In the 1960s, nearly all bikes rolled on wire-spoked wheels.
Then, in the ’70s, one-piece alloy wheels appeared, and these days, the vast majority of motorcycles come equipped with cast-aluminum hoops.
Even if suspending the tires from steel wires is old technology, spoked wheels are still mandatory on motocross bikes, dual-sports, and serious adventure machines because they are more durable. Spoked wheels handle impacts better and are easily repairable, unlike alloy wheels. There’s also a style aspect. Many of today’s cruisers and modern-retros run spoked wheels because they suit the aesthetics of those machines.
Aluminum-alloy wheels are what most manufacturers turn to, in part because they’re affordable to build en masse but also because they are significantly more rigid than wire-spoked wheels, and that has a lot of benefits for road riding.
But is one better than the other? Let Ari Henning from Motorcyclist Magazine guide you.