The big ktm 950 and then the 990 were born, to ride off and on the road.
This means compromizes were made. One of them was, to use more road friendly wheel/tyre combination. This means a wide rim on the wheel and pretty hefty bead on it. All is fine if You have only tarmac and serviced gravel roads to travel. But in case one might want to take the big girl off road – well, then there is only one option. Change the rims, spokes, hubs and tyres. Usually the most cost effective way is to go to the KTM parts bin and find a more off-road oriented bike and get stuff from it. In this matter it would be the cult bike KTM 950 “S”enduro. Instead of a 2.15 it has a 1.85 inch rim in the front and instead of a really wide 4,25 it has a more suitable 3.5 Dirtstar rim in the back. The dirtstar is better suited for any off-road duty and will be a lot easyer to get tyre on and off of too. Now when it comes to next steps – there are companies that make custom solutions. Like SMPRO in the UK. They can provide a special rim, spokes, hub or the whole wheel kit, if needed. Because this particular bike needs to meet my special needs – i opted for a custom cut 1.6inch front dirtstar rim and thick spokes with oem HUB. And in the rear a Senduro rim with oem spokes and oem hub will do the job.
New SKF explorer bearings and low friction green seals and with a little bit of elbow grease it is a very satisfactory job to assemble them all. One can do the truing on a bench but I also like to check on the particular bike, so the placement of tyre will be better chosen. So the bike will run straight, the tyre will not be touching the side of front fender and the rear will not be “bitten” randomly by the chain.
Now with this kit, the bike will run lighter, suspension will have less unsprung weight to deal with, the tyres will have more grip off road and it will not brake or bend the rims at the slightest hind of a pothole, like the oem…