PRODUCT: Kite Parts USA makes complete Elite wheelsets for the 1998–2023 Kawasaki KX85 standard model with 17-inch front and 14-inch rear wheel sizes. The wheelset tested features hubs machined from 6082 T6, aircraft-quality billet aluminum utilizing a double bearing on the sprocket side and double lip seals. Stainless steel spokes, aluminum spoke nipples and signature Excel Takasago rims. Available in a wide variety of color combinations.
NEGATIVES: The anodized hub color is slightly different. We are told this is due to the natural raw-material makeup of the billet hubs. The $900 price tag can be a little hard to digest for the average weekend warrior. After the first few rides, we had some spokes loosen up, but that is pretty common on most new wheelsets.
POSITIVES: Not only do these wheels look like they belong on a high-dollar race machine, they took all the abuse we threw at them in a year of off-road and motocross race testing. With endless customization options for motorcycles, these days it’s an added bonus that Kite offers so many color combinations when it comes to hubs, spokes, nipples and rims. The double bearing on the drive side is great for additional strength, especially when used with hopped-up engines by faster mini pilots doing bigger jumps on the MX track and hitting rocks or holes at higher rates of speed during off-road-type events. This wheelset retains the use of OEM wheel spacers, making it easy to keep track of the parts needed.
BOTTOM LINE: This wheelset was tested in various applications, ranging from weekend warrior trail riding, high-level off-road racing and amateur national motocross events for a full year, and it came away asking for more abuse. Besides the occasional scratches and dings, the Kite Elite wheelset had no major issues and is still being used by our test rider. Regular spoke maintenance is a must, and keep an eye on the spokes right next to the rim lock, because they tend to loosen up. The price tag might be a bit of a shock to some, but well worth it for the fit, finish and quality of the product overall.
For more information on the complete line of Kite products, go to www.kite-parts.com.