From earliest days of the automobile before the sixties, all the bikes came with the wire spoked wheels or also known as spoked rims. Bikes like Triumph Bonneville, Norton Commando, Royal Enfield Bullet were rolled out with the wire spoked wheels. But in the earlier 70s, a new type of tires was introduced which had a few wider alloy spokes instead of large no of wire spokes. These days most of the vehicles come with the alloy wheels but we still see modern bikes like Honda CB 1100 and also they are mandatory on motocross bikes dual sports and ATVs. Let’s know the comparison between these two types of rims.
# First consider the wire spoked wheels
It still holds a large portion of rims market due to a key factor and the factor is Durability. The durability of the spoked rims is much higher than the alloy rims.It has uniform radial load distribution through its wires. And also in the case spoke rims the by the flexible property it effectively absorbs some shock and behaves like a part of the suspension. For well-distributed load, its lifespan is very impressive compared to Alloy wheel. And due to this reason, off-road motorcycle and other motocross are equipped with wire spoked rims. In off-road bikes like Kawasaki KLR650, Honda XR 650L, Suzuki DR-Z400S the wire spoked wheel is used.
@ EASY TO REPAIR
The second thing is it is easy to repair.If any spoke is damaged and the rim is bent, then the parts are replaced easily and it can reuse at a very low maintenance cost. But in case of alloy rims once the wheel is damaged the entire wheel will be getting waste, then you will have to buy a new one.
There is a styling aspect to consider motorcycles like the BMW R9T Scrambler and other many old bike manufacturers like Enfield choose the wire spoked rims to maintain their image.Some modern bikes also come with wire spoked rims to have a classic look.
So durability and easy to repair are the primary advantages of wire spoked wheel over the alloy wheels.
Rigidity is the main characteristic of an Alloy wheel. It is much rigid than the wire spoked wheel and the benefits of it seem on the road riding.
@EASY TO MANUFACTURE
The casting and complete manufacturing of an alloy wheel don’t need any human involvement. But in case of wire spoked rims, human labor is needed and it takes a lot of time.So all types of bike manufacturers prefer alloy wheel for their economic benefit.
@ HANDLING A BIG TIRE, HIGH TORQUE, AND HIGH POWER
Compare to wire spoked rims, alloy wheel can handle more torque and more power. And a few alloy spokes can hold a larger tire.
@FOR TUBELESS TIRES
Nowadays all the alloy wheels have universally tubeless tires which makes tire changing and plugging punctures a lot easier.
The lighter wheel can improve handling by reducing unsprung mass allowing the suspension to follow the terrain closely and thus improve the grip. But not all the alloy wheels are lighter this merit is only applicable for magnesium alloy wheels but presently most alloys are aluminum and cast steel. Actually, the weight of wheel depends upon the application of wheel.
These are the comparisons between Wire spoked wheels and alloy wheels. Basically, we can say that Wire spoked wheel vs Alloy wheel is equivalent to durability vs rigidity.