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209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Was Dribbling over a set of Galespeed magnesium 5 spokes for my 12R and got me wondering....:puzzled:. what other wheels (that are lighter) would fit...?
By having lighter wheels would help a great deal would'nt it...? better bhp to to wheel, handling and wheight... ? . how much better would it really be..?.
If anyone out there has fitted wheels other than exotic stupidly priced wheels i would be very interested in hearing about any benifits.


379 Posts
New wheel set

I replace my stock '04 wheels with a set of Marchesini forged aluminum for which I paid $1200. about 4 months ago. I lost 5 pounds off the rear and 2 off the front. Makes a big difference reducing the turn in effort which equates to quicker transitions. I ride mostly in the twisties so for me it was worth every penny. Anything lighter is better but I would be a bit careful of Carbon fiber for road work unless you have very good roads. Magesium should be ok but pricy and if you scrape off any power coat they will corrode pretty quickly, although with watchful maintaince can be touched up.

350 Posts
Blackstone Tek
Weight: front: 5.50 lbs.; rear: 10.38 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 217 lb. in2; rear: 304 lb. in2
Price: $3400
These five-spoke carbon-fiber wheels are easily the lightest 17-inch hoops in the test, and also have the lowest MoI of the 17-inchers. The front wheel, at just 5.5 pounds, is the lightest overall. Fabricated in South Africa, the carbon rim and spokes are bolted and glued to aluminum hubs (though magnesium hubs are available for even more weight savings). Fit is excellent. Our test rear wheel's cush drive was a bit sloppy, and while the wheels are for the most part magnificent, the outside of the rims appear very rough and unfinished.

Weight: front: 9.42 lbs.; rear: 14.02 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 421 lb. in2; rear: 587 lb. in2
Price: $2180 ($1480 in black anodized finish)
Formerly Hi Point wheels, these Carrozzeria forged aluminum wheels are made in the United States. The front wheel is a one-piece design, and has one-size-larger bearings with an internal spacer. The rear wheel has two bearings on the brake side, and bolt-on brake and cush-drive carriers. The rear wheel's spacers are held by dust seals, like the stockers. The machining on our test wheels appeared a bit rough; otherwise, fit and finish are good. The wheels carry the JWL (a Japanese quality standard) logo, and the hoops shown here have a nickel-chromium-plate finish, an additional $700 cost for the pair.

Dymag Custom Carbon
Weight: front: 7.30 lbs.; rear: 12.38 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 301 lb. in2; rear: 406 lb. in2
Price: $3440
Unable to supply a set of GSX-R1000 wheels in time for our test, MaxMoto sent ZX-9R Dymags as a substitute. The British-made wheels feature carbon-fiber rims glued and bolted to cast magnesium spoke/hub internals. Note where the weight and MoI numbers fall in relation to the other wheels, and you can see how important the rim weight is for inertia. The front hub is a single unit, while the rear has a bolt-on brake carrier. The cush drive is cast into the Dymag's hub, and a sprocket is supplied. While the wheels look beautifully made, our test front wheel was a bit wobbly-halfway to the normal service limit.

Weight: front: 6.86 lbs.; rear: 11.62 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 282 lb. in2; rear: 421 lb. in2
Price: $2608
Used by the Yoshimura Suzuki team, these Japanese-made forged magnesium wheels are among the lightest in the test, grouped closely with the other forged magnesium rims. The front wheel is fabricated in one piece, and the rear has a bolt-on carrier on the disc side-the cush drive is forged into the wheel with a special, 530-series sprocket included. A minor-but important-detail: These wheels came in the nicest, safest packaging. Finish on our black powdercoated examples is excellent, and they mounted up nicely to the GSX-R. The JBs are marked with the JWL stamp.

Lightcon Twin System
Weight: front: 11.64 lbs.; rear: 19.56 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 512 lb. in2; rear: 786 lb. in2
Price: $1949
Heavier than the stock Suzuki wheels, the German-made Lightcons are claimed to be stronger and more durable. Cast in two halves and welded together, our test wheels incorporate an SLC finish (Surface Like Chrome, an electrostatic-applied powder) that adds almost one pound to each wheel. The rear's cush drive is more substantial than most, and the front bolt-on brake carriers have blind holes that require special screws-included along with a sprocket. The wheels are marked with TÜV (a strict German testing standard), JWL and DOT approvals (though other required DOT markings are not present).

Marchesini forged aluminum
Weight: front: 8.82 lbs.; rear: 13.80 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 362 lb. in2; rear: 496 lb. in2
Price: $1870
Typically Italian, these Marchesini wheels are beautifully crafted as well as functional-they are among the lightest of the aluminum hoops, as well as having close to the lowest MoI values of that group. The front wheel has bolt-on disc carriers, and the rear cush drive has beefy nylon blocks as opposed to the small rubber donuts typical of most other aftermarket rims. The rear brake carrier is bolted on; valve stems and a special rear sprocket are required but not included. Fit and finish are excellent-our samples are gold anodized.

Marchesini forged magnesium
Weight: front: 6.54 lbs.; rear: 11.12 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 276 lb. in2; rear: 373 lb. in2
Price: $2690
Appearing almost identical to the company's forged aluminum wheels but powdercoated rather than anodized, these two examples highlight the differences a simple material change can make in weight, MoI and cost. As opposed to the aluminum Marchesinis, the front is a one-piece design; the rear, however, has the same nylon-block cush drive and bolt-on disc hub-the special sprocket and valve stems are not included. The Marchesinis are the lightest and have the lowest MoI of the 17-inch metal wheels in the test, just edging out the JB-Power hoops in both measurements.

Marvic Penta
Weight: front: 7.46 lbs.; rear: 12.16 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 327 lb. in2; rear: 437 lb. in2
Price: $1820
While cast magnesium was once the standard for aftermarket wheels, the two Marvic styles are the only such examples in the test (Marvic-forged wheels will soon be available). As you would expect, the cast magnesium wheels in general are slightly heavier than the forged magnesium hoops. The Italian Pentas feature five solid spokes, and are one-piece castings-no bolt-on hubs front or rear. A fully machined version (the Penta 2) is available. Fit and finish are outstanding (these examples are powdercoated; unpainted gold chromate is available), though the rear brake-side spacer is a bit thin and could mushroom over time.

Marvic Piuma
Weight: front: 7.16 lbs.*; rear: 11.84 lbs.*
Moment of Inertia: front: 295 lb. in2*; rear: 391 lb. in2*
Price: $2024
Similar to the Penta wheels, the Piumas are one-piece magnesium castings, though with larger, hollow spokes. These examples, in 16.5-inch, are slightly lighter-we estimate the savings due to the diameter difference to be approximately 3 percent in weight and 6 percent in MoI. The powdercoated finish on these test samples is excellent, and-as with the Pentas-the Piumas are available unpainted. In addition to a thin brake-side spacer, the threads for the rear disc in our sample wheel were very rough, and we couldn't install the screws. Fit, otherwise, is fine.* 16.5-inch measurements

O*Z HL02
Weight: front: 8.40 lbs.; rear: 15.54 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 331 lb. in2; rear: 565 lb. in2
Price: $1600
These wheels may look familiar-the same model is used on the Aprilia Mille R Factory. The Italian-made forged aluminum wheels are the only ones in the test that bear correct DOT markings (aside from the stockers), and the only wheels that use the stock cush drive and spacers. This keeps costs down and your drivetrain happy, but it incurs a weight penalty for the rear wheel and means your spacers will fall out when you change wheels. Our samples are powdercoated, and the finish is excellent. Fit, as you'd expect for stock components, is near perfect.

Performance Machine Gatlin
Weight: front: 14.56 lbs.; rear: 19.48 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 509 lb. in2; rear: 688 lb. in2
Price: $1844
Significantly heavier than the stock GSX-R wheels, that extra weight is in the right place-check the MoI numbers compared to stock. The U.S.-made forged aluminum wheels have bolt-on hubs, no cush drive, and a polished aluminum 530 sprocket is provided. As expected for a blingy set of rims from Performance Machine, the Gatlins' finish is extraordinary-the wheels are beautifully polished, and a chrome finish is available. Fit is good, though the rear spacers are a bit tight on the axle, and the sprocket sits slightly inboard from stock.

Performance Machine Revolution
Weight: front: 9.14 lbs.; rear: 13.16 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 380 lb. in2; rear: 498 lb. in2
Price: $1990
Much more performance-oriented than the company's Gatlin wheels, the forged aluminum Revolutions are the second lightest aluminum set in the test-though there are heavier wheels with lower MoI numbers. The wheels have bolt-on hubs, and a polished sprocket (with nuts predrilled for safety wire) and new disc bolts (in titanium!) are provided. Our front test wheel was a bit wobbly, but well within the usual service limit. Typical for the company, the polished aluminum finish is impeccable; a black anodized finish is available. Aside from the rear axle being tight in the bearing spacer, fit is fine.

PVM Forged Aluminum Y5
Weight: front: 7.96 lbs.; rear: 13.44 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 346 lb. in2; rear: 489 lb. in2
Price: $1795 ($1995 with rear rotor)
The lightest aluminum wheels in the test, the forged German-made PVMs have bolt-on brake and cush-drive hubs, and accept the stock Suzuki sprocket. A special floating rear disc is included, though one of the button-head screws on our test wheel had a prestripped head, and we couldn't take the disc off for MoI measurements (the numbers would barely be affected in any event). The weight number listed is without the disk. Powdercoated-and we have no idea why we were sent a mismatched set-the fit and finish are otherwise excellent, and the wheels are JWL marked.

PVM Forged Magnesium Y5
Weight: front: 5.60 lbs.*; rear: 9.76 lbs.*
Moment of Inertia: front: 209 lb. in2*; rear: 290 lb. in2*
Price: $2995 ($3195 with rear rotor)
These wheels tallied the lowest weight (for the set) and MoI of the test, though we were sent 16.5-inch samples. Still, accounting for the difference in size gives MoI numbers almost identical to the Blackstone Tek results. These wheels are another example where the difference between aluminum and magnesium is highlighted-the magnesium examples appeared identical to the aluminum versions (bolt-on brake and cush-drive hubs, rear disc included), though the cush drive is different and a special sprocket is required. Likewise, fit and finish are excellent. Packaging of both sets of PVM wheels, however, could have been better.* 16.5-inch measurements

RC Components Seabring
Weight: front: 10.42 lbs.; rear: 15.42 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 342 lb. in2; rear: 496 lb. in2
Price: $1470
The only spun aluminum wheels in the test, the Seabrings are only slightly lighter as a set than the stock hoops, but posted substantially lower MoI numbers-an interesting result. The U.S.-made wheels have hubs bolted and welded together, a beefy cush drive similar to the stock setup (though we'd be worried about the coarse bolts provided without lock washers coming loose) but a bit smaller, and a polished sprocket is provided. The polished aluminum finish is superb (chrome is available), and fit was hampered by the rear wheel's spacers being too snug on the axle.


Weight: front: 10.28 lbs.; rear: 16.80 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 480 lb. in2; rear: 880 lb. in2
Price: $1394
Among the highest weight and MoI measurements in the test (uhh, no surprise there), the stock cast-aluminum Suzuki wheels have a cush drive that (aside from the O*Z wheels, which use the stock parts) is much more substantial than any of the aftermarket units. The rear wheel's spacers are held in place by dust seals-almost all the tested wheels use oversized bearings and captive spacers with no dust seals-that tend to fall out easily. The front wheel requires no spacers. Our test bike's rear wheel was a bit wobbly, but well within the service limit. The stock wheels are marked correctly for DOT.


209 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Cheers for the excellent reviews on aftermarket wheels but my question was really pointing towards other stock wheels that are lighter.
For instance could i fit a set of ZX10R wheels...? or maybe a set of ZX6R wheels..?


226 Posts
park12r, great info!

i spent a long time sorting through sites recently to pull similar info, and your list is far more complete!

two additional things i found that may be helpful...

magnesium wheels are not recommended for street use because they deform easier when you hit potholes and the like...better for the track

carbon wheels (these days) are quite durable and can stand up to the abuse of the road or track (think polymer framed guns), but they have less feedback through the contact patch. this is because CF is very good at absorbing vibrations and tends to dampen the feedback from the front tire.

5,120 Posts
Cheers for the excellent reviews on aftermarket wheels but my question was really pointing towards other stock wheels that are lighter.
For instance could i fit a set of ZX10R wheels...? or maybe a set of ZX6R wheels..?

There are no direct bolt-ons except for the zx14 rear. You could make any wheel fit with the right bearings and spacers though.

30 Posts
So if i understand you correctly, other years ZX12R rims will not interchange? What years ZX12R rims will interchange including the front with early 2000 model?
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