Aftermarket Motorcycle Wheels Buying Guide

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Aftermarket Motorcycle Wheels Buying Guide

Motorcycle enthusiasts take great pride in their machines and so many bike owners invest a great deal of time and money to ensure that their motorcycles are in tip-top condition. Aside from getting the most out of their bikes performance-wise, owners also want their motorcycles to look good, too. Enhancing a bike starts with the owner acquiring the very best in aftermarket parts, and this includes aftermarket motorcycle wheels.

Motorcycle wheels are always in demand, especially among those motorcycles enthusiasts seeking to rebuild motorcycles or build motorcycles from scratch. Wheels are undoubtedly crucial to any motorcycle. Finding good quality rims is key to performance and safety. When it comes to choosing motorcycle wheels for a bike, it is important to choose compatible rims. Not all wheels fit all motorcycles. Motorcycle enthusiast often turn to eBay when searching for motorcycle parts. This huge online market place brings buyers and sellers together to sell and buy motorcycle parts.

Aftermarket Motorcycle Wheels Explained

There used to be a time when motorcycle manufacturers produced or had total control of the production of all the components or parts for their bikes. Today, many motorcycle manufacturers work in partnership with parts manufacturers to produce replacement parts, such as motorcycle wheels. The parts manufacturers partner with particular motorcycle brands to produce wheels according to exacting design and quality specifications. Because of this partnership, these parts manufacturers are licensed to brand the parts using the bike manufacturers' logos. These motorcycle parts are referred to as original equipment manufacturer parts or OEM parts. OEM wheels are relatively expensive, but motorcycle dealers recommend these parts because they can be fitted to a motorcycle without the risk of voiding the warranty on the machine.

Parts manufacturers are furnished with design and quality specifications for certain makes of bikes. The partnership agreement may allow the parts manufacturer to sell under its own label and branding. These parts are referred to as aftermarket OEM parts. The parts manufacturer produces wheels of the same type under its own label, with the permission of the motorcycle manufacturer. These parts are often a great deal cheaper than OEM parts sold under the bike manufacturer's name.

Choosing Motorcycle Rims

People buy aftermarket wheels either to replace old wheels or to improve the performance and look of their motorcycles. Before ordering aftermarket wheels, the buyer must first take some measurements to ensure that the wheels he buys actually fits the frame of his bike. The wheel's offset or dish must be measured. If planning to buy a custom-made motorcycle wheel made of spokes, the spokes must also be measured. When measuring spokes, buyers must keep in mind that there usually there are 36 to 40 spokes in a wheel, and these spokes can vary in length. Another important measurement is the size of the rim. This is easier to do because the size of the rim is stamped onto  the side of the rim. One can also determine the size of the rim by consulting the bike's manual or a parts list for the bike.


In general, there are two types of motorcycle rims: the solid rim and the spoke rim. Solid rims allow for more variety in terms of design while spokes give the the wheels a classic look. Spoke rims, which are usually called laced motorcycle rims, are generally made of aluminium. This type of rim is more resilient, having the ability to bend without breaking. Also, spoke rims made of aluminium can easily be repaired when compared to alloy wheels. If it comes to the point that the spoke rim is bent beyond repair, owners only need to have the spokes replaced and relaced. They do not necessarily need to replace the whole rim.


One of the most common types of rims is the cast aluminium rim. These rims, which come with a polished or chrome finish, are common to many types of motorcycles. Another type is the billet motorcycle rim, which is carved from a block of solid aluminium. These billet rims are carved using a computer-controlled tool to achieves complex designs. For this reason, a buyer can get a bespoke billet motorcycle rim. A lightweight alloy or carbon fibre motorcycle rim is very popular amongst motorcycle racers. This rim is very durable, and because it is lightweight, the motorcycle can go faster. Due to the performance value of lightweight alloy or carbon fibre motorcycle rims, these rims are very expensive.

Summary of Motorcycle Rim Types

The table below shows the different types of rims that one can find. The table also features the advantages of each type of motorcycle rim..

Types or Rim



Spoke Rim/Laced Rim

Made of aluminium

Resilient; only need to replace spokes when bent beyond repair

Cast Aluminium Rim

Comes with a polished or chrome finish

Available for many types of motorcycles

Billet Rim

Carved from a block of solid aluminium, using computer-controlled tools to produce complex designs

Allows buyers to create their own rim designs

Lightweight Alloy or Carbon Fibre Rim

Very durable and lightweight

Recommended for racers

The table above can be a quick reference guide for buyers of aftermarket motorcycle wheels. It is particularly helpful in determining the advantage of each type or rim.

Maintenance Tips for Motorcycle Rims

Aside from cleaning the rims regularly, owners must also inspect for corrosion, weak points and spoke failure. In addition, when cleaning the rims, the owners must make sure that they are using chemicals that do not damage the coating of the rims. If this cannot be avoided, like in situations when using a brake fluid, the owner should make sure that the rims are covered when other repairs are being performed on the machine. When the rim's coating is damaged, it exposes the bare aluminium to air, leading to the corrosion of the rim. To prevent the tyre from slipping around the motorcycle rims, which happens when running the bike at air low pressure, owners should use rim locks to secure the tyres to the rims.

Choosing Motorcycle Tyres

Different types of tyres are used for different applications. Sports tyres are usually used on road tracks for sporting events. These tyres, which are also called sport, supersport, or hypersport tyres have a high operating temperature, but not as high as that of competition tyres. Tyres that are used exclusively on racetracks are called competition motorcycle tyres. They are made of soft rubber and are known for the speed of their application. These tyres have exceptional grip on dry surfaces, but their high operating temperatures and relative lack of tread make them challenging to use on slippery roads or in the rain. Road tyres, on the other hand, have a low operating temperature so they are safer to use on wet surfaces. Because these tyres are made of very durable rubber, along with low operating temperatures, they are great for urban rides and tours. Road tyres, however, are not recommended for racing.

Mixed-use motorcycle tyres are another type of tyres that buyers can purchase, and as the name suggests, they can be used on roads and a wide range of surfaces. Buyers who want the ultimate tyres for extreme surfaces would buy motorcycle cross tyres. These tyres can be used for riding through quarries, on earth tracks, paths, and a variety of road surfaces. Although these tyres are very effective on other paths, they are rarely used on roads.

Buying Aftermarket Motorcycle Wheels on eBay

For many motorcycle enthusiasts eBay is their one-stop shop for all their motorcycle parts needs. If you are looking for aftermarket motorcycle wheels you may find them on the website. Whether you need aftermarket parts for a HondaHarley Davidson, or Ducati, eBay is the place to visit. To start your search on the site, all you need to do is type the keywords that describe the bike you need wheels for into the search bar on the home page. The search engine then pulls out and displays all the relevant matches. eBay allows you to refine your search using the menu for search filters found on the results page.

eBay is a marketplace open to sellers and buyers across the U.K, and because of this, the buyer has quite a few sellers to choose from. When assessing the seller, it is important to look at the seller's feedback score. Those sellers that offer quality merchandise and good customer service have the highest feedback scores. Top-rated sellers are the most credible sellers on eBay and are usually the most knowledgeable about the merchandise they list for sale. If you have any questions for the seller about a listings, it is a simple matter of going into the seller's profile, clicking on the contact link, and asking your questions.


Aftermarket motorcycle wheels are undoubtedly the cheaper choice for quality motorcycle wheels. Manufacturers of aftermarket OEM motorcycle wheels manufacture these parts according to design and quality specifications laid down by motorcycle manufacturers. There are many aftermarket motorcycle wheels out there on the market, and buyers need to ensure that the wheels they buy do in fact fit their motorcycles. Not all rims and tyres are compatible with all makes of motorcycle. To determine the correct size rim, the owner can either consult the bike's manual or parts list or contact a dealership regarding wheels specs for his or her particular bike.

There are different types of rims. The spoke rims are made of aluminium and known for their resiliency. Cast aluminium rims come with a polished or chrome finish and are the usual stocked wheels for many motorcycles. The billet rims that are carved from a block of solid aluminium and can be customised. Lightweight alloy or carbon fibre rims are lightweight and very durable and good for racing. There are also different types of tyres and the buyer needs to consider his style of biking before choosing new tyres. Online marketplaces such as eBay have thousands of listings for aftermarket motorcycle wheels for a variety of different motorcycles. Offering great quality and affordable prices, aftermarket motorcycle wheels are well worth the investment.

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