The tube-type wire-spoke rims on the Royal Enfield 650s can be converted to tubeless using an Outex conversion kit.
I love the look of the Royal Enfield Interceptor and Continental GT 650 with the spoked rims, but I would really like to avoid the hassle of dealing with tubed tyres. Please help me decide whether I should go for the looks or the practicality.
Rohan Das, via email
One of the consistent drawbacks with the Royal Enfield 650 twins since the 2018 launch was that you had to live with tubed tyres. After a much longer wait than expected, Royal Enfield has finally decided to offer both the Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650 with alloy wheels that support tubeless tyres.
This is wonderful news, but many people seem to find that the retro charm of the 650 twins is lost with the look of the alloy wheels. This leaves you with two options if you want a 650 twin but also want the peace of mind that comes with tubeless tyres. The first is to deal with the looks and go for the alloy wheels. This is definitely the more reliable of your two options.
The alternative is to go for some sort of an aftermarket rim sealant system. There are lower-cost solutions, but the Outex kit is generally considered to be one of the better ones. This will cost you roughly Rs 16,000 and while the system has proven to be quite reliable, it is not completely fail-proof. On average though, owner feedback generally suggests a life of two to three years at the low end. Bear in mind though that if the rims need to be trued or the spokes need to be tightened, you will have to remove and replace the sealer.
If you want tubeless tyres, this will end up being the more expensive and potentially less reliable option than going for the alloy wheel option, but that’s the price to pay for those pretty spoked wheels.
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