Bent Rims

Well I knew Honda had soft wheels and this last week end I found out how soft. I was out riding in Carson City with a couple of TT'ers last week end to let the BRP's run a little. We ran a really nice 47 mile loop Keith S. showed me sometime ago. At the end of the loop there was a fast dirt road that I had to do a couple of times. My GPS read max speed with stock gearing at 87.4 mph. Somewhere at speed I hit a rock in the road not once, not twice, but three times. On the forth pass I was riding side by side with Shawn and I see this 12" rock sticking up about 3". As I passed I laughed and thought; thats it. I get back to camp and I look at my front wheel and find it's square, big time. I checked the tire pressure and I was down to 16 psi. I started at 20 but should have run 22-24. It looks like it's time for new rims, how about gold.


In those conditions, tire pressure is your insurance. Using a gold rim and hitting a 3" high rock at 87 MPH is still going to get you a bent rim. A wise man (Bruce "O") once told me that the stock rim is the sacrifical lamb. It will bend first. If you put stronger rims and spokes without changing the stock hub, the hub then becomes the weakest part and will fail. You can get in on bent rims and even broken spokes. A broken hub is very iffy.

Hope this helps. :)

Interesting theory! If you look at that way, it makes sense. The cost of a stock rim is way less expensive than a whole new wheel assembly as far as my pocket book goes. I've been running 14 psi fr. & 12 psi bk. for all around riding. I've smacked rocks in sandwashes in 5th gear, fully bottoming my forks, have barely detectable flat spot or two on the front. I really watched my spokes during break-in and I tuned them like a piano. They all make the same sound (pitch) for each side of the hub if you ping them with the spoke wrench. At 20 psi what kind of traction are you getting? Seems kinda hard to me. Is that a Baja setting? Just wondering.

With the right tire traction is good. I'm running the 756 right now and with 20-22 psi. The tire grips fine, no slipping in turns. Also there are lots of rocks and sand where I ride. I can say I've only had one front flat tire in my life. 4 rear flats do to nails but no pinch flats. I rode a XR600 for 3 years and bent the rims but nothing like this. I think i'll hang it on the wall when I get it off.

When we do Baja rides people start off running normal tire pressures and after they get a flat and I have to fix it I make them run 20 psi. After the second flat there running 24+. Now if your running a stiff side wall like a DOT tire you can run lower tire pressures. Tire pressure is relative to the tire and terrain your riding in. So don't everybody get all upset if you run lower pressures than I do.

MoreDesert, Thanks for the input. One of my future goals is to ride in Baja. Your first hand experience is very valuable and appeciated. This is what makes this site so fine! May your heavy duty tubes always be full of air!

My wheels are pretty dinged up. Whenever I get a big "smile" on one of my rims I just take a sledge hammer to it. It works just fine. I've been doing this for years. Personally I would never run more that 15psi, anything more and you're just gonna slide all over that place. 20 pounds for off-road use is crazy. Just my opinion.

Well when you ride close to 90 MPH in the desert and hit a rock, 20 PSI can seem a little low. I start out with a good open face tire like the Dunlop 765 or the M-12 which has good side wall traction. By running high tire presure the side walls dont flex and the side knobs grip rocks with out slipping. Now when I ware out a tire the side tread is gone and starts to give way in turns. Then I replace it. Unless your riding at slow speeds or use a tire like the stock one then 15 psi is good. As soon as I turn on the gas I find the front end giving in turns until I get enough air in the tires and get that no give feeling. That works out to be 20-24 psi with the above tires. Also I think riding stile has something to do with it. I learned to ride at speeds and I have a hard time riding slow. I don't ride in mud very much and 10-14 psi seems to work there OK.

I did take the big sledge hammer to the front wheel today and it looks much better. I just need it to last one more week end. I'll change the rims before I pre-run the 1000.

What collor rims should I get?


If I was you, I'd go with green. That way I'd be able pick up out of the herd. :)

Green...You Funny. I was thinking gold or black but they look like crap after about 6 months. I might just go with Silver.

I owned a green rim at one time. I set it on the lawn and could not find it. Great thread. I appreciate it!

When you guys are whacking away on your rims, are you using a regular sledge? Does it mare the surface or do you use something to protect the finish of the rim?

No, :) I just beat the day lights out of it and cleaned it up with a file. As bad as this was bent it didn't mater. I'll be replacing them soon.

Yeah Baby! When in doubt...Smash It!

Hey MoreDesert,

What kind of aftermarket rim you going for? I saw an add for the new DID rims and they look pretty well constructed. Keep us updated us on what rim, spoke, hub combo you get.

I have a new, unused rim... DID silver for a 2000 XR600R. I own an XR650L, and these do not interchange, So I went to a SUN as they would punch the correct spoke pattern for the L. I do not know if the 600R and 650R use the same rim. I will let go for cheap.

I'll look into it next week. I have one more weekend of rim trashing in Carson City before I leave for Baja. I'll put new rims before I leave again.

A nice shade of orange, KTM orange. I'm with Mike after the Mystery 250, 20 pounds minimum pressure, we were passing dudes left and right changing tires, you just have to get used to a little more slide, that CLANG is rim noise, not forks, air 'em up! I'd rather crash than change a tire... oh wait, can I qualify that?

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