Motorcycle rims are like a pair of sunglasses; they can add glamour and change the way your bike looks. But you should not limit the utility of the rims to their looks. The rims play a far more important role in the way your bike runs.
There are basically two types of motorcycle rims: solid and laced. In the solid rim, the spokes as well the rim are fused to form a single, circular plate. The metal used here is usually solid aluminum.
Laced rims, on the other hand, are the conventional spoke wheels where a series of spokes are fused to the rim. The spokes add structural strength to the rim and also give the bike an individual look.
The Billet Motorcycle Wheels are also a rage. Here, the wheel unit is carved out of a single block of aluminum. What is interesting is that using computer aided designing, you can carve out really intricate spoke designs. You can also opt for a chrome finish. Billet designs can dramatically alter the look of your machine.
So what kind of rim-wheel combination is best for you?
There is no doubt that it is the laced variety. When you have spokes that attach the rim to the hub, you get better impact absorption than a solid wheel. The absorbed impact is spread evenly across the rim over a wider area because of flexibility. A solid wheel on the other hand is not flexible, so the full impact is absorbed only at the point of impact.
You also need to consider maintenance. Keep your rims in mint condition to avoid corrosion as that can lead to weak points. Since wheels are subject to a lot of stress there is always the possibility of broken spokes and punctured tubes, not to mention mishaps.
It is also a good policy to use rim locks to make sure that the tires don’t slip off the rims. You should also make sure that the rim is always aligned. One easy way of doing this is to put the bike on the centre stand and then spin the wheels. Any lateral or vertical oscillation will immediately be noticeable. You can usually knock back a wheel into shape with a hammer and a small block of wood. But if you are not up to it, take it to a mechanic and get it done.
Remember: Keep the rim in shape and your bike will cut a great figure.