Oh I agree it is an expenditure most owners cannot justify, but it is also the single most dramatic improvement you can make on most motorcycles. And really, fi you can justify great suspension, which costs as much or MORE on most bikes, or an engine build, which is also as much or more, why not the wheels?Spending half the price of the bike on a single upgrade seems seriously for for a street only or even hobby racer build.
IMHO the difference between carbon fiber wheels and suspension/engine upgrades is that the the total number of people I can think of off the top of my head that I would trust to mount and balance tires on 12 inch carbon fiber wheels is zero. I'd also have some reservations about running them on gravel roads or streets with curbs and potholes. Admittedly, my bike will only be used on the street. If I had bought it for track days, the wheels would be a much more attractive option.
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I have had carbon fiber wheels on 2 motorcycles. They are MUCH more durable than you think. Potholes are no problem. In fact, there is at least one YouTube video in which a BST rep forecfully THROWS a BST wheel onto pavement hard enough that it bounces 7 or 8 feet upward after. BST wheels pass the European Union safety standards easily. I had my first set of BST wheels for 3 years with zero problems, on a 105 rwhp Ducati that did 0 to 80 mph runs on one wheel. My current set is only 6 or 7 months old, but already has 5000 miles on it.
My local Yamaha dealer has changed both front and rear tires on my Yamaha R3 twice for me. I provided a short, simple set on instructions that BST provides with its wheels. Nothing exotic is required in terms of process. Just a snesible 50 psi limit on air pressure used to seat the bead, proper positioning of the "spoons' on the automatic tire mounting machine, and keeping metal hand tools off the bead sealing surface. The service manager says "no issues at all".
There is no rational basis for fear.