Lesters

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tlbranth
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Lesters

#1

Post by tlbranth »

I just scored a set of Lesters for my CB750. The wheels don't have the tubeless tire 'ridge'. Can I still go tubeless? I.E. will the wheels hold air?
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Re: Lesters

#2

Post by desertrefugee »

If it helps at all, Terry, I have been tubeless in my 78 GL1000 with comstars for eight years without a problem. There are no ridges on the comstars either.
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Re: Lesters

#3

Post by Sandy »

I run tubeless on 2 sets of Lesters on GL's for years with no trouble.
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Re: Lesters

#4

Post by Fred Camper »

On my Gl1000 I also run tubeless.
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tlbranth
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Re: Lesters

#5

Post by tlbranth »

I figured it'd be OK. Just thought that back in the day I don't think there were any tubeless tires for scooters so didn't know if these'd seal up OK. Thanks for the input
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Re: Lesters

#6

Post by Shadowjack »

This is a long discussion on the Africa Twin forums. People are trying various methods to seal the spoke nipples on the tube wheels and run tubeless tires, because it's easier to plug a hole then to wrestle the rear tire off in the woods.
Upshot is, the front wheel has no bead-retention ring, but the rear does. This causes great anguish in some people. I've sealed my spoke holes according to established practice, and I decided not to worry that the front tire would roll off the rim if the pressure was properly set. But I did get a set of tire pressure monitor caps to keep track of the pressure more closely.
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Re: Lesters

#7

Post by redglbx »

I’ve ran Lesters on my red 76 almost from new (19 & 16”), the bike just handled very badly but I blamed the shocks because that’s what all the magazine testers said at the time, I was working for Goodyear at the time and they introduced their tubeless HST line and being an employee with a pretty good discount I thought I’d give them a try, so I bought a set of Lesters to mount the new HST’s to.

Surprise, surprise the handling was immensely improved, so much so I wore a hole in my engine guards and had to buy new ones.And I’ve basically run them tubless the whole time, except sometime ago I was advised to run liquid tire balancer/sealant, DON’T !! It ate craters into the rims causing them to no longer seal, I don’t add anything but air now.

One other thing is that the spoked wheels on my 76 LTD have never been any problem and the handling on it exceeds my willingness to push it.

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Re: Lesters

#8

Post by GL1-242 »

I'm tubeless on my lesters.

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Re: Lesters

#9

Post by kjmarti2 »

redglbx wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 8:05 am I’ve ran Lesters on my red 76 almost from new (19 & 16”), the bike just handled very badly but I blamed the shocks because that’s what all the magazine testers said at the time, I was working for Goodyear at the time and they introduced their tubeless HST line and being an employee with a pretty good discount I thought I’d give them a try, so I bought a set of Lesters to mount the new HST’s to.

Surprise, surprise the handling was immensely improved, so much so I wore a hole in my engine guards and had to buy new ones.And I’ve basically run them tubless the whole time, except sometime ago I was advised to run liquid tire balancer/sealant, DON’T !! It ate craters into the rims causing them to no longer seal, I don’t add anything but air now.

One other thing is that the spoked wheels on my 76 LTD have never been any problem and the handling on it exceeds my willingness to push it.

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My dad ran the liquid sealant stuff in his Lester's for many years while running tubeless tires. The rear wheel doesn't seal well now and when he gave me the bike it needed to be re-inflated every week. I'm running spoke wheels now but think I might like to go back to the Lester's on my next set of tires.

The question is, can damaged Lester's be fixed so that they seal properly again and if so by who?
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Re: Lesters

#10

Post by redglbx »

On mine, I still have a tube in the front rim but at the next tire change I’m going to do what I did on the rear that seems to have fixed that and that is to spread & smooth a very good 2-part epoxy into the divots caused by the balancer/sealer, seems to have worked well on my 16” rear. It seems to be holding air fine !

I used a fairly thick 3m 2 part epoxy that took a while so it didn’t just run out of the divots and once I had them all filled I went back and sanded them smooth, seems to be working but we’ll see at the next tire change how well it’s held up.
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Re: Lesters

#11

Post by Shadowjack »

redglbx wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 8:05 am I’ve ran Lesters on my red 76 almost from new (19 & 16”), the bike just handled very badly but I blamed the shocks because that’s what all the magazine testers said at the time, I was working for Goodyear at the time and they introduced their tubeless HST line and being an employee with a pretty good discount I thought I’d give them a try, so I bought a set of Lesters to mount the new HST’s to.

Surprise, surprise the handling was immensely improved, so much so I wore a hole in my engine guards and had to buy new ones.And I’ve basically run them tubless the whole time, except sometime ago I was advised to run liquid tire balancer/sealant, DON’T !! It ate craters into the rims causing them to no longer seal, I don’t add anything but air now.

One other thing is that the spoked wheels on my 76 LTD have never been any problem and the handling on it exceeds my willingness to push it.

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I seem to remember reading a period road test of an early spoked-wheel GW, where they replaced those with cast wheels (no idea if they were Lesters), and they had the same results as you. No more uncertain handling.
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Re: Lesters

#12

Post by Sidecar Bob »

I haven't experienced it myself (in fact, I have tubes on tubeless rims on all 6 of my wheels) but everything I've read says tubeless tires will hold air and work on rims without the ridges and you might get lucky and ride like that for years but if the tire loses pressure at speed without those ribs to keep the beads against the rim the results could be disastrous.
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Re: Lesters

#13

Post by Old Fogey »

Sidecar Bob wrote: Mon May 16, 2022 9:43 am if the tire loses pressure at speed without those ribs to keep the beads against the rim the results could be disastrous.
That right there is the reason that the tyre companies don't want you to do it

Back in the early 90s, for a short while I managed a small company making a liquid tyre sealant and as a conseqence talked with many different reps about just this sort of problem and they were all adament about it, with some pretty lurid tales to go with it.

Talking of the liquid sealants. I was in at the start up of that company, thinking it seemed like a really good idea. It worked really well to stop immediate air loss; farmers and construction loved it. But during the R&D which involved cutting the carcass open to evaluate any potential flaws, we frequently found the wire reinforcing to be rusting and, as has been mentioned, pitting and corrosion of alloy wheels. Of interest, one user always filled with nitrogen instead of air (he reckoned the tyres ran cooler, who knows?) and didn't seem to have the same problems.
My take is, use that stuff to get home, then remove the tyre and clean it out. Incidently, many of the fast-fit shops will not touch any that have been treated like that, because of the mess they make and the added time to clean up both tyre and workshop.
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Sidecar Bob
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Re: Lesters

#14

Post by Sidecar Bob »

Since air is basically nitrogen and oxygen it makes sense that less oxidation would occur when the tires were filled with pure nitrogen.

I tried a liquid sealer in bicycle tires about 50 years ago. IIRC it was a fluid with fibres in it and the idea was that as it was blown out of the hole the fibres would block the hole. It might have worked well for a single puncture like from a nail but a week or 2 after I put it in I ran over a thumbtack, which was just long enough for its tip to pierce the inner tube when the weight was on it but not to stay in the tube for the rest of the rotation so every rotation the sealant plugged the hole, the tack made a new one and a little pressure was lost. By the time the tire deflated there was a dime sized area of sealed punctures in the tube and it had to be replaced.
I figured it did let me go another couple of blocks farther but not far enough to make a significant difference but without the sealant the tire would have gone flat with the first hole and the tube could have been patched and used again.

Some years later my parents were looking after our son & first daughter while my wife was in the hospital and I was on the way to their place after work so we could all go to the hospital to introduce them to their new sister when the back tire of my motorcycle went soft. I pulled into a gas station to get air and saw a nail in the tire. I didn't have time to change or patch it then so I pumped it as hard as I dared and detoured to where I could get a can of emergency tire sealant, sprayed it in and continued on my way. Between going to work and the new baby and all I rode it that way for 3 or 4 days I until had time to change the tube. Yes, I had to deal with a sticky mess but after that I carried a can of the stuff on the bike for years.
EDIT:Details corrected
Last edited by Sidecar Bob on Thu May 19, 2022 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Mr. Honda ('83 GL1100/Dnepr) summer How a motorcycle evolves thread
The Famous Eccles ('84 CX650EI/VeloUral) winter Never Ending Build (CX500forum)
Click: Colour schematics for all GL1000 & GL1100 and GL1200 standard models plus instructions on how to download the full size version
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Re: Lesters

#15

Post by redglbx »

Bob, I think that your experience would the only proper way to use that stuff, it was supposed to balance the tires as well and my experience was that it did indeed work well, just to bad that it ate the rim. I wouldn’t recommend using it at all unless in a situation like you had.
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