The Ultimate Rim Question – JDM Vs. USDM

For many of us building a car properly is an expensive, wallet draining, time consuming exercise that’s thoroughly thought out over and over again. We agonize over everything about our project, from how much power we want out of our motors, what type of suspension, how many colored adjustable arms we can fit under there, how low it will be to the ground, the diameter of the exhaust, what racing seats, if there will be any seats in the back or not, do I take out all the weight I can or not, what color? And the list goes on…

But when you look at a lot of our cars 7 times out of 10 we fall short on wheel choice. Time and time again I’ve seen people aim for that JDM dream Set of rim only to fall short and purchase a set of Sports Max (USDM) or Super light’s (ADM), or even own that set of rims that they spent more than they should of, fall short of money and sell them to pay for some other part of there car only to see non JDM rims in there place as the cheaper option.

So why does this seam to be a growing trend in car builds these days? Owing both several pairs of wide JDM made rims and Sports max’s, FR cars and FF’s; I started to understand both sides of the story. With the rising popularity of people exporting parts from Japan off yahoo auctions and the ease of which to understand the auctions them self, now has never been a better time to get rims from Japan, but long gone are the 10,000 yen auctions of 15×8.5 SSR MK1’s as the market seams to be well and truly taped. Less and less wide 14” & 15” rims seam to make it on each time I look, or that there rather over priced for something that only 5 years ago would have sold for a tenth of the price.

And to add injury to insult there are basically no decent 80’s/90’s style rims in 13” to 15” in 4×100 PCD what so ever… the closest you might be lucky to find is some random 6j’s in very poor condition for 10,000 for a pair or some SSR mesh in a set for well over 60k.

So in comes Sports Max aka. XXR. which even in its name seams to be a fragrant rip off of the much beloved SSR and if you look at there line up of “retro style” rims they almost seam to have been taken out of the design pages of some of the top JDM companies copying the likes of watanabe’s, XR4’s, Work equip just to name a few.

These are also all one piece rims so in building a rim this way they have limited them self to how many sizes and offsets they can offer due to the fact that casts cost 12,000au plus to design a new rim/offset/size, but the down side of these rims in my personal opinion seam to almost end there. There light weight, come in a few different color choices, they have both 4×114.3 and 4×100 PCD’s and come in 15×7’s and 15×8’s. These sizes/PCD’ generally cover quite a few cars, from AE86’s, Civic’s, to older cars like Celica’s and skylines. And if your not happy with the three different styles they already have you might be interested in these new to the line up

There sizes and offsets seam to be more for the mid sized car as 15×8 +25’s on a kei car would be a hard size to fit while on something like a eg6 civic they might require spacers to fit like XXR’s 15×8 0 off counterparts. Below is an L200 Daihatsu Mira running 14×6.5’s & camber with rolled guards so only something along the lines of bolt on flairs and 165/45’s would help fit rims like those above.

So on the one hand, there a lot cheaper, easier option as you don’t have to go thru an import agent, troll for hours looking for that right set of rims and might spend > 1k getting to your door but you end up looking like everyone else that has the same rims as you. We all pretty much know by now how XXR’s fit on an EG or ae86

So what’s my point? For the time spent thinking about how your car will run and look, take just a bit more to understand what your going for. If your going to need 4 pairs of the same rims for skidder tyres in all the same offset and these suit your size/budget then I say go for it but if your going for that unique look, only need maybe two pairs for the rear and a pair for the front spend your money and time on something more wise like some proper JDM rims because nothing beats the real deal. And no, none of my rims have ever been flipped!

Thanks for reading


8 Responses to “The Ultimate Rim Question – JDM Vs. USDM”

  1. 1 marvis
    January 1, 2010 at 9:56 am

    I think it’s because people are stupid, impatient and have no idea about what they are going for with their car or what is actually periodically correct.

  2. January 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Good to see somebody likeminded.Iv never bought budget copy wheels for anything other than a jdm eg9 SiR grip car i had and they were ROTA circuit 10, exact copys of Mugen MF10L’s

    All my other wheels are SSR and no less than 8j

    Im definetly a wait & spend guy.

  3. 3 Seen in Japan
    January 27, 2010 at 8:55 am

    This red corolla is gorgeous!

  4. February 7, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    ahhh such a dilemma i face! i spent months trying to track down something negative offsetted 15×10’s in 5×114.3..only to settle for a set of pro/comp steelies. i dont regret it, but i still crave some old school jap loving

    • September 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

      problem with 5 stud, is that alot of the Toyota Crown & early cedric/gloria owners in japan have bought all of them uo. about 3/4 years back there was alot of SSR MK1’s in 5 stud, decent widths too as well as mesh, and a few other randoms. the suppily has all dryed up in terms of cool 5 stud 80’s dished rims.

      so you have 1 of 3 options.
      1) go on yahoo every day looking for wide 14’s and 15’s and when they come up for 120k a pair buy them.
      2) purchase new from SSR. only problem is the widest new are 9 zero offset.
      3) run cool but narrow 80’s rims, there are a few random 7j sets for around 40/50k yen that pop up from time to time.

  5. 6 Sai
    September 22, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Hi wonder what that 3rd rim is? next to the blue one in the picture that shows alot of single rims…

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