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The Truth About SSR Wheels

Fitment Industries Author | | February 8th, 2018 |

  • - What do a 47 year old wheel company, the Lamborghini behind me, and the lunch that I just had all have in common? Well, they all have questionable history. What did I have for lunch?
    So, just so you guys know, we're giving away a beanie, a sweatshirt, and a sticker for anybody that subscribes on YouTube, or shares and likes the video on Facebook. That is the entire sales pitch for this entire video. Boom. ♪ Don't want time for them to miss me ♪ ♪ Yes I see the things that they wishing on me ♪
    - So in 1971 a new wheel company was born.
    Speed Star Racing. Or, Speed Star Racing Wheels. They were, without a doubt, probably one of the first Japanese wheel companies to specialize in aftermarket design wheels. They didn't start in the game really making anything else, besides aftermarket wheels, and they pride themselves on being the first company to make multi-piece wheels. And you're gonna see, in all of our wheel history videos, it seems like any company in Japan or any company in Europe, seems to be the first at making multi-piece wheels. It's not true. Weds made the first forged multi-piece in 1977. BBS made their first multi-piece motor sports wheel in 1972. And Work Wheels didn't make their first multi-piece wheel until 1977. So, SSR has the multi-piece wheel pretty much on lock, in 1971 with the MK1. The MK1 was made out of their Yao factory in Japan, and they pretty much said to themselves they wanted to go from something that just functioned, to something that had a little bit of form to it. So, what was SSR's motto? Well, that was simple. To change history and tradition to safety and trust. So there goal was simple from the get-go, To make the wheels that just looked good. The MK1 was probably one of the best looking wheels, at the time. And you have to remember in 1971, and the early '70's, there was a huge demand for aftermarket wheels. The JWL and VI8 shortly came thereafter, to actually regulate the market. I keep saying actually, if I say actually again, I'm gonna take a shot for every video that I do, in the next wheel history.
    - Two shots of vodka.
    - I'll be drunk.
    So, when did they come over to the States? Well, they state that they came over to the United States in 1985, but that really doesn't matter. Most of SSR's history is overseas, and maintains to be overseas, and they do not have a strong market share here, in the United States. SSR is a brand that just really doesn't focus on the domestic market here. As always SSR as well as a lot of other Japanese wheel brands got immediately involved in motor sports, and became killing it when it came down to the actual Grand Touring and Grand cup events that were happening, all across the country. They've won countless Grand championships, trophies, throughout the last three or four decades, in fact, where they've just been killing it, when it comes down to partnering with a bunch of different companies. In 2006 they partnered with Chris Forsberg, they partnered with countless other US drifters, and international drifters, to establish their name, into the scene, and it was really going well, all the way until they declared bankruptcy.
    - Oh!
    - They became the sponsored wheel company from Mugen CR-Z, for the Super GT 300, they sponsored team Real Racing, they sponsored team Kunimutzo and the Rehberg NSX Concept GT in 2014, The sponsored Chris Forsberg again in the 2014 Formula Drift Championship series. They've pretty much done everything. So besides the basic JWL VI8 testing, SSR does do their own additional testing, impact bending test, rotary bending test. You're gonna see a lot of those companies come standard, with the same sort of testing that you're gonna see from Work, Rays, companies that are based overseas, they have that same stringent testing, they do take pride in that. So they use heat treatment manufacturing, or HTM for short, on all of their wheels. SSR essentially goes through their wheels, whether its a one, monoblock, two-piece, hybrid, or a three-piece wheel, and re-heat treat it a second time. What that allows it to do is burn the impurities, and actually make it a stronger wheel, because it's forcing more pressure on to the wheel a second time, to clean up any sort of problems that would have gone through within the first heat treatment cycle. They also have a hybrid two-piece design, which combines that HTM technology, and what we call SSF, which is semi-solid forging material. So, semi-solid forging is a technique used by SSR in 1991. They're the only ones to use it, their coined in the phrase of semi-solid forging. And what that does, is they use a semi-molded aluminum alloy that's actually cooling down, and prior to injecting it, they treat it, and what that allows them to do is to apply an immense amount of pressure. So, this isn't rotary pressure, but it's actually just overall pressure, into the injection mold that helps maintain a high-integrity of strength, durability, and quality. What this allows them to do is maintain a low-price point, even though SSR's price point is extremely high. So that you don't have to worry about paying a fully-forged price or a multi-piece price, for something that is semi-solid forged. Now, it's not the same as rotary forged. Rotary forged, as we discussed in the past, they take these discs at a high rate of pressure, they smooth it out, like warm butter, on a nice, toasty piece of bread. And then that's how you get the forged barrel. That's not the case with SSF. Semi-solid forging essentially maintains an integrity wheel, that while it's cooling down, it forms the shape at a high rate of pressure, all at the same time. So there's no spinning really involved, more than there is just absolute pressure surrounding the wheel. That's pretty much it. They don't claim a whole lot of safety engineering testing is done on their website, unfortunately. But, we know that they do take care of their wheels, because their price point is absolutely insane.

    SSR also builds wheels with BBK. Big brake kit. In mind, so that you can make sure that if you're getting something that has a Lexus VIP look, you're always gonna have brake clearance in all of their wheels. A lot of their wheels either spoke outward, or they have a lot of concavity, to fit those bigger brake kits that you're gonna see on a lot of higher-end vehicles. And, in all, SSR shares the same mentality as Rays, as Work. Because they share a lot of their racing motor sports experience with their commercial line. So they don't separate the two businesses at all, that's why you're gonna see a lot of new designs come out from SSR that are very similar to what they ran in the Super GT 500 series the year prior or two years prior. Because they do not allow their company to be confused with politics. And allow racing to not be the same as commercial, or the commercial not be the same as racing. So SSR just clears the playing field, just like Rays does, and says you know what (bleep) it, here's all the data that we have, from all of our racing, design, all of our heat treatment, all of that stuff, so that you guys can go make your wheels. And they make some pretty cool wheels. So, they have a crimped rim, which allows the rim to fold back inward, back into the wheel, to allow it to maintain integrity. They also feature anti-slip technology, between the wheel and the tire, to help maintain that beads don't break off when you're racing them across the street. They also feature a ton of stuff that helps maintain the overall heat dispersion, from the front of the wheel, to the back of the wheel. They also talk about zero offset, and maintaining center line on a lot of their wheels. They have a bunch of fancy stuff, which really matters. But nine times out of 10, SSR wheels really don't go on those sort of vehicles, they tend to go on the stance vehicles.

    Sorry. So the current line up features: one-piece, two-piece, two-piece hybrid, and three-piece wheels. Their GTX and GTV lineup are flow-formed wheels. They also feature a two-piece hybrid wheel, which is essentially a centerpiece, welded onto a barrel. The barrel features rimless, rimless... Rimless technology, which just allows to maintain any sort of integrity, with the wheel so you don't have any weak points in the weld. So SSR tries to create customization options that don't lower the overall strength of the wheel, cause the last thing you want is to be driving down the road and your face is on your wheel, but then the rest of your wheel is over in the ditch. The best reason SSR does that is because they want to maintain the creativity side of their brand. SSR prides itself on being able to do creative designs, different looks, and things like that. Which you cannot usually do with a fully forged or rotary forged wheel. Unfortunately, that's just the way that the wheels are processed. But SSR, with their semi-solid forging, allows them to do that, so they don't have to worry about wheels breaking, and they can also make sure that their designs look (bleep)ing dope. Their GTF model is a forged mono-block, but honestly, my favorite is the Professor series. It's probably why you guys know SSR. Their wheels are killer looking. Absolutely beautiful. A set of Professor SP1s, 18 by 11 and a half, will probably run you about $3,900, in their hyper block. Insanely expensive, right? But at least you can tell your friends on social media that their not fake.
    - [Woman] Does it look real?

    - Their Professor series features different parts of their multi-piece wheel lineup. Depending on which piece you're buying, they actually don't, their not made from the same aluminum alloy, as you would expect. So the face is made from a different aluminum alloy than the barrel, which is made from a different aluminum alloy than, lets say, well I should say, the hoops, than the center discs, than the rivets, than any sort of welding material. P