Some of the best wheels to ever be manufactured have come out of Japan. These brands focus on quality, performance, and durability over anything, and this has proven to be a winning concept. Japan’s work ethic and craftsmanship have put them on top of the wheel market. Their precision manufacturing and eye for detail have given them their edge over the competition. These are the best JDM wheels to have come out of Japan.
Rays have a few different brands acting under their names such as VOLK Racing, 57Motorsport, and Gram Lights. These brands manufacture wheels for use on the street as well as for use in motorsport. Not only do their wheels look fantastic, but they also perform exceptionally well as they are of the highest quality. This post covers a specific rim model manufactured by VOLK Racing that has over the years become extremely popular internationally.
Volk Racing produces a variety of different rims, such as 21A’s, G025’S, and CE28’s. But the best of the bunch is the TE37s. There is a reason for these JDM wheels to be so popular, not only are they good-looking but also exceptionally light and durable
The TE37s popularity outside of Japan has grown substantially over the years. Part reason for that is that the TE37s basically look good on anything you put them on. The other reason is that they actually fill a function. While they do look extremely good, the purpose of the design is first and foremost function and performance over anything else.
The first pair of TE37s were 15 inches and only weighed in at 3,7kg. Ever since the TE37 has been used as a landmark for what is considered a great forged sports wheel. Its lightweight and 6-spoke design makes not only for a great street-wheel but has also been proven to work exceptionally well in racing as well.
Today there is a large variety of TE37 models, all with different characteristics, weights, and sizes to fit the drivers’ every need. Going gravel or circuit racing? Perhaps considering entering a stance meet? The TE37s got you covered. Arguably the best JDM wheel to come out of Japan.
Another player with a large international presence, WORK was founded in 1977 and has produced high-end wheels for both motorsport and street use ever since. Today WORK manufactures a large variety of rims, such as Euroline, Rezax, S1R’s, S13P’s, and so on. But there are two specific models that have been around for a long time, and these are the Work Meister and Work Equip. Both of these models share a unique style on their own, are lightweight, and are very recognizable thanks to their “JDM-style” design.
These unique-looking wheels were the first ones to be manufactured by the Work’s workshop. Commonly fitted to drift cars such as the AE86 the Work Equip’s offers a true JDM look.
The Work Equip utilizes a “deep-dish” design which makes the eyes wander towards the wheels of the car.
The Work Equip comes in a few different designs and is only available as 14” and 15”. Thus, making them suitable for smaller sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks. Rarely will you see larger cars such as an SUV or trucks use these types of rims.
The Work Meister’s could arguably be even more sought-after than the Work Equip’s. The Work Meister rim was introduced as a middle-way wheel that could be both used for track use and street use. The name Meister got its inspiration from the German Touring Car Championship, and thus became really popular in the German car culture. It is not uncommon to see older BMWs, Mercedes, Audis, and Porsches being fitted with Work Meister’s.
The Enkei brand has manufactured wheels for over 70 years, it would be right to say they know how to make a great wheel. Enkei doesn’t only make aftermarket wheels but also creates wheels for OEM manufacturers as well as motorsport teams. The philosophy at Enkei is to always put function and performance over anything else. Nowadays many manufacturers put design and low costs before function and performance. This cannot be said for Enkei whose design purpose is to only be as good as it can be.
The design of the RPF1 was done in cooperation with the formula 1 racing team. The twin-spoke design was done truly for function. The design allows for better stress distribution during intense periods of force on the wheel. Its pocket design not only improves the rigidity but also cools down the wheel during aggressive driving/racing.
The RPF1’s comes available in many different sizes, ranging from 14” all the way up to 18”. Color ranges from Silver, black, gold, and SBC (which basically is a custom order).
The RPF1’s is an excellent choice for racing or aggressive driving as the wheel is extremely durable and rigid. Also, thanks to its lightweight material and smart center design allow for cooler temperatures.
Enkei RPF1 is a very common option on Toyota Chasers/Cresta’s, especially for drift cars.
To be considered the first pioneer of customized wheels, Weds is the creator of several well-known wheel brands such as WedsSport, Maverick, Kränze, and Super Star. Weds was first founded in 1965 and was the first company to specialize in customized wheels. You’ll find a large variety of different wheel designs, sizes, and widths.
In 1984 the brand WedsSport division was founded and became heavily involved in motorsport. By using a large amount of gathered data Weds started to develop wheel designs that were better than the competitors and to be used in various racing series. The Japanese racing team Bandoh is famously for using WedsSport wheels on their racing cars.
WedsSport has different categories of wheels depending on what they will be used for. They offer street wheels, high-performance racing wheels, as well as some universal wheels which can be used for both.
The TC105N is an extraordinary rim, specifically developed to be used in various JGTC racing series and motorsport events, the TC105N offers a lightweight, strong, and durable wheel. The 10-spoke rim design is timeless, and has been challenged for nearly four decades, but has still stood its place.
The WedsSport TC105N ranges from 15” 6.5J all the way to 18” 10.5J with the 15” weighing in at just 4.81kg and the latter 8.35kg. If you are looking to go into racing, you can never go wrong with a pair of TC105N’s.
This brand design is all about the JDM culture. No other rim design on this list screams as much JDM as Hayashi Racing’s wheel designs. The Hayashi Racing Street rim has been in production for over 50 years and during that time been improved upon several times over.
Over its lifespan, Hayashi Streets developed into several sub-designs and today there is a large variety of designs. But perhaps the most popular and subtle one is the Hayashi CR. This street rim offers a sophisticated design that fits most old-school cars. Its 8-spoke design with a large centerpiece is a classic look, and a look that has been proven to stay in style for over 50 years.
The Hayashi CR is an exceptional street wheel. But if you are looking to go racing, drifting, or hill climbing it would be recommended to go with a more rigid wheel such as the RPF1 or Volk Racing TE37.
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