The front tire was not holding air very long when I purchased the bike and date codes on the tires indicate that the front tire was manufactured in 2003 and the rear in 2005. These are tubless tires and even if I could solve the air holding issue, the tires are probably past their useful age. Unlike an automobile, a motorcycle only has two tires and they are key to your successful ride.
Original tire sizes on this motorcycle are 90/90-19 on the front and 130/90-16 on the rear. It does not appear that many manufacturers make the 90/90-19 tire anymore and most GS riders have switched to 100/90-19 on the front to broaden the tire choices and it appears to also remove some inaccuracy in the speedometer with a slightly taller tire. I only found the Pirelli MT66 that would be able to have the original tire sizes in a matching pair of front and rear tires.
I went with the Shinko 230 Tour Master tires which have good reviews and were only $130 for the pair. Shinko is a Japanese company that bought the Yokohama motorcycle tire line and now produces the tires outside of Japan to keep costs down. I also bought new valve stems and cores for each wheel since that is probably where the air leak was occurring on the front tire.
The sad, original front tire:
I looked into different methods of removing and installing motorcycle tires with many people promoting methods that use zip ties or lashing straps to squeeze the tire inner diameter to make it fit over the rim easier, but I found good old tire levers to be the easiest method on the front tire. I also used Yamalube Tire Mount Lube with the tire levers for the installation of the new tire.
I then replaced the valve stem before mounting the new tire.
The old valve stem on the left only had an air sealing rubber grommet on the inside of the rim. The old valve steam was also showing a lot of corrosion and grit around the grommet. The new valve stem has a two part grommet with one on the outside and one on the inside. Hopefully this will provide a better seal.
Once the tire is mounted and inflated, the next step in the process is the balancing of the tire to prevent vibrations. The original wheel used clip on weights for balancing and this can be checked through a trial and error process by rotating the wheel on a stand to determine where the heavy spot is located, but you still won’t know the precise weight differential. Rather than try to find the necessary clip on weights and do the trial and error approach, I am going to try using a product called Dyna Beads. This product adds small ceramic beads to the inside of the tire that are supposed to gravitate to the lighter areas of the tire to provide balance and is a continual process as the tire wears.
For the tire sizes on this motorcycle, 1 ounce of beads is used in the front tire and 2 ounces in the rear tire.
This photo shows the traditional clip on weight at the top, the 1 ounce and 2 ounce bags of ceramic beads, and the applicator bottle.
All you need to do is remove the valve core and pour in the beads.
The new tire is reinstalled and technically the bike is now ready to ride, but there are still a few things that I would like to do such as the rear tire replacement and checking out the brakes.