Author Topic: Astralite Wheels - Care and Maintenance  (Read 6370 times)

HOCAdmin

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Astralite Wheels - Care and Maintenance
« on: August 18, 2012, 08:42:52 PM »
(Contributed by Mick Broom and originally published as a Top Tip in Sock 96 - HOC Admin).

Most seasoned Hesketh owners are aware of the issues with Astralite wheels, but more recent owners may not be aware and might find the following useful:

The Astralite wheel was chosen for the Hesketh after evaluation of cast type wheels proved to be unsatisfactory.  The original Astralite wheels were made for racing only, at a time when this type of construction gave a lighter wheel, which in turn gave a better performance and handling.



After road tests on the bike, we decided that, to give us confidence in the wheel we needed to change the construction and instigate some industry standard tests (which are still generally used today).  We changed the profile of the rim to better suit the way the wheels were made and give a longer life plus, later wheels used thicker material so beware; all Astralites are not the same!!

Whilst the construction is simple, it does use rivets in tension to hold the assembly together.  This is not normal practice, as rivets perform far better when they are in shear.  This was the main reason for all the tests with MIRA, ALCAN  and Dawson Harmsworth (The wheel manufacturers).

Practical experience of everyday use with these wheels has shown that you need to be careful when changing tyres due to the soft alloy rims.  Additionally, and if you exceed the tyre pressures or carry the kitchen sink on the bike, the parting loads and possible age hardening of the rivet can lead to a failure of the rivets located next to the wheel spoke root, which allows the rim to spread.  Fortunately, this normally develops as a progressive failure, involves the heavier loaded rear wheel, so routine inspection (particularly at the spoke root) should show any early signs of the fault.

So, what can you do..?  Well, if you ride a heavily loaded bike and/or exceed the recommended 36psi tyre pressures, you may want to consider the solution which is to replace the initial rivets which fail with appropriately rated bolts.  This is an easy operation which Hesketh Motorcycles can complete, if required.  Failing that, other options include complete wheel replacement.  I never considered these necessary on my own bike, or any of the bikes I sold, but I would recommend it for the serious tourer with panniers fitted.


« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 07:50:32 PM by HOCAdmin »
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Miti

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Re: Astralite Wheels - Care and Maintenance
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2012, 08:18:41 PM »
Quote
Shamelessly lifted from the Classic Motorcycle Racing Forum:

Astralite Wheels« on: October 30, 2012, 01:56:08 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Guys

Astralite Wheels are once again in production after a break of twenty years.

The first wheels  are for the TZ250/350 upto 1981
2.5" x 18" front and 3.5" x 18" rear
Made to suit standard Yamaha fitment discs and sprockets front and rear

Also available is a 4.0" x 18" rear to suit the TZ750, RG500 and P&M F1 bikes. The rear can be made with the Astralite cush drive system and the RG500 rear can be made to suit the Suzuki 7 bolt sprocket fitting.

Other sizes and diameters will follow depending on demand

Contact
Paul Allender
RennStar Ltd
0114 283 0727
07584 994825

Web site under construction
www.astralitewheels.com
www.rennstar.com

Wonder if they'll be interested in repair/refurbishment work..?

Miti
1975 Triumph Trident 750 (New Project)
1980 Yamaha XS1100 (Midnight Special)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Trike Project)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Reg'd 1985)
1982 Hesketh V1000 (Pre-Production Engine)

Rob B

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Re: Astralite Wheels - Care and Maintenance
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2012, 08:41:51 PM »
Pricing looks reasonable to me but those who thought I was trying to rip them off with the cost of my last batch of MOTAD exhaust systems won't agree.

Edited by HOCAdmin 29/11/2012 - Deleted details relocated to this post

HOCAdmin
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 10:28:21 PM by HOCAdmin »
RB

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Miti

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Re: Astralite Wheels - Care and Maintenance
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2014, 11:57:07 AM »
There is more info regarding Astralite Wheel Failure, repair options and suchlike in this post

Hope that helps

Jeff
1975 Triumph Trident 750 (New Project)
1980 Yamaha XS1100 (Midnight Special)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Trike Project)
1981 Yamaha XS1100 Sport (Reg'd 1985)
1982 Hesketh V1000 (Pre-Production Engine)