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I am considering buying a discounted standard 2018 1000 V-strom, but I do want to be able to do some light off-road riding. How important are the spoke wheels for light off-road riding? Are there any other differences between the XT and not XT that are relevant (saw something about the handlebar but perhaps it is more for cosmetic reasons)? I can look to buy the XT version but what I found so far is not nearly as good a deal as the non-XT version.
 

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For the sort of "off roading " you can do on a DL1000, the spoked wheels are unnecessary. They actually require more maintenance and are harder to clean. I got them because I like the look, but the alloys are every bit as good.
 

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Wire spoke wheels will offer more give than a cast wheel riding fast on rough terrain. The rim will bend on a sharp impact rather than crack or break. For gravel roads and light washboard without leaping a fully loaded bike over logs and such, a cast wheel is plenty fine.
 

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Perhaps the guys with the spoke wheels can confirm, whether the rims (the section in contact with the tire) are all steel or are they cast like the stock rims, since both use tubless tires. My stock rims on my gen 1 Wee have had a few off-road nicks and dents, but otherwise have held up great for my style of off-roading.
 

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Cast is cheaper, lighter, stiffer, easier to clean. Wouldn't they theoretically handle better on pavement?
 

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Perhaps the guys with the spoke wheels can confirm, whether the rims (the section in contact with the tire) are all steel or are they cast like the stock rims, since both use tubless tires. My stock rims on my gen 1 Wee have had a few off-road nicks and dents, but otherwise have held up great for my style of off-roading.
The stock cast rims are all aluminium. The spoke'd rims are Extruded Aluminium which is stronger and less prone to cracking or breaking.
For light off pavement stuff, cast wheels are fine.
 

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The actual rim itself is aluminum and is cast, and I have already bent it badly enough to need to replace it. It is tubeless, and the spokes lace to a center lip kind of like on the Tenere (in fact I wager that the wheels are the same, minus the hub / drive assy). On the bigger ADV bikes the spoked wheels are just for looks, I am confident there is no actual benefit to them.
 
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