Marchesini M10RR Magnesium Wheel Test
For the owners of the Ducati 1098/1198 Superbikes, Marchesini Racing M10RR Corse forged magnesium wheels are a natural for upgrade. The Italian brand — part of the Brembo Group since 2000 — was an easy choice, considering it manufactures the OEM wheels for Ducati, and has earned multiple MotoGP titles.
Weight savings is the age-old answer to speed, and at 12.3 pounds for both wheels (sans tires), the M10RRs and their timeless Y-spoke design are 4.2 pounds lighter than the OEM 10-spoke wheels.
When considering the reduction, don’t think typical weight savings; rather, think lower unsprung weight that reduces the gyroscopic effect of rotating mass. The M10RRs have lighter rims, which places the weight closer to the hub. Remember that each ounce of weight reduction on rims is equal to about 25 pounds of chassis weight savings at 100 mph.
This reduced weight optimizes performance in four areas — turn-in, acceleration, braking, and overall handling, due to the reduced force on suspension components.
While riding with Absolute Cycle Experience at Pocono Raceway, we performed some back-to-back comparisons with the stock OEM and M10RR Corse wheels, both shod with Bridgestone S20 rubber. Though our lap times only improved by a few tenths, it was the overall change in feel of the bike that was significant — less muscling means decreased fatigue.
For those familiar with the Ducati 1098/1198 superbikes, it takes quite a bit of effort to get the Trellis-framed machine turning. With the wheels’ rotational mass reduced, the 1198 now flicks easily into corners. The same can be said on corner exits; while picking the Duck up from full lean angle, we don’t have to weight the outside peg as much. This allows us to get to the meatier part of the tires quicker, which means full throttle sooner.
Once open on the straights, wheel chatter is reduced and we can better read surface conditions. Deceleration also improves, which means braking later and farther through a corner.
Though a top choice for the smooth track, some shy away from using magnesium wheels on the street due to durability, and use aluminum wheels for strength. However, when magnesium wheels are manufactured correctly, they can last the lifetime of a bike.
This is what makes Marchesini’s forged magnesium wheels a success on real-world streets; they are machined from an exclusive base forging when compared to the OEM versions. The forgings are multi-directional, which is expensive, but effective, in creating a dense compacted material. This material is then machined very accurately and lighter in critical areas—like the rim—without losing any strength.
Lastly, the espresso-fueled Italians always set the aesthetic bar and, just like the 1198 itself, the Marchesini M10RR Corse wheels create a gawking effect.
Story from the latest issue of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine.