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 spokes or alloys??

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Posts : 5
Join date : 2011-11-07

PostSubject: spokes or alloys??   Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:18 pm

hi all, hope this topic hasnt been covered....
im just going to start my first cafe build, a suzuki gsx250 with alloys as standard,
an wondering if spoked wheels from a gt250 will fit
my mate says all cafe racers should have spokes??????
not that he has any experiance, but when ive looked in the gallery most have alloys
i realise theres no hard and fast rule, but what do YOU think looks better???????
cheers dave

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PostSubject: Re: spokes or alloys??   Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:46 pm

Hi Dave and welcome.

I've just finished watching Cafe Racer on Discovery Shed. OK, this is an American programme and their message is the cafe racer ethos is about speed, reaching the magical 'ton', something a lot of the original 1950's and 60's bikes struggled to do.

However, the majority of modern bikes are more than capable of 100mph, so I disagree with the 'ton' concept, I firmly believe the message that comes across loud and clear with all cafe racers is it's about individuality, and for that there are no rules! You build what you want to build, how you want to build it.

OK, the architypal cafe racer of the 50s and 60s had spoked wheels, but that was because they didn't have alloys so they had no choice, my 1978 Honda CB750 has 'shooting star' alloys and I'm keeping them. Take a look at IEDs CX500 on this forum, that would probably look wrong with spokes, and he built from what he had (and a damn fine job too!)

Take a look at my old OIF Bonnie, again on this forum, now that did look wrong with alloys, so I fitted spoked wheels, but then again, who knows?

Try Googling cafe racer and see the huge variations on a theme that come up.

You look at your bike and decide what you want and what you like bud, and don't let anyone tell you it MUST have this or it SHOULD have that, you do your own thing!

Last edited by pauliexjr on Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: spokes or alloys??   Thu Nov 17, 2011 8:44 pm

I would much prefer to use tubeless tyres.
My wheels are spoked and it makes me nervous.
I've only ever had one blowout on a bike, and that was on a spoked wheel bike in the late 70's.
The reason spoked wheels are more vulnerable to blowouts, according to my local tyre centre, is as follows.
If a nail enters a tubless tyre, it creates a seal at the same time, allowing the air to escape gradually so you've got a chance of noticing it before the worst happens.
I'm sure we've all found nails and screws in tubless tyres, with no sign of deflation.
On an inner tube tyre, the nail enters the tyre and pierces the relatively thin inner tube membrane which will cause it to deflate rapidly.
It pops it like a balloon, causing a "blowout"
At high speed, this does not bare thinking about.
BMW use a very clever design on their spoked wheels as found on the GS.
The spokes run from the hub to the outer edge of the rim allowing the use of tubeless tyres.
Go tubeless.
You'll be able to use better tyres too.

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PostSubject: Re: spokes or alloys??   Fri Nov 18, 2011 1:29 am

If you take a look at mig's build you will see mine is fitted with spoked wheels. But was originally on comstar alloys the same as fitted to IED. so you have the opportunity to see which you prefer. As Paul says it's all about your definition of a cafe racer.
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PostSubject: Re: spokes or alloys??   Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:44 am

Hi mitchy
Will they fit, well anything can fit anything but you might need the help of a machine shop
Do a little research on the net on spindle sizes providing they are both the same diameter and length the wheels will go straight on, then look at the brake setup and determine if your forks calliper brackets will line up with the disk or disks on the spoked wheel that is unless you use a hubbed wheel then it’s just the matter of locating a torsion bar

Rear wheel sprocket stud pattern and offset must line up and again braking setup

Never had a problem myself with tubed tyres but always make sure the rim tape is in good condition as it can rot away

I come from more of a custom background and have a lot to learn about cafe racers but personally prefer spokes as it’s easy to change wheel diameter by just relacing to either larger or smaller rims to suit

Go with the choice your happy with i agree mag alloys really suit some bikes
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PostSubject: Re: spokes or alloys??   Sun Nov 20, 2011 4:47 am

thats very helpful, thanks for reading and taking time to reply
ill see what the spokes look like [im lucky to know, and help out a breaker who lets me borrow stuff!!!]
next are the rearsets!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
cheers dave
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