in the actual materials used to manufacture the wheel. In the heat cycle I described above, when the wheel cools a small but significant vacuum is created, "sucking" humid/wet air through any very small pores in the material. Those anomalies may not make themselves visible in a simple dunk test.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Aug 18th, 2019, 2:49 pm
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...Outside the forum, we got the suggestion to drill a hole in the spokes to allow the water to drain.. but that didn't sound like the best option.

...
Don't drill any holes.

Email BST directly, not the vendor. They have always been super responsive.

The bearings have an aluminum spacer between them. There may or may not be a vent in the spoke to the axle space. Find out from BST, do not tamper with your wheel integrity. You may have to remove the bearings and spacer to drain the water and take it from there. Wait for guidance.

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