Tusk Impact Wheelset

Vital Rating:
Tested: Tusk Impact Wheelset
Vital Review

A fresh set of wheels can really set a bike off, but the price can also empty your wallet quite quickly. For some, the extra money is worth it for a set that's lightweight and stronger, but for the weekend warrior that just needs a spare set it's a bit much to ask. When you're on a budget, finding a set of good (but relatively inexpensive) wheels that won't explode once you leave the ground and slam back down harshly can be an interesting task.

Tusk Impact Wheelset Features:

  • Spokes are made from 304 stainless steel.
  • Hub forged from 6061 T-6 aluminum.
  • Rims produced from 7050 T-6 aluminum.
  • Rear wheel available in 18-inch and 19-inch rim sizes.
  • Front wheel MSRP: $269.99.
  • Rear wheel MSRP: $299.99.
  • Wheelset MSRP: $549.99.

First Impressions

Unpacking the Tusk Impact wheels reveals a set of rims, spokes, and hubs that don't look much different from other high-end sets on the market. The rims are anodized black, the spokes and nipples look just like stock, and the blue hubs are drilled out in places to cut back a little on the weight. Everything is labeled with Tusk logos, as all the parts are sourced by by them and not from another company (such as DID or Excel). Picking them up for the first time reveals a bit of added weight when compared to stock. While this would worry me with many parts on a bike, in the case of wheels it doesn't bother me nearly as much. I mean, really, who would trust a cheap and light wheel? At least the extra weight gives a little more confidence regarding their overall strength.

Installation was straightforward. While the wheels have their own spacers, they can also use the stock ones; and they also use the standard hardware/patterns for brake rotors or sprockets. All these holes seemed to line up well, as I had no problems bolting on the hardware on either hub.

On the Track

My first few times using these wheels were filled with short sprint laps, as I admittedly stopped often to check the spokes and keep a close eye on the wheels. (This meshed well with my constant arm-pump, too!) During these first few stops, I found myself tightening the spokes a little here and there, and in my experience, this is the norm with most wheelsets during their first use or two.

Although they're heavier than stock, the actual riding experience wasn't effected negatively by the wheels in any way.

Long-Term Durability

Here's the biggest question; how have they held up? Fairly well, to my surprise. After roughly nine months of use, across three different Kawasakis, the rims are still round with the front only being slightly out-of-true due to a few huge hits. The rear seems as straight as it originally was, but with an average amount of the anodizing being worn off around the edge of the rim from tire roll and flex. The spokes and nipples seem to be good, as I'm still able to turn them without any of them binding up or seizing. I definitely have had to tighten them a little more often than stock, most notably after some hard hits, which was to be expected. All in all, the Tusk Impact wheels exceeded my expectations in durability, the most important category for this product to perform in.

The Last Word

Would I trust these wheels to huck Supercross triples on? Not exactly, but that's not what they're meant for. However, they do the job when it comes to getting beat up week in and week out at the local track. The positives? They look good and have a very low price compared to the majority of wheelsets on the market. The negatives? They're heavier than any OEM wheel and hub combo, and the color combinations are limited. Also, the rear rim is being available in a 2.15 width and not a narrower option. For the regular Joe, they're a great set of wheels to practice on, they spice up the look of your bike for a rebuild or project, and allow you to have spare wheels in the garage; all while not completely busting your budget.

Vital MX Rating: 4 Stars - Excellet

When it comes down to price versus usage, these wheels are just fine for the majority of the riders out there. As long as you're honest with yourself on what you expect to do with them, they'll likely serve you just fine. Being that Tusk is a house brand for Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, they can be purchased on their website: RockyMountainATVMC.com.

About the Test Rider

Michael Lindsay - is a born-and-raised moto freak and gearhead from the heart of motocross in Southern California. First swinging a leg over a bike at the age of five, he immediately caught the racing bug, spending nearly every weekend behind a gate…and a lot of time on the couch while injured. While swinging back and forth between moto and the off-road scene, giving him a wide range of experience on the bike. Of course, all of this led to one thing: Lindsay loves working on his bikes almost as much as he loves talking about them. When he’s not in the Vital MX forum or writing his latest product review, you can find him out at the track taking dirt naps, snapping some pictures, or drooling over the latest parts for his bike. With an outspoken personality, gearhead background, and as Vital MX’s guru for product, Michael is here to share his unbiased opinion.

Review by Michael Lindsay // Photos by Michael Lindsay and Preston Jordan


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