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Ultima Spoke Wheels Review - Porkers Tech Tips
Looking for a cheap set of spoke wheels? Ultima's are as cheap as they get, but the low price does come at a cost.
Ultima, Midwest Motorcycle's house brand, is known for supplying some of the most reasonably priced parts in the business.
One of their best sellers are their spoke motorcycle wheels. They offer 40, 60, and 80 spoke versions, in a variety of common sizes. Most of their 40 spoke wheels are direct OEM fitment, and are sized and sold as such. The 60 and 80 spoke versions offer much wider versions for the custom bike builder.
Overall, the chrome and materials used aren't bad. Like many of Ultima's products, they are made overseas, and thus the low price. They seem to run true, and the rim portion holds up well. They come in single and dual flanged versions (front), depending upon application. The hubs are machined decently, and the bearings races and seals fit snugly. The bearings included, however, leave something to be desired. Do yourself a favor and buy a set of timkin bearings to replace them with.
However, I've had numerous complaints from customers about the spokes breaking and coming loose after a short period on the 40 spoke versions. In fact, on several occasions, I have experienced loose spokes right out of the box. Ultima claims to have address the problem, and I have not seen it since, but nonetheless it still deters me.
On a side note, no 40 spoke wheel, and especially not these, should be used on a big horsepower bike unless they are "fat spokes", or if you use stainless spokes and lace them yourself. They just don't hold up in my experience. The 60 and 80 spoke versions, however, seem to hold up very well, even to big horsepower bikes. The extra spokes do make a difference, and aren't a whole lot more money.
I would recommend the 40 spokes on lower horsepower stock bikes that don't get beat much (or in other words, 2% of the people that view this site). Otherwise, steer clear unless you feel comfortable tightening spokes and possibly relacing. The 60 and 80 spoke versions, on the other hand, are a good value and do take a beating.
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