So what do you know about motorcycle rims?
As a motorcycle pro, you may feel there is a lot you know about motorcycle rims but I can bet you that upon reading this article you will know a lot more.
Come to think about it, after the engine of the motorcycle the next part that is responsible for its identity are the rims.
Types of Motorcycle Rims
Generally, motorcycle rims can be divided into two categories; Spoke wheels or solid wheels and the difference is in the manner in which the spokes are the rims are arranged. With spoke wheels, the spokes « lace » the rims. Meanwhile with the solid wheels, the spokes and the rim all form one joint unit cast together. With the spoke wheels, not only does the design give it that little extra cool look but they also help increase strength at the rims.
When it comes to the superbikes or generally the racing bikes which are expected to go superfast, there is need for these bikes to be reasonably light in weight. This explains why you could find other motorcycle rims made of exotic materials such as carbon fibres or magnesium alloys.
Cast motorcycle rims
These are the most frequent/common rims found on a great number of motorcycle models. They usually arrive already polished finish. Their price ranges from 500 USD to 600 USD.
Billet motorcycle wheels
These are the most eye-catching rims and in order to realise this result, these rims are carved out of a solid block of aluminium. The carving is computer aided and this explains why we usually find very amazing results out there. As a matter of fact, you can even design your own rims to be as mind-blowing as you would like them to be, but this will come at a price. On average, these billet motorcycle rims cost between 850 USD and 1250 USD. Another thing to keep in mind is that the chrome finishes will be more expensive than the polished finish, so keep all of this in mind when making your choice.
Laced motorcycle rims
These are the most common of the spoke wheels. All we have here are rims that are made of aluminium, and the additional support offered by the spokes is what increases the strength especially as they are laced together.
There are a few advantages when using these laced motorcycle rims. First of all, they are quite appealing to the eyes and can work even after they are bent and they will work well to a certain extent. As compared to those alloy wheels, they are easily repairable. Moreover, replacing them when they get bad is a cup of tea and doing the re-lacing is that easy too. The most common ones on the market are the Excel rims. You just have to go about online and I am sure you will find them.
What’s so good about laced rims?
As earlier stated, one of the advantages of using laced rims is the fact that they are quite strong and flexible, but there is more to it. Same as you have as airbag that absorbs shock at the moment of an accident, with a laced rim the shock is better absorbed than when a solid wheel is used. The physics behind this is just the fact that with many more spokes, the impact or shock is evenly spread through all of them. This explains why we find them on the bikes of most road racers. Unlike the laced rim, with a cast wheel, all the impact at the point of impact is transmitted to the wheel.
Carbon fibre/ lightweight alloy motorcycle rims
Having spoken about carbon fibre being very light, we understand why these rims are the most sought after pieces when it comes to strength to weight ratios. Each piece of these rims costs on average a thousand USD, making them the most expensive.
Taking care of your rims
Unfortunately, so many people tend to neglect this meanwhile it is practically the most important aspect of maintaining a bike. Inspecting your motorcycle rim helps prevent spoke failure as well as corrosion weak points. It is common knowledge that once u have spoke failure, the very next part of the bike that is affected are the tires and this usually leads to flat tires. What happens if you have a spoke that is broken, given that it no longer has its support on the rim as usual, it looks for the next place to get that support which will only be the tire. By struggling to reach the tire, it bores a hole on the tube, thereby ruining it.
So the advice here is you keep your rims clean and always check for corrosion. With aluminium rims, there is usually a certain coating. Unfortunately, maintenance fluids such as brake fluid can damage that coating. With the coating damaged, you now have the aluminium being exposed to bare air and this brings about its corrosion. It should be noted that wheel in general undergo a lot of pressure applied on them, so just one tiny area that was corroded can proof to be deadly at the end of the day.
There are rim locks which were made in order to prevent your wheel from slipping around your motorcycle rims. If your tires happen to be running at a low pressure, you can be a victim of this wheel slipping. This is quite frequent with off road riding. The installation of these locks is quite an easy process. What makes it even more tedious are the processes involved, given that you may have to remove the tube and the tire. These generally aren’t easy tasks to handle for most people.
Replacement of the rims
This is one of the easiest things to do once it comes to bikes. It all boils down to getting the right size for your bike. If you go to a company such as Buchanan Spokes, you should be able to get what you want.
Repairing the rims
Actually, you do not need to be a pro before you engage in such. Just get a hammer and some blocks of wood. These will be able to do the job surely. All you need to do is hit at the right angle in order to straighten the dents. If is so happens that you are the type who won’t dare to go close to your cherished bike with a hammer, then go after some rim repairers
A hammer and a couple of block of wood may enable you to straighten out small dents in your laced motorcycle rims. No really I’m serious! If you are not up to taking a hammer to your beloved ride, look around for some rim repairers.
Motorcycle rim problems
If you happen to have been in accident before or maybe you happened to have bought the bike without knowing a lot about it then it is possible that your motorcycle wheel is not in the best of states(out of true). You may encounter issues such as the wheel shaking from side to side. One of the easiest ways to verify the state of your rims is to position the bike on a centre upright position, the spin the wheels while viewing them from the side. If there is a wobble, I bet you won’t miss it.
Pic Credits : Ebay and Ali Express