MXA PRODUCT TEST:
DNA XTREME WHEELSET
WHAT IS IT? A low-cost, ready-built set of wheels.
WHAT’S IT COST? $599.00 (front and rear).
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with DNA’s Xtreme wheelset.
(1) Construction. DNA’s billet T-6 alloy hubs come in a variety of shiny, eye-catching colors. The polished, stainless steel, oversized spokes are of a visibly bigger diameter than standard spokes?which definitely adds to the trick look of the wheels. As a rule, MXA test riders don’t like to run black rims because they show every scratch and ding and look worse for the wear over time. However, compared to some other black rims, DNA’s 6000-series alloy units held up well against tire irons and rocks.
(2) Parts included. Wheel bearings, seals and spacers are included. Parts that you’ll need to complete the wheels are rim strips, rim locks, brake rotors, sprocket and bolts. You could take these parts from your stock wheels, but then you wouldn’t have any spare wheels. If you are building practice wheels, you need to budget in the cost of the running gear.
(3) Fit. The DNA wheels mated well with our 2009 Honda CRF450. However, we could not use the stock front brake rotor guard because the built-in spacer was not compatible.
(4) Weight. The front wheel weighs 8.65 pounds and the rear weighs 10.25 pounds on MXA‘s trusty scale. These aren’t exceptionally light wheels, but given the price and the fact that stock Honda wheels are notoriously light, it is unlikely that DNA could come close on the scale. Very few aftermarket wheels can beat the stock Honda wheels on weight.
(5) Price. If we went wheel shopping, we would expect to pay $600 for one individual wheel (and we know wheel companies that charge over a grand per wheel). At $600 for an already assembled wheelset, DNA has set a price that is hard to match.
(6) Place of manufacture. DNA claims their wheels are “Made in the USA,” but perhaps “Assembled in the USA” would be more accurate. The individual components appear to be made in Taiwan and shipped to the United States, where they are coated and assembled.
(7) Colors. Hubs that match the color of the brand they fit on are readily available (with black rims). Polished, gold, red, blue and black rims and/or other color combinations are available by request.
(8) Availability. The wheelsets are available for full-size Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki and KTM models in 19-inch or 18-inch sizes. DNA supermoto wheels are also available.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? In our opinion, the durability of the DNA wheels does not pass muster for faster racers, big jumpers or obstacle smashers. In normal riding conditions with an intermediate test rider, we had to chase the front wheel spokes constantly (and it was never ending). A Pro test rider would have demolished the wheels. The Taiwanese rims are not up to snuff for hardcore racing, but if you are conscientious about checking your spokes (and willing to grind off some threads inside the rim on occasion), you could make these low-cost rims work
DNA Xtreme wheelsets are trick looking and come at a fraction of the cost of other aftermarket replacements, but even at this price we’d think twice.