Below are answers to commonly asked questions. Feel free to contact us with any other questions (phone, email, or submitting the form from the "Ask a Question" link to the right) and make sure to check out our Forum links page which has informative and even entertaining discussions about most any wheel related topic.
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BMW Tubeless Wire WheelsR1200GS, R12GS, R1200GS ADV, R1100GS, R1150GS, HP2...
Q: On BMW wheels why is it not permitted to replace more than one spoke?
Woody sez: BMW recommends the 'one spoke at a time' rule because you stand a ghost of a chance at not messing up the trueness of your wheel - by carefully installing the new spoke with a little oil on the threads of spoke (we use chainsaw bar oil..it doesn't fling/wash out as easy)....spin spoke til you feel it drop into the notch formed by the previous spoke, hold it there and snug up the nipple lightly, then you get a starter punch and tap the head of the spoke to make sure it is seated in the lip, and now you can snug up the nipple so that it has a similar pitch/ring as it neighboring spokes...this is a simple and effective way of replacing your spoke..
NOTE..all of the rest your spokes should ALL sound the same.. and your wheel should be within BMW's runout specs for this technique to work, if not you've got more than that one spoke to deal with
Q: Are you saying that I should tighten the spokes so they all sound more or less the same?
How will I know if I am using the right target tone?
Woody sez: First I simply check the wheel in general for any obvious dead ones....and mark them.... then I observe if it was just an odd one or two, or if there is a pattern to the odd sounding ones, usually every other spoke on one side or the other..ie all the ones that are going clockwise or ccw.....
If it is just the odd one or two, first clean, then loosen the grub/set screw with a 2mm allen wrench a few turns, then snug up the nipple with a 5mm allen or T40 torx wrench(early GSs used the allen; all the later GSs use torx) so that it achieves a ring similar to the neighboring spokes.....preferably as close to the ring of the other spokes going in the same direction....the higher the pitch the tighter your spokes of course....and above all...DO NOT LOOSEN ANY NIPPLES! your descent into hell starts with biting into that apple!!!!! just concentrate on snugging up the low sounding ones....remember to snug up the set screws to 1Nm when you are ready to call it quits
All this of course is assuming you do not have an obvious flat spot and that your rim is generically running true; within the .060"/1.5mm runout BMW states is ok....all I'm trying to do is help you keep your wheel together a bit longer. in other words to do a little maintenance on them....to straighten/true these wheels requires skills and tools of a professional.
Q: Could you tell us how you go about straightening one of these rims once it's unlaced?
1. I spin the wheel and mark the hi and lo spots with my sharpie, as well as the lateral hi/lo spots
2. I check to see if there are any loose /broken spokes that may be contributing to this condition...
3. I loosen all the spokes and see if the rim straightens out or if it has a definite bend or wave/wobble in it
4. If it 's bent I remove it and place it on my surface plate and confirm where it wobbles with the marks I made the at the time I spun it
5. Then it's either onto my press or one of several jigs I've built over the years to push/pull it back in place, numerous trips back and forth til that sucker lies absolutely flat on the table and the diameter is within .5mm/.020"
6. Reassemble and center it laterally and then longtitudinally..then tighten and torque them to 5Nm/85in/lb, followed by inserting grub/set screws and tightening them to 1Nm/7in/lb....shooting for less than 1mm / .040" runout in all directions
7. That's essentially all there is to it!!!
ps..once again...if you value your sanity, I'll say it again, starting out with anything less than a true rim is a descent into the hell you have been experiencing. if you all visualize the importance of EACH SPOKE PERFORMING THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK, imagine what goes on when you try to straighten the rim from where it is bent, you gotta add MORE torque, and then even more torque to move it a little more in that direction, and before you know it...you have a wheel that has a few spokes doing more work than they were designed to do and others just loafing off, and you apply pressure to the wheel and, the spokes want to even the load out, and the only way they'll do that is by relaxing here and there and you have a wobbly wheel again...whoooops
KTM 950/990 WheelsQ: Can you make my rims tubeless?
Woody sez: We will only make wheels tubeless if they have the safety bead in them, and that can be done with a broad range of custom wheels that can currently be built. We can enhance the chances of you not having to dicker with tightening your spokes and thus ruining your sealed rim by having it SUPERLACED; we are evaluating if it is feasible to re-invent the 950 wheels using the GS BMW series technology
What has worked before in most riding situations is being challenged by two new demands placed on the existing rim sealing technology.
First, the use of tire warmers by supermotard/road racers raises the rim temperatures far above 'normal' use, causing the sealant to soften and then separate from the rim due to centrifugal forces
Second, the lower tire pressures being run by the off-road enthusiasts. I think that's why KTM designed that lip as added insurance to keep the tire from slipping off at lower pressures, we have machined/changed the profile of the safety bead for those riders that demanded easier tire changing capabilities.
I can write several pages on the many factors that are involved in making rims tubeless. There are so many - the obvious like correct rim selection and IMMACULATELY prepping/cleaning the rim and nipples are easy, it's the little stuff, ie. spoke and nipple selection. ss spokes and ss nipples? Wow great!!...not so fast...if you don't use the special anti-seize lubricant provided, you can't tighten them adequately and they gall and seize on you, use it and try to go tubeless and the lubricant slowly works its way between rim and sealant compromising the seal...and on and on
In creating solutions we have to constantly balance our objectives within the parameters we can live with, and they can be as varied as how much am I willing to pay for this, will this set me up for a lawsuit in litiguous america, am I sacrificing safety for that added edge in competition... etc
I keep bending my front wheel, what are my options?
I want a wheelset that I can put off-road tires and another for
The wheel/tire is not holding air, but I don't have a nail in the tire, what can I do about this? The tire is not able to form a good seal against the wheel because either chrome is peeling, paint is peeling, or the aluminum is oxidizing. We descale and paint the wheel.
How wide a tire can I put on my bike? tire fitment chart, contact us to see if we have done the conversion before, check forums...
Do you all sell motorcycle tires? We sell, only keep small stock of the most popular. You can call anytime to check prices, our prices are some of the best and if you buy from us, you get a 10% discount on the Tire R&R & balance. We don't discriminate like some shops, if you buy tire from someone else, we can take care of the labor. We charge $25 to dismount, remount, and balance, typical turnaround is just 1 hour. We can take the wheel on and off the bike for you as well. Adds $25 on the front and between $30-45 on the rear, depending on the bike. Call or e-mail to set-up an appointment. We will do it while you wait, or usually have a loaner bike that you can use to grab a bite to eat, etc.