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Author [ES] [CA] [PL] [PT] [IT] [DE] [FR] [NL] [DK] [NO] [GR] [TR] Topic: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS  (Read 9000 times)

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Offline AIR4CE1

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SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« on: April 06, 2012, 03:28:18 PM »
I wish to raise the issue of SPOKED vs ALLOY wheels.

In South Africa we have yet to see the CT, and there has been a single Triumph Explorer display unit travelling around the country. I have put my name down for both the CT and Explorer and will have to make a choice with the next few weeks.

Two months ago, in a personal comparison between the CT and Explorer, I noted the use of spoked wheels on the CT. My personal preference is alloy because the wheels are easier to clean, and look stronger.

From the latest MCN comparison test review, the Honda Crosstourer had an off-balance front wheel. I wonder if the test bike was delivered with a factory error, or did the wheel become out-of-balance due to hitting a pothole or curb.

Spoked wheels are claimed to have more flex and ability to absorb impact better than alloy wheels. In the application that most of us will use the CT, should spoked wheels be a concern ?

Are there any maintenance issues with spoked wheels ?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 03:32:03 PM by AIR4CE1 »

Offline Mister B

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Re: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2012, 03:50:37 PM »
strange one this,the out of balance wheel was only mentioned once...I wonder if some one had disturbed one of the balance weights..These bikes have a hard life with the journos...

Offline AIR4CE1

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Re: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2012, 04:28:53 PM »
The spokes on my Transalp had surface corrosion within the first 500km.

Are the CT spoke made in stainless steel, or have a better quality finish than the Spanish-made Transalp ?

Offline Doc

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Re: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2012, 06:25:53 PM »
If spoked wheels are not as robust, or easier to repair, why do so many manufacturers choose them for their adventure bikes. BMW throw spoked wheels on the GS adventure but not on the standard GS. OK, they need regular cleaning, but I hope they don't rust.  :003:
« Last Edit: April 06, 2012, 06:37:44 PM by Doc »

Offline Strider

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Re: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2012, 09:11:24 PM »
I haven't had a spoked wheeled bike for a while now but my tenere 660 had spoked wheels and I never had a problem.
 I used the bike alot and regularley went off road. I dont see a problem with spoked wheels apart from the cleaning side of things.  :028:

Offline Captain Scarlet

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Re: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 12:42:30 AM »
Spoke wheels flex and then return to their pre-state better than alloy wheels, which are more prone to damage from rocks etc if used off-road.

The pros of spokes is they are better for off-road use and some people prefer their looks. Their cons are that they are harder to clean, more susceptible to corrosion and each spoke should be checked (with the right torque measuring tool) periodically, which is usually sooner than service intervals and not all workshops check them or even know how to correctly.

For instance, the Super Tenere is indeed a super reliable machine. But according to the main web forum a number of people are finding their spoke tension is out. Interestingly the majority are finding that some of their spokes have been over-tensioned, rather than under. Unlike bolts, a little over is worse than a little under when it comes to spokes (a little flex needed), is my understanding.

It's not impossible that the CT, in the MCN test, had incorrectly tensioned spokes. The wheels and spokes are likely to be external vendor supplier sourced and assembled in house. However, in the MCN test case, I would simply assume this was a one-off. Not many CT's have been delivered to customers yet, but nobody seems to have identified this as a general trait with some of the bikes delivered thus far.

As a personal view, I prefer the look of spoked wheels, but I sure as hell hate the cleaning of them! They may well have stainless spokes or whatever, but I just find them so fiddly and knuckle scraping to clean. I usually just use a big soft brush and watch the soap and dirt ping off everywhere like the sparks off a sparkler firework. I definitely need a change of t-shirt when I've finished cleaning spoked wheels!

I was primarily interested in buying either the CT or eXplorer this year and either purchase would be a no-brainer good decision IMPO. However the Honda isn't coming to the US, which made my decision very simple and my Triumph arrives next month.

Having now read reviews on both, had it of been coming to these shores, I think that I would still have bought the eXplorer because it generally suits my own needs better and little nuances like alloy wheels are a preference to me personally. My idea of bike cleaning is spray on foam, make a cup of coffee, hose off, job done!

To me the Honda is slightly better looking, might be a smidgeon more comfortable and probably has better 0-60 grunt. The Triumph counters with a few more toys (cruise etc), huge (950W) alternator, a bit more agility and a bit more mid-range/top-end.

They are, however, closely matched and I'm very pleased to say, have now put some distance between themselves and the GS. To me, the Yamaha (ridden) was a little bit better than the GS (owned), and the Honda and Triumph have now picked up the ball and sprinted off into the distance with it.

Like I said, CT or the now arguably class-leading (according to MCN) eXplorer, are both superb, it's all a win-win. The bottom line will come down to personal preference rather than meaningless banter about which is the best. Let us know what you choose and most of all enjoy it!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 12:48:12 AM by Captain Scarlet »

Offline jacob

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Re: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 02:58:45 AM »
For me the fact that the CT had spokes was a major plus as I have just sold my trial bike and it is essential when going down rough trails to have the flex spokes have, as for the tension after a while the old bush method works perfect for me I use my tension device and run it around the spokes before and after rides to listen to the tone like a tuning fork and make minor adjustments to individual spokes to get the sound that I want when tapped.
As I intend to test the CT's dirt ability spokes are perfect.
If you intend to use mainly on tar then the alloys would be easier as per Captain Scarlets easy clean, my mate I ride with has the Ducati Multistrada and he is looking to change his rims to spokes as he has found the rebound from rocks and ridges of concern.
At the end of the day it is what you intend to do with the bike that should drive the decision on wheel type.
2012 VFR1200X CrossTourer - April 2012 - http://crosstourer.tumblr.com/

Offline Doc

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Re: SPOKED vs ALLOY WHEELS
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 07:26:35 AM »
Captain Scarlet, thanks once again for your valued, level-headed opinion - I always like your posts.  :460:

As I've said in the past, the CT and the EX are very good bikes - and as you say, they've taken the ball from the GS, and disappeared into the distance with it.

I've never had a spoked-wheel bike before, so it'll be interesting to see how I get on with them. I think they look great, which is a good start, but I'll have to get more info on the tensioning. No alloys available from Honda, so the choice is limited. I suppose I better buy some more t-shirts ready for the cleaning.  :002:

I'm a firm believer in fairness and honesty when reviewing any kind of product, but the final choice is always down to personal preference - and so shall it always be.

Enjoy your Explorer Sir, and ride safe.  :305:
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 07:47:27 AM by Doc »

 


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