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Front wheel rimlock - is it really necessary?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by BuilderBob, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. BuilderBob

    BuilderBob Adventurer

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    Got a new KTM 500 EXC. Sweet bike. I will occasionally ride it on the road to the trails and I want to tame the drastically out-of-balance condition caused by the rimlock in the front wheel.

    In order to balance the wheel while retaining the rimlock, the rim has to be loaded up with wheel weights basically on the sides of the rim. Not only does it look bad, but I can see those weights being snatched off pretty quickly in the rough stuff.

    I'm in Florida and the trails we have are soft sand. I rarely use the front brake in those conditions because the front end will quickly wash out in the soft sand. If I do use it, it is with very light pressure on the lever. As a result, there are hardly any forces acting on the tire that would cause it to slip on the rim. My previous bike (WR250R) didn't have a rimlock in the front and it did just fine. As with the WR, I'll be running about 15 psi on the trails.

    So, with this in mind, can any members find a good argument for keeping the rimlock in place?<!-- google_ad_section_end --> <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    #1
  2. GBAUTO

    GBAUTO Bambi Assassin

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    I added a rimlock on the KLX because I do run low pressure and encounter some steep terrain that has me on the front binder. I use wheel weights on the inner lip next to the spokes and cover the weights with duct tape. It works great and I have yet to lose a weight.
    If were me, I would forgo the possibility of losing a weight over ripping open a tube anytime.
    #2
  3. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades... Super Supporter

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    You will be asking yourself "why didn't I put in a rim lock!" if you ever rotate the tire and rip the stem out... The rim lock will stop that from happening, as I am sure you know, but the rim lock will also hold the tire in place if you ever get a flat and have to ride on with it flat.

    You want the weight to stay, figure how many grams or ounces, then cut a length of solder (plumbing supply) that matches that weight and wrap it around the necessary nipple/spoke, maybe silicone it in place. No thrown weight. My old flat tracker had the front wheel balanced that way - wrapped solder around a nipple/spoke.

    Forgot to mention you could distribute the weight over three or so spokes, or even put some wheel weights INSIDE the rim under the rim band.
    #3
  4. Wattner

    Wattner Long timer Supporter

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    #4
  5. ignatz72

    ignatz72 call me iggy

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    And if you're dead set on balancing the wheel with weight, try Dynabeads instead. I used them with the Motion Pro light locks on my ex-650L and this combo worked great. I use Dynabeads in all my bikes.

    I won't bother balancing the 650R wheels though.
    #5
  6. Auto-X Fil

    Auto-X Fil Been here awhile

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    These are great.

    For weights, I just wrap some lead pipe around a spoke. For a dirt bike, you can get away without that:

    1) Balance the wheel alone - find the heavy spot
    2) Mount the rimlock as close as possible to opposite the heavy spot on the rim
    3) Mount the tire's heavy spot opposite the rimlock.

    This usually comes out to needing a very small amount of weight, or enough you can forget it and not mind.
    #6
  7. nevermind

    nevermind increasingly less

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    duh?
    As soon as you slap on a 3oz rimlock, balancing becomes more of a necessity. YMMV, of course!
    #7
  8. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    Yep, running low air pressure on my 640E, hitting the highway to connect some trails, grabbing a big handful of front brake while coming down a hill to a stop sign and doing just that was pretty exciting. :eek1
    #8
  9. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Totally agree. The only way to do without a rim lock is to run high enough pressure, probably in the 18-20 range...at least. You do that, however, and the traction goes out the window. I doubt one would be riding a KTM500 in a manner that wouldn't challenge a front tire without a rim lock...or have the desire to run the pressure rock hard. I don't balance my dirt/dual sport bike tires to the finite precision that I balanced my 100-mph-plus motorcycle tires, but you usually have to add some weight to rim locked wheels for a pleasant result.

    Even the Tubliss setup that I run has a rim lock. In its case the rim lock isn't to secure the tire bead, the high pressure inner liner does that, but the lock will come into play under a full deflation...which has never happened. I use the old-school wrap-around lead weights on the spokes, but I've been tempted to try the stick-on models that attach to the rim. The old wrap-arounds are ugly and they loosen once in awhile, but they never fall off and leave the bike.
    #9
  10. BuilderBob

    BuilderBob Adventurer

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    I like this idea.
    This is cool too. How do I figure what size I need?

    With the lightweight rim lock I should be able to reduce the amount of weights that I need. I'll be able to keep the rim lock and keep all of you happy! :D

    (I'll also avoid the possibility of having to push the bike out of the woods)
    #10
  11. bogieboy

    bogieboy Long timer

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    Why not use a second wheel lock to balance it out?
    #11
  12. StuInFH

    StuInFH Been here awhile

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    Better safe than sorry, good protection against slipping when inadvertently at low pressure due to a slow leak during ride or worse. I use these opposite my TuBliss rimlocks and they are handy and holding tight so far. I believe the paint mark on the tire is the light spot.

    They come in pack of 1 oz. each or a pack of assorted sizes. I got one of each.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/MOTORCYCLE-WHEEL-BALANCE-WEIGHTS-FOR-SPOKE-WHEELS-/230858915489?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item35c0437ea1&vxp=mtr
    #12
  13. fullmonte

    fullmonte Reformed Kneedragger

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    I use these re useable spoke weights on my bikes. They are made of brass by an ADV inmate and look great. No more sliding on the spokes or falling off.:deal

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=786255

    edit: Jim is the same guy as posted above. 205'd by a minute.
    #13
  14. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    It works but is a PITA for tire installation/removal. It's not as big an issue at home in the shop, garage, or driveway, but on the side of the trail with available tools it adds to the aggravation. It does work, however, I'd rather have offsetting weight.
    #14
  15. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junky

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    Pull the tire, get some mp rim tape and a set of their weights, install the weights inside the rim in the arch between the spokes, cover with rim tape. One time deal, you don't see 'em and they don't fall off. Btw grab the lightweight rim lock at the same time like suggested.
    #15
  16. TNC

    TNC Candyass Camper

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    Chris, that's all fine for you neanderthals still running tubes, but that won't work for the more advanced among us who are running Tubliss.

    :hide


    P.S.--Has Ev even advanced to neanderthal level yet?:lol3



    But seriously, I'd not heard of this weight design and method. Pretty clever.
    #16
  17. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Long timer Supporter

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    Makes sense to me as I am already running a duct tape rim strip. :lol3
    #17
  18. Beardoge

    Beardoge Been here awhile

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    Nope.... take it out and fill the hole with a dab of silicone ..
    #18
  19. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    I've run without one and as long as you keep lots of pressure in the tire it's fine. If you air down for optimal performance in the dirt the tire will slip on the rim sooner or later. Also if you get a flat at speed it's nice to have the rim lock to keep the tire on the rim and make the bike more controllable. I'm a fan of two opposing rim locks. I use the serrated aluminum ones--pretty light and really bite into the tires.
    #19