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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I know there's been a lot of debate about the what and why's of sealing wheels but I thought I would post up how I did my wheels recently incase there are any others on the board that wanted to give it a try. I used a marine grade silicone I got from west marine used the whole tube right over the exsisting tube strip. The reasoning being I figured if I wanted to redo it, I could just cut the strip right across and peel back the whole thing, also with the rim strip in place you can still adjust the spokes.

so clean the rim, spread on the silicone and let dry for 24 hours,

I also bought this 90 degree stem at yoyodyne.com which is really slick :)
 

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Will that Marine grade silicon be able to take the heat in the high temp months?
 

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There is quite a bit of info on the forum about this.
It is a very dangerous and it will add weight and take the wheels out of balance. The heat issue is very serious.
I believe someone on the forum nearly crashed when a professionally installed wheel seal went out on him.
When these seals go it's worse then when a tube goes
Be careful
 

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When these seals go it's worse then when a tube goes
Be careful
That's the only part I can't understand. They both let air out through the spoke nipple holes, but only the tube lets air out the stem hole, so how is the seal failure worse than a tube failure? I would think either could have a small leak or a large more sudden failure.
 

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When the air lets out through the Tube the tube impedes the flow a bit as it is a bladder.
With a sealed wheel, if the silicon and seal strip breaks, they come off in chunks and the air coming out through the multitude of nipples is faster.
between the two the Tubed wheel will leak slower but not by much.
BTW
The wheel sealing company in Gardena California will not say what tempurature rating is safe and will not elaborate or comment. Sounds like a law suit waiting to happen. They will guarantee their work and fix it for free though.

That's the only part I can't understand. They both let air out through the spoke nipple holes, but only the tube lets air out the stem hole, so how is the seal failure worse than a tube failure? I would think either could have a small leak or a large more sudden failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is that the Marc Parnes Rim Sealing Stand? ;)
Softie: no it's actually a harbor freight 50 dollar special but works great and gets the job done!

giogolf: the silicone is good to 450 degrees which is think is higher than the original tubes that come on the bikes.


vitalc: the whole silicone tube is 10 oz... which I haven't weighed my old tube but seems quite a bit heavier than that.
 

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JC: I think it's clear they would all be better off with Alpinas... but "coming off in chunks"... seriously? ;)

I was following Dietrich at over 100mph in Arizona while his sealing job was going out on him... at the end of the run it was clear his bike was not able to ride further, but he didn't explode like the space shuttle over texas...

nothing wrong with a little R&D... :abduct:
 

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Not trying to sell Alpina's here. Selling life. sellin a word of caution.
If Alpinas were not available I would have gotten the forged wheels or other choices in wheels for going tubeless. The BST Carbon looks cool.;)
This sealing stuff just plain scares me.
and
Yes coming off in chunks.

Seriously...
I looked into this technique. Spent alot of time researching
...Professionally being done and doing it myself. Temp/speed rating etc etc etc
I was not convinced and I did't want to gamble damaging my bike or worse

when a professional wheel sealing company won't answer the temp rating or speed rating question it's a red flag to me. They eluded that they do it mostly for Harley's.... yeah right
I seriously doubt HD's spend hours at Track day in 110 weather and do 140mph.

I'm happy to hear Dietrich survived the flat.
A little R&D crash test dummy ;)
I'd be curious to hear why and how it leaked out and if it was fixed or patched or taken off. This is the type of feed back I'd like to hear.

again, I am not trying to sell a set of wheels by flaming this sealing idea.
alpina's are not for everyone and thats not my style.
It's to each his own but I will caution anyone thinking of doing this sealing idea.
It's your bike - your life - your choice.
and
If you sell your bike with this wheel seal in the wheels. be sure to tell the buyer about it.
and Post your long term results, good and bad.

Thats all

Good luck

jc




JC: I think it's clear they would all be better off with Alpinas... but "coming off in chunks"... seriously? ;)

I was following Dietrich at over 100mph in Arizona while his sealing job was going out on him... at the end of the run it was clear his bike was not able to ride further, but he didn't explode like the space shuttle over texas...

nothing wrong with a little R&D... :abduct:
 

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I had a wheel guy install some kevlar tubeless kits on a set of excel rims....because of the size of the nipples on our wheels the kits did not work.....or rather to get them to work would have involved too much silicone.....and the whole venture was put down to great idea......had it worked.

Good luck....but I don't think the gain/risk ratio is acceptable.

Alpinas....if you must have spokes.

Just my .02c based on my limited experience.

Good luck Roger
 

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when a professional wheel sealing company won't answer the temp rating or speed rating question it's a red flag to me. They eluded that they do it mostly for Harley's....

They alluded to the fact that they do it mostly for Harleys. They eluded your questions about temp and speed ratings. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
hey guys this is the site I got my info from, again this is not to stir the pot just for people seeking info like I was when I wanted to seal my own wheels. Read up on all the info out there bogus and real and make your own decisions we're all adults. :)

poke around the site... this guy abuses the crap out of his bikes and he's still kickin'

http://www.teamincomplete.com/Projects/950/1719tubelesswhee.html
 

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I was just messing with you... no worries... I know that you know your stuff. ;)

Dietrich: care to chime in?


Not trying to sell Alpina's here. Selling life. sellin a word of caution.
If Alpinas were not available I would have gotten the forged wheels or other choices in wheels for going tubeless. The BST Carbon looks cool.;)
This sealing stuff just plain scares me.
and
Yes coming off in chunks.

Seriously...
I looked into this technique. Spent alot of time researching
...Professionally being done and doing it myself. Temp/speed rating etc etc etc
I was not convinced and I did't want to gamble damaging my bike or worse

when a professional wheel sealing company won't answer the temp rating or speed rating question it's a red flag to me. They eluded that they do it mostly for Harley's.... yeah right
I seriously doubt HD's spend hours at Track day in 110 weather and do 140mph.

I'm happy to hear Dietrich survived the flat.
A little R&D crash test dummy ;)
I'd be curious to hear why and how it leaked out and if it was fixed or patched or taken off. This is the type of feed back I'd like to hear.

again, I am not trying to sell a set of wheels by flaming this sealing idea.
alpina's are not for everyone and thats not my style.
It's to each his own but I will caution anyone thinking of doing this sealing idea.
It's your bike - your life - your choice.
and
If you sell your bike with this wheel seal in the wheels. be sure to tell the buyer about it.
and Post your long term results, good and bad.

Thats all

Good luck

jc
 

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I have posted several times about my various wheel sealing adventures and results, no time to search for the links now, but I'll try to summarize (sorry, it's from memory, and still a little long).

I first sealed my stock steel GT wheels with "our very best metal formulated" silicone from the hardware store. It was a GE product. I trued the spokes, cleaned the wheels and applied the goop in several stages: filled nipples, dry 24 hrs, spread thin layer with putty knife, dry 24hrs, apply another tihin layer, re-install original rim band, apply more silicone, let dry for 24 hrs. This method worked VERY well. I went through a couple sets of tires, and repaired more than one flat using standard tire plugs while out on the road. Saved weight (I weighed the inner tubes Vs. tubes of silicon at one point....), handles better, tires are more compliant. I did a track day on these wheels and traveled 1000 miles away from home on them. No problems. Until....

On a 4 day trip I got a rear flat, plugged the tire, then wore it down to the cords in New Mexico. I had a new tire installed, but they caught part of my sealing job with the tire machine. I didn't know it because it held up fine through some twisties and then the several hundred miles home to Phoenix cruising at 90+ MPH parts fo the way. By the time I rolled into my garage I was on a flat. I had the tire removed and discovered that the sealant was compromised. I cleaned it up, repaired it with more silicone, and it has held up fine since (still holding air a year later just sitting in my garage though).

I replaced my steel wheels with a set of alloy hooped wheels from a Sport biposto. Rebuilt the wheels and sealed 'em up the same way. After a couple rides the rear went flat. When I investigated this it was suprising: The entire band of silicone was coming loose in one big chunk. That GE stuff seems to stick just fine to the steel wheels, but doesn't stick at all to the alluminum. I did some research and ended up using a marine grade adhesive/sealant product by 3M that I got at West Marine. That stuff is nasty! Like tar, and takes 7 days to cure. There is no way it's coming off the rim, even if I want it too now. It's designed to seal up aluminum boat hulls underwater. Should be good for 30 pounds of air. Anyway, I only did the rear wheel and embedded a strip of fiberglass inbetween the last layer to help protect against future errant tire machines. I did another track day on this setup.

That worked great (and still is) until the front (with the old silicon job) finaly failed on the trip DGJ was talking about. Tire was going flat through one or two spoke nipples for one leg of the trip at speed of 100+. All I noticed was the gauges were shaking a bit more than normal, and then the tell-tale VERY heavy steering when we pulled into town. :eek: I had to swap bikes with the one in the chase vehicle....was fun riding that 1975 Honda CL360 Scrambler the 90 miles back to town. :cool:

So...fixed up the front the same way I did the rear with the upgraded sealant. The tires hold air better than they did with tubes. Handle better. I can fix flats on the road (other than sealant failures! ha!). No need to try and find spare tubes. For me it's worth the hassle/risk. Note that I've got thousands of miles on inbetweent he above mishaps. And several thousand on the lastest setup. I often travel hundreds of miles away from home, so easy flat repair is important to me. Your mileage may vary. Choose your battles.
 

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I'm in awe of Dietrich. He is clever, inventive and... uh, "brave."

To me fooling around with sealants to make a tube-requiring wheel tubeless is much like fooling round (I suppose "experimenting" would be a fairer word) with parachute folding. Except that one carries no spare that can be put into service at speed.

If you are not comfortable with tubes I suggest you ask yourself why. Of course - because they occasionally blow out and then can't be fixed without removing the tire from the rim.

Now compare that to a failed sealant. Any improvement?

And how about the rate of failure? Looking at Dietrich's experience I say no improvement there either.

That's to be expected. Tubes have been around for a long time. Reliable tubeless designs have too. They were accomplished not with sealants but required a fundamental redesign of the wheel.

I'd prefer my GT1000 was tubeless. But I bought it in part for its classic appeal and that presently requires either tubes or the outlay of big, big bucks.

I say: Fool around with lots of stuff folks, but not with your motorcycle tire's ability to dependably hold air at speed.

Remember: The road beckons.

-don
 

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For those worried about tubes and flats, I was pleasantly surprised when I found a nail in my tire. :) Okay, I wasn't happy about the nail :( but I was surprised that a tire/tube combination got me home without losing any air. Air did not start escaping from the tire/tube until I pulled out a rather large 2" nail.

Will that happen every time? Probably not. Nevertheless, that time I was not stranded out in the country with a flat tire.

I guess I am with don on this one. Maybe that makes me "old school" but I'll trust a tube before I trust sealant. Besides, when I started riding motorcycles you didn't have a choice. All bike tires had tubes.
 

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Well said by one and all....it's great we can agree to disagree.

I really wanted to go down the tubeless track and was convinced those kevlar tubeless kits where the way to go...but it was a waste in the end.

I reckon if you want to mod away from spokes....that's fine...you will get a performance upgrade...the more you spend the better it gets....carbon fibre wheels on a Sport Classic...have to be the ultimate wheel tire combo....hmmm I nearly went there but glad I did not.

I bought a sportsbike instead to fill that void...rather than try to make the GT a litre Sportsbike. The GT is doing what it does best....great sound , great soul, lots of mods...my own cafe racer...wire wheels...average brakes...more dollars spent than a sane person could condone ( thanks Pjay thread for the depreciation reality check!)

Cheers guys...great forum

Roger
 

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Some excellent posts on an interesting subject. Like so many aspects of Ducati ownership, there are a number of options affording each to his or her own choice.

Must admit I didn't spend what I consider big bucks in swapping from spokes to 5-spoke Marchesinis. I don't claim this is the right option for everyone, but then we are grown up enough to respect each others opinions.

I have kept the Excel rims & may well sell them as they are in good condition.
 

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Well said by one and all....it's great we can agree to disagree.

I really wanted to go down the tubeless track and was convinced those kevlar tubeless kits where the way to go...but it was a waste in the end.

I reckon if you want to mod away from spokes....that's fine...you will get a performance upgrade...the more you spend the better it gets....carbon fibre wheels on a Sport Classic...have to be the ultimate wheel tire combo....hmmm I nearly went there but glad I did not.

I bought a sportsbike instead to fill that void...rather than try to make the GT a litre Sportsbike. The GT is doing what it does best....great sound , great soul, lots of mods...my own cafe racer...wire wheels...average brakes...more dollars spent than a sane person could condone ( thanks Pjay thread for the depreciation reality check!)

Cheers guys...great forum

Roger
I also wanted to go tubeless, but have decided to stay with the wire spoke wheels and tubes… The classic look was one of the main reasons to buy the SC and still look at her with a smile on my face.
I am glad to have better forks and feel that this helped a lot… that's it for me.
The rest is about riding and staying alive and sane!
I doubt that cast wheels would have helped me when highsiding her into the botanical section this summer.
I can remember that one of my first modifications i did on my LeMans was to put on spoked wheels from Stucchi in Mandello… the cast wheels were so ugly!
 
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