are mags tubeless?

I think it varies, early "aren't" tubeless. But AFAIK the only "real" difference is the valve stem hole size and shape to accept a tubeless valve stem.
I can't comment on the valve stem hole but some stock mag wheels sat "SUITABLE FOR TUBLESS TIRES" Printed on one of the spokes, and some don't. See Page 206 in the Clymer Book. Page 157 in the Haynes Book.
Use tires tubeless on the ones that say to and put a tube in the ones that don't.
From the reading I have done a tubeless tire rim has a small ridge on the rim just inside of where the tire bead sets. This helps hold the tire bead seated if the tire gets soft. On a regular rim without this extra ridge under inflated tires can slip off the bead seat and suddenly go flat. If you have never experienced this, I can't recommend it, not much fun.
No disagreement; but I do recall someone doing the side by side and the valve stem hole was the only difference they could see, Many (all?) rims now have the bead retainer. The safety bead probably saved my life last summer when I blew a rear tube on my spoke wheel shadow out playing with trucks on the freeway (all my fault).
I think it varies early "aren't" tubeless. But AFAIK the only "real" difference is the valve stem hole size and shape to accept a tubeless valve stem.

Not to disagree with GGG, but if the are tubeless they say so on a spoke, and the unmarked ones may not have the safety bead on the rim.

You are both correct, early meaning '78 aren't tubeless. Later meaning '79 on are tubeless and have "SUITABLE FOR TUBELESS TIRES" cast into the wheel.
Well it ain't quite that simple..........
First pic is a tubeless XS650 front mag (tubeless is stamped on spoke) note it does not have a "safety bead". second pic is a random sport bike mag with a "safety bead". An early 90's honda comstar rim I have has the bead hump so does a FZ600 rim and the other "modern mag rims" I looked at.

mags 004.jpg mags 006.jpg

So again; AFAIK the difference is the way the valve stem hole is drilled to accept a tubeless stem. Did yamaha later on add the safety bead to the XS mags? I don't know. The pic is the only XS mag I had handy without a tire on it.
None of the XS "spoke" rims including an 83 heritage special rear rim I looked at had the safety bead either.
As above my more modern 98 Shadow 1100 has the safety beads on the spoke/tube rim. and I think they kept the tire on the rim when the tube blew. I am near certain that without them the tire would have pealed off the rim when the bike slewed side to side, gotten mashed in with the swing arm locking up the rear end and I would be a grease spot on I 90 now...............

This also brings up some issues with riding "old iron" Many safety updates have been made through the years,they often are subtle and hidden.
Go for it, prove me wrong.....
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Because this is bound to come up.
As near as I can tell the official name for the "second bead lock" is the "bead hump"

Pic was found here


From the Dunlop motorcycle tire site.

Only mount tyres as tubeless when recommended by the wheel manufacturer. Some spokeless rims require tubes. With a tube inserted, a tubeless tyre may be fitted to a tube-type wheel."

Do the mikesXS rims have the beard hump? I would really like to know the answer to this. His profile pics don't show it, but they are rather low rez.
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I think what I am finding is that the bead hump is not a tube / tubeless thing. It's a Good God we're killing riders with tires coming off rims! From now on ALL DOT rims will have a bead hump. I have not found the smoking gun of when it happened but I'm placing it some where in the 80's. No XS650 rims I have seen so far have the bead hump. All the late model, ie 90 and up rims (spoke and mag) I looked at have them. So I will guess if mike is selling rims with the DOT stamp, they will have the hump, which may be a good reason to update rims............. Well it's mikes and Chinese manufacturers so who knows if the DOT stamp means anything. It would be great if someone can tell us if some replacement rims have the bead hump. Some rims have an H (for bead hump) as part of the DOT marking, but the honda spoke rims I looked at with the hump do not have an H as part of the DOT marking.... so that's not a 100% indicator, darn it.
gggGary, thanx so much for posting that! It helped jog my memory. We had an advisory/service bulletin in the mid-70s that showed similar rim/tire cross-sections. The notice was warning about mix/matching rim and tire types of tube-type and the new tubeless tires and rims, showing the different bead lock radius and rim bead flange shape(s). The bulletin's primary urgengy was to ensure proper matching of tubless tires to tubeless rims, to guaranty proper sealing. The secondary warning was that even though you could run a 'tubed' setup with either mismatch (tube-tire on tubeless rim and vice-versa), it was not advised as the rim flange and bead seat geometries would not allow full and proper seating to guarantee good rim/tire grip.

But, that was at Honda. Don't know how Yamaha dealt with this issue.

That's all I can remember right now. Too bad we didn't know to save all those bulletins...
Here's one SB but it is specific to some 70ish Sportsters. Certain "high clearance" models used a special tire that was not produced for long. HD recommended scrapping the rims and replacing with new.

82 mag rim from a Yamaha Maxim or such.


STILL no safety hump!

By that time the Honda rims had the hump...... "comstars"

By 86 it appears Yamaha mags got the hump.


Looking around on flea bay and other aftermarket wheel sites and as RD says below it appears new MC rims are STILL being sold without the bead hump, a feature that has virtually no cost to manufacture. Some vendors should be shot........
Caveat emptor; there are plenty of people willing to sell you a loaded gun..... Well that might be a little strong, how about a gun with no safety?
GGG, just checked my Mikes 19x2.15 aluminum shouldered wire wheels, no bead retainer. I did change a tire on my 08 Triumph's wire wheels last week and they have the retainer.
My Road Star and SV both have the hump. Have not peeled a tire off the 79 Special II to see if the one-off wheels have a hump. I just knew when I first started reading this that somewhere the "darkside" stuff would come up. Car beads and bike beads are different indeed.
There has to be a shift in the D.O.T. specification that signaled this change. More than likely it was a progressive type rule that allowed manufacturers to continue with existing, previously approved designs for the sake of low impact on incorporating the change, and they were phased in over a period of 5 years or so. If you have ever dumped a tire on a wheelbarrow, that's about what you get with a wheel with no hump. I've limped off the road on an EX500, SV650, Shadow 750 ACE, Road Star 1600, and GSX-R600R with a flat, 2 front, 4 rear, and never pitched one or dumped the bike. The hump WORKS. It's your friend. Look for the hump when replacing wheels, and understand that it's not there on your older hardware. This should encourage you to be militant about your tire pressures and condition. Good thread.
A really good thread Guys ....very informative ! I was under the impression All rims had the safety bead on both sides ..... Now I know they didn't ! good to be informed.... another reason to keep tire pressure up a bit more than usual.... I almost always ran 28 psi in my bikes rear tires and what ever it took to give a bit of flex in the front not much but some when Bouncing on the front forks somewhere around 28 to 30 psi. I'm guessing ..... however with this new info I think it might be wiser to run a bit harder tire both front and rear than what I usually do
do you fellers have any PSI settings you use on your XS650's ?????
thanks .....
Mildly related; Just got back from a road trip on a royal star venture, a 900 lb road barge, here's the story;
Got up in wyoming the third day and got chased over a pass by a cage, we were making GOOD time through the curves, then hit the freeway, hammer down 80MPH east from Buffalo, next services, Gillette about 65 miles. Part way, I started getting a hunting weave, a bit of experiment and it had negative stability, without intervention it would have gone bad. Slowed a bit to 70MPH and kept going all the way to Gillette, pulled off for gas and it was wobbling in the parking lot. The rear tire was near completely flat. Next gas station had air but it was on the rim in 5 minutes. Found a puncture in the tread, I carry a plug kit so 20 minutes later I was good to go. Ran 60 then 70 and soon was back up to 80 and ran the speed limit 1200 miles home. No more weave!
NO 80's and earlier bikes have that safety bead. (at least that I have ever seen or heard of).