In my six years and 12,000-miles of Yamaha TW200 ownership, I’ve collected a total of three flat tires! My first flat was the front tire, the ol’ “Death Wing.” My second flat came on the rear during 2019 at roughly 5,000-miles. This third flat tire happened during the 2022 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb while escorting some media folks to a remote “photo location.” What a time to have my trusty ol’ TDUB let me down! The “shoot” was for Go Fast Campers and luckily it was attached to a Toyota Tundra with plenty of space to lift my TW200 into the bed and back down the mountain.
SO NEXT… ???
I’m trying to remember what made me think about doing something different this “next time,” but “let’s go tubeless” was the topic of research the following weeks as I found myself watching a ton of video’s on converting a standard tubed spoke wheel to tubeless.
My theory is that if all these other dudes can convert their KLR’s and GS’s tube-type wheels to tubeless, then I am going to convert my Yamaha TW200 wheels to tubeless! The TDUB’s rear tire size (180/80-14) is very close to an ATV size and people do a modified ATV tire fitment onto their TDUB’s, of which are tubeless… But for me, I want to maintain the stock size as the Bridgestone TW34 should be much lighter weight than an ATV size tire. Keeping the weight low offers less mechanical wear on engine and suspension components.
Trail side motorcycle inner tube swaps are painfully slow and require us to carry additional tube or tubes, tire levers and pumps. (Items we should be carrying anyhow!) This is commonplace for dual-sport enthusiast to carry such and I did carry these items on my previous desert / dualsport bikes. Technically, I only carried one tube as a front tube can also work as a rear tube on bikes with same size diameter wheels. Why am I being so “lazy” about carrying these items on/for the TW200?
Where to put the tube? Front Rack – Rear Rack.. Still a dilemma!
Even with going tubeless, it it a very good idea to carry a tube for extended measures of self-sufficiency! Typically you put a tube in a pack that attaches to the front fender, but on a TW200, the stock fender attached on the lower portion of the fork legs and rises up with each suspension stroke. It is very easy to compress the 6″ travel suspension up to the fork crown and if you have a tube mounted on top of the fender it could easily become damaged.
Maybe this is excuse enough to mount a “high-mount” front fender on the TW200 so we can easily carry a spare tube. But, with a “high-fender” mount, will a tube pack block the headlamp? So many questions to answer!
THE GRAND SCHEME
I will be converting the rim to be used tubeless along with using a product called Ride-On Tire Balancer / Sealant. I am counting on a “technical solution” change as my trusted Tire Repair Field System, along with some sort of tubeless plug kit that is hopefully smaller and lighter than a spare tube itself.
In making the TW200’s wheels “tubeless” I have to imagine that the spokes will need “tuning” prior to sealing, but after a 1,000-miles then what? If I tune my spokes, will I have to re-seal? All questions in the adventures of TDUBBIN!
Things to collect for this project:
• 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant Fast Cure 5200
• 3M TALC Extreme Sealing Tape 4411N
• K&L Supply Valve Stem – 8mm – Short Straight – Silver 325413
• Ride-On Tire Sealant / Balancer
• Tusk Tire Repair Trail Kit