Question on Durability of ROTA Wheels?

Photos copyright of their respective owners

Before I begin, let me just say that it took me several days to come up with this 2,705-word article. But I’m pretty sure this is something that would “make a difference” to the automotive industry. So I’m pretty happy that it was worth my time. Here goes…

Driftworks S15 Rota Wheels Custom Pinoy Rides pic1

Yeah, I know. There are many wheel whores out there who can talk all day about anything and everything to do about wheels (a.k.a. rims, mags, or magwheels). When wheel whores start to talk in their language, you start hearing words like offset, diameter, PCD, and all that. As they start to get more involved in the conversation, it starts to drift into talks about engineering, design, weight, and even metallurgy. More often than not, the conversation eventually goes to Forged versus Cast wheels. Once the topic dwells on that, you can almost be 100% sure that they will start talking about the “Durability of ROTA Wheels”.

Why does the conversation lead specifically to talking about ROTA Wheels? Why not any other brand? Well, let’s just say that ROTA is to wheels as Manny Pacquiao is to boxing. They’re both made in the Philippines, famous worldwide, and known to perform in their respective fields. And along with being famous comes a huge fanbase, as well as the distinctive crowd of haters. So after posting this up, I’ll probably put my flame suit on because it’s a given that you ROTA haters out there will be flaming on me in full force.

What is it that these ROTA haters are so angry about? The argument in all of the many different forums are always the same – they question the durability of ROTA Wheels.

Let’s make a deal. Before you start digging up some random photos of broken wheels (which are more often than not the same photos posted over and over again), and using it as an “I told you so” argument to counter this post, please back it up with proper data, as well as history behind the broken wheel incident first. Otherwise, your argument is of no value. We good?

I, on the other hand, will be talking about facts. Here goes…

Fact 1: Yes, ROTA Wheels are Cast wheels and not Forged. But do not question durability of wheels based on Cast and Forged. There are standards that wheel manufacurers must adhere to in order to ensure safety on road conditions.

Have you ever asked yourself what wheels your brand new car came with? Or better yet, let me give you some examples of high-power vehicles, and see for yourself what type of wheels they came with:

Manufacturer / Wheel Type / Size / Weight
Audi TT Cast 17×7.5 29.0
BMW E36 M3 Cast 17×7.5 22.3
Chevrolet Corvette Z06 02 Cast/Spun 18×10.5 21.0
Dodge Viper – 01 Cast 18×13 32.3
Ford Mustang – Roush (made by Prime) Cast 17×8 26.5
Honda S2000 Cast 16×7.5 18.6
Mazda RX7 FD3S Cast 16×8 15.4
Nissan 240SX 95-98 LE and SE Cast 16×6.5 18.5
Porsche 944 Turbo/951 “Phone Dial” Cast 16×8 20.0
Porsche 968 Cast 17×9 23.0
Porsche 993 Cast 17×9 19.5
Porsche 996 Cast 18×10 23.4
Porsche Boxter Cast 17×8.5 22.7
Porsche Club Sports Cast 16×9 21.5
Porsche Cup Cast 18×10 29.3

Alright, so these cars come from the factory with cast wheels. So if these manufacturers found cast wheels to be good enough, then why did certain wheel manufacturers come out with forged wheels?

There are many sources for you to research on the difference between casting and forging. But the simple explanation is that forged wheels are for those who demand even higher performance levels than that of cast wheels. The technology of forging allows an engineer to create a wheel design that has a higher specific strength as well as higher toughness (engineering term for ability to absorb energy) than what it could have been if it were done via casting. Basically, the idea of forging is to bring down the weight of the wheel (i.e. using less material), while still keeping it relatively strong. Why is that important? Because the people who demand this level of performance take the following metrics into consideration: Moment of Inertia, and Unsprung Mass.

Of course, demanding for this level of performance comes with a premium, as forging is definitely more expensive than casting. So ask yourself first if you take into account these two metrics in your quest for better performance. If not, then aren’t you paying more for the luxury of having more expensive wheels, than for its practical benefits?

Fact 2: ROTA Wheels meet all JWL and VIA standards. Because they’re supposed to!

Would you be surprised if I told you that ROTA is probably the one who manufactured the OEM wheels for that car sitting in your garage? Yes, the ROTA plant is one of the biggest manufacturers of OEM wheels for various brands like Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, and Mazda.

Who else is in this type of business, you might ask? Well, in terms of large-scale OEM wheel manufacturing, ROTA’s biggest competitor is Enkei.

So before we proceed any further, let’s define both JWL and VIA:

“JWL” (Japan Light Wheel Alloy) is a compilation of standards defined by the Japanese Government to ensure the vehicle’s safety for aluminum road wheels. Every wheel put to market must be tested to meet JWL standards before a wheel can be put out to market in Japan.

These standards are generally accepted worldwide as acceptable for most road conditions. That is why you will see these marks on European and other Asian country wheels.

“VIA” (Vehicle Inspection Association Registration System). VIA marking can only be engraved on the wheel if registered by Japan Light Alloy Automotive Wheel Testing Council after strict quality tests by the authorized testing facility on the adaptability of JWL or JWL-T (Japan Light Alloy Wheel Truck & Bus) technical standard.

While other brands advertise that they have their own “additional” test standards that they say are higher than that of JWL and VIA (e.g. JWL+R for Rays Engineering, Spec-E for Enkei), ROTA Wheels also does their own additional tests like Rays and Enkei, although they just don’t advertise it (maybe they should). Why do you think the OEMs trust ROTA to manufacture their OEM wheels? To stay competitive in the OEM Wheel Manufacturing business, they must show the OEMs that ROTA’s standards are better than others, and even better than what has been set by JWL and VIA.

To sum it all up, the JWL and VIA standards have been set and are accepted worldwide for aluminum road wheels for most road conditions. Putting these wheels, or any other wheels for that matter (meeting JWL and VIA standards), under anything outside of most road conditions, will test the limits of the wheels.

But hey, isn’t it the same with any other part of your car that you put to the test in rigorous motorsports conditions? Remember, a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. So I urge you to go and ask the motorsports teams who use ROTA wheels what is usually the first part of their cars that fail. With the big fat budgets of motorsports teams, would you think they would be using ROTA wheels if it were their weakest link?

Which leads me to my next fact…

Fact 3: ROTA is a trusted brand in various forms of motorsports, all over the globe.

Driftworks S15 Rota Wheels Custom Pinoy Rides pic2
In the world of Drifting, the Driftworks team is known to be probably the most successful drift team in Europe. Pictured above is their world-famous 720hp 2JZGTE-powered Driftworks Nissan S15 which runs on 18x12in Rota GTR-Ds.

Phil Morrison, owner of Driftworks, was asked by Speedhunters as to why he runs ROTA Wheels, even on his daily driver E46 BMW M3. Here’s what he had to say:

“Simple reason is because they are light, strong, and most importantly I didn’t have to go through a load of idiots telling me that I wouldn’t be able to, and shouldn’t fit 10’s all round.”

He goes on to say:

“Would I ever buy a set of TE37 even if Rota had never made these wheels? The answer is a simple no. They are massively overpriced for what they are, and the designs nearly 20 years old, so wah! Those who are mocking the fact I say they are strong need to do some research. We have used Rota wheels on our road cars, track cars and drift cars for 5 years. I’ve personally owned about 20 sets, and we have sold over 1000 wheels. We have never had nor heard of a failure that wasn’t due to a crash… I actually use this car for a lot more than daily driving. It’s my track car as well when I don’t want to drift the S15 I take this car to a local track or to the Nurburgring. It get’s some serious abuse, and deals with it all day long. I never thought I’d say it about a BMW, but I think it’s an awesome car, and will only let it go when a 997GT3RS makes it’s way into my life.”

Falken S14.5s at BDC Rota Wheels photo from Rota Blog UK Custom Pinoy Rides
Meanwhile, the 2011 British Drift Championship winner is another car running on ROTA Wheels – Matt Carter’s Falken S14.5, pictured on right. His teammate, Alan Green, pictured left, also runs on ROTAs.

Turn In Concepts photo by Wheeldude Rota Wheels Custom Pinoy Rides
In Racing, check out the 2009 Redline Time Attack Street National AWD Champions – Turn In Concepts, running 17×9 Rota DPT wheels.

Photo from Element Tuning Rota Wheels Custom Pinoy Rides
Element Tuning Subaru STi on Rota DPT wheels reigning supreme on the 2011 US Time Trial Championships. The opponents? European muscle such as the V10 Lamborghini Gallardo Superlegerra and the Porsche 997 GT3, as well as American muscle in the form of race-tuned Dodge Vipers and Corvettes.

Photo from AMS Performance Rota Wheels Custom Pinoy Rides
In the world of Drag Racing, the World’s Fastest Evolution VIII is the AMS Performance Drag EVO wearing ROTA Slipstream Wheels. 1,220 All-Wheel Horsepower, 671 ft/lbs of Torque, Best 1/4 Mile of 8.42 @ 171 mph, and a Standing Mph of 228 mph.

After reading this, are you still questioning how much horsepower ROTA Wheels can manage?

Photo from Rota Blog UK Rota Wheels Custom Pinoy Rides
How about an Exotic Car wearing ROTA Wheels? Check out this TVR Sagaris rolling on Rota Boost wheels.

Want to see a reputable source showing cars all over the world running on ROTA Wheels? Check it out on Speedhunters.

Speaking of Motorsports, JWL and VIA Standards, and the fact that there’s no standard for “abuse”, there is one type of wheel labeling that I’m very curious about – “For Racing Purposes Only” or “Only For Competition Use” Wheels. While ROTA does not come out with wheels labeled as such, some other brands do.

It’s quite disconcerting to read forums where people question the strength of these wheels, and their reluctance to use it on the street. I have some examples for you here, here, and here.

Why are people so reluctant to use them on the street? Does it mean it’s weaker? Moreover, don’t you wonder what standard was used for these “competition wheels”, if there is actually no standard for testing anything outside “most road conditions”?

What determines what is for competition and what is not? Read through those links and you’ll start to see arguments about differences between racetracks being generally smooth tarmac, and streets filled with potholes, where you expect to “install and forget” the wheels, and counter-arguments saying there’s more abuse during racing than on regular street use. Does it make you wonder which wheels are stronger? Is it those that meet JWL and VIA standards, or those that are labeled “For Competition Use Only”? If you think it’s the “For Competition Use Only” wheels, as you get to abuse it in motorsports events, then why is there apprehension to use it on the street?

ROTA makes no such “For Competition Use Only” wheels. Whatever wheels you see being used by race teams during motorsports events are the very same wheels you can get from ROTA for use on your street car.

And lastly, please don’t get me started on the “who copied who” argument. The fact that you’re so good at finding out what a ROTA is from something that is not, means you can tell the difference. Same as how you can tell the difference between the wheels below.

Photo from EdmundsPhoto from Paul TanPhoto from Getauto

OEM Wheels: 2011 Mercedes E-Class vs. Chevrolet Cruze vs. Mitsubishi Outlander vs. Mazda 3

Photo from NissentricPhoto from Hoymotor

OEM Wheels: Nissan GT-R vs. New Mitsubishi Outlander

Photo from ICBMotorsportPhoto from BMSC Australia

Racing Hart vs. OZ

BBS LM vs. Work VS-XX

Photo from Kyoei USAPhoto from RD Tanabe

Work Meister S1 vs. SSR Professor SP1

Photo from Wheeldesign dot itPhoto from Cardomain

Work Euroline vs. SSR Vienna

Photo from Mossy PerformancePhoto from Enkei

Nismo LMGT4 vs. Enkei EV5

Photo from

SSR MK1 vs. Centerline

People say that ROTA Wheels are “Replica Wheels”. I beg to disagree. Check any dictionary and you’ll see that “Replica” is defined as an exact or accurate reproduction of an object. Like replicas of Louis Vuitton bags and other fashion items. People who buy these items most likely want to pose as owners of the originals. But like I said, ROTA Wheels are not replica wheels. Their products do not say “Volk Racing” or anything like that. They are built as ROTA Wheels, and are sold as ROTA Wheels. If people put stickers of other brands on it, it is beyond the control of the factory. But since they are not replicas, this is the reason why a lot of people can actually tell the difference.

There are only so many ways by which you can come up with spoked designs, and make it work. If one manufacturer takes inspiration from a design made by another, and creates their own rendition of it, is it still a replica?

Though I will not agree that ROTA Wheels are replicas, what I will agree to are that ROTA Wheels have been “inspired” by other designs. Just as the wheels I’ve shown you on the photos above have been inspired by those done by others. Though they were inspired by other brands, ROTA Wheels have their own angles, as well as their own fitment, which is why people can tell them apart from the designs they were inspired from. Now does that still make it a replica? Or is it now an original?

Anyway, that’s not the whole point of this article. The point I would like to put across is that people buy things for a purpose. You can’t buy a cast wheel and expect it to perform like a forged wheel. Then complain about cast wheels not being “up to par” with the abuse you put it through. Remember, JWL and VIA standards are set for MOST ROAD CONDITIONS. Not for abuse. There is no test standard for abuse.

On the flipside, those who do buy cast wheels actually purchase them because you can’t expect a forged wheel to cost like a cast wheel. Fine, you can get them for a lower cost in the used market. But do they come readily available in your preferred specifications? And how can you tell if they have been put through a life of abuse or have been damaged before they come into your hands?

I know you can have numerous rebuttals at me and can throw various types of arguments at me for posting this. There will be no end to this argument and I can easily say I just picked up a rock to bang on my head for no reason than to get flamed. But this is Custom Pinoy Rides – one of the best car blogs in this side of the world. And because of that, I have a social responsibility to speak up and make myself heard. I’m not trying to destroy anyone or any other brand, and I’m not trying to flame you if you don’t agree with what I am saying. I’m just stating facts. So if you’re thinking of flaming me with your nonsense which you can’t back up with facts, think twice or you might just make yourself look bad. Ayt?

Otherwise, if you agree with me, then do share this article to those whom we can probably shed some light to. Because as Mike Garrett of Speedhunters says:

“[Wheels] are probably the most important component in how a car looks, right? Some people say that wheels to a car are like shoes to a person, but in my opinion the importance of having decent wheels on a car is more important than the shoes someone is wearing…”

Nuff said! I gotta go get some shut-eye. Let’s talk more later. If you have something better to say, then put it on the comments. Cheers!

Other Interesting Stuff:
What the JDM LEAF SIGN a.k.a. “Wakaba” Really Means
The PROPER use of the JDM Tilting Plate Holder

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96 Responses to Question on Durability of ROTA Wheels?

  1. I hit potholes every day no damage what so ever. And I suck at driving.

  2. durability + low price = 100 percent racing satisfaction

  3. Gonz says:

    Great article! Rota = Pinoy Pride!

  4. Am very proud to be sponsored by Rota Wheels and I have been representing them here in Japan in every way I can! Durability, no need to ask about those, I’ve been using ROTA at the Drift Muscle Series since 2011 Season, and all I can say is it took a lot of beating but its still intact….so need not to say, “ROTA WHEELS can perform at the highest level at the world of Motorsport!!”

  5. Victor says:


  6. charles grageda says:

    here in usa a lot of uninformed – arrogant – hypocrite F@#k who keep on hating Rotas

  7. Simon says:

    Why does everyone like them?
    You made a lot of points. Most are probably true.

    Because you can get what the real boys have for a third of the price?


  8. Mitch Brady says:

    Glad to have Rota wheels NZ as a sponsor of the Zerofighter drift team. Cheap, stylish wheels with great fitment choice and readily available. What more could you ask for?

  9. THE aSTIG says:

    Hi Simon – Your question: “WHY DO YOU LIKE THEM?” – This is something that is very subjective, answerable by opinions, and not really by facts. Had everyone “liked” Volks, Enkeis, SSRs, Rotas, or whatever other brand, then everyone would have bought those. But that is not the case. This question will just open up a whole new can of worms as there are different reasons why people get what they like.

  10. David says:

    what i dont get is why these new brands that are using the same styles as the older companies can seem to offer them with alot more dish/-ve offsets. i would think that they original wheel company didnt offer them in that offset/with that much dish was because it caused to much stress on other parts of the wheel.

    not talking about rota, who i think are a goodish brand but does everyone really think that all these companys that have these wheels on ebay/trademe etc really put all there wheels through testing? i bet they just send a inventor file to some chinese company who then make them a few thousand wheels for sweet fuck all.

    i think i need a new well known branded wheel and a new “ripoff” wheel and press to do some testing :)

    also, that ssr mk1 wheel in the comparision is a centerline, so your just comparing a centerline to a centerline.

  11. THE aSTIG says:

    Hi David – Thanks for noticing! Haha! Now it’s an SSR MK1 vs. Centerline.

  12. Steve Rojas says:

    Really love this article. Thank you CPR! :)

  13. THE aSTIG says:

    Hi Steve – Welcome bro!

  14. Chuck Lapitan via Facebook says:

    driving hard on street or on track ROTA WHEELS have been my weapon of choice for my lancer’s footwear.and when i say drive hard, try driving on local philippine roads with all the cracks, gaps and potholes going at triple digit speeds…survived that, and trackdays and being loaded to the roof with groceries :)

  15. Bee says:

    Rotas are the best bang for buck!! I’ve seen enkies and Konig and many other expensive brand of wheels bend or crack.. But this article is perfectly said!

  16. keepitclassy says:

    I’m not a rota hater but i do have some thoughts to share. I have owned several rota wheels in the past but I have also owned several High end wheels (work, volk, CCW, etc). The fit and finish of these wheels are on completely different levels. Most rota wheels are copies (knock offs) of Name brand wheels, that to be completely honest with you look cheap in comparison. I don’t get why they continue to just copy other wheels and people claim you are getting the same thing. Clearly you are not. I can spot a rota wheel from across a crowded parking lot. They just look like a cheap copy, which they are. With the exception of a couple of models, the “copy” is not accurate. Varrstoen’s on the other hand are a tougher one and look just like the wheel they are attempting to Copy. I have to say that I will probably always buy high end expensive wheels because to be honest with you, They look better, and the finishes are better. However one of my favorite wheels that I have ever owned was a 16″ set of full polished rota sub zeros. As far as strength is concerned, I’m sure Rota wheels are plenty strong, I never once had a problem with any set I owned. It simply boils down to preference.

  17. Ish Parken says:

    Ive been running Rota’s on my WRX for 5 years now, daily driving, rallying a bit, grinding them on curbs like every other day. Not a flaw, not a scratch, the paint is perfect. Im sure ive hit 100’s of pot holes with 15 psi in the tires and they just keep on rolling. They are not bad wheels people just feel stupid that they paid 3 times more for the same look (because they dont actually race) so they flame to feel better.

  18. Lith says:

    I just stumbled onto this article while looking for some wheel pictures :)
    I want to agree with keepitclassy for the most part. Rota wheels can be spotted a mile away. The final finish just isn’t there when you compare it to the original wheels (or wheels that Rota was ‘inspired’ by).
    I also think that people that shouldn’t compare cast wheels to forged wheels when it comes to durability. We all know why we have forged wheels and why we have cast wheels. However, there is a huge difference between OEM cast wheels and aftermarket cast wheels. OEM wheels rarely come in sizes that most of us would want. They tend to be smaller wheels built for durability, where weight of the wheel isn’t a priority. Even if Rota makes wheels for OEM’s, they make it according to the specs from the OEM. That’s why they will make wheels that are durable, but certainly not cheap (quality-wise).

    However, making cast wheels for the aftermarket crowds is a different story. That’s where quality really comes into question. We want larger wheels, but also lighter wheels.
    Rays, BBS, Enkei etc.. have nothing to hide when it comes to the manufacturing and testing of their wheels.
    Please take a look a video from Weds showing a test of their wheels vs. a replica wheel
    Anyone can put JWL or VIA stamps on their wheels (especially when they are sold outside of Japan), but how can anyone be sure that they are really tested to these standards.
    If Rota wants everyone to take them seriously, they should advertise (as mentioned in the article) their testing and manufacturing methods and prove to people that they make quality wheels. Otherwise, there will always be people out there that are skeptical about the quality of wheels such as Rota (not to mention rip-offs of designs from well known wheels will not help them convince people).

    I want to see a video of someone picking up a Work Meister wheel off the shelf and a Rota D2 wheel and put them under the same stress tests.

    Rota can definitely make quality wheels (hell, they have been in business for decades), but the question is, do they want to do that for the crowds they cater to? Probably not. For most people price is the bottom line and if they can somewhat better wheels than the other replica wheels, that’s just a bonus.

    I truly dislike when people start blurring the line between cheap wheels and quality wheels by saying that there are tons of people that run them (including race teams) and no have no problems with them. This alone does NOT make them quality wheels.

    Simply put, Rota can make quality wheels if they want to. All they have to do is show people that they pass the same exact tests as the wheels they copied it from. And this would only be the first step to being a respected wheel company that makes quality wheels.. and just a wheel company that makes wheels that are just ‘good enough’.

  19. Marc says:

    I just don’t get is, their tag line says “the art and science of wheels”… uh, where is the art if they mostly copy their designs… Where is the science in there too?

  20. Brian says:

    I’ve owned Rotas and their quality, fit, and finish are nowhere near what my Enkei’s are. I ordered 4 wheels directly from Rota and received 2 pairs with different sized lug nut bores that barely allow the slimmest of lug nuts to fit. I’ll stick with my opinion…replica garbage.

  21. Jonathan McFarland says:

    Lol. This article is garbage and you know it!

    Sure, ROTA works well, but you can’t compare them to Volk. Those who have the money to buy the finer things can only understand. The rest of ya’ll can enjoy ROTA and other wheels. Just don’t be jelly when someone rolls up with nicer stuff.

  22. Pingback: Interesting article about Rota Wheels - Vancouver's Top Classifieds and Automotive Forum -

  23. Jellyman says:

    Look at it this way: In this case, who would wear a fake pair of Jordans? Somebody on a budget right? Not that Rota’s are fake.. I mean, yes, they do have some wheels that look like others. But based on the definition, I would agree that they are NOT replicas.

    Remember this?

    If not, the story behind it was that the owner lied & said he had BBS’s, which got himself featured in StanceNation. After finding out they were fake, SN replied: “We’ve taken down the feature of a Lexus IS that was rocking BBS caps on fake BBS wheels. We don’t condone fake wheels, but we also don’t have a problem with them. What we f******* hate is when people lie about their s*** being fake and rock name brand caps. Don’t do that s***!”

    IMO look different, but at the same time, it doesn’t hurt to save up some money for the real deal. I do prefer to wear Jordans though.

  24. Pingback: NYC Chat Thread 7.0 - Page 58 - 8th Generation Honda Civic Forum

  25. Ziptied says:

    Cool story bro…golf clap.

  26. Pingback: Durability of ROTA Wheels... - Honda Prelude Forum

  27. Floyd Mayweather a.k.a. Volk Racing says:

    For reals though, how am I supposed to take this article seriously with a title like that? and it took you several days to write this? It was that hard to come up with some support to your argument huh? lol. now when do you stfu.

  28. I raced on Rota’s just once. With me driving, one bent like butter with light contact with a FIA curb. I just touched the curb, not hitting it solidly. Another driver went 4 off but not hard in the same car that weekend, all 4 wheels bent. We were amazed with how the wheels bent so easily. That was the last time I used Rota’s ever. I believe they were the subzero model. They were light, perhaps too light for a cast wheel.

  29. But Mike, was this recent? How do you know that their technology hasn’t improved in recent years?

  30. THE aSTIG says:

    Cars running ROTA Wheels at last year’s Global Time Attack:

    Quoting a few lines from the articles, talking about the cars running ROTA Wheels:

    “The top time of day was set by Jeff Westphal in the GST Motorsports Subaru Impreza. He ran a 1:02.460. That is good for the fastest closed wheel car ever to drive a New Jersey Motorsports park’s “Lightning” course. It still amazes me that this car was built in a garage by Mike Warfield. It is making an earth shattering 800 hp to the wheels.”

    “Didn’t Ja Rule drive this one? Monica! That’s Pete Bovenburg. He’s a multiple-time USTCC Champion and his 1:51.964 was good for the win in Limited GT FF as well as a class record. We’ll forgive his circa 2001 Modern Image livery because he’s so damn fast.”

    They competed, and WON! Now does that go on to say that winning race cars use ROTA Wheels? You be the judge.

  31. I saw lots of Rotas survive Targa Newfoundland on some pretty quick cars with no obvious failures.

  32. Ant says:

    Just wanted to point out audi tt’s have forged 17 inch wheels

  33. Joe C says:

    Rotas are total copy/rip off wheels. How would you like it if I copied this article and gave you absolutely no credit?

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  35. Dan says:

    When it comes to bang for the buck you can’t go wrong with Rota’s, but to argue that they are not blatant rip offs or copies, well your post looses any credibility it could have earned with the motorsports argument. Go to any local autocross and you will see Rota wheels, people that race their cars understand that Rota makes a nice wheel at a great price. I just think that Rota looses any respect that it could have earned because every single wheel they sell is a rip off of another wheel. I realize that different brands will often have very similar wheels just like it was stated in the initial post, but the big difference is that those companies were not built on the designs of other peoples products. I just have never understood why Rota doesn’t design it’s own style of wheel? They obviously have the manufacturing capabilities.

  36. Matt says:

    I’ve just bought 12, 10J rota gtr-d for drifting and paid 1400 for them. If I wanted to buy TE37’s in that size and ofset I’d be very lucky to get one set. Who’s the idiot for buying rota ? I’ve hit pot holes sideways and had no problems. All these pictures circulating or smashed rotas, you try driving into a curb at 70mph and see how your TE’s look.

  37. Peter T says:

    Sorry but this reads like an informercial for Rota. You got paid for right this? More laughable is the Rota advertisement below. And this article is supposed to make a difference? Riiiight….

    Most people don’t say Rota wheels aren’t safe or solid wheels, its the knock off factor that everyone hates the most. You post some photos of similar looking wheels but take a closer look most of them have real visual differences. Even more so, those shown companies have unique designs of wheels in their lineup. Show me one wheel that Rota designs that doesn’t mimic another design.
    Its ENTIRE catalogue is based off of other wheels, so they move a spoke out further or change a color, that doesn’t excuse the fact that they have taken a design and copied it.
    I’d love to see how you felt if you paid engineers and designers gobs of money to come up with a lightweight wheel and then some company just ripped it off, I bet you’d be writing the same story right?
    Don’t get me started on the forged wheels argument either. Do you know the raw cost of materials and equipment for this process? You sure don’t seem to break it down in the article so insinuating that they are overpriced is nothing but a personal opinion which, again makes this article nothing more that a fluff piece for Rota.

  38. Your article is so biased that its laughable. The fact that there’s a HUGE Rota ad at the bottom makes it an even bigger joke. I hope they paid you well to write this.

  39. All wheels will bend if they hit something… But some bend easier than others, I have bent my fair share of wheels from many different manufactures, so now I buy the best wheels for our race cars.

  40. Adam says:

    Some decent points are made… Wait, are those Rota ads on the sidebar? Oh, I see, brought to you by ROTA. Cant blame the website… Gotta listen to your sponsors.

  41. The Rota’s bent so easily I learned not to trust them. I find it amazing that they could sell such a fragile wheel. I have bent only one Volk ever after crashing super hard getting 20-30 feet of air and landing in a ditch. The whole car was bent! One TE37 was only slightly bent and till held air. I spent two weeks in intensive care. On our Formula D car, we went a whole season in superlight CE28N’s which survived hard gator tooth, car to car and curb impacts which bent the suspension but the wheels did not bend or crack. Street people do not stress wheel like rear competition.

  42. I am not biased against Rota’s, I just wont use them on my personal cars due to prior experience. I guess I have had a few friends bend them on street cars as well with no big impact that they would admit to. That is anecdotal evidence and not my personal experience so take that as you may.

  43. Robert Kochis via Facebook says:

    I have never heard someone brag about having a pair of rotas nor have I heard that wheel as someone’s “weapon of choice”. There is no innovation, simply taking existing wheel designs and modifying them slightly then mass producing them at barely a fraction of the cost of the real wheel. People don’t understand that certain styles of wheel need a certain amount and type of material in order to be structurally sound. Just cause a wheel is light or heavy doesn’t mean it’s strong. In the 5 years I’ve been in this industry I’ve seen many replica wheel bend and crack in ways a properly built wheel shouldn’t. I was cut off and pushed into a curb by some drunk idiot and my gram light only bent. I Hit a nasty pothole in my missile car with xxrs on and wheel was completely destroyed. This was about 2 months ago and it was the 527 model.

  44. rota wheels are pretty much what the hellaflush guys use. they’re more or less just for Hondas in parking-lots and car-shows. I still prefer used yet genuine Watanabes on my AE86 over brand new Rotas any day.

  45. Dyllon says:

    Very well said. This article really puts in to perspective just how silly it is to hate on wheel brands such as ROTA. I know several people who run these wheels with no problems what so ever. As far as finish & paint goes, the more expensive brands should be better, or I hope it is for the money they cost. I agree that most name brand wheels are over priced. It doesn’t cost near that much to produce a wheel but you’re always gonna have these hipster follow the leader types who just want wheels so they can bash the guy who has cheaper wheels. I see it all the time, just like this guy who commented earlier that he could spot a ROTA across the parking lot & i’m sure that’s what they do & then poke fun at the owner. You’d be surprised at just how many of your forum celebrity types that re sticker ROTAs & pass them off, or try to pass them off for their more expensive counter parts. It’s done all the time with the slipstreams, putting Regamaster stickers on them. If you’ve got the money to spend on the higher end wheels then do it, but don’t think you’re better just because you own a more expensive wheel, that’s just stupid & makes you look like an ass. Most people who own forged wheels don’t even need that extra strength so cast wheels are just fine in my opinion, but it is just my opinion.

  46. Chris says:

    Drifting, time trials, and autocross are amateur motorsports at best. Reference a true race team that competes in a real series and employs real engineers not “tuners”. It would make your argument more believable. There is a huge difference between a tuner and a true racing team full of engineers.

    Also, quoting a tuning shop who sells the wheels is like a politician claiming they always look out for the best interests of people.

  47. Pingback: Interesting article on ROTA's - Mazdaspeed Forums

  48. Pingback: Dangers/Benefits of "cheap, knockoff, replica" i.e XXR/Rota/etc. Please read! - Page 5 - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums

  49. When it comes to bang for the buck you can’t go wrong with Rota’s, but to argue that they are not blatant rip offs or copies, well your post looses any credibility it could have earned with the motorsports argument. Go to any local autocross and you will see Rota wheels, people that race their cars understand that Rota makes a nice wheel at a great price. I just think that Rota looses any respect that it could have earned because every single wheel they sell is a rip off of another wheel. I realize that different brands will often have very similar wheels just like it was stated in the initial post, but the big difference is that those companies were not built on the designs of other peoples products. I just have never understood why Rota doesn’t design it’s own style of wheel? They obviously have the manufacturing capabilities.

  50. Ben Dover says:

    Rotas are wack. Simple as that. Fake, replicas, or inspired, call them what you like. If Rota was so great they’d come up with some of their own “inspirations” that had mass appeal and sales to match… but why would a company as great as Rota is do something like like that?
    Flame suit = ON.