Weight: front: 5.50 lbs.; rear: 10.38 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 217 lb. in2; rear: 304 lb. in2
These five-spoke carbon-fiber wheels are easily the lightest 17-inch hoops in the test, and also have the lowest MoI of the 17-inchers. The front wheel, at just 5.5 pounds, is the lightest overall. Fabricated in South Africa, the carbon rim and spokes are bolted and glued to aluminum hubs (though magnesium hubs are available for even more weight savings). Fit is excellent. Our test rear wheel's cush drive was a bit sloppy, and while the wheels are for the most part magnificent, the outside of the rims appear very rough and unfinished.
Weight: front: 9.42 lbs.; rear: 14.02 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 421 lb. in2; rear: 587 lb. in2
Price: $2180 ($1480 in black anodized finish)
Formerly Hi Point wheels, these Carrozzeria forged aluminum wheels are made in the United States. The front wheel is a one-piece design, and has one-size-larger bearings with an internal spacer. The rear wheel has two bearings on the brake side, and bolt-on brake and cush-drive carriers. The rear wheel's spacers are held by dust seals, like the stockers. The machining on our test wheels appeared a bit rough; otherwise, fit and finish are good. The wheels carry the JWL (a Japanese quality standard) logo, and the hoops shown here have a nickel-chromium-plate finish, an additional $700 cost for the pair.
Dymag Custom Carbon
Weight: front: 7.30 lbs.; rear: 12.38 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 301 lb. in2; rear: 406 lb. in2
Unable to supply a set of GSX-R1000 wheels in time for our test, MaxMoto sent ZX-9R Dymags as a substitute. The British-made wheels feature carbon-fiber rims glued and bolted to cast magnesium spoke/hub internals. Note where the weight and MoI numbers fall in relation to the other wheels, and you can see how important the rim weight is for inertia. The front hub is a single unit, while the rear has a bolt-on brake carrier. The cush drive is cast into the Dymag's hub, and a sprocket is supplied. While the wheels look beautifully made, our test front wheel was a bit wobbly-halfway to the normal service limit.
Weight: front: 6.86 lbs.; rear: 11.62 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 282 lb. in2; rear: 421 lb. in2
Used by the Yoshimura Suzuki team, these Japanese-made forged magnesium wheels are among the lightest in the test, grouped closely with the other forged magnesium rims. The front wheel is fabricated in one piece, and the rear has a bolt-on carrier on the disc side-the cush drive is forged into the wheel with a special, 530-series sprocket included. A minor-but important-detail: These wheels came in the nicest, safest packaging. Finish on our black powdercoated examples is excellent, and they mounted up nicely to the GSX-R. The JBs are marked with the JWL stamp.
Lightcon Twin System
Weight: front: 11.64 lbs.; rear: 19.56 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 512 lb. in2; rear: 786 lb. in2
Heavier than the stock Suzuki wheels, the German-made Lightcons are claimed to be stronger and more durable. Cast in two halves and welded together, our test wheels incorporate an SLC finish (Surface Like Chrome, an electrostatic-applied powder) that adds almost one pound to each wheel. The rear's cush drive is more substantial than most, and the front bolt-on brake carriers have blind holes that require special screws-included along with a sprocket. The wheels are marked with TÜV (a strict German testing standard), JWL and DOT approvals (though other required DOT markings are not present).
Marchesini forged aluminum
Weight: front: 8.82 lbs.; rear: 13.80 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 362 lb. in2; rear: 496 lb. in2
Typically Italian, these Marchesini wheels are beautifully crafted as well as functional-they are among the lightest of the aluminum hoops, as well as having close to the lowest MoI values of that group. The front wheel has bolt-on disc carriers, and the rear cush drive has beefy nylon blocks as opposed to the small rubber donuts typical of most other aftermarket rims. The rear brake carrier is bolted on; valve stems and a special rear sprocket are required but not included. Fit and finish are excellent-our samples are gold anodized.
Marchesini forged magnesium
Weight: front: 6.54 lbs.; rear: 11.12 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 276 lb. in2; rear: 373 lb. in2
Appearing almost identical to the company's forged aluminum wheels but powdercoated rather than anodized, these two examples highlight the differences a simple material change can make in weight, MoI and cost. As opposed to the aluminum Marchesinis, the front is a one-piece design; the rear, however, has the same nylon-block cush drive and bolt-on disc hub-the special sprocket and valve stems are not included. The Marchesinis are the lightest and have the lowest MoI of the 17-inch metal wheels in the test, just edging out the JB-Power hoops in both measurements.
Weight: front: 7.46 lbs.; rear: 12.16 lbs.
Moment of Inertia: front: 327 lb. in2; rear: 437 lb. in2
While cast magnesium was once the standard for aftermarket wheels, the two Marvic styles are the only such examples in the test (Marvic-forged wheels will soon be available). As you would expect, the cast magnesium wheels in general are slightly heavier than the forged magnesium hoops. The Italian Pentas feature five solid spokes, and are one-piece castings-no bolt-on hubs front or rear. A fully machined version (the Penta 2) is available. Fit and finish are outstanding (these examples are powdercoated; unpainted gold chromate is available), though the rear brake-side spacer is a bit thin and could mushroom over time.