MHR speedline wheel replacements

Need a bit of advice on what to replace the original Speedline wheels with on my '79 MHR. It is still fitted with the original wheels but I am a bit worried about venturing out on them with everything I’ve heard. I’ve been told I could get them x-rayed to check but I’m thinking it would be better to get a new set to ride and keep the originals for show. I do have a spare set of Speedlines too that came with the bike which visually are in good order like the original fitted so might be worth getting the lit checked out.
So far it seems Campagnola or FPS wheels will go in or Darmah/Pantah wheels. I’m not entirely sure I am buying the right thing here though as I don’t want to get them (if I source them from ebay/abroad) and find they won’t go in. Any advice would be welcome as would any leads on a set of wheels gathering dust which would fit.
Thanks, Leigh.

Hello Leigh.
Steve Robins is the chap to ask on this, he’ll probably be on answering…?
Have you tried Andy at Mdina Italia, he may has some?
FPS’s are the ones to go for I think, I’m not sure if Pantah wheels fit?

Hi Leigh,

Steve Robins? That’ll be me then, here’s what I know and what I think…
The OEM Speedline wheels weren’t that good even when they were new and they’re now well over 30 years old.
I’ve owned my 900SS for 35 years in a month or so time, my original Speedline’s were only fit for the scrap heap by early '81 or ‘82, they were corroding and had cracks radiating out from every disc mounting bolt hole by then, they’d also been repainted twice by then though.
Steve Wynne of Sports motorcycles fame once said years ago now…“I wouldn’t want to sit on a bike even in the showroom with a pair of those old magnesium wheels in the bike.”
Any wheels from either a Darmah, 750/900SS or MHR will fit your bike, but magnesium Campagnolo’s are just as old! :open_mouth:
However if you’ve got £2K+ to spare I think you can now get new ones, but they’ll still suffer from the same problems if used often.
FPS ones were cast in aluminum not magnesium,’ so they didn’t suffer as the magnesium ones did and that’s why the factory went over to them.
I don’t think (but also don’t know for sure) the Pantah wheels will fit, Andrew Jones at Mdina Italia* will be able to answer this question for sure.
If your bike were mine and I wanted to keep it looking fairly original for road use I’d look for some good condition FPS items, keeping the old Speedline’s for shows or very short trips to shows only after having them X-rayed and refurbed!!!
If you’re going to actually use the bike for more than this? Then I’d fit some SS style alloy hubbed/flanged rimmed spoked wheels with heavy gauge stainless steel spokes and chromed brass nipples, that’s what I did back in '81 or '82 and they’ve been pretty bullet proof ever since, with the added bonus of being able to be rebuilt, as tyres improved I also fitted wider rims on the rear wheel (twice), the OEM rim took a 120 tyre (in '79 before that it was a 110), but I can now fit a 140 or 150.

*I’m pretty sure that Andrew can also supply alloy hubbed/flanged rimmed spoked wheels as well.

Steve R

Pretty much as I thought Steve, thanks for posting, see you soon I hope!

Thank you for the help and advice Steve and Kevin.
From what you say I think my best first step is to get in touch with Andy at Mdina Italia and see if he has any FPSs. I will let you know how I get on.
Hopefully I will be able to catch up with you at the show in April.
Thanks, Leigh.

Something to bare in mind when dumping speedlines is the disc’s you will need For example if you haver 4 bolt Speedlines then look for 4 bolt FPS or Campags. A set of 6 bolt disc’s to fit later 6 bolt FPS will cost you more than the wheels While Campags are Magnesium they are a different pattern to Speedlines and i have not heard of Campags collapsing where as i have heard of several sets of Speedlines cracking up.

What came as standard wheel-wise on my '81 MHR - I’ve not really inspected mine yet since purchase (but then its not really on the road presently - as its been standing since the '90s and I’m sorting all other age-related issues first such as any gaskets that are on their last legs, and renovating the inside of the tank), I will get around to looking at the wheels shortly.