WHAT IS IT? The Nuetec Tubliss (pronounced Tubeless) tire system is a winner of an idea.
WHAT’S IT COST? $119.95 (with inner liner and install plate)–(714) 998-1021.
WHAT’S IT DO? You may remember Nuetec’s unusual bent handlebar bar end pieces. The MXA wrecking crew wasn’t totally enamored with Nuetec’s A.P.E. bar ends, but we absolutely love their latest creation?the Tubliss tire system.
Tubeless motocross tires have been around for 20 years (on works bikes), but they have never seen the cash register side of a motorcycle shop. Why? Making a tubeless motocross tire was too complicated. It required a special rim (to keep the air lock tight), a rubber sealing bladder (to eliminate leakage around the spoke nipples) and messy sealant (to keep sidewall flex from burping air pressure). The problem areas were so numerous that most companies shelved the idea of tubeless motocross tires?except for Nuetec!
(1) Problem areas. Jeff Douglas solved the problems that stymied Dunlop by applying innovative thinking to the problem. Instead of using a special rim, rubber bladder and tacky sealant, the Tubliss tire system makes any existing rim and tire combination tubeless without all the extra foof.
(2) The concept. In the simplest terms, instead of trying to seal the rim to keep air in the tire, Nuetec sealed the gap between the two tire beads with a special rubber inner liner (which is a fancy way of saying bicycle tire). You read that right! Nuetec turns any tire into a tubeless tire by filling the gap between the tire’s beads with an inflatable rubber bladder (a fancy way of saying a bicycle tire). By putting a one-off bicycle tire in the center of the rim and inflating it, the gap at the bottom of the tire is sealed?making the tire an airtight chamber (sans a tube). It turns the tire into the motocross equivalent of a bicycle’s tubular sew-up tire.
(3) Pluses. This is a great idea for three reasons: first, without a tube inside the tire, the Nuetec-equipped wheel is 1-1/2 pounds lighter than a stock wheel (with a heavy-duty racing tube). Saving a pound and a half of rotating, unsprung weight is awesome, phenomenal and unbelievable. Second, even if you get a sidewall tear, you can ride the Nuetec Tubliss tire flat. We raced a full moto on a flat tire. Although the bike didn’t handle very well, we finished the moto with the tire on the rim. Third, without the weight and friction of the tube rubbing against the tire carcass, tire temperatures were greatly reduced (which means that tire pressure doesn’t increase as much during the course of a moto).
(4) Minuses. There aren’t any downsides on the track. Every test rider commented on how responsive the suspension and engine were with 1-1/2 pounds removed from the rear wheel. When you add the performance advantages to the lighter weight, run-flat capabilities and heat reduction, you have a product that should be on every race bike in America.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There is a learning curve to mounting the Tubliss tire system, but it is easily mastered. Over a three-month period, we ran three sets of Tubliss tires and never had a problem.