Pros and cons of spoke wheels / Alloy Wheels

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by jdmtbiker, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. jdmtbiker

    jdmtbiker n00b

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    HI All,

    You probably all know the R1200GS has a spoke wheel option.. Is it worth the extra $$? What do I gain/lose from the alloy wheels.

    Thanks
    Jeff
    #1
  2. BlockPass

    BlockPass Been here awhile

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    The spoked wheels will take more abuse off-road when hitting rocks etcetera.
    #2
  3. MIXR

    MIXR Been here awhile

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    Spokes are stronger when hitting sharp-edged potholes or raised cattle-grid edges etc. They may bend, but alloys tend to break. Really depends on what you hit, and how hard you hit it.

    Early R1200GS bikes here had the choice as a no-cost option here. Many city-dwellers (like my brother) went for the alloys. Easier to clean. Looked pretty. They got pretty popular, and are not as soft as the R1150R alloys, but many who 'used' their bikes went with spokes.

    The sales percentage really favoured the alloys in Aus, so the spokes became a low-cost option instead of a no-cost option. No idea what the cost is these days.

    If you don't ride loaded all the time, and don't plan on tackling too much difficult dirt, then go alloy. As for me, I like the extra margin for error the spokes give me. I was always fearful I'd break or bend the alloys on my R1150R, but love the spokes on my R1150GSA.
    #3
  4. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    This was covered pretty well in the past couple of weeks. Search is your friend.
    #4
  5. sfarson

    sfarson On a Ride

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    Jeff... Spokes do provide an extra margin of error, but that noted, I've ridden with cast wheel equipped GS riding friends here in the Colorado, on surfaces delivering a buffet of off road rocky surfaces, and they came through just fine.
    #5
  6. darmahman

    darmahman "Illogically Deluded" Supporter

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    Cast are way easier to clean. Some people do clean their GS's....
    #6
  7. stevie99

    stevie99 That's gotta hurt Super Supporter

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    The laced wheels are a good deal heavier that the cast alloy wheels.
    #7
  8. EJ_92606

    EJ_92606 Rider

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    Front is virtually identical in weight as I recall, rear spoked wheel is about 2 lbs heavier.
    #8
  9. ausfahrt

    ausfahrt mach schnell

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    The spokes on my '07 GSA didn't pass the tone test. When tapped with a screwdriver it seemed as though half of them just yielded a dull thud.

    The alloys look better IMO and are definitely easier to clean so I swapped wheels with an inmate. I've never seen another hexhead Adventure with alloys but I'm sure mine can't be the only one.:D

    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Dan Cãta

    Dan Cãta Long timer Supporter

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    Get the spoke ones! I know that the spoke arrangement is the best heavy duty metal structure there can be.
    And btw, I had a crash with my 1100gs having spokes, the forks just broke and the A-arm of the telelever, anyway, severe damage to the front end and the wheel had nothin. It did not even need trueing or someting ;)

    Now I am hunting a set of RT-P spoke wheels for my RT :D

    Dan.
    #10
  11. lewis_jr1

    lewis_jr1 Been here awhile

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    Spoked rims are faster, or is that the alloys...
    #11
  12. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

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    Maybe it just where I live, but I have never encountered an immovable object with a 6 inch deep obstruction with a wheel breaking sharp ninety degree edge off road.

    Nature abhors sharp edges. If a rock has a sharp edge, it is probably recently fractured and movable. If it isn't movable, it has been there a long time and should have been expected.

    The nastiest obstacles I have seen were all created by humans and in the main road including but not limited to potholes, eroded asphalt, uncovered manholes, partially filled ditches and stone sawed grooves.

    I think spokes are most important for bad roads, not off-road!
    #12
  13. jdmtbiker

    jdmtbiker n00b

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    Thanks for all your comments. I did think to use the 'search' feature after posting my question. I found another good thread about this topic. (Like Boondox mentioned. :D ) Sorry for the redundant post. But we all like to talk about motorcycle stuff anyway, right?
    #13
  14. little foot

    little foot seriously not serious Super Supporter

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    Spoked bikes sell better than cast wheeled bikes. Just sayin!!
    #14
  15. Oldpeg

    Oldpeg Been here awhile

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    This must be the thread for the question I have ben mullying over for a long time: do spoked wheels have more resilience to cracks and bumps and potholes in asphalt than alloy wheels? In other words do they react softer and absorb sharp hits better? I'm asking because this friend of mine has a GS with spoked wheels, and he does not seem to complaint about our terrible surfaces as much as I do with my alloys. By the same token, he doesn't find the BMW OEM low seat as unbearably hard as I do. Now, he is much lighter than me (150 lbs vs 180 lbs), and he has regular OEM shocks, which he never sets differently, except a bit of pre-load with a pillion, whereas I have ESA on «Comf» all the time in town. He also has his tires up on the pressure scale, like 38/42, whereas I go with 34/38.

    Thank you.
    #15
  16. lkchris

    lkchris Albuquerque

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    If the spoked wheels were for tube-type tires only, they'd be far superior.

    You can still go with a bent wheel and a tube in the tire. With a tubeless set up, when your wheel's bent, you're done.
    #16
  17. CannonsvilleRider

    CannonsvilleRider Been here awhile

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    For emergencies?

    I for one, don't miss tubeless tires, for me the incidence of pinch flats and tears near the valve stem was very high compared to instances of full punctures or bent rims on a tubeless tire.
    #17
  18. JethroDog

    JethroDog dogs bark

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    It is easier to plug a leak on these tubeless tires using the old tar strips or the newer mushrooms. You can use a tube if you have a rip or sidewall tear that can't be plugged....but practice removing a tire using the side stand and the tools you would carry.
    #18