Wheels: Spoked versus cast - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Wheels: Spoked versus cast

I have a feeling the answer to this is going to be a head slapper but allow me a moment of "noob-ness"...

I've seen a lot of talk here about spoked wheels being better for off-roading than cast wheels and people debate it but everyone obviously knows something I don't. Why is, or, why do some at least say, that spoked is better?

I could only come up with two ideas. One is that if you break something on a cast wheel you are done whereas with spokes you may at least be able to limp out of the bush. Two is if you get into any muddy areas there might be less accumulation of gunk and such with spokes.

Ok, so how far off am I?
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post #2 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 01:48 PM
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SolarJeep,
Great question! I've heard the same things, and haven't been brave/smart enough to ask here. I even started to ask look around if anyone made spoked wheels for the Strom (nothing I could find). I air down a little, and while it won't be the same type of riding as on an XR or KLX, the bike offers the blend of capabilities that I want.

I'll keep an eye on your post to see what people say. Have you seen the wrench-session for next Saturday in Enumclaw?

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post #3 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 04:31 PM
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Cast will break or bend. The spokes will bend and save it somewhat to flatten it out. That is what I have been lead to believe. If it is true or not I am unsure with beasts that are 500 lbs. or so. Dirt bikes when I was a kid all worked with spoked wheels and dented and slightly bent rims. But they were bikes that weighed in at 300 lbs. or so.

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post #4 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 06:02 PM
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Really good quality spoked wheels are generally tougher than the cast wheels - what's on bikes with spoked wheels stock is generally weaker than the DL cast wheels.

BMW wheels on the 1200GS are pretty good, the spoked rims on the KTM 990 however are made of cheese. (I've seen a couple destroyed now riding with 990's on my DL - I've only collected small dings in the same time).

The difference is down to running a tube, not the rims themselves, simple answer, crack the edge of a rim on a tubeless wheel and it'll leak air "unfixably" (below for how to fix it), do the same on a tubed tyre and it's not an automatic flat - so carry a tube if you obsess about that .

Replacing a spoked RIM is also cheaper than replacing a cast wheel, replacing a whole spoked wheel however (What KTM riders tend to do after they trash their front the first time) is more expensive.

Riding competitively - go for spoked wheels, tubes or better mousse/tyre balls, just riding (so you get to SLOW DOWN when it gets rough), tubeless cast.

The most likely failure is still the simple puncture and those are insanely much easier to repair in the field with tubeless tires than fixing a hole in a tube.

Pete

Last edited by PeteW; 10-10-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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post #5 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 06:02 PM
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A rim and spokes are cheaper to replace then a whole wheel. Also the strength is more uniform with a spoke about every inch, where as on the strom you have a lot of room between the 3 spokes.

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post #6 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xDownSetx View Post
A rim and spokes are cheaper to replace then a whole wheel. Also the strength is more uniform with a spoke about every inch, where as on the strom you have a lot of room between the 3 spokes.
Unless you have the skills to lace a rim yourself, getting the new rim laced on is quite expensive. Parts costs are cheaper, but the time (labour costs) eat money.

(FYI).

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post #7 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 06:47 PM
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I think the biggest downfall off laced wheels is that they constantly need mintenance like a chain,

the biggest advantage of laced wheels is when yer adventure riding in the middle of nowhere, you can make jury rig repairs and make it back to civilization

as already posted stock cast wheels are fairly rugged, and if you do bend them, alloy wheel repairs at places like McWheel are cheaper than getting lased wheels worked on



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post #8 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 06:49 PM
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The BMW GS offers you a choice..the GS adventure has spoked rims, the regular GS has cast wheels. If it were me I would buy the GSA and swap the spoked for cast...don't want to be messing with tubed tires.

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post #9 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eye.surgeon View Post
The BMW GS offers you a choice..the GS adventure has spoked rims, the regular GS has cast wheels. If it were me I would buy the GSA and swap the spoked for cast...don't want to be messing with tubed tires.
FYI. The GSA has tubeless spoked rims.

One of the things on the GSA I am impressed with - the rest you can keep.

Pete
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post #10 of 24 Old 10-10-2010, 09:54 PM
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I thought spoked wheels are flexier, and thus likelier to absorb a big shock and bounce back than a solid wheel (like hitting a rock, log, or landing from a 'sweet jump').

Bend vs. break, flexy vs. stiff.

As stated, some spoked wheels can be run tubeless - the spokes terminate on a lip on the OUTSIDE of the rim, not in a row of holes down the center. Some people have also Gerry-rigged spoked rims to run tubeless, taping/ caulking the holes in the center of the rim where the spokes thread thru.
FWIW, I'd rather plug a hole in a thick tubeless tire than change a tube in a spoked rim. Changing my KLR tires, I managed to dick BOTH new tubes, and even one of the old ones. Clearly there's some operator error involved if it takes you FIVE tubes to get TWO tires aired up, but I never had such issues with tubeless.
The rationale that it's possible to save the day by changing a tube in the field is offset (IMO) by the increased chance you'll need to - tires designed to be run with a tube are thinner and easier to puncture (but that does make them a little easier to spoon on and off a rim)... IMLE.
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