Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear?

Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 13 Feb 2002
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 37
When spoked or cast wheels?

Having seen quite a few bikes on the net lately that have had their original spoked wheels replaced with cast( ie. Tiger and 1100gs), I would appreciate some info on what are the benefits or problems of both for long distance traveling. I will be limiting my riding to two-track fire roads as the most challenging I would ride. What I am really asking is,when are spoked wheels a real necessity, and why?
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Feb 2002
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Belgium
Posts: 473
In most third world countries it's simply more easy to repaire a spoked wheel. I don't even know if you can repair a non spoked one. You might have to find a whole new one, wich will often mean flying one in...
For ex.: My friend has been to Indonesia and had a spoked wheel with ceramic layers. This in combination with the right brakeshoes makes the whole thing last a lot longer and is more reliable. (but then again, he is speaking from a mountainbike perspective, but hey, that's a two-wheeler too!)
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Feb 2002
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,544
You say that the Tiger and the GS are cast wheels - dunno where you got that - the latest info I have is that both are still spoked.

A spoke wheel absorbs the shock better and is somewhat less likely to dent as a result.

Ease of repair is, as Maarten says, much better. Easy to replace a spoke, very tough to repair a cast wheel at all.

Spoke wheels on the other hand (with the noteable exception of late BMW GS's) require a tube-type tyre which isn't as safe as a tubeless.

Note that all "world-tour" type bikes (that I can think of off-hand) are spoke wheel.

But in the end you get whatever comes with the bike of choice. Normally way too hard / expensive to change either way.

Grant Johnson

Share the Dream!
at: www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Feb 2002
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: London
Posts: 161
Forget cast wheels. I have some on my 1150GS. They're from an 1100S. But I'm definitely putting the spoked wheels back on when I go RTW - the cast ones are way too soft, and are easily bent even on British roads. (My front one got buckled last month in Croydon.) The only good reason for using cast wheels is so you can fit soft compound road tyres for fast road or track use. Dunlop 207 RRs on a GS at Donington are a lot of fun, and a great way to humiliate R1 riders, but of no relevance to this bulletin board.

A few years back I broke both the spoked wheels on an 1100 GS when I hit a granite block at 110 mph in Portugal. The bike continued rolling in a straight line and I stayed on it. If I'd done the same thing with cast wheels I reckon they'd have been destroyed and I'd have been spread all over the road.
If a thing is worth doing, it\'s worth doing to extremes.
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Feb 2002
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Derbyshire, UK
Posts: 18
I think what you're talking about is the pic's of some specials that have been floating about on various boards on the net. It's fairly easy to change the wheels on a GS for one of the other BMWs but this has been done mainly for looks & road handling - as a track tool!
If you're thinking of travelling far or anything off road forget cast wheels. They dent too easily. On the other hand they're very rigid (good for handling) & come in sizes you can get sticky (road) tyres for.
Stick to the spokes that they came with unless you're sticking to good tarmac.
Reply With Quote
Old 14 Feb 2002
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 37
Thanks eveyone,that's the info I was hoping to get! I knew I could count on this board to clarify any questions I have as I check out bikes and equipment to put together my travelng rig. I prefer tubless tires so I guess I will be looking further into BMW and the new caponord. Steve
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:06.