Spoked motorcycle wheels were the first ones to reign over the two-wheel market. It was in the 1970s that single-piece cast aluminum and alloy wheels were introduced and its popularity hit in the automotive sector. Even though alloy wheels were popular, manufacturers preferred using the spoked wheels. Why? Read further to know its advantages and also the difference between spoke and alloy wheels.
Durability is the main reason why motorcycle manufacturers prefer using spoke wheels and they are widely used in enduros, ADVs, scramblers, off-road, and dirt bikes.
While driving through rough terrains, the shock that is encountered is transferred through the wheels and the tyres before it can be absorbed by the suspension. This intense pressure may cause the wheels to bend or crack. Thus, spoke wheels are preferred owing to their flexibility and durability specifications. The spoke wheels are specifically designed to handle the pressure to a certain degree and bend so that you can drive your motorcycles through rough terrains or massive ruts.
The other benefit of using spoked wheels is that they can be repaired. Spoke wheel bikes are preferred by both bike manufacturers and customers because of their aesthetic value too.
Spoke wheel bikes use inner tubes which creates difficulty while fixing punctures and swapping tubes. It is because the entire wheel assembly has to be taken off while making a repair or modification. Moreover, fixing a broken or a loose spoke is also time-consuming.
Alloy wheels are cheap, easy to manufacture, and they enable motorcycles to use tubeless tyres. There is wide use of alloy wheels on the motorcycles because they are more affordable and rigid. Alloy wheels are used on commuter bikes as well as on performance motorcycles.
Alloy wheels are rigid and thus can endure an increased amount of torque and horsepower with ease. Therefore, at increased speed alloy wheels remain more stable. Tubeless tyres support alloy wheels thus puncture repairs or tyre changes are easy and simple.
Alloy wheels lack flexibility thus when hit hard by curbs or large rocks while driving at high speed they crack or dent. In such cases, they cannot be repaired and need to be replaced.
Alloy wheels vs Spoke wheels
|Parameters||Alloy wheels||Spoke wheels|
|Weight||Alloy wheels are light-weighted||Generally made from steel hence heavy and strong.|
|Customization||Freedom for customization.||Spokes are attached to the steel rim thus cannot be customized.|
|Performance||Less weight to the coil spring offers better traction, handling, and grip.||Have good ability to absorb shocks.|
|Price||Alloy wheels are costly.||Owing to less manufacturing cost involved they are less expensive than alloy wheels.|
|Repair||Cannot endure too much pressure thus cannot be repaired if it is cracked or bent.||Has increased flexibility thus can endure pressures and can be repaired.|
|Durability||Less durable.||Spoke wheels are stronger than alloy wheels hence more durable.|
|Rigidity||Less rigid thus more prone to curb rashes, cracks, and dents.||Spoke wheels are more rigid than alloy wheels.|