WHAT IS IT? Dubya’s new partnership with Kite and Excel has resulted in newly imported Italian hardware.
WHAT’S IT COST? $699.95 (complete front), $844.95 (complete rear).
CONTACT? www.dubyausa.com or (877) 773-8292.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Kite/Excel wheelset by Dubya.
(1) Hubs . Kite’s billet-aluminum, anodized hubs are manufactured in Mandello Del Lario, Italy. Dubya is also the Talon hub importer, giving them two price ranges.
(2) Bearings. Kite hubs use stock-sized, sealed bearings. Other aftermarket hubs, such as the Talons, use oversized bearings for extra strength. OEM-size bearings may need to be replaced more often, especially since the increased rigidity of a billet hub can put more stress on them. On the positive side, they are easier to acquire than the special big bearings.
(3) Rims. Excel A60 rims are 15 percent stronger than Excel’s Signature Series rims, which are comparable to the Takasago Excel-labeled rims on most OEMs but are not the same.
(4) Spokes. Our test wheels came with Kite’s stainless steel, double-butted spokes. The nipples are the traditional box style, so no special wrench is necessary.
(5) Weight . Kite’s Honda front wheel weighed 7.05 pounds and the rear weighed 9.05. This is a competitive weight, proven by the fact that weight-conscious riders like Ryan Dungey, James Stewart, Ken Roczen, Davi Millsaps and Antonio Cairoli are racing on them this year.
(6) Colors. The Kite hubs and spoke nipples are available in red, black, blue, green and orange for both full-size bikes and minibikes. The rims are only available in black with a silver pinstripe.
(7) Options. DID STX rims are available at the same cost. You can also downgrade to standard Excel Takasago or DID Dirt Star Original rims for $624 (front) and $749 (rear).
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There are two negatives: (1) For KTM hubs, it’s worthwhile to have an extra bearing race on the drive side to handle the extra torque on that side of the wheel. (2) Black rims may look sweet when new, but they get trashed every time you gouge them with a tire tool.
These aren’t just Xeroxed billet components; the Kite wheelset’s weight, options, colors, sponsored riders and price make them a player in the wheel world.