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What are motorcycle rims made of?
Types of Motorcycle Rims
The two main types of motorcycle rims are solid wheels, in which case the rim and spokes are all cast as one unit, usually in aluminum, or spoke wheels, where the motorcycle rims are "laced" with spokes. Apart from the obvious point that the spokes add strength to the rim, the lacing also gives a design feature all its own to the motorcycle rims.
Other materials used are magnesium alloy, (used for aircraft wheels) and even carbon fiber! The main reason for going for motorcycle rims made of such exotic material is to save weight, so these wheels are generally used by racers.
Cast motorcycle rims
Made from cast aluminum, these are commonly the stock wheels on a huge number of motorcycle models. and usually come with a chrome or polished finish.
Billet motorcycle wheels
These wheels are carved from a block of solid aluminum Using computer controlled carving, some incredibly intricate designs can be produced. You can even design your own motorcycle rims, with spokes "from the gates of hell" if you want! however everything comes at a price. If you can't stretch to a unique design, you can still get some pretty good billet motorcycle rims "off the shelf". Chrome finishes usually come out more expensive that polished motorcycle rims.
Laced motorcycle rims
These are the traditional spoked wheels. The rims are usually made of aluminum, with the structural strength supplied by the spokes which are laced between hub and rim.Laced motorcycle rims, besides being a real thing of beauty, are much more forgiving.They can bend without breaking, and still work. They are also much more repairable than alloy wheels, and if a rim is bent beyond repair, it can be replaced and re-laced with new spokes.