Volk Racing is one of the most well-known and highly regarded wheel brands on the planet. Their wheels are instantly recognizable, turning heads and garnering respect no matter where you go.
But just what makes them so good? Are they really worth the price tag?
In this post, I’m going to go over Volk Racing in detail to explain what makes them one of, if not the best wheel brand out there.
The History Of Volk Racing
Volk Racing is a subsidiary of Rays Engineering, a Japanese wheel brand founded in 1973.
Rays Engineering are the company behind Volk, so in order to understand what’s going on with Volk Wheels you need to know about Rays.
Unlike most wheel companies who start by making wheels and then get involved in racing, Rays actually was involved in motorsport first and then began making wheels.
Rays’ motto is “the concept is racing”, and they are very proud of their motorsport heritage, which they continue to be heavily involved in today.
They have partaken in the highest levels of motorsport including Formula 1 and GT1 world championship, among many others and supply wheels for factory teams in JTCC, BTCC, Super GT and more.
Rays were one of the first companies to introduce forged wheels to the retail market, and they have some of the most advanced forging technologies in the world, including a 10,000 tonne forging press, which no other company has.
All of their designs, technology and R&D comes from their participation in motorsport, sharing everything between their motorsport and road wheels. They do not differential the two, and all their wheels are made using the same technology.
So while many other wheel companies but their wheels through “testing” (which Rays certainly still do), they are also able to truly test them by putting them on racecars, and then produce the wheels that do what they want them to do.
Every aspect of wheel production is done in-house at Rays’ facility in Japan, from the R&D and design to the manufacturing, finishing and safety testing. This allows them to maintain the highest standards at every step of the process, and makes it very difficult for anybody to copy their level of quality.
By constantly testing and updating their data, Rays is able to continuously improve wheels that would previously have been made to the limit of the data available.
Volk Racing is Rays’ flagship brand which only produces high quality forged wheels designed purely for performance and functionality, which is what makes them so popular.
The Volk TE37, arguable the most popular and highly regarded wheel in existence, was one of the lightest wheels ever when it was made in 1996, weighing only 3.7kg in its original size (more on this later).
Due to all this, the Volk Racing name has practically become synonymous with high quality performance wheels, making them one of, if not the most highly regarded wheel brand on the planet.
How Volk Wheels Are Made
Volk Wheels are make using some of the most advanced forging techniques on the planet, making them some of the strongest and lightest wheels you can buy.
They use a specially blended 6061 T6 aluminium which is designed for greater elasticity and properties to match their forging process.
Volk use a special multi-step forging process which includes:
- Hot forging the billet aluminium to create metal lines of the wheel into the block of metal
- RM forging (developed exclusively for Rays) to mold the wheel design
- The wheel is then put on a cold spinning machines where 10,000 tonnes of force are applied to make the wheel’s shape, density and gran structure
- Heat treatment where the wheel is quickly heated and then cooled using a special solution to create the wheels high structural integrity
- The wheel is now machined into its final shape to ensure perfect roundness
- Shot blasting is now done to smooth the surface in preparation for finishing
- The surface finish of the wheel is now done which includes polishing, painting or powder coating
This is one of the most intensive and advanced wheel forging processes in the world, which produces ultra strong wheels that can be made with less material, making them stronger and lighter than almost any other wheel.
Here’s a good Volk promotional video showing how they design, manufacturing and safety test their wheels:
One thing to note is that forging methods today have evolved greatly since the original TE37 was produced, which allows Volk to make updates to the design and construction, such as cut out pockets on the back of the spokes for further weight savings while still maintaining the same strength.
Newer versions of Volk Wheels also including a special knurling on the bead to give the tyre more grip and prevent it from debeading under extreme load (SSR wheels have a similar feature also).
Rays have their own safety compliance and testing that exceeds JWL and VIA standards (which they are also certified for) by 20% or more, called JWL+R Spec 2. Rays believes that the JWL standard is too easy to pass, so they made their own stricter standard to ensure their wheels are much better quality than everyone else’s.
Rays’ safety testing includes:
- JWL strength test
- Radial fatigue test over 800,000 revolutions
- Rotary bending fatigue test over 150,000 revolutions
- 13 degree impact test
- And more
Why Do Volk Wheels Cost So Much?
If you have been looking to buy Volk wheels, you have no doubt noticed the large price tag, often several multiples higher than other wheel brands.
The reason why Volk Racing wheels cost so much is because they put a huge amount of R&D, technology, testing and high standard of manufacturing, along with using only the highest quality materials to produce every single wheel.
All of this takes many man hours and a large investment to be able to achieve at such a high standard, so it would be difficult for them to sell wheels at lower prices and still be profitable.
The simple fact is that Volk’s target market is those who want the absolute best and can afford it, and that’s who they make their wheels for. They don’t want to sacrifice in quality or safety in order to offer a cheaper product, as that would tarnish their brand and reputation.
Popular Volk Racing Wheels
Over the years, Volk has produced countless wheels designs, including many popular 1, 2 and 3-piece wheels which have since been discontinued (such as the GT-C, my personal favourite). If I was to list them all, we’d be here all day.
What I will do is list some of their most popular current wheels, including the legendary TE37 and a few of its versions. Volk currently only produce forged monoblock designs, they do not have any multi-piece models.
One of the most iconic wheels ever, the Volk TE37 wheel is a legendary monoblock forged wheel designed specifically to be as light and as durable as possible.
These were the first wheels produced by Volk back in 1996 and weighted only 3.7 kg ( lb) each in their original 15×6 size! That’s where the 37 in TE37 comes from.
The TE37 was even available in a forged magnesium version which was lighter than the aluminium wheels but significantly more expensive, so they weren’t very popular.
The TE37 has received numerous updates and refinements over the years, and is still produced and sold today in a number of different versions including the original design.
They are available in over 13 different variations which cover everything from Kei cars to 6 hole PCDs for offroaders.
Here are some of the most popular TE37 models.
Tokyo Time Attack
One of the rarest versions of the TE37, the Tokyo Time Attack was a limited run that featured black spokes and a diamond cut lip with red accents. Unfortunately, these are no longer available.
Super Lap (SL)
The Super Lap, otherwise known as the TE37SL, was based on the original design but featured further weight savings of 400g over the original in the 18×10.5 size.
Volk did this by introducing cut out pockets in the spokes and a special pressed graphic finish, as well as further milling which meant that these cannot run center caps without special adaptors.
TE37V / TE37V Mark-II
The TE37V was a much anticipated release that was originally made to cater to classic Japanese cars that required a small wheel diameter with a low offset. These were originally offered in 14-17” diameters.
Due to such popular demand, they released a Mark-II version in 18” to accommodate newer and larger cars such as Skylines, and these wheels have proved very popular with the resurgence of widebody kits. These are one of the only monoblock forged wheels with such a large dish available.
Large 6 Hole PCD
The large PCD versions of the TE37 are designed for SUVs and offroaders that have a 6 lug PCD. These wheels are very similar to the original TE37, which some design changes to accommodate the 6 hole PCD as well as a stronger barrel and redesigned spokes for added strength, making them suitable for offroading.
GET VOLK RACING TE37 WHEELS FOR THE BEST PRICE HERE
The CE28 is now the lightest wheel that Volk makes. These wheels are also available in a number of different models including the CE28N, CE28SL which is even lighter than the original, and more. If you need the lightest wheels possible, the CE28 wheels are for you.
GET VOLK RACING CE28 WHEELS FOR THE BEST PRICE HERE
A very recent model released in 2022, the 21A is based on the original Volk Mesh wheels which featured a mesh face design. They feature a deep step lip, come in 3 different face profile options and are available in up to 12” wide.
Another recent release from Volk, the 21C wheels feature a 5 spoke face with signature dimples based on those on the Volk Gr.Cs and also featured on several other models including the GT-Cs.
Like the 21As, these are also available in 3 different face profiles, feature deep step lips and come in up to 12” wide.
Conclusion – How Good Are Volk Racing Wheels?
Basically – the best. There is a reason you have never heard of anyone having a problem with Volk Wheels. They pride themselves on making an ultra high quality product, which their wheels really are.
They use the latest technologies (literally, not just saying that like every other brand), and have equipment and processes that nobody else in the industry has, allowing them to make the best wheels you can buy.
While it’s debateable who the best wheel brand actually is, what is not debatable is the fact that Volk is easily one of the contenders, and that their wheels are just as good if not better than any of the other big brands like BBS or SSR.
Basically, if you buy Volk, you won’t regret it later wishing you got another brand which turned out to be better, because there really isn’t such a thing.
Where to Buy Volk Racing Wheels?
You can get Volk Racing wheels for the best price here:
GET VOLK RACING WHEELS FOR THE BEST PRICE HERE
FAQ About Volk Racing Wheels
Are Volk Wheels Reps?
No, Volk wheels are not reps. Volk Racing are one of the original aftermarket wheels brands, and in fact Volk are one of the most copied wheel brands out there.
Are Rays and Volk Wheels the Same?
Essentially, yes. Rays Engineering owns Volk and they produce all the Volk wheels, making them the same thing.
Are Volk Wheels Aluminium?
Yes, the majority of Volk wheels are aluminium, though they have made some magnesium wheel models.
Are Volk Wheels Russian?
No, Volk wheels are not Russian. Volk wheels are a Japanese brand and are made in Japan.
Do Volk Racing Make Universal 5 Lug Wheels?
No, Volk Racing wheels are all made to fit one specific PCD lug pattern, they don’t make universal or multi-lug wheels.
Do Volk Racing Wheels Come With Center Caps?
No, Volk Racing make several wheels which are made to be lightweight and do not have center caps. In order to fit center caps to these models, you need to buy special center cap adapters.
Do Volk Wheels Come Balanced?
All wheels need to be balanced once a tire is fitted. Therefore, if you are buying your Volk wheels without tires, you will need to get the wheels and tires balanced after having the tires fitted.
How to Spot Fake Volk Wheels
The best way to spot fake Volk wheels is by the weight. Volk wheels are extremely light, whereas practically all fakes are cast and are heavy.
Volk wheels also have Volk stampings or engravings, and will have JWL and VIA markings (though fakes can have this also).
Always compare the wheels you are looking at buying against the Volk wheel line up to see if they are a model that Volk actually offered.
Where Are Volk Wheels Made?
All Volk wheels are made by Rays Engineering at their facility in Japan.
Are All Volk Wheels Forged?
All current Volk wheels are forged. Volk previously offered some wheel models, such as 2 piece wheels, which had forged outers but cast centers.
GET VOLK RACING WHEELS FOR THE BEST PRICE HERE
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