This is a conversation with a colleague on the way home from touring…
Hey, you know what?
I was looking at last month’s Plus ONE article and noticed the wheels on my motorcycle are different from the ones mounted there.
In your case, the wheels are spoke wheels.
Is that so?
Let me tell you about different types of wheels.
The wheel along with the tire, supports the weight of the vehicle and absorbs the shock from the ride and transmit motor power from the engine to the road.
Wheel is composed of rim(part where tire is mounted), hub(core of the wheel), spoke(part to connects rim and hub), and bearing, etc.
Some of the major wheels are spoke wheels and cast wheels.
2.Difference between Spoke Wheel and Cast Wheel
Spoke wheel consists of rim, hub, spokes and bearings, etc. Spoke wheel is suitable for riding on unpaved roads due to its superior shock absorbing capacity and is mainly used for off-road and adventure models.
Since a flat tire can be repaired at many dealers, spoke wheel has been the preferred choice and has been used on small-displacement utility vehicles. Because of the beauty of spokes, laced up in an orderly fashion, in some cases, spoke wheel has been adopted not only for functionality but also for design.
Cast wheel is made up with the wheel that combines rim, hub and spokes into one.
Cast wheel is highly rigid, and easy to polish and maintain compared to spoke wheel.
Cast wheel is widely used mainly in on-road models.
With the advancement of casting technology, the design has been improved and lighter weight has been achieved through thinner wall thickness.
I’ve got it.
Now I know the difference.
By the way, when was the last time you had your motorcycle inspected?
Just last week, it was time for periodic inspection, so I did it myself.
Are you serious?
Don’t you have spoke wheels mounted on your motorcycle? Inspecting spoke wheels is not quite an easy job.
3.Spoke Wheel Inspection
Spoke inspection is performed from “appearance” and “looseness” aspects.
The first inspection is for “appearance” and the next is for “looseness” in that order. In particular, the "looseness" check is performed only on spoke wheels.
3-1.How to inspect the Appearance
Check the spokes if any bent or damage is found by visual inspection.
3-2.How to inspect Looseness
A) Gently tap each spoke one by one with the spoke wrench or similar tools.
B) Check to see if the spokes are loose by the change in tone when tapping on the spokes.
*If spoke is loose, you will hear change in tone when tapping the spoke compared to the ones with no looseness. In general, the spoke with no looseness will produce a high-pitched sound, while the loose spoke tends to make low pitched sound. However, since the sound varies depending on the degree of looseness and the model, we strongly recommend that you have your Honda dealer inspect them during the periodic inspection.
You are right! That seems like a head-scratcher. I am not sure if I can judge the difference in tapped sound, so I will take it to the Honda dealer.
No doubt. You’ d better do it.
The next time you purchase motorcycle, it may be a good idea to look at the vehicle from this perspective other than appearance and features and make a choice.
On the other hand, in the regions with many rough roads, many riders prefer cast wheels because of concerns about more frequent spoke inspections.
I see. That’s good to know.
Now that I look at it closely, I can see how dirty the body of my motorcycle is.
After washing it, I will go home.