Johannesburg-based BlackStone Tek is arguably the world leader in the development and production of carbon-fiber motorcycle wheels fully homologated for road and track use by the main certification agencies around the world.
This past November, BST launched its hollow-spoke Black Mamba wheels at EICMA. At the same time, company officials revealed another new wheel, the Rapid Tek, which was still in the preproduction stage.
The split-spoke design looks incredibly light, and indeed it is. According to BST, a complete front wheel tips the scales at 5.9 pounds; the rear weighs even less—between 5.2 and 5.7—varying with the fitment and minus a sprocket carrier.
The five split spokes are hollow like those of the Black Mamba but they have a much narrower profile. By splitting each spoke, BST broadened its rim stiffening and supporting area, thus achieving an outstanding weight to mechanical characteristics ratio.
Following BST’s high-tech production process, the Rapid Teks are constructed by accurately hand placing in a mold a combination of four variations in weave and modulus of carbon fiber pre-impregnated with an epoxy resin.
The wheels are then cured in an autoclave at a temperature of 257 degrees Fahrenheit and at a pressure of 87 psi to compact and stabilize the various fiber layers and obtain a suitably rigid structure.
At the moment, Rapid Tek model wheels are available in two sizes—3.5 x17-inch front and 6.0 x17-inch rear—with fitments covering current BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, MV Agusta, Suzuki, and Yamaha sportbikes.
Rear wheels are available with both standard and offset mounting. The standard mount offers good versatility due to the availability of interchangeable parts for the hub, sprocket carrier, and brake disc carrier.