Whether on or off the track, we’re all looking to gain more and lose less.
This rings true for most motorcyclists! We are always asked by our customers, “What can I do to my motorcycle next?”
While engine modifications and or exhaust tuning (see our last month’s blog on exhaust tuning) can be a big benefit, the next BIG thing to do in terms of “results” is lightweight wheels. It’s “free” horsepower, faster turning, better braking and less gyroscopic force you have to deal with. Many go “I can drop 10lbs but will I feel that?” The simple answer is HELL YES! Think of “rotational weight,” when you are spinning a wheel at 100mph then remove 5lb from that wheel, it’ll feel exponentially lighter.
It’s also the #1 reason once you’ve installed a set of lightweight wheels on your motorcycle, you’ll ache to do so for every future bike you own, they’re that phenomenal!
In this blog, we’ll take a look at three different type of wheels that motorcyclists have to choose from. Whether you’re a road racer or a street rider the improvement is both noticeable!
First example is what comes standard or OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured.) Almost all modern motorcycles come with cast aluminum wheels. While much lighter than the heavy days of our past, they still leave a ton to be had in terms of performance. While modern higher quality sportbikes comes standard with lighter forged type wheels than their predecessors, manufactures will always have a price point in which they have to conform to.
Here we have a popular sportbike wheel, an OEM Suzuki GSXR 600/750 front wheel. With a static weight of 8.9 LBS (*OEM spec and parts) it’s definitely not “heavy” in terms of sportbike wheels, we have seen older gen sportbike wheels close to 20+lbs each! (ZX7R, Apirlia, older S1000’s, etc)
The first step up in terms of improvements is what we call “Forged lightweight aluminum” common options are forged aluminum wheels by OZ, Carrozzeria USA and Marchesini
Here we have a Marchesini forged aluminum wheel for a Suzuki GSXR600/750. This wheel weighed in at 6.6LBS, much lighter than the OEM wheel, which will help to greatly reduce rotating force. These type of wheels are most popular in terms of price, availability and are solid choice in terms of upgrades. Typically around $2000-2,500/set . The brands we mentioned are some very high quality forged wheels available due to their companies putting in a lot of high profile racing research and development. For example, each wheel manufacture, whether it’s Carrozzeria, Marchesini or O.Z, must meet tests standards as impact, radial load, torsion fatigue, bending and air tightness.We have sold well over 100 pairs of these quality forged alloy wheels and had outstanding results and customer feedback!
Lastly, we have the real deal full on Carbon Fiber wheels. These while expensive are insane in terms of improvement felt by the rider! Warning: once you feel a CF wheel in your hands you will rob a 7-11 or start dancing late at night on the weekends to get a set! These are the best choice for the rider that whether street or track day that wants the very best in terms of improved weight loss! There are 2 brands that typically are thought of when talking carbon wheels, Dymag (out of the UK) and BST (Blackstone TEK out of S.Africa) We have used and sold both. The BST typically is the more popular choice due to look, availability and popularity. BST produces high quality pre-preg carbon fiber wheels and parts for both cars and motorcycles, while carbon fiber wheels are simply just lighter, the wheel we have pictured here is for a Suzuki GSXR 600/750 which weighed in at 5.7LBS with ceramic bearings. The structural rigidity is also a big difference between a carbon fiber wheel and the rest, BST wheels can withstand up to 337.5KG of force from 150mm.
We at EDR Performance have sold and installed nearly 100 BST and Dymag Carbon wheels over the last 20 years and had ZERO issues ever! Again, once you go CF wheels on your ride you will most likely NEVER GO BACK!
As always feel free to ask us for any advice, or further discussion for your ride and what is best! Feel free to contact us on our social media platforms, email or visit us on our eBay store (http://www.ebaystores.com/EDR-Performance-Race-Shop) We have special pricing deals on wheels all month long so let EDR Performance help you make your motorcycling experience even better with a set of lightweight wheels!