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Lightness is rightness
RAM
Performance & Personality Motorcycle Products
RAM badge for BST carbon wheels page
Lightness is rightness
"Which are the reasons why  RAM added to its products catalogue the newest BlackStone Tek carbon wheels?"

COMPOSITE MATERIAL WHEELS
Carbon fiber wheels:
  • Up to 2002 RAM abstained from offering composite material wheels, reason being that no market product answered our selection criteria.

  • RAM policy changed with the advent of the BST one piece molded carbon fiber composite wheels, a product respondent to the most stringent industrial, testing and quality standards, representing the ultimate for combining appealing design, state of the art manufacturing technology and, far from last, a reasonable end user price.
"Said short, the BST carbon wheels are by far
the best composite material wheels that money can buy!"
Which is why RAM is now part of the BlackStone Tek carbon wheels Distributors Network as 
Sole Importer and Distributor for MONACO, ITALY and FRANCE.
Which are the advantages of installing 
carbon fiber wheels on your sportbike?

The advantages for the end user are numerous and readily felt in any kind of road configuration and riding condition. 
They depend from one essential characteristic of the BST carbon composite wheels, 
a combination of lightness, rigidity and strength brought to the extreme. 
In other words BST carbon composite wheels fulfill 100% the basic concept common to all our products, which is also our Company motto:
"Lightness is Rightness"
  • Vehicle lightness being the paramount factor for all it concerns:
  • "Your Sportbike Performance and Safety!"


  • When motorcycle lightening involves unsprung masses, like suspensions and wheels, it is normally accepted that the effects of a reduction of one Kilogram of unsprung weight correspond to about a double reduction of sprung weight, like that of frame/engine components.

  • In other words:
"Lightening unsprung elements induces imposing riding improvements!"
Let us compare as an example the weights of a pair of stock Ducati BREMBO/MARCHESINI wheels, the front less discs, but complete of bearings and spacers, the rear of swingarm type, with the weights of an equivalent pair of BST carbon wheels.
DUCATI 748, 916, 996 wheels weight comparisons
Stock wheels versus BlackStone Tek carbon fiber wheel weights
Wheel
type
Wheel
dimensions
Ducati Stock
cast aluminum
BlackStone Tek
carbon fiber
Front
17x3.50
4238 grams
2350 grams
Rear
17x5.50
5590 grams
2900 grams
Total weight
Pair
9828 grams
5250 grams
Weight saving in grams
=
=
4578 grams
Weight saving in %
=
=
46.58 %
  • Yes, 46.58% it is not a typo, it is 4578 grams less, a weight saving which nearly halves the stock wheel weight!

  •  
  • It can be assumed that the weight savings induced by the BST carbon wheels on the example Ducati is equivalent to about 9 Kilograms of motorcycle mass... which is by all means imposing, but there is more!

  •  
  • Wheel weight savings of such a magnitude produce also a substantial reduction in flywheel and gyroscopic effects, the motorcycle can thus allow faster acceleration, braking and cornering.

  •  
  • In particular, the reduced gyroscopic effect allows for much faster directional and angle changes, making the motorcycle far more sensitive to the rider's demands, easier to control, thus gaining on two fronts which are not antithetic, those of becoming meantime:
  • Faster and Safer!

BST Carbon Fiber Wheels Road and Track Testing
Almeria Circuit Testing
In such contest will come as no surprise the results of the independent  tests carried out by the British magazine SuperBike January 3, 2003 on the Circuit of Almeria (Spain).
 The bike tested was a CBR Fireblade where, all things being equal, the replacement of the stock wheels by a pair of BST carbon fiber enabled increasing speeds at the end of the main straight by 5 mph and reducing the lap times from 1:53 down to 1:50.
Calafat Circuit Testing - MasterBike Spanish Round
Part of the RAM strategy to inform sportbike riders of the great advantages offered by the newly developed BST carbon composite wheels with factual evidence like comparative test results.
This will be accomplished in close co-operation with the specialized press, by subjecting different bike make and models to comparative testing, standard and with BST carbon fiber wheels, in a variety of different roads and testing conditions.
The first cycle of comparative tests took place the end of February 2003, in Spain, in the circuit of Calafat, a round of the MasterBike Tournament, present about 40 reporter/testers from all the major European magazines and all the 2003 sportbike models, from Aprilia to Yamaha.
RAM engaged in comparative testing two sportbikes, namely a 2001 Ducati 996 SPS and a 2002 Suzuki GSXr 1000; the result was that...
Click to link to the spreadsheet containing the full Calafat test week results
Click this link to discover the Calafat sportbikes best lap times and top speeds!

Customer Testimonials on BST Carbon Fiber Wheels
It is obvious that people at RAM are enthusiastic about the new BST carbon wheels, though no more then the Customers who decided to take advantage of RAM offers. For a prove please read the unsolicited testimonial posted by a keen Ducati 996 rider and gentleman racer from New York who bought a pair of 3.50x17" and 5.75x17" BST wheels from RAM. 
This Customer enthusiasm is apparent from his reactions, a message posted upon wheels reception and the second, the day later, after the first appraisal (in the winter streets of New York!) of his 996 now shod with BST carbon wheels.
Subject: Carbon wheels delivered
Date: Sun, 08 Dec 2002 19:24:08 -0500

Dear Dino,
I wanted to let you know that I finally got the rims about a week ago. 
I didn't have internet access until today and I could not let you know sooner.
They are amazingly light and beautiful. 
Thank you so much. 
Warmest regards,
John

Subject: Great stuff!!!
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 2002 22:22:09 -0500

Hi Dino,
I already installed the rims and had a chance to ride in the streets of New York. 
Even though it was pretty cold when I tried them and I had to be extra careful not to slide and stuff, the difference was obvious; the BST rims made the bike feel like a 600cc one--super flickability and acceleration! 
The suspension is improved as well. 
By far, the best money I have spent on this bike.
Thanks again. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
All the best,
John


Hello, .
I am Dino Cappa, the RAM responsible for project design. 
For people at RAM, deeply engaged at the service of sportbike riders, reading words from a Customer like the above,
"By far, the best money I have spent on this bike."
is a most gratifying recompense for our efforts, thanks also to the commitment for product excellence in the part of  BST. 
If you are looking for a readily available way to improve the performance and the riding fun you of your sportbike, the installation of a pair of BST carbon wheels is the only answer! 
Installing a pair of BST wheels on your sportbike offers many benefits, needs no special skills and can be accomplished in one hour labor... and your sportbike will make heads turn wherever you go!
Tempted, why don't you drop me a line?

Click the flag corresponding to the language suiting you better and post the response form found at the end of the link.

Without obligations or commitment you will receive a friendly quote, the best price for a pair of wheels airfreighted to you front door! And because both, it is our 10th Anniversary year and we are launching a new product line...  be assured that BST wheel buyers will be specially treated!
 
 Sincerely,


Visitors wishing to know more facts and figures about carbon wheels are invited
to read further down in this page the BST technical information and FAQ sections

Extracts from the section
TECHNICAL INFORMATION
about composite carbon fiber wheels 
as taken from the official
BlackStone Tek website
BST stock replacement 17x6.00 carbon fiber rear wheel.   Click to enlarge

BlackStone Tek wheel wins design award.
South Africa held its Business Week as part of the Global Summit on Sustainable Development to showcase sustainable business and innovative design.
BlackStone Tek
was a winner of the Design Institute Awards for our carbon fiber wheel.

High Tech Design

Our unique 5-spoke carbon composite wheel is made using the latest technology, materials and manufacturing processes.
This lightweight and exceedingly strong wheel is suitable for both racing and street racing use.
The wheels have been tested at Rim Technology (UK government certified facility), and passed all the tests for road certification.
And, most important of all, our wheels are unique in that they are created as a single unit - we dont bond pieces together!
Technical Information

 
  • Weight:
  • Street Race:
  • 2.1 - 2.2 kg, depending on motorcycle
    (including alloy hub, steel fittings with bearings).
  • Racing version:
  • 1.9 - 2.1 kg, depending on motorcycle
    (including magnesium hub, titanium fittings with bearings).
  • Sizes:
  • Front Wheel:
  • 3.5" x 17"
    3.5" x 16.5"
  • Rear Wheel:
  • 5.50" x 17" (single sided and conventional swing arm).
    5.75" x 17" (single sided and conventional swing arm).
    6.00" x 17" (single sided and conventional swing arm).
    6.25" x 16.5" (conventional swing arm).

    NOTE: range will increase as new models will be added
    • 5-spoke design
    • Aerospace FAR25 qualified materials
    • Manufacturing facility is ISO 9002 certified by the German TUV
    • Complete traceability in manufacturing process and materials used including the hubs
    • Manufacturing process allows for full identification and traceability (based on the process used for critical parts in the aerospace industry)
    • All wheels leaving the factory will be bar coded for easy identification and full traceability
    • Nesting and cutting machines are the same as those used in the aerospace industry - each wheel pattern is cut and the part is numbered simultaneously guaranteeing correctness and uniformity
    • Wheels passed all tests for road certification carried out by Rim Technology (UK government certified facility)
    • Corner fatigue carried out as specified in BS. AU. 50.
    • Radial fatigue carried out as specified in BS. AU. 50.
    • Torsional fatigue carried out as specified in BS. AU. 50.
    • Impact test carried out as specified in JWL

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    BST Response Form

    Extracts from the section
    Frequently Asked Questions
    about composite carbon fiber wheels 
    as taken from the official
    BlackStone Tek website
    BST stock replacement 17x3.50 front carbon wheel.  Click to enlatge

    Q:Which performance gains can I expect from BlackStone Tek wheels?
    • A:UK sports bike magazine, SuperBike, performed an independent two day test at the Almeria circuit in Spain in October 2002 using a 2002 Honda CBR900RR (954) FireBlade.
    • The bike was in a mild state of tune, representing a typical modified road/street/track day sports bike by having: race exhaust, Dynojet Power Commander, double-bubble screen, Sprint steering damper, two teeth larger rear sprocket, upgraded brake pads.
    • The rider was already familiar with the circuit after having ridden there twice before.

    • The first days testing took place with standard wheels and the only change for the second day was the substitution of BlackStone Tek wheels.
    • Weather conditions were unchanged and the following was observed:
      • Acceleration was noticeably stronger with the rider reporting it felt as though it had gained ten horsepower
      • The bike could be braked later
      • The bike could be turned more easily
      • Top speed at the end of the main straight was increased by 5 mph
      • The lap times fell by a full 3 seconds - although the rider did report pulling the pin out as he felt very confident on the bike during the second day.
      The results are consistent with the performance gains normally from the combination of reduced unsprung weight and reduced rotational inertia provided by the BlackStone Tek wheels.
      Even if a bike is not being used on a circuit, the same benefits of increased performance and ridebility apply to road/street use as well. For further first-hand information from this testing, email the rider, Jamie Wilkins, Road Test Editor of SuperBike magazine on jamie_wilkens@ipcmedia.com.
    Q: What are the physical properties of Carbon Fiber that make it particularly suitable for wheels?
    • A:Some of the properties of carbon fiber composites as used in BlackStone Tek wheel:
      • Materials used: Carbon fiber Prepreg in a woven and Unidirectional format, embedded in a resin matrix made from toughened epoxy resin.
      • Max structural temperature: 120 deg C Min structural temperature: -40 deg C
      • Totally corrosion free
      • Chemically resistant to most dilutants such as acetone, benzene, thinners,Limited resistance to brake fluids and acids
      • Density: approximately 1,7 kg/qdm (Aluminium 2,7, Titanium 4,5, Steel 7,9)
      • Damage Tolerance: similar to 2024 Aluminium
      • Strength: better than 2024 Aluminium
      • Stiffness: similar to 2024 Aluminium
      • Variable wall thicknesses can be created anywhere as needed in order to increase strength where required;
      • Orientation of fibers in the direction of stress is possible and implemented in order to increase strength.
    Q: Are the carbon fiber wheels TUV approved?
    • A: Not yet, because the TUV at present does not have a satisfactory standard against which to test carbon fiber wheels - for example TUV requires that a wheel show a dent and that the metal should bend under impact load. Carbon fiber does neither therefore they cannot measure it.
    Q: What testing has been done on the BlackStone Tek wheels?
    • A:The BlackStone Tek Carbon Fiber wheel has undergone very stringent testing to verify the design and to assess its strength and durability.
    • The following tests were done by a reputable test house in the UK.
    • All tests were conducted on a single prototype wheel.
    • This is not usually done in the case of testing a metal wheel, since due to its fatigue behavior, a single wheel would not last throughout all the tests. Regulations actually specify that one new wheel for every test is permissible.
      • Cornering fatigue: 1000,00 cycles at 530 Nm
      • Radial fatigue: 500,000 cycles at 5200 N
      • Torsional fatigue: 100,000 cycles at 400 Nm
      • Impact test: 337,5 kg from 150 mm (JWL)
    • The front wheel was designed for a 135 kg static load and the rear wheel for a 145 kg static load (this translates into a bike with a total empty weight of 280 kg).
    • This exceeds the static load normally applicable to Racing or Sport bikes. Both the conventional and offset rears have been subjected to cornering fatigue testing at the Eurotype Test Center in excess of 1,000,000 cycles at 590 Nm.
    • The wheel passed the impact test used for road certification on aluminium wheels for OEM purposes, as done by OZ Racing using the JWL spec impact test rig (September 2002).
    Q: Are Carbon Fiber wheels safe?
    • A: Carbon Fiber wheels have been around for some time and have been proven to be safe if designed and manufactured properly, and if they are used within the design parameters (this would apply to any wheels).
    • One of the parameters is the maximum static weight of the motorcycle for which the wheel is designed (the BlackStone Tek wheel is designed for a motorcycle that weighs less than 280 kg empty).
    • The BlackStone Tek wheels have adequate strength and damage tolerance for any usage within a race or sport environment.
    Q: How long have these wheels been in development?
    • A: Chris has been developing wheels for 9 years. Some of these have been used in GP. The new BlackStone Tek range of wheels has been under development for the last 2 years
    Q: What is the difference between wet lay-up and Pre-preg construction?
    • A:In the wet lay-up process, the fibers are positioned in the mold dry and the resin is applied with a brush. The resin is mixed by hand and mistakes can be made during mixing. This is a relatively inexpensive process, but normally the part is heavier and the fibers can distort during the lamination process and therefore the process is less controlled. This method does not lend itself to the autoclave process which cures the part under controlled heat and pressure. In the pre-preg process the resin is applied by machine onto the fibers in a thin film. Therefore the resin is very even and controlled. The layers are laminated by hand but can be positioned much more accurately. The parts are then cured under high pressure and temperature. This results in a well compacted laminate with better properties than the wet lay-up. Laminate properties in pre-preg carbon fiber can be 10 20 better than wet lay-up at a lower weight (because less resin is used to do the same job). BlackStone Tek uses this process.
    Q: What do the wheels include?
    • A:Wheels are supplied with:
      • All internal bearings, spacers and seals pre-installed
      • External spacers, where required
      • Air valves
      • Cush drive (rear double-sided wheels)
      • Sprocket carrier (rear double-sided wheels) where required - additional wheels can be purchased without a sprocket carrier for race teams etc.
      • the wheels are delivered to that the user can simply fit tires, discs and go.


    Q: When will they be available?

    • A: We have been very busy with amongst others the following teams:
      • Red Bull Yamaha GP1;
      • TSR 125 GP team; USA 250 GP ;
      • Dutch and European Supermono Ducati rider ;
      • Euro Sound of Thunder champion;
      • Suzuka 8 hour Honda Endurance team with Doug Polen .
      • Supply into the UK, USA, Holland and South Africa started in September.
      • Supply to these countries is happening right now - Germany, Denmark, and about to start - Japan, Italy, France and Spain.
    Q: How long do these wheels last?
    1. A: The wheels that Chris made 9 years ago on the old technology are still running.... and we have not yet had a problem with any of them. Note that the magnesium hubs on the full race wheels are a limiting factor as the magnesium itself should be checked every 2 years.
    Q: How much horsepower are the rims rated for?
    • A: Our wheels are safe up to 1900 n/m torque.
    • BlackStone Tek uses the torque rather than horsepower as that is what is driving the wheel.
    • If your bike generates more than 1900 n/m of torque we would like to see it ! A standard 2002 GSX-R1000 normally tests at around 99 Nm .

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