About two weeks ago, I rode the Triumph Bonney to work at Phoenix Roasters, a coffee company I do a bit of work for. While returning home, I took a few side roads with sweeping curves and thrilling corners. Diving into a right hand turn, I took it at a deep lean, looking up and through the corner. Suddenly, I was jarred by a violent “Ba-BAM!” mid-corner, shocking me with an unexpected impact. I never lost control of the bike, but it shook me up. I was close to home, within 2 miles, so I cautiously limped the bike to the house.
Upon arrival at the house, I examined both tires, and could see where I had hit either a rock or pothole, evidenced on the tread. No damage to the rubber, but later my Road Dirt colleague Phil pointed out the rather pronounced dent in my rear rim. I was aghast. What the freak did I hit?! I also noticed a small cosmetic dent in the front rim, but the rear one concerned me. I drove my truck back to the site of the impact, and found this-
Here’s the damage done. Front rim, cosmetic. Rear rim, a bit more concerning. Amazingly, I never lost the contact bead, hence never lost air pressure. Also never felt any negative feedback, nothing indicating the rim was bent. Nonetheless, I had to consider my next steps: Option 1, a new rim from Triumph, which would set me back about $900+. Option 2, find a shop that could possibly repair and true the rim. I searched online for several days across the country, looking for a used rim of my make and model (Option 3), but to no avail.
I rode the Bonney over to my friend Jake McDonald at Flying Brothers Motorcycle Shop, to get his take on the damage done. He was optimistic, until we got it up on the lift for a closer examination. The dent was more than outer lip, it had buckled the inner flat surface outside of the “barrel” or center of the rim. My wheels are cast aluminum, not billet, so they are more susceptible to fracturing and cracking under heat and pressure. Jake (understandably) was reluctant to start heating and hammering, so we started looking for other possible solutions-
Both Jake and my friends at Livengood Motorsports recommended Metro Wheels in Marietta, Georgia, so I made the trek about a week later. Upon examination of the rim, Howard at Metro is optimistic. So, should we find success with this great shop, we’ll go back together with the bike and get back to riding. If they cannot fix it, I’ll have to pursue the (much) more expensive Option 1. Here’s hoping Howard’s optimism is well-founded.