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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing some looking and I can't find anything in the stock size towards finding a light weight / performance wheel set.
I have found a few companies making sets that fit the Moto3 sizes, 2.50 X 17 and 3.50 X 17. Granted these are about $3000 for the set, I can't think of a better performance upgrade.

Oz Racing - OZ MOTORBIKE - OZ MOTORBIKE - CATTIVA R

Does anyone have any experience with this size of wheel? Or has anyone found another light weight wheel option?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've read a few others say that they've compared their wheels to other standard size sportbike wheels and that the little Honda wheels are still heavier then the bigger 6 X 17 wheels. Has anyone weighed the wheels without tires?
 

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No, but I would be curious to know what they weigh too. I think for the money those wheels would need to be super light. I wouldn't want to invest 3K in a set of wheels for a 5K bike personally.

Another way of reducing reciprocating mass is careful tire selection based on weight. For example a set of OEM IRC's weigh 21.5 lbs whereas a set of Bridgestone S20 Evo's weigh only 19.8lbs. So there's nearly two lbs right there.

Also... my aluminium rear sprocket weighs one third the weight of the OEM steel one.

I'm still trying to track down an aftermarket aluminium swing arm...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I just saw the picture of a CBR250R with the CBR650F swingarm and wheels, not sure where the front forks came from. . . But that's enough to question if another swingarm, CBR600 or 650F, might fit without too much needed for the swap. And if the stock wheels from a larger bike are lighter then the 300's then I'll just source the wheels and suspension from another bike.
 

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I think a swing arm off a 600 or 650 would probably be over-engineered for the 30HP output of our bikes therefore being quite heavy even tho made from aluminium.
There was an out fit called Asia Racing products making aluminium swing arms for CBR250R's a couple of years back but i cant seem to find any trace of them now. I'm guessing they were Thailand based.
 

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... I wouldn't want to invest 3K in a set of wheels for a 5K bike personally...

$3000 for a set of wheels?... I can't even imagine putting that kind of money into my CBR.

As it is, I spend enough just on OEM replacement parts necessary for the vintage restoration projects I have going on.
 

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Even if the wheels weigh next to nothing, I don't know if it would be worth it. I'd stick with OEM because of the R&D on the balance of having it all: Performance, fuel efficiency, strength, weight, etc.

Saving the $3k is only the cherry on the top.
 
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$3k for wheels is absurd, they aren't even carbon fiber...the best performance upgrade anyone can do is go to school, take rider skills improvement courses do some track days learn what your bike and tires are capable of doing. After I would say 5-10 laps, Rossi riding a cbr300r can lap anyone of us riding much more high performance bikes ie R1, R6, etc.

I'm about to change tires soon. I'll weight the stock wheels and the worn out stock IRC. Bias ply will be heavier and is just lower performer in every category except for cost compared to radials.
 

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$3k for wheels is absurd, they aren't even carbon fiber...the best performance upgrade anyone can do is go to school, take rider skills improvement courses do some track days learn what your bike and tires are capable of doing. After I would say 5-10 laps, Rossi riding a cbr300r can lap anyone of us riding much more high performance bikes ie R1, R6, etc.

I'm about to change tires soon. I'll weight the stock wheels and the worn out stock IRC. Bias ply will be heavier and is just lower performer in every category except for cost compared to radials.
Amen to that statement..brother. I totally agree!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For a motorcycle so limited on power, rotational mass, inertia, and unsprung weight are everything. Someone from a different thread had commented that our stock wheels with tires are significantly heavier then a set of Hayabusa wheels. That being said, any weight off of the stock wheel and tire package would pay huge dividends in what performance the bike is capable of. And yes we are talking about a small entry level bike. Even still, there is always room for improvement.

And personally, I'd much rather spend the money on the wheels and have a stock, unstressed, drivetrain then spend the money to try and work a few more horsepower from this little powerplant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR3nVx1aaTo
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And to be clear. This bike is a learner for my GF, when she's done and moved on to another bike, it'll become my toy. I'll be taking it into the canyons of Mulholland and Angeles Crest HW. I love embarrassing big bikes with these little underpowered pieces. I'm planning on suspension swaps to improve handling and to find better brakes, maybe a KTM fork will end up on the bike.
So being that this is long term speculation, I'm not too worried about the costs involved.
 

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I would be pretty seriously embarrassed to get caught by a 300 on any 600cc or larger bike. Good luck with that and let us know how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would be pretty seriously embarrassed to get caught by a 300 on any 600cc or larger bike. Good luck with that and let us know how it goes!
Coming down Angeles Crest last summer, I pissed off a Ducati and a ZX10R while I was on my brothers Honda Rebel. Sparks from the foot pegs and scrapes all over the kickstand.
They weren't out pacing me on the curves until things straightened out a bit. At the bottom there's a Shell station where most guys will meet up and they inspected the bike to see what's been done to make it faster. lol The bike was all stock except for a 1T taller front gear.
I'd say that downhill adds at least 10 hp!
 

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For a motorcycle so limited on power, rotational mass, inertia, and unsprung weight are everything. Someone from a different thread had commented that our stock wheels with tires are significantly heavier then a set of Hayabusa wheels. That being said, any weight off of the stock wheel and tire package would pay huge dividends in what performance the bike is capable of. And yes we are talking about a small entry level bike. Even still, there is always room for improvement.

And personally, I'd much rather spend the money on the wheels and have a stock, unstressed, drivetrain then spend the money to try and work a few more horsepower from this little powerplant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR3nVx1aaTo
Anything, including these small Honda CBR's can be improved upon if time & money is no object. About $1200 will get you a very good working front and rear suspension. Another $1000 - $1200 will get you into a full exhaust, fuel controller & dyno tune... and the list goes on.

If you've got that kind of money to throw down on a set of those trick wheels, go for it. There was a member on the CBR250R forum a couple years back who had close to $13,000 USD into his bike, and when it was all said and done, it was still just a 250 with less than 30 HP. To each their own.

Going back to your opening post, I don't think you'll find much first hand experience/feedback on this question of light weight wheels, or for that matter on many of the other expensive components & modifications on these forums. 95% of the people who buy these bikes do so because they are inexpensive to start with, and are either a stepping stone to their next sport bike (aka Fanatic), or are content to ride the wheels off the bike in it's stock form as it came from the factory.

And for many of us, $3000 is the cost of the next clean used bike on "The Motorcycle Want List", or is a nice chunk of money to put towards buying the next brand new one. Heck, my 2001 Honda XR400R, which was in nearly new condition when I bought it from the original owner 5 years ago, cost me a mere $2000. A year later I bought my 1993 Honda CT70 Mini-Trail for $1000, also in mint condition, with 375 original miles on the clock. The point being that for many folks, $3000 can get some pretty cool stuff that feeds 'the motorcycle addiction' in ways that a set of uber light, trick race wheels can never do. As long as whatever you end up with floats your boat, it's all good. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That's why I'm saying that it would be a waste of time and resources to try and get more horsepower out of this bike. The front suspension can be revalved but there is no adjustability, another set of forks can cure this as well as supply the bike with a radially mounted caliper. There are options for replacing the rear shock which may do enough.

We can agree that there isn't much to be had from this engine, ( I could try bumping up the compression and displacement, supplementing this with a couple available cams and the best after tuning that I think would be obtainable would maybe be just over 40 hp ) but a light set of wheels might lower the rotational mass by 4 + lbs per wheel, which would be a very noticeable change.

I had the ability to ride a friend's Kawasaki GPZ750, their old turbo motorcycle. The engine was impressive enough but the bike felt good. The wheels weren't original, he had swapped them out with a set from a modern Z1000. He had previously rebuilt the engine and added a newer style ball bearing style turbo and by his accounts the greatest change was from the lighter weight wheels which had taken off roughly 15 lbs between the front and rear.

I would love to find a more affordable option then to spend $3000 for a set of wheels. I'm looking into the options out there, but if that's all there is then that'll be the final addition to this bike in a year or two.
 

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... We can agree that there isn't much to be had from this engine, (I could try bumping up the compression and displacement, supplementing this with a couple available cams and the best after tuning that I think would be obtainable would maybe be just over 40 hp)...
Well, their have been a few who have gone into these 250R motors and found more ponies in the area of 30 hp (not sure if 40 hp is very realistic from the 286cc version), but not without the added expense of having to then run $10 - $12/gallon race gas to prevent detonation. To me the bigger question isn't "can it be done?" (finding more HP), but rather what kind of long term reliability would such a modified motor have. I have my doubts that such a highly strung engine would last very long in a normal day in, day out sort of usage.
 

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Coming down Angeles Crest last summer, I pissed off a Ducati and a ZX10R while I was on my brothers Honda Rebel. Sparks from the foot pegs and scrapes all over the kickstand.
They weren't out pacing me on the curves until things straightened out a bit. At the bottom there's a Shell station where most guys will meet up and they inspected the bike to see what's been done to make it faster. lol The bike was all stock except for a 1T taller front gear.
I'd say that downhill adds at least 10 hp!


Kept up with a ZX10R on a rebel? Either they were taking it easy or weren't very good riders..... (not to discount your l33t skillz)


Good times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, their have been a few who have gone into these 250R motors and found more ponies in the area of 30 hp (not sure if 40 hp is very realistic from the 286cc version), but not without the added expense of having to then run $10 - $12/gallon race gas to prevent detonation. To me the bigger question isn't "can it be done?" (finding more HP), but rather what kind of long term reliability would such a modified motor have. I have my doubts that such a highly strung engine would last very long in a normal day in, day out sort of usage.
Which is why I'm looking towards other avenues of effecting performance change.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Kept up with a ZX10R on a rebel? Either they were taking it easy or weren't very good riders..... (not to discount your l33t skillz)


Good times.
They were employees from a ducati rental shop. And unless someone is looking to be recklessly aggressive, there isn't much of a passing opportunity in the corners
 

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I would be pretty seriously embarrassed to get caught by a 300 on any 600cc or larger bike. Good luck with that and let us know how it goes!
When canyon racing it can be done quite easily on this bike if your an experienced peg scraper.
It's surprising how many riders on big sports bikes don't have the skills to match their wallet. :laugh:
 
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