After my last wheel purchase, I wrote an article about that wheel, which was a Warp 9 Elite complete wheel. I have a few gripes about that wheel, but I decided to follow up with an article promoting Excel rims. I figured this might be helpful for those of you out there trying to decide on what rims to buy. Rims are an investment. You can save some money buying rims and spokes separately and lacing them up yourself but that requires time and patience. Optionally, you can buy pre built wheels individually or as a set.
Now I certainly have not tried every wheel brand available. In actuality, I only have experience with a few of them. Realistically, how often does a person need to buy rims? Hopefully not too often. Of course sometimes you might replace rims strictly for aesthetic reasons. I personally have only purchased rims as a necessity.
As a kid in the 1970’s I rode several dirt bikes ranging from Suzuki TM 70, RM 80, RM100, TM 250, and RM250. Maybe the TM 70 was a 75, I forget. I even rode the RM370, but that was dad’s bike. When I graduated high school, dad got me a 1981 Suzuki PE400 as a graduation present. I believe all of those bikes used D.I.D. rims. I may be wrong.
Dad, my brother and I were pretty heavy in to riding back in those days, mainly riding trails and doing hill climbs. My dad raced a bit of motocross so of course we frequented the race track as well. Most of the bikes I rode were not kept for very long that I can recall. If you have kids you know they grow out of things very quickly. The PE 400 though, I had for many years. I rode the crap out of that bike. I climbed with it, I rode wheelies with it, motocrossed with it etc. etc. I got full use out of that bike. So much so that I felt guilty about selling it when it no longer suited my needs. Long story short, I never had a single rim failure until the end of life on the PE when I cracked the front wheel. The local weld shop fixed it perfectly.
I had a long spell of not riding because life happens. Even so, I always carried a certain passion for motocross. After I finally got myself straightened out, I sought to find a used motocross bike when I was in my early 30’s. I bought a 1987 Honda CR 250R somewhere around 1995 or 1996. That bike was in amazing condition and ran extremely well. It handled great and was very fast… and it had Excel rims.
I rode moto a lot with that bike at my local track which is a man’s track to say the least. That track was the roughest there is. It always had the biggest most gnarly pot holes and ruts. It was dry, hard and rocky. I got pretty good with that CR and decided to give racing a try. My first race ever, I raced the 250 B class. It was the last race of the year and I missed the novice races, so the event organizers let me jump in with the B’s. Naturally, I got my rear handed to me, but I still rode well and even got some cheers when I skied over the big double. After that, I knew I wanted to keep racing so I sold the bike to a friend so I could upgrade. Still, that bike was a good one and I never had any problems with it what so ever.
My next bike was a 1997 KX250. I think I bought it in 98, used. It was already fitted with Excel rims. It had little use on it when I got it. I loved that bike although I was never convinced it was any faster than my old CR. A little port work changed that though. Whatever, I raced many events in the Vet novice class and was the season champion in 1999. A lot of racing and a lot of jumping and those Excel rims held up great.
I traded that bike for a 2000 CR 250R after a long recovery from some serious injuries I had crashing the KX. Nothing wrong with the KX, I just wanted to get the new CR. It took me a bit of time to get back in riding condition (thanks to my friend who would kick start it for me). I raced a couple of novice races and moved on to the B class. The CR was great, but I decided to move on to the new CRF. I raced both the 2002 and 2005 Honda CRF 450’s. I think I achieved my best riding while on the ’05.
I rode those bikes pretty hard and eventually broke some rims. I even cracked a frame. The frame on my ’02 broke but I thought it should never have (I was never a Jeremy McGrath). Honda agreed and gave me a new one. Anyway, all of the rims I broke were on the rear and they were the D.I.D.. During that time, I tried the Warp 9 and the Pro Wheel rims. I broke all of them and went back to buying Excel. Problem solved! No more broken rims.
My whole point here is to provide some information that may help you to decide on your rim purchase. Are the Warp 9, D.I.D. and Pro Wheel rims bad? I am not saying that at all. Motocross puts a lot of stress on the wheels. What I am saying is that the Excel Rims always proved to be superior wheels. I gave the Warp 9 Elite a shot recently, but I have been beating myself up over it wishing I stuck with Excel.
If you are interested in purchasing Excel Rims, you can get them here