Bitchin’ Big Wheels for Baggers
We Check Out Metalsport Inc.
There are some companies whose products can really add an outstanding custom look to a bagger, yet most riders don’t know much about them. Metalsport is just such a company; they make super sharp looking large diameter billet wheels. Granted there are other people that make large diameter wheels, but only few do it like Metalsport; their billet wheels are true one-piece creations.
Having seen their wheels on many custom bikes, we decided to give you a close-up view of just how they make them. Located in a rather non-descript building out east of Los Angeles, which houses more large CNC metal working machines than we had seen in quite a while. Ron Loynds, Metalsport’s President, filled us in on their history and gave us a cook’s tour. They have been in the custom motorcycle parts manufacturing business for twenty plus years, albeit quietly though. They popped up on everybody’s radar with their introduction of several large diameter billet aluminum wheels.
Now most tires have a lot in common, but not big aluminum wheels. Metalsport’s 3-D wheels have machined spokes that flair out to almost the same width as the rim, whereas your average custom wheel features spokes that are barely a fourth the width of the rim. Making one-piece wheels requires three things: a big aluminum billet, a CNC machine that is capable of milling it and a lot of time. Metalsport bought a large machine to do big wheel in, then bought several more so that they could make more than one wheel a day. They start with a solid chunk of aluminum, they put it into the giant CNC machine that is programmed to whittle away all of the excess metal. When they are done, they have two products: a custom 3-D motorcycle wheel and a bucket of machining chips that weighs more than the finished wheel. So subtly stunning are their wheels that our pictures can’t project their actual depth and texture.
Along the way, Ron hooked up with several custom builders; among them is Chip Foose. Chip has designed a lot of custom wheels, which Metalsport makes and markets for him. To say that their styling is handsome is a gross understatement; we especially liked the Nitrous II in black.
For a complete look at Metalsport’s wheels, hit their website and be sure to watch the wheel video.
By: John Sullivan
Metalsport Custom Wheels
10112 Miller Way
South Gate, CA 90280