Your motorcycle has either a spoked rim or an alloy one, and it sure is a good talking point considering manufacturers are still rolling out either of them till date. Some prefer Spoked wheels…while some Alloys. But this isn’t a blog on which one is better, because both have their pros and cons. Manufacturers preferred alloy wheels as they were cheaper and easier to make, but the popularity of spoked wheels is still growing and for good reason in spite of them being made the old fashioned way. So let’s get into what rim is better for you and the purpose they serve.
Most of us agree that spoked wheels are more durable than alloy rims and thus are mostly used for ADV bikes like the Royal Enfield Himalayan, Hero Xpulse’s, Triumph Tigers & even scramblers. We are now seeing tube and tubeless variants in spoked versions for these bikes. These rims are made for bikes for a reason and that is to be able transfer shocks and impacts due to rough terrain on or off-road, mainly from the wheels and tyres then to the suspensions. Spoked wheels are more malleable to damage, by that I mean, that the wheels can take whatever you throw at it. They can bend at will, take hard knocks and can be easily repaired. Spoked wheels have their own charm and add to a bike’s overall look.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a spoked rim is when you encounter a puncture. It involves a lot of time as you have to remove the complete wheel assembly to fix it. The alternative : get those “make your tyre tubeless” kits to avoid these mishaps. Another one would be repairing a broken spoke/s which has to be done manually, which again is time consuming.
Alloys are used by a lot of manufacturers as they cost less to make and are very rigid. Being more rigid means they handle larger amounts of power and are very stable at high speeds. Alloy rims are simple, easy and quick as they are tubeless and plugging a puncture can be done with the tyres on the bike.
Rigid and sturdy comes with its own curse 😬, it can never bend or flex if I put it correctly, which means if you hit a pothole or are on a bad patch of road, a crack or a dent is eminent. And the worst part is that they can’t be repaired, they can only be replaced, which can be an expensive affair. So with that said they aren’t really suitable for off-road riding and are more suited for road riding.
Just like a coin everything has a flip side to it, so do these two contenders. There’s a lot of contemplation with regards to which one of these to consider when you go for buying the bike of your choice. I am sure a lot of you are thinking “We like alloys….” & some of you would be like “Spoked wheels are my thing…” It’s down to durability or rigidity and each has their work cut out for them so make a choice which road you want to take and that should all play well with the rim you need !
About the Author – Kaiwan Elavia
A true Bawa by heart, Kaiwan has had a passion for riding bikes ever since he saw his grandfather’s vintage Royal enfield bullet. Since then, he has had a chance to ride many bikes, from cruisers to cafe racers and currently he owns an adv bike which he is trying to get familiar with. A Post Graduate from IIT (Dhanbad), then as a budding Geologist, worked a few years in the mines of Indonesia and then returned home, got himself another Masters degree in Business Management and currently, works at a senior level in an MNC to take care of his family and his bike. When not riding Kaiwan spends his time exploring his “Writer’s” side by dropping a few words here and there creating blogs.