Motomillion Blog

GUIDE - Carbon Fiber Wheels BST vs. Rotobox

Carbon fiber motorcycle wheels have been available for consumers to purchase ever since the late 2000s.  Over the years, they have become more common and also more affordable.

Two brand names have dominated the carbon fiber motorcycle wheel market.  BlackStone Tek (BST) and Rotobox.  While Rotobox has been a latecomer, they have shaken things up by creating the first and the only carbon fiber wheel to develop and use a 3 component composite which combines carbon, epoxy and steel.  BST on the other hand was one of the first companies to pioneer the carbon fiber wheel market and is currently the most popular carbon fiber wheel brand.  The purpose of this blog post is to show you the differences between the BST's Black Diamond and Rotobox RBX2 wheels so that you can make an informed choice when it comes to purchasing your carbon fiber wheels. 

Rotobox has recently introduced a new wheel named Rotobox Boost.  BST has showcased their new design Rapid Tek wheel, however it is not yet available to purchase until spring 2018.  Look out for the upcoming Rotobox Boost in-depth review article, and you can be sure that we will release a blog post about the BST Rapid Tek as soon as we can lay our hands on them.

Back to the BST Black Diamond and Rotobox RBX2, and the first thing everyone asks is "how much do they weigh?".  We dusted our scales and have put both wheels head to head.  To make things equal, both wheels are the same fitment, both wheels pictured in this article are made to fit the BMW S1000RR.

The BST front wheel weighed in at 6lb 10.75oz and the rear at 8lb 14.75oz.  Which totals in at 15.59lb (15lb 9.44 oz). (Pictured below).


 

 

The Rotobox RBX2 front wheel weighed in at 5lb 14.125oz and rear wheel 7lb 3.25oz. Totaling in at 13.08lb (13lb 1.28oz). (Pictured below)

Both wheels weigh considerably lighter than the stock wheels which weigh in at around 25.5lbs. But what is really impressive is that the Rotobox RBX2 is 2.51lb lighter than the BST's Black Diamond.

When you think of wheels, it is not just about the static weight savings,  the lowering of the moment of inertia of each wheel makes a big difference on the performance and the feel of your bike.  Lets think of it in practical sense; if you were to spin a disc that you hold in your hand and try to turn/lean the disc while it is turning, you will feel a a force that tries to combat that turn/lean you are applying.  Now think of what your front and rear wheel are doing while you are riding at speed.  It is the same exact concept as the spinning disc you had in your hand, just at a larger scale, this is why every pound and ounce you save off of each wheel will transform how your bike feels.

Lets not forget there are components that are added onto the wheels before you can use them on your bike, things like rotors, rotor bolts, sprockets, sprocket bolts, tires and etc.  So any weight which you add on will have an impact.  You can minimize the total weight of the wheel by adding lightweight components such as Proti's Fully Forged Titanium Rotor bolts (Pictured below), but these components are a topic of their own which we will cover in depth in an other blog post.

Now that we addressed the weight, you are now wondering about strength.  Both the BST Black Diamond and Rotobox RBX2 have identical static load ratings, the fronts at 330lb and rears at 550lb.  The RBX2 shines in this aspect since it is 2.51lb lighter while being just as strong as the BST's Black Diamond.

Before we get into the controversial debate of overall looks, lets talk about details.

The finish on both sets of wheels are beautiful and which ever one you chose as the weapon of your choice you will be more than happy with it, especially when you feel how big of a difference lightweight wheels make. 

Rotobox has gone an extra step and have finished inside of the barrel to be silky smooth and as beautiful as the exterior parts of the wheel, where BST has a more raw and uneven look to the barrel (pictured below).  This isn't a flaw of BST, neither does it make the BST a bad wheel, but when you have it sitting side to side with the Rotobox it starts to stick out and also starts bothering our OCD.

Pictured below are the front wheels, Rotobox RBX2 on the left and the BST Black Diamond on the right.

Pictured below are the rear wheels, Rotobox RBX2 on the left and BST Black Diamond on the right.

The Rotobox RBX2 often gets dismissed because of its looks, however in its defense they do look much better in person, and especially wrapped up with rubber and mounted on the bike.  We are not going to get into the subjective debate on which one looks better, but we do think that knowing all the details of the RBX2 and the fact that it is incredibly light and just as strong as BST's Black Diamond makes it an incredible wheel set.  Either one you chose to go with, you will be more than happy with your choice.

You can view all the wheel sets we offer on our website at the following link: https://www.motomillion.com/collections/all/wheels

For now we leave you with some more pictures of these carbon fiber sculptures.  We will revisit this subject with an in-depth look at the newly released Rotobox Boost.

Blackstone TEK Black Diamond Carbon Fiber Rear Wheel

 

Blackstone TEK Black Diamond Carbon Fiber Front Wheel

 

Rotobox RBX2 Carbon Fiber Rear Wheel

Rotobox RBX2 Carbon Fiber Front Wheel

 

For all of your high-end motorcycle parts needs, be sure to check out our website.

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