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Wheels (tubed vs tubeless) on a BMW NineT Racer


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I'm planning to buy a BMW NineT Racer but would like some insights on the pro's and cons of the wheels. The Racer is standardly equiped with alloy wheels but offers spoked wheels as an option.

I really like the spoked ones so these would be my first choice. However this also means that I will be riding with tubes. Besides more cleaning I can find some less obvious cons on this (more dangerous when punctured, driving behaviour). Is this something to consider?

Any input is appreciated!



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I suppose it depends what your main riding ground is... [mention]Gerontious[/mention] was ordering spoked wheels for his bike so maybe he will be much more knowledgeable on the pros and cons...

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The main issue with tubes is a puncture is almost certainly going to be an instant deflation, whereas tubeless tend to deflate slower (most of the time). Losing all tyre pressure at 70mph because I run over a nail is scary enough that it would put me off. But then biking in general is all about trading off risk vs reward, so it's whether the risk is worth the aesthetic reward for you.

There are tubeless spoked wheels available where the spokes attach to standoffs or an additional flange instead of going through the rim. They are double the price with far less options but you'd get the aesthetic look (nearly) without the safety trade-off.

Found these via a random google search just as an example: https://www.bikehps.com/acatalog/Kineo-Spoked-Wheels-BMW-R-nineT-Racer-2017-onwards.html

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Someone recently posted an article from MCN (that I can’t find) about the r ninet spokes coming loose and needing to be sorted by bmw at service. Can’t remember the year or codes but if your not buying from a bmw dealer I’d check it’s been dealt with- it wasn’t dangerous or worthy of a recall though.

Have you test ridden the racer? It’s possibly not the best fit for the longer legged- unless flexible. They sell a lot of peg lowering kits for it! That said I love the way the racer looks :thumb:

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Thanks for all reactions & insights! Food for thought... but a bike only has 2 wheels and I don't want to add any risk or give in on the bike's dynamic handling I'll probably go for the alloy wheels.

In terms of riding position, I have test ridden the racer and for me personally it was great!

Sure, it's probably not the best bike to buy for comfort or to take long trips on but having owned a CBR and GSXR in the past it didn't feel uncomfortable to me.

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My biggest issue with tubed spoke wheels is the huge pain in the neck when you inevitably have a puncture. Also,the tyre will instantly deflate and best case, you have a brown trouser moment. Worst case, the tyre comes off the rim and the rims are damaged and you possibly come off.

Spoked wheels for the racer are definitely tubed. At a £395 upgrade they can't be anything else.

Tubeless spoked wheels are going to cost. There are several options.

You can have the BMW wheels "taped" however this is only half a job as the rims are very likely not built with the tubed safety hump. So... It's still possible for the tyre to come off the rim. Or the tape to fail and leak.

You can buy tubeless wheels. The two brands I know of are Alpina and Kineo, both Italian. You go to the websites, use the drop down menu and decide how you want the finished wheels to look. Pay. And wait for delivery, 6 to 10 weeks later. Have tyres fitted, swap over the brake discs etc and that's it. Done.

Of the two, Alpina use O rings to seal the air in the rim and tyre. The vast majority of owners have no problems. Expect to pay circa £1,600 for Alpina... Or more depending on bling factor. And £1000 more, so £2,600+ for Kineo.

Kineo are by far the best option to go for as the spokes do not go through the rim, the rim has just one hole for the valve so leakage of air is impossible unless you actually damage the rim. These wheels will definitely add value to the bike.

But the cost is high... Very high.

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If you like spoked wheels and are willing to shell out a bit of cash you can buy tubeless spoked wheels at the site below, I ride a Yam XT1200 ADV, It runs tubeless spoked wheels as standard, the cleaning side of things isn't too bad, I wipe them over with ACF50 for the winter months, never had a problem.


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