Yamaha is an Asian manufacturing company that produces well-made motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs. Anyone that owns a Yamaha motorcycle will eventually need to replace the wheels, whether for aesthetic purposes or to repair damage. Before taking that motorcycle into a mechanic to do the job for you, consider learning more about Yamaha wheels and rims to buy and replace on your own. Yamaha produces several lines of motorcycles, so it offers a few different types of stock wheel rims for its vehicles.
Some rims are better for off-roading, and others are intended for heavier leisure bikes used in long distance travel. Once you decide what type of rim works best for your bike, you can also find the tools to replace the rim with a little research. Tools and Yamaha wheel rims can be found through the Yamaha manufacturer, motorcycle specialty shops, manufacturing websites, and the auction site, eBay Motors.
Parts of a Yamaha Motorcycle Wheel
The average Yamaha motorcycle is built like other brands of motorcycles. It has just two wheels, an engine, transmission, handlebars, brakes, and an aluminum or steel frame. The wheels, also known as rims, of the motorcycle are smaller and thinner than a car’s wheels. This allows for a more streamlined look and reduces weight on the frame. Motorcycles have a designated front and rear wheel, which typically cannot be switched.
The two different wheels each serve a specific purpose, with the front wheel being responsible for turning and the rear wheel providing stability and traction. Wheel rims are made from aluminum and steel. They have a rubber tire placed over them to help the bike grip the road, cushion the metal wheel from damage, and provide a better ride for the driver. Yamaha motorcycles use primarily pneumatic tires, which are just curved rubber wheels sealed to the rim and filled with air. Some motorcycles also use inner tubes to help preserve air pressure.
Types of Yamaha Wheels and Rims
Motorcycle owners can choose from one of a few different types of wheel rims for their Yamaha motorcycle. Most Yamaha motorcycles use only a particular size wheel, the sizing information of which is easy to find cut into the underside of the wheel rim. However, it is possible to switch out the stock wheel with one of another design or construction as long as it is the same size. Most Yamaha off-road motorcycles come standard with spoke wheels. Some of its leisure brands, such as the Royal Star line, have heavy-duty solid wheels to support a larger bike.
Spoke Wheel Rims
Spoke wheels are made of multiple pieces. The wheel rim is cast as one solid piece, and it is laced inside with thin, metal spokes. Spoke wheels aren’t as common as they used to be in motorcycles. Spokes can become clogged up with mud and are more difficult to clean. The spokes can also break and pop out of the wheel rim, needing to be replaced. Spoke wheels can also be rather expensive compared to other types.
Solid Wheel Rims
Solid wheel rims are cast as one piece. This means less chance of individual parts breaking off the wheel and it also creates a sturdier appearance. Solid cast rims are usually made of aluminum and coated in chrome. These rims will have unique designs formed in the metal inside the rim.
Wheel Rim Construction
Motorcycle manufacturers like Yamaha may use one of a few different construction methods to create their wheels. The above descriptions of the two different types of wheel rims provide some information about their construction, but a more in-depth understanding will be helpful for those purchasing wheels and rims.
Cast rims are solid wheel rims formed in a mold. They are usually the stock wheels that come with a larger motorcycle and are made of aluminum. These rims have simple designs cast into the wheel center.
Billeted rims are solid rims that have been carved from a solid block of aluminum. This is usually done with a machine following a pre-programmed pattern. Due to this technique, motorcycle owners can buy rims for their Yamaha bikes with incredibly detailed patterns. Owners have the option of purchasing unique custom-made patterns, or off-the-shelf rims at specialty shops. Billeted rims can be costly.
Also referred to as spoke rims, these motorcycle wheel rims are traditional and commonly seen on off-road or sport bikes today. They are made of aluminum or steel rims with metal spokes laced in a clockwork pattern inside the rim. Spokes provide extra flexibility in wheels. The spokes can break out more easily, but the overall integrity of the rim remains high. Additionally, it is easy enough for the owner to replace missing spokes.
Tools for Changing Motorcycle Wheels
Motorcycle owners can change the wheels of their Yamaha motorcycles at home; they just need a few specialty tools for the job. These tools are not difficult to find or learn how to use with a little practice.
The tire stand or lift is a support structure to help hold a wheel and tire in place while working with it. Many of these stands adjust to different heights for more ergonomic use.
Tire Pressure Gauge
A tire pressure gauge is helpful for determining when enough air has been added to the tire once it is on a new wheel rim. This gauge usually looks like a metal pen with a valve pin on one end and a meter to display the air pressure.
Tire irons, or pry bars, are good for prying the tire off of the wheel rim. They often have a flat end and a pronged end. They can also be useful for loosening tight bolts. Motorcycle owners may need up to three tire irons at once to remove and attach tires to the wheel rims.
The air compressor is a small electric powered device that pressurizes tires once they are attached to a wheel rim. These compressors have a small pin top that can be pressed against the tire valve to add compressed air to the tire.
Valve Core Remover
The valve core remover is a metal device that also resembles a pen, except larger in diameter and featuring a small punch on one end. The valve core remover makes it possible to remove and install valves on tires.
This aluminum device is a folded piece of metal with a slit in one end. It’s intended primarily for use on spoke wheels, but a version of this device can be used with other types of wheels. The Bead Buddy clips onto the rim and holds the tire bead in place while the owner slides the tire bead into place on the opposite side of the wheel.
Buying Yamaha Motorcycle Wheels and Rims on eBay Motors
There are plenty of Yamaha motorcycle wheels for you to purchase on eBay Motors. To get to the specific motorcycle wheel you desire for your bike, head to the eBay Motors page, and then click on the "motorcycles" tab. This will bring up two forms to search for specific motorcycles, and to search for motorcycle parts. Just fill in the make, model, and year of your bike, and enter your search term in the text box. You can search for anything relating to your motorcycle, such as "tire spoons," or "valve caps." You may also be able to find wheels in the eBay Wheel Center.
When searching for motorcycle wheels on eBay, you may want to narrow your search down to local sellers. Motorcycle wheels are heavy, so shipping and handling can become costly. You are already shelling out several hundred dollars for wheel rims, so save some money on shipping by meeting a local seller in person to pick up the wheels. To find local sellers, just click on the "distance" filter in the navigation menu on a search results page. Enter your zip code and select your preferred search range from a drop-down menu.
Yamaha wheels and rims are essentially the same thing; they are the metal section supporting motorcycle tires. These wheels are similar to car tires, except much lighter, and many motorcycle tires are tubeless. Motorcycle enthusiasts are able to change out the wheels of their tires with another style or construction type for decorative and practical effect. Spoke wheels are more flexible and better for off-roading. Solid wheels are sturdier and capable of supporting a heavier bike.
Stock wheels come with the bike and are much more affordable than custom-made wheels, which can be overly costly. It’s possible to change out the tire wheels at home using some easy to find motorcycle tools. The job of removing a motorcycle tire will require at least three pry bars. Other particular tools are needed for attaching the wheel to the tire, such as the Bead Buddy and valve extractor. Yamaha wheels and the tools to work with them can be found on the auction site, eBay Motors.