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-   -   Would you change the rims to alloy and 18" ? (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/yamaha-tech/would-you-change-rims-alloy-24843)

*Touring Ted* 29 Dec 2006 18:09

Would you change the rims to alloy and 18" ?
As you all probably know , the XT600E has a 21/17 Chromed steel wheels.

Iv been told an 18" rear is a better choice and Dave Lambeth stocks them off the shelf.

I also know a wheel builder who can build the original hubs with Excel Alloy rims (any size)for £160 quid.

Are there problems with an 18" rear wheel ?
Is alloy a better choice than steel (easier to straighten steel, alloy cracks) ?
Should i just change the rear and keep the original front ?

opinions appreciated. Ed

Grant Johnson 29 Dec 2006 18:41

Without giving any opinion - I'd just like to know your purpose in making the change? In other words, WHY? And if you don't have a clear purpose, then why? :)

*Touring Ted* 29 Dec 2006 18:51


Originally Posted by Grant Johnson
Without giving any opinion - I'd just like to know your purpose in making the change? In other words, WHY? And if you don't have a clear purpose, then why? :)

Well, tyre choice for a start. 18" is a much more popular choice for dual purpose and dirt tyres (isnt it?)

Alloy for weight.

I just hear its a popular conversion so thats why im asking :)

hurcomb 29 Dec 2006 21:14

i've got the same dilema. Apparantly decent 17" tyres in Africa are hard to come by. However with the cost of all the other mods i've done to my XT im leaving on the 17".

I'm relying on a KTM shop in Togo!!! Otherwise i'll just have to wait for some to be sent out. I'm in no rush.


Lone Rider 29 Dec 2006 23:36

18 vs 17
Having a DR650 with 17 rear I took a serious look at this. An opportunity to buy a DR350 18 rear wheel presented itself and after some research I decided to stay with the 17.

IIRC, the Varadero, TransAlp, Africa Twin, KLR, all BMWs and some other bikes run 17 rear, as do most all street bikes. KTM and most true dirt bikes run 18, with a few 19s in the mix.

Although a street tire may not be your first choice, they're readily available. A MX dirt knobby, only available where real dirt bikes are sold, might only last 1,500 miles.

For extended touring in 3rd world areas, the idea of planning far ahead for fresh tires makes sense to me. Even grossly over supplying yourself along the way is preferable to the opposite problem. You can always sell a tire if need be. Waiting on delivery of tires can be very frustrating and make a mess of plans when time is an important factor.

I'm interested in hearing other opinions.

Grant Johnson 30 Dec 2006 00:51

for the cost of the swap you could probably courier a couple of tires at least to just about anywhere :)

ANY tire is hard to come by in many parts of the world, you often have to put up with something that fits as opposed to nothing, and while there are more 18's out there, 17's are becoming much more available all the time.

If you have loads of money and time, it might be worthwhile.

*Touring Ted* 30 Dec 2006 02:52

I suppose this comes down to tyre choice. ill be doing an Alaska-Argentina trek so ill be changing tyres at least 4-5 times.

All I really want is to have better choice of tyres and a better chance of finding them.

My rims are pretty new so corrosion isnt an issue. I want strength though.

Big Ed XT&TT 600 Fan! 30 Dec 2006 05:41

Wheels to alloy on a XT600E?
I have a 1984 43f model 600. I have 2 sets of wheel. EXecl rims on one set of hubs. And set of stock rims on the 2nd.
Putting a 18 alloy on your back wheel will be good. Do you ride off-road alot? Lots of 18 rear tires to put back there. Your front rim can be stock. Or putting a alloy-rim front is good too. Better rims always good for your XT 600E. If this is a RTW bike i would up-grade the rims. Why? Better ride, ahd not so hard to bend. Stock rims are just to get the bike out to the rider!! Stock rims are just for paved roads! BIG ED XT&TT 600 FAN!!

PatOnTrip 30 Dec 2006 10:50

Keep your 17'' rim!
If your are talking about riding Alaska to Argentina, you'll find plenty of 17'' tires on the way.

I guess for Africa it would make sense to have a 18'' rim.


*Touring Ted* 30 Dec 2006 12:27

But if I had the choice, not worrying about money, the 18 would be better ??

Can you get popular street biast tyres in 18" MORE easily than 17" around the world ?

Oh yer.. and as i may get them rebuilt, would you keep the same rim width or widen/narrow them ??

Cheers again, ed

mbishop 2 Jan 2007 08:45

XT600 18" Rear etc
I've got experience with 17" and 18" rear rims as I've luckily got both - the 17" has the better choice for road biased tyres and the 18" one is much better for off-road rubber. The likes of 17" Conti Twinduros can't compete off road when it comes to road legal Enduro 18" tyres, so if you are going to be doing any serious off roading then get your hub rebuilt on an 18" rim. An 18" tyre that offers the best of both worlds is the IRC TR8, its quite cheap (£45) and lasted me over 6000km including motorways and a lot of trail riding on a trip, and it does offer pretty good grip on and off road.

I'd leave the front, being a believer of fix it when it's broke, I am still running the stock steel front wheel after more than 20,000km of mainly off road use and with regular spoke maintenance it's still pretty true... amazing!

mika 2 Jan 2007 18:03

NO, I would not change it.
Hello there,

I can see your point, but as Grant said: 17 inch tyres are more easy to find now in Central and South America.

I have traveled 250.000 km on an XT600 Tenere around the world. Half way on the 18 inch rear alloy rear rim and half way on the 17 inch alloy rear rim. The change over was done by Yamaha Brazil for me, because my rim was badly damaged and all they had was 17 inch rims.

Yes, the 18 inch is better off the road than the 17 inch.

Yes, 18 inch tyres are easier to find in Africa.

The money you would spend for the change over will get you a long way on your trip. And the steel rims are as good, ok they are heavier, but you are not going to race down to Argentina, or are you ?

No, I would not do it.

Decide for yourself you have all the information you need now.



oldbmw 2 Jan 2007 21:19

No I would not change the rimes.. I beleive steel to be more reliable.
and for the cost of changing to an 18" rim would be better to pre ship a new 17" tyre, or plan your route so there will be tyre available at about when or before you will need it. You will save time and money, because any tread wasted can be taken from the cost of changing the rims

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