MXA TEAM TESTED: TCR BILLET HUBS & COMPLETE WHEELS
WHAT IS IT? TCR Wheels originally built custom race wheels by taking stock hubs and turning them down on a mill. The result was a lighter-than-stock hub that could be anodized and laced to any rim. Now, TCR has built their own line of CNC-machined billet hubs to grab a bigger share of the motocross wheel market.
WHAT’S IT COST? $315.72 (front hub), $426.87 (rear hub), $596.95 (complete front wheel laced to DID LTX rims), $708.95 (complete rear wheel laced to DID LTX rims).
CONTACT? www.tcrhubs.com or (209) 368-9800.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the TCR billet hubs and complete wheels.
(1) Choice. In case you haven’t noticed, a wheel war is brewing on the horizon. Talon, DNA, Kite, TCR, Warp Nine, RAD, KSR, Factory Effex, Haan and Excel all want to be players in the hub market. Talon has been the market leader for years, Kite has gained ground with its Team KTM connection, while TCR gets its credibility from Justin Barcia, Kevin Windham, Brett Metcalfe, Josh Strang and Robbie Maddison.
(2) Uniqueness . Unlike hub companies that make one hub and use interchangeable spacers and bearings to make it fit all the brands, TCR makes a purpose-built 6061-T6 billet hub for each brand. That means that every TCR Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, or KTM wheel will accept the stock spokes, rim, nipples, spacers, bearings and sprockets. For the MXA wrecking crew, this is a big plus; you don’t need a different set of parts for your stock wheels and your race wheels. Whatever works on your bike will work with the TCR wheels.
(3) Weight. MXA weighed a TCR hub against a stock Honda hub (which is the lightest OEM hub), and it weighed 94 grams less on the front and 64 grams less on the rear.
(4) Colors. TCR’s anodized hubs come in different colors for each brand?Honda (red or black), Yamaha (blue or red), Kawasaki (blue, green or black), Suzuki (black or mag) and KTM (black or orange).
(5) Performance. The wheels that MXA tested on our KTM 350SXF were made from orange anodized TCR hubs laced with Excel spokes and spline-drive nipples to black DID Dirt Star LTX rims. We are sold on the LTX rims, but could see a rider who destroys rims electing to run the stronger DID STX rims. Our wheel combination was tougher than a boiled owl. These wheels could take abuse, never dented and didn’t require constant attention. Using the best spokes possible when building the wheels makes a big difference. We ordered an Excel spoke kit, which comes with stainless steel spokes and spline-drive nipples. The spokes cost a little over $100 per wheel, but they’re worth it.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Price. We consider the $1300 price tag for completely laced front and rear wheels to be acceptable for this level of quality, but there are cheaper wheelsets available.
What a concept! TCR produces aftermarket wheels that are totally compatible with the stock spokes, rims, hubs, sprockets, rotors and spacers. Good thinking and great wheels.