By Seiji Ishi
John Anderson, the founder of Dubya USA, has been an easily recognizable and approachable personality in the professional supercross and motocross paddock for six years. John and his wife Kristen took over the Talon distribution rights in the United States in 2011, and they have produced the highest quality wheel sets for many of the premier teams and riders utilizing the best parts, regardless of country of origin. The superstars of racing don’t hold a monopoly over these wheels; fortunately, they are available to dual sport and adventure riders who demand and require the same durability and quality as the pros.
Dubya USA’s enviable selection of wheel components reads like a Christmas wish list to anyone familiar with high-end parts: Talon and Kite hubs, Bulldog spokes, Excel and D.I.D rims. Dubya can build custom wheels comprised of any mix of available componentry and color scheme, but they also sell complete wheel sets which in many cases, is what the discerning rider would specify anyways. I tested such a complete wheel set: The Talon Pro Billet Wheel set Talon Pro Billet hubs, D.I.D. Dirt Star ST-X rims laced with Bulldog stainless steel spokes and Dubya billet aluminum nipples.
Un-boxing the wheels presented eye-popping beauty; the magnesium colored hubs and black rims were almost too pretty to voluntarily subject to trail hazards. The quality of each component was super impressive and obvious, comparisons to stock parts unfair. The Talon hubs were born from a single chunk of aircraft grade aluminum with a flawless anodized finish, and the rims were visually stout. The Bulldog spokes were a much heavier gauge than stock, which inspired confidence that these wheels would easily shrug off any obstacle encountered.
Although I was unwilling to damage these new wheels, in the name of testing, I reluctantly mounted them to my KTM 450 XCW and started abusing them immediately in Colorado. Climbing up seemingly endless scree slopes and rock-strewn dry river beds and descending with abandon and limited skills. As with any new wheels, I did my due diligence and tightened the spokes after every ride for the first five rides. The wheels then went back to Texas to slower and tighter trails but extremely rocky, with more squared off ledges going both up and down. I checked the spokes regularly, but they ceased to require much maintenance after the initial seating period.
I am notoriously hard on wheels; according to Andrew Short, I just hit obstacles straight on, demanding machinery to take the brunt, too enthralled or unskilled to use throttle and technique to lessen the load. Shorty has dubbed me “Captain Chaos” for my implicit knack for destroying parts. John Anderson has also commented on wheels he has seen me destroy. Remarkably, these Dubya USA wheels remained round and true, zero flat spots, no loose spokes. None of the nipples were rounded off from periodic maintenance, and the hub bearings remained silky smooth. The rest of the bike was rendered somewhat haggard, but the wheels were surprisingly the standouts regarding durability and appearance.
Wheels are one of the most important and abused parts on a dual sport or adventure bike; failure can be catastrophic to enjoyment, body and the rest of the machine. If upgrading is on the list for your beloved ride, Dubya USA is worthy of consideration. Whether you wish to specify a custom wheel set or go with one of their complete wheel sets, quality in both componentry and assembly are guaranteed.
MSRP: Talon Pro Billet Wheel sets start at $594.95 www.dubyausa.com