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Old 6 Aug 2018
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DL650 - Worth waiting for spoked wheels??

Hi all,

I have been looking for a while at used DL650s for 2 up touring, maybe South America. Obviously the vast majority of used examples are fitted with the cast wheels. The spoked are only on newer ADV styled models.

Anyone care to comment on whether the spoked wheels are worth limiting the pool of used examples? I understand 2012+ is preferable but is the wheel type a deal breaker?

I can't get over the impression that cast wheels belong on the street... (old thumper rider).

'96 1200 Bandit
'16 Tu250X
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Old 7 Aug 2018
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For two-up, presumably not hard and fast off-road, I expect the cast wheels will be fine. Having said that, DL wheels are known to be soft and dent relatively easily - good news is they can usually be banged back out again!
You have to balance cost against risk. Newer costs more, BUT is also likely to be in better shape/lower mileage, OR go cheaper and risk a dented wheel. And be sure to ride appropriately! Remember much of South America is PAVED. You only go off-road by choice.
YOUR decision!
Grant Johnson
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Old 12 Dec 2018
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Also ride a 650DL and yes the cast wheels are soft.

Met the mother and father of a series of Potholes on a dark road in Baja last year, managed to avoid all but the last one....bang.....bent front rim. Tyre held up but both sides of the rim got it. Tried to straighten it but with not much success as I was afraid if it cracked I would be in a worse position being just south of nowhere.
Now it looses about 4psi on a 250 mile riding day and the bars dont vibrate. Covered another 2000mls this year with the same rim....just remember to keep the pressure up.
Safe travels.
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Old 3 Sep 2019
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One thing people often miss is that the spoked wheels on from-2015 X or XT DLs are tubeless – common on flagship advs, unusual on a lower spec bike.
For a travel bike I would choose TL over tubed any day.
Not really bothered if it's spoked or more commonly cast. As Grant says, ride for the conditions and they'll last.
I suspect if you took a hard hit one dark night (as emasen describes), spoked TLs will still dent and, being TL, will possibly lose the seal too.

Some recent comments from Adv:

'The cast wheels on both the 650 and 1000 vstrom are tough, very tough. I put my wee strom 650 thru hell (two up, packed like a mule thru South America on mostly back roads) and they fared beautifully.

if you’re using the strom for its intended use then cast wheels are great! But if you heavily modify your bike and ride aggressively then they don’t last long.
I’ve personally bent 3 fronts and 2 rears over the last 200k miles. Now I only run XT wheels without issues, jumping it is common.
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Old 4 Sep 2019
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cast wheels

Having ridden on some appalling roads in India and Canada, I did manage to dent the rear wheel in Kazakhstan. Secondhand cast wheels are cheap whereas if you dent a spoked wheel its toast. I crashed a R100RS in France many years ago and was grateful I had changed the wire wheels for cast items. I was able to ride home with a twisted front wheel whereas the spoked wheel would have collapsed.
Tim & Sue Angus
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