Besides the Showa front fork, the Super Motard wheels are the other important “custom” mod of this project. I went through a long list of measurements before ordering the rims as I was not certain what rim width would fit. At the end I was pleasantly surprised to see that 17×3.50 would suit the front and 17×4.25 the rear– pretty much standard for Super Motard bikes.
The wheels have to be custom made starting with the standard ‘82 XR500 hub at the rear, and a ‘90 CR500 wheel hub I bought at eBay at the front. After cleaning and painting these, they look like new. For the rims, I went with a Warp 9 36-spokes black 17×3.50 for the front, and a Warp 9 36-spokes black 17×4.25 for the rear.
To assemble and lace the wheels, everyone I spoke to recommended Woody’s Wheel Works in Denver, Colorado. And everyone was right, these guys are truly amazing and will create any wheel customization, with any lacing and offset if needed. For this project, they mounted supersized stainless steel spokes, superlaced them and used stainless steel nipples.
For tires, I selected Michelin Pilot Power, 120/70ZR-17 for the front and 150/60ZR-17 for the rear – I have had good results with these grippy tires before, and hope that I’ll be as pleased with this setup.
There is a small modification that needs to be made to the rear swingarm to make room for the rear tire. The bracket, which is used to hold one of the chain guards, needs to be removed. This is a simple operation using a typical hand grinder:
There is one more touch I want to give to these rims to provide a specific look: pimp them up by adding some rim stripes! So I bought a set of red stripes from Tapeworks – these are very easy to apply. Nice contrast:
Next step is to finish the custom electrical harness, mount a headlight, taillight, brake light, horn, adapt front and rear fenders and button everything up with a seat and gaz tank.