HomeTechnical ReviewsGSX-R1000 Project: Part 4 Dymag Carbon-Magnesium Wheels

GSX-R1000 Project: Part 4 Dymag Carbon-Magnesium Wheels

Part1:UndertailPart2:Race ExhaustPart3:Brakes


GSX-R1000 Project: Part 4 Dymag Carbon-Magnesium Wheels
By Don Smith

As much as we have grown to like our latest project bike, it still didn’t have the visual appeal we were looking for. The Leo Vince exhaust really helped the look, sound and performance, but something was still missing. If you read the earlier installments of this series, you can see that we also added a very good looking HotBodies hugger and undertail kit, and both of those also made a big difference when compared to the stocker.





But we wanted a bike that really made a visual statement without the bling-bling that is ubiquitous in the sport bike world these days. Plus we wanted everything added to the bike to have a real function as opposed to a bunch of do-nothing bolt-ons. After some careful consideration, we decided that custom lightweight wheels would satisfy both goals. Dating all the way back to the original 1999 Hayabusa project bike (http://www.dragbike.com/news/features/hayabusa_dymag.htm) we did here on Dragbike, we have always had great results from Dymag wheels. Since then we have used cast magnesium Dymags on a 209mph Turbo Hayabusa, full carbon Dymags were used on the 218mph Turbo ZX-12R Kawasaki, and we used the new forged magnesium wheels on a nitrous 1397cc Busa that went 213mph.

If that is not proof enough for you, check out Dave Owen’s 220+ mph Hayabusa and Rich Yancy’s 260+mph Hayabusa. The common thread here is that all these incredibly fast and powerful bikes are all running on Dymag wheels. So, with that kind of history, how could we pick anything else? The only option now was which style and color to get the look we wanted. Since we had already used many of the styles Dymag produces, we realized we had not tried the dual material wheel made from Magnesium and Carbon fiber. After looking through the various options visible online at www.oncycles.com (800.689.7447), we finally settled on the five-spoke carbon magnesium wheel.

The outer hoop of the wheel, where weight has the biggest effect on moment of inertia and handling, is made from carbon fiber. This wheel is fabricated from a one-piece carbon fiber rim, while the center spokes and hub are made from high purity cast magnesium. The rear wheel includes an integral cush-drive and your choice of gearing in the form of a lightweight aluminum alloy rear sprocket.

Unlike other lightweight, race-style wheels, Dymag goes the extra step to make sure their wheels will pass BS, DOT-E and JWL standards for road use. Many of the lower cost competitors in this market do not manufacturer their wheels to these standards, which often results in failures. In our years of having these mounted on many high horsepower/high torque bikes, there has not been one single failure of any type. In our case, these bikes have been drag raced, street raced and set numerous land speed records.

After looking through the 14 available color options, we decided that the red powdercoat would be the perfect compliment to the red and black paint scheme on the bike. On this wheel, only the magnesium spokes and hub carry the color, while the outer rim made from carbon is left to show its natural color. The contrast between the glossy red and black carbon make for a dramatic look.

For this application, we did not change wheel size from the factory. Since the factory engineers already made all the necessary calculations, we decided that the 3.5” front and 6” rear would be perfect and placed our order. Retail on our wheels was $2885, and much to our surprise, turnaround was exactly as quoted on the website (4-5 weeks).

Once the wheels arrived, we unboxed them and immediately placed them on the NIST calibrated scales at the Dragbike.com race shop. Next we carefully mounted up a set of the new Pirelli Diablo Corse III tires (www.pirelli-moto.com) and installed everything on the bike. Then, in order to have a comparison to stock, we then weighed the factory wheels as well. After looking at the data from the factory wheels, it is clear that Suzuki has made a conscious effort to reduce the weight of these wheels when compared to similar sportbikes from just a few years ago, making the job of further reducing weight even more difficult than ever before. The total weight loss came in at an impressive 5 lbs. 14 oz. total.

Even more impressive than that is the fact that the weight of these wheels is mainly centralized around the hub area and not at the outer rim where it would actually causes more detrimental effects on handling. This is the beauty of using carbon fiber for the outer rim and magnesium at the critical torque handling hub area.

Once on the road, the new Dymags laced up with the Pirelli tires were found to be a great combination. Not only does the bike feel like it lost 20 lbs. when riding through the twisties due to the lighter rotating mass of the wheels, but it also feels like the tires are wrapped in fly paper. After a normal warm up period, the tires inspire a lot of confidence, and we never felt any transition between the softer side and the more mileage-oriented center section.

In this case, beauty is more than skin deep. Not only did the two-tone Dymag wheels give us the drop dead sexy look we wanted, they really made an improvement in handling along with the Pirelli tires. If you are looking for the ultimate performance accessory for your bike, you should strongly consider this setup.

Part1:UndertailPart2:Race ExhaustPart3:Brakes

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