Review by James Parchman
[This Woody’s Wheel Works Review was originally published in the January 2008 issue of Rider magazine]
Thankfully, most motorcycle owners realize that attention to the condition of the tires is part of being a smart cyclist. Both monetarily, and because crashing in a curve due to a too-slick skin is just no fun.
Equally important, but receiving far less scrutiny, are those shiny whirligigs our tires mount upon. This is a real shame, considering that while a new set of tires can be had for less than $300, new stock wheels can easily be double that amount. Replacement custom wheels for your Harley Fat Boy or Honda Gold Wing could set you back 3Gs. One serious potholing or curb-jumping may critically damage a wheel, while the tire lives to fight another day. Unfortunately, should damage to a wheel occur you are apt to find that there are more options available for local and reputable ghost-busters than for motorcycle wheel repair shops.
We experienced a front wheel shimmy on a BMW R1150GS after mounting, balancing and rebalancing a new tire. The dealer attributed it to a slightly bent wheel and said we could live with it or replace the rim at a cost exceeding $500. Luck was with us–as the problem was actually tire related, but our friend Jay was not so fortunate. His GS, which had only been off-road on a couple of occasions, proved to have seriously bent rims, both front and rear. BMW developed a unique process in building the GS wheel, traditional looks and strength of a spoked wire wheel coupled with the convenience of tubeless tires. These have proved very popular with consumers, but finding a source qualified to repair and true the rim took some doing.
Fortunately we found Woody’s. T.G. “Woody” Witte is a professional wheeler-dealer, which is the highest compliment you can pay someone in the business of repairing and/or customizing motorcycle (and auto) wheels. Since 1973, the former Marine Corps pilot and motorcycle road racer has perfected the craft of motorcycle wheel repair and modification. Woody and his experienced crew (including son Chris) do almost anything to a motorcycle wheel that physics and your Visa card will allow. Woody’s Denver, Colorado, shop is one of a handful of places in the USA with the expertise and technical equipment to repair, true and lace BMW’s wire wheels. Woody worked his magic on Jay’s wheels, which were repaired, trued and returned promptly. The GS rides like new without the excessive wallet damage replacement stockers would have incurred.
Other services include sealing of wire wheels to allow for tubeless tires (wheel must have safety bead) and powdercoating. Our Suzuki V-Strom came with black cast wheels, which didn’t bring out the machine’s sporty look. Woody stripped and powdercoated the Suzuki’s wheels in metallic silver that really improved the Strom’s appearance. Another specialty is the SUPERLACE process for wire wheels. The rim is drilled and countersunk, allowing oversized spokes and nipples. The spokes get torqued tighter and require less future adjusting, and the wheels stand up better to hard off-road riding.
If a professional wheeler-dealer is something you require, keep Woody’s Wheel Works in mind as a first-class option.
For more information contact Woody’s Wheel Works, 2226 South Jason Street, Denver, Colorado 80223; (866) 936-0232; www.woodyswheelworks.com