New wheels from GALE SPEED! Don’t miss their CNC machined calipers and more!
GALE SPEED, a brand run by Active has started selling wheels with a new type of spokes. Although the wheel shown in the above image looks like a 4-spoke, it is actually an 8-spoke wheel with a unique look that sets it apart from the multi-spoke wheels of recent years. This wheel is gaining popularity in Japan as it gives off an even more retro look to increasingly popular neo-classics such as the Z900RS.
They are painted in an innovative matte black to distinguish them from current wheels. The shape, reminiscent of a 4-spoke wheel, also has a classic look and, as can be seen in the below photos, is a surprisingly good match for neo-classic bikes.
The bike that was being shown was equipped with various new parts other than the wheels, so we will introduce those here as well.
New forged aluminum wheel, Type-J (sample exhibit)
Japan Classic, Journey... these are the keywords that tell us where the J in this new "Type-J" wheel comes from.
GALE SPEED wheels have always been a standard for custom wheels in Japan, known for their high performance that can hold up in a race while defying convention with their low price. The forged aluminum construction makes these wheels high-strength, and that high strength allows them to be thin-walled and lightweight. Though GALE SPEED's wheels are intended for use on public roads, they boast racing quality high-performance, and so until now the brand has had a strong racing image associated with it. However, the new "Type-J" wheel on display did not have a racing look. While of course maintaining the high performance that only GALE SPEED can offer, the matte-black paint job did not give the wheels a glitzy, glamorous feel at all. On the contrary, the matte black surface and the cutting process applied to the spokes gives the wheel a "solid" and "powerful" appearance, boldly changing GALE SPEED's "racing image" that has existed until now.
However, when these wheels are installed on a neo-classic bike, you can see what the manufacturer was going for, as is plain to see in the below image. The Z900RS on display was not only equipped with these wheels, but also with other high-performance parts that would be able to hold up in a race, while its appearance was not that of a sharp and sleak modern racer, but rather a powerful one reminiscent of the endurance racers of the past.
It is obvious from just looking at it that this bike won't give up even if pushed to full throttle on a race track, however, it doesn't try to show off its high-performance qualities, but rather exudes a powerful look similar to the monster machines of yesteryear.
Although the design looks like a thick 4-spoke at first glance, upon closer inspection you can see that the area between the machined spokes is "missing", making it actually a thin 8-spoke wheel.
The cross section of the swingarm has been extended "down" to prevent interference with the chain, and though it was not installed on the display bike, you can see that a stock chain guard could be bolted on.
The cutting marks on the spokes are not too flashy and not too plain, and are a great balance with the disc.
Amazing swingarms and calipers
The extra thick swingarm installed on the display bike was also a sight to see! At first glance it looks to boast ultra-high rigidity, however, if you look at the swingarm by itself, you will see the opposite of ruggedness. It is very delicate, very elaborate, and unbelievably beautiful.
Together with Active's popular subframe and GALE SPEED's machined calipers, which were shown here for the first time, you can't miss the launch of this new swingarm.
This is a great example of how far you can go with all completely bolt-on parts!
The bridge in the center is made of pressed material, and the machined suspension link mount is firmly welded to it.
More importantly, however, the chain adjuster block is not a typical "plate" shape, but fits into a rail (groove) carved into the swingarm body.
The pivot has a smoothly cut out center and the welding beads wrap all the way around it beautifully.
The upper and lower sliders appear to be the same shape, so there should be no worries that one side is unavailable when you need to do a repair.
As usual, the construction is stout and solid. The set includes dome nuts to cover up any rust on the high tensile bolts, since their material is prone to rust, and this fine attention to detail is appreciated.
Webike Japan's global merchandiser who is passionate about motorcycles. Born in Japan, and spent his childhood in the US. 25 years of riding experience mainly on the tarmac and motorcycle market. He loves products made in Japan and considers himself a "Japan Parts evangelist".