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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What are the differences in performance of 21 in. spoked front wheels vs 19 in. cast wheels? The bigger spokes are better for off-road, are they not as good on road? I'm looking at the Tiger 800 xcx and xrx. The difference is mostly front tires, suspension, and protection, and the price with all the accessories I want on both bikes is about $800 more for the xcx. If I'm looking to do more on road riding than off would it be better to go with the smaller cast wheel?
 

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There is virtually no difference in performance between spoked and cast wheels. It's just aesthetics.

Spokes are a lot harder to keep clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok cool, what about bigger vs smaller front wheel? I guess it gets you more clearance when off-roading but will it be worse for the road than a smaller wheel? Like slower accelerations or something?
 

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Not an expert or anything but from what I have read spoked wheels are more desirable off road compared to cast or forged. As I read in motorcycle magazines and such wire spoke wheels are considered stronger as there are many more spokes connecting the hub to the rim. On the street you are not as likely to be jumping the bike like a motocross or enduro bike. If you look at the more off road oriented adventure bikes they have larger diameter wheels than others like the KTM 1190 standard or more road oriented adventure as compared to the KTM1190 Adventure R model that is more off road oriented and has a two inch larger diameter on the front and I believe a one inch larger on the rear.
 

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Spoked wheels:
  • better for rough off road use since they flex on impact
  • require tubes
  • some maintenance (occasional check for loose spokes, tightening and maybe truing)
  • may be heavier
Cast wheels:
  • tubeless
  • more brittle, don't flex so risk of cracking with rough off road use
  • may be lighter than spoked wheels
  • low maintenance
Larger diameter 21 inch feels smoother off road. Smaller diameter 19 inch turn in better on the road.
 

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Thank you for making me look like an idiot Oz, at least I was right about spoked wheels being better for off road, and the bigger is better off road to.
 
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