AIR LEAK IN RIM, NEED HELP! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-18-2006, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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AIR LEAK IN RIM, NEED HELP!

ALOHA FELLOW V-STROMERS,
THIS IS MY CHERRY BUSTING POST AND I THINKS A DOOOOZY. I BOUGHT MY BIKE FROM A PREVIOUS OWNER LAST FALL. THE BIKE(04 BLUE 1000) HAD ONLY 1200 MILES ON IT AND WAS PRACTICALLY BRAND NEW. I PUT ABOUT 3000 MILES ON LAST FALL AND LOVED EVERY MILE. MY BIKE DOES HAVE A HICCUP AROUND 3000 RPM'S BUT THAT IS NOT WHY IM WRITING TO YOU GUYS FOR ADVICE. THE REAR TIRE HAS A SLOW LEAK ( 4 LBS A NIGHT) SO I TOOK SOME SOAPY WATER AND STARTED SPRAYING. TURNS OUT I HAVE A PIN HOLE IN MY RIM ABOUT 3 OR 4 INCHES FROM MY VALVE STEM. I TOOK IT TO THE LOCAL DEALER WHERE I BUY MOST OF MY STUFF AND THEY TOLD ME IT WAS OUT OF WARRENTY AND SUZUKI WOULD NOT REPLACE IT. THE SERVICE PERSON TOLD ME HE HAS NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT AND IT WAS DEFINITELY A MANUFACTURES DEFECT. IF ANYONE HAS SOME INPUT OR ADVICE PLEASE JUMP IN. ITS HARD TO GIVE MY HARLEY RIDING BUDDIES CRAP WHEN MY BIKE IS LIMPING.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-18-2006, 11:40 AM
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Welcome and please turn the CAPS LOCK off.

Has the rim been leaking like this (4 psi per day) since you got the bike? If so, you need to take a less cavalier attitude towards tire maintenance. It could just as easily have been a nail in the tire, which might have become dislodged at any time with sudden and potentially catastrophic consequences. Don't fool around with tire problems. And if you had taken care of it right away, you might have been still in warranty or at least, not so far out of warranty.

I'd politely but firmly request that your dealer go to bat with corp Suzuki to see if you can get this covered under "goodwill". Suzuki doesn't have to do anything, but for a clear mfg defect like this, with potential safety consequences, they often do.

If they won't do anything, you basically are looking at a new wheel or a used wheel from a wreck - I don't think you can weld alum wheels safely, although perhaps someone knows techniques that might work. You could try an epoxy repair, but I'd be skeptical it would be ultimately safe.

Good luck with Suzuki and let us know what transpires.

- Mark
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-18-2006, 03:27 PM
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WHITEYSTROM, welcome to Stromtroopers. After reading your post I would have serious doubts about trusting that wheel. The leak could be the tip of the iceberg so to speak. If I remember correctly the wheels are cast and if the cast is porous enough to let air out it could be weaker and apt to break under load. Don't take a chance on it. Hope for goodwill from Suzuki but replace the wheel no matter what the outcome. The wheel is a lot cheaper than a crash and injury. Ride On, Ride Safe.

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post #4 of 17 Old 04-20-2006, 10:53 AM
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A fix from my previous life in the tire business was to use hair spray on the inside of the wheel to seal the porosity.

Me, I'd replace the wheel. Ought to be able to find a rear wheel at a dismantler.

Let's go!
05 DL1000
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post #5 of 17 Old 04-20-2006, 11:09 AM
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I would bet that JB Weld applied on the inside of the wheel would stop the leak.

That said, I agree with everyone that says to replace the wheel. The hole could be indicative of bigger problems that you don't want to discover on a sharp bend with a cliff at the edge.

06 DL-650 - SilverBlue
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-03-2006, 11:16 PM
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If you know the area where the air exits the wheel mark it, dismount the tire and look at the inside of the wheel you should find a small porus area. Locate the inside hole and use a dull center punch and peen the inside hole it usually will be a small one. If so clean it sand it with 80 grit sand paper, warm the area with a hair dryer or a heat gun and apply JB Weld, spread it thin but enough to fill the porus area. If the punch breaks into a large cavity in the rim replace the rim. This porus conditition is not uncommon in cast wheels and is easily fixed.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-04-2006, 03:38 AM
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Mortaine, great ideas . . . you're an asset to this group.
Thanks,
Mike

DLK4
iron butt strommer, daily rider and diehard airhead
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-04-2006, 08:55 AM
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My HD had the same problem...

Cast wheels do this all the time, well not ALL the time but often. Tire balancer/fix a flat goop works too. They used to sell this stuff back in the late 70's .. not sure if they still do.. green guck that is supposed to balance as you ride and really works for preventing air loss with a nail on the road. All you do is remove the valve stem core add goop, replace core and inflate. Done deal. Use it one time and the rim will not leak again.

You may have more than one micro pore. So fix the place you KNOW about then I would shoot the inside of the rim with clear Krylon. This will fill any other small pin holes. OR the goop, it's is my 1st choice. It does makes a mess when changing to your next tire but ended both my rim problems on my HD. I split the bottle of goop in both front and rear.

The punch idea helps you understand if the extent of the "void" is anything to get worked up about.

Even just spray painting the inside surface of the rim with paint works. It will wick into the hole... for larger holes JB weld.
post #9 of 17 Old 05-04-2006, 09:11 PM
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Another fix if you are lazy and reasonably sure the rim is not cratered on the inside, (they seldom are). Deflate the tire, draw a slight vacuum on the tire, and put Loctite wick & loc (green) on the outside hole, release the vacuum. The vacuum will pull the wick & Loc into the porus passage and when it sets up,(over night) add air and recheck for leaks.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-04-2006, 09:35 PM
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I always put that liquid goop in the tires of every bike I buy, even my new Strom. It's yellow up here & is sold with a 'Victor' label on it.

I regard is as a safety feature. It is also self balancing & I've never had a problem with it.

If that were my rim, that is what I would do. I would maybe also be tempted to remove the tire & examine the inside of the rim & poke a bit just to ensure it was just a pinhole & not a sign of greater problems as has already been suggested.

Recent DL1000 owner, now a '06 Burgman 400 owner.
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