The Pros & Cons of Tube or Tubeless Scooter Tires
- Tubeless tires basically leak and deflate when they have a puncture or loss of air. There is no catastrophic loss of air. This in turn leads to a more controlled stop at speed, which can be critical on a two-wheeled vehicle traveling at 60 mph. Tubeless tires are becoming the standard on new scooters, thus their production will continue for some time to come. Tubeless tires don't require any inner tubes, so minor replacement costs are avoided.
Tubed Tire Benefits
- Tubed tires are easier to manage and maintain. A spare tube can be easily packed in a glovebox or on the back of a scooter, and repairs can be made on the side of the road in about 20 minutes. Unlike tubeless tires, tubed tires on scooters tend to come with split wheel rims, making the process of removing the damaged tire and tube much easier.
Longevity and Performance
- There are no statistics showing one type of tire performing ahead of another in longevity. Both will fail when punctured or used far beyond their recommended lifespan. In fact, maintenance guides generally recommend tires and tubes be changed after a year of heavy riding or every ten thousand miles. Pricing differences for tubed versus tubeless tires hinge mainly on the inner tube itself. Manufacturers still produce a sufficient supply of tubed and tubeless tires, and both kinds can be readily found at most motorcycle stores or by catalog order.
- Tubeless tires represent more of a challenge for the do-it-yourselfer. Tubeless tires generally come installed on a one-piece wheel rim, and their installation can be very difficult, as the tire bead comes very tight from factory. Tire levers and a bit of brute strength can be required to get the tire onto the rim properly.
The major downside of tubed tires is that they suffer sudden deflation when punctured. This can cause significant control loss, which can lead to an accident.