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Why Are Motorcycle Wheels So Expensive?

by | Jan 27, 2021 | News & Updates

If you’ve owned a motorcycle for any length of time, then you know how expensive customizing parts and accessories can be and how quickly your build can add up. Aftermarket parts can be even more costly for trike conversions and fully custom bikes. So, you may be wondering what drives these high costs. The answer comes down to simple economics and manufacturing.

Motorcycle wheels are subject to supply and demand, just like houses, cars, and the other things we purchase. Since there are fewer motorcycles than cars, production is smaller and more expensive if you add to this the fact that producing high-quality products on American soil versus overseas naturally raises the price.

Manufacturing Is A Big Part Of Why Motorcycle Wheels Are So Expensive

It really comes down to manufacturing in the United States, keeping American jobs, the cost of supply chain logistics, and the high cost of quality aircraft-grade American-manufactured 6061 T6 billet aluminum alloy. Another consideration is the number of hours it takes to do R&D on a new CNC wheel cut design.

This research takes up an enormous amount of hours. Manufacturers pay labor for the R&D, plus supply costs. The manufacturer rolls that into the retail price of every wheel just to cover the R&D costs. As you can see, pricing is a delicate balance for American-manufactured manufacturers.


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Custom Wheels Compared to Mass-Manufactured Motorcycle Wheels

You may have also noticed custom forged wheels are more expensive than mass-manufactured cast motorcycle wheels. The cost difference arises from the working hours and care that goes into a custom wheel that is cut single-handedly. You’ll get a high-quality, reliable product that looks great on your bike. A custom product that has an OEM fit. Not a “universal” fit or one-size-fits-all product. Every single motorcycle wheel is custom-cut to fit like a glove. At SMT Wheels, we provide a product you can’t get through a mass manufacturing process.

Custom Cut, Superior Materials & Unsurpassed Support

When you buy motorcycle wheels from an OEM manufacturer, you typically get a cast wheel made by the lowest bidder out of low-grade, cheaper aluminum alloys. When you work with us, you get custom cut-to-order parts made from aircraft-grade American-manufactured 6061 T6 billet aluminum alloy. You won’t need to worry about fitment or quality issues. We create rims to be exact replacements for their stock components and ride better than OEM.

If a problem does arise, we have a support team to handle it and guarantee our wheels fit like a glove. Should you have a fitment issue, we’ll do everything in our power to work it out. We stand behind our work. We’ve been at this since 2001.

Best Designs in The Industry

You don’t usually get a custom design when you buy motorcycle wheels off the shelf. When you purchase wheels with us, we have over +100 designs to choose from with 1,000’s of variations. There’s a reason our motorcycle wheels are showcased in so many motorcycle magazines and win so many shows. Custom builders use SMT Wheels because they know the wheels will fit, they have the most designs available and the customer service is unmatched. Not to mention the matching accessories like rotors, pulleys, speaker grills, and stage 1 intakes.

Trusted Building and Testing

Our engineering team uses SolidWorks and MasterCam to design and program our machines to make our beautiful custom-forged wheels. We also have proprietary software built for us to be able to computer simulate the stresses and rigors of the road on our wheels. Once we are satisfied with the safety of the wheel we cut one and send out that design to literally get crushed and make sure our design work is holding up to real-world conditions not just “looked good on the computer”. Our wheels exceed the JASO standards for wheel manufacturing. We are so confident in the strength of our wheels that we offer a Lifetime Guarantee on the structural integrity of your wheel!

Chroming Process & Powder Coating

We use only the best local chromers in the USA. Our parts are triple-chromed for a mirror finish and lasting longevity. Not some cheap chrome that flakes off after a season or two. We hand dip our motorcycle wheels and custom parts. The same can be said about our powder coating process. We use Prismatic Powders for our custom colors so you can choose from 6,500 color options, and we’ll take care of the rest. We know you’ll enjoy the unique finishes powder coating offers.


SMT Wheels custom wheels are not the cheapest wheels for your motorcycle. Yet, we lead the industry in custom-forged billet motorcycle wheels. Why is that? We manufacture our custom wheels and parts from American-manufactured aircraft-grade 6061-T6 billet aluminum in our own facility in Glendale, Arizona. It’s the same material the US government uses on their aircraft. It’s corrosion-resistant and difficult to scratch and gouge. It’s the perfect material for wheels! This combined with world-class customer service makes for a winning combination.

The Benefits of Riding With SMT Wheels

The benefits of choosing SMT Wheels extend beyond our motorcycle wheels, custom parts, and great advice. When you ride with SMT Wheels, you get a whole lot more than just a product. You get people personally invested in giving you high-quality parts you’ll love!

  • Manufactured in Glendale, AZ
  • Featured in countless magazines such as Urban Rides, American Iron, American Bagger, Easyrider; the list goes on and on
  • Superior customer service
  • Highly trusted builders and designers
  • Rave reviews
  • Been in business since 2001
  • Over 400 dealers in the U.S.
  • Interest-free financing available